The Machine Crusade


When we finished the manuscript of this book, the work had only begun. Pat LoBrutto and Carolyn Caughey showed their editorial genius, guiding us through numerous iterations and fine-tunings to produce this final version. Our agents, Robert Gottlieb and Matt Bialer of Trident Media Group, have been supportive and excited about this project from the start. Tom Doherty, Linda Quinton, Jennifer Marcus, Heather Drucker, and Paul Stevens at Tor Books, and Julie Crisp at Hodder & Stoughton, helped keep all matters of production and promotion on track without letting their enthusiasm flag for a moment.

As always, Catherine Sidor at WordFire, Inc., worked tirelessly to transcribe dozens of microcassettes, input corrections, and maintain consistency in the face of a full-steam-ahead work space. Diane E. Jones served as test reader and guinea pig, giving us her honest reactions and suggesting additional scenes that helped make this a stronger book.

Rebecca Moesta Anderson devoted uncounted hours of energy, concentration, advice, and criticism (always tempered with love), never letting the phrase “good enough” enter her vocabulary. Jan Herbert, as always, offered her support, patience, and understanding in the face of the unpredictable needs of a writer.

Javier Barriopedro and Christian Gossett gave us “Swordmaster” inspiration. Dr. Attila Torkos gave the final manuscript his fine-tooth-comb scrutiny, helping us to avoid inconsistencies.

The Herbert Limited Partnership, including Penny and Ron Merritt, David Merritt, Byron Merritt, Julie Herbert, Robert Merritt, Kimberly Herbert, Margaux Herbert, and Theresa Shackelford, gave us their enthusiastic support, entrusting us with the care of Frank Herbert’s vision.

Without Beverly Herbert’s almost four decades of support and devotion to him, Frank Herbert would not have created such a vast and fascinating universe for us to explore. We are greatly indebted to them both.


The Machine Crusade


Historians do not agree on the messages carried in detritus of the long-ago past.

As one delves into history— such ancient, chaotic times!— the more facts become fluid, the stories contradictory. Across the ocean of time and fallible memory, true heroes metamorphose into archetypes; battles grow more significant than they actually were. Legends and truth are difficult to reconcile.

As the First Official Historian of the Jihad, I must set down this record as best I can, relying upon oral traditions and fragmentary documents preserved for a hundred centuries. Which is more accurate— a carefully documented history such as mine, or an accumulation of myths and folktales?

I, Naam the Elder, must write honestly, even if it invites the wrath of my superiors. Read this history carefully, as I begin with Rendik Tolu-Far’s Manifesto of Protest, a document that was confiscated by the Jipol:

“We are weary of fighting— weary unto death! Billions upon billions have already been slaughtered in this crusade against the thinking machines. The casualties include not only uniformed soldiers of the Jihad and their hired mercenaries, but also innocent colonists and human slaves on the Synchronized Worlds. No one bothers to count the number of enemy machines that have been destroyed.

“The computer evermind Omnius has dominated many planets for over a millennium, but it was twenty-four years ago that the murder of Priestess Serena Butler’s innocent child triggered an all-out human revolt. She used this tragedy to incite a fervor in the League of Nobles, precipitating the Armada’s full-scale attack and the atomic destruction of Earth.

“Yes, this was a blow to Omnius, but it killed every last human living on that planet and left the birthplace of humanity a radioactive ruin, uninhabitable for centuries to come. What a horrendous cost!— and that was not a victory, not an end, but only the opening act in this long struggle.

“For more than two decades, Serena’s holy war