Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (Legends of Dune Series #1)

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (Legends of Dune Series #1)

by Brian Herbert


$26.12 $27.95 Save 7% Current price is $26.12, Original price is $27.95. You Save 7%. View All Available Formats & Editions


Frank Herbert's Dune series is one of the grandest epics in the annals of imaginative literature. Selling millions of copies worldwide, it is science fiction's answer to The Lord of the Rings, a brilliantly imaginative epic of high adventure, unforgettable characters, and immense scope.

Decades after Herbert's original novels, the Dune saga was continued by Frank Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, an acclaimed SF novelist in his own right, in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson. Their New York Times bestselling trilogy, Dune: House Atreides, Dune: House Harkonnen, and Dune: House Corrino, formed a prequel to the classic Herbert series that was acclaimed by reviewers and readers alike. Now Herbert and Anderson, working from Frank Herbert's own notes, reveal a pivotal epoch in the history of the Dune universe, the chapter of the saga most eagerly anticipated by readers: The Butlerian Jihad.

Throughout the Dune novels, Frank Herbert frequently referred to the long-ago war in which humans wrested their freedom from "thinking machines." Now, in Dune: Butlerian Jihad, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson bring to life the story of that war, a tale previously seen only in tantalizing hints and clues. Finally, we see how Serena Butler's passionate grief ignites the war that will liberate humans from their machine masters. We learn the circumstances of the betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen; and we experience the Battle of Corrin that created a galactic empire that lasted until the reign of Emperor Shaddam IV.

Herein are the foundations of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Suk Doctors, the Order of Mentats, and the mysteriously altered Navigators of the Spacing Guild. Here is the amazing tale of the Zensunni Wanderers, who escape bondage to flee to the desert world where they will declare themselves the Free Men of Dune. And here is the backward, nearly forgotten planet of Arrakis, where traders have discovered the remarkable properties of the spice melange . . . .

Ten thousand years before the events of Dune, humans have managed to battle the remorseless Machines to a standstill . . . but victory may be short-lived. Yet amid shortsighted squabbling between nobles, new leaders have begun to emerge. Among them are Xavier Harkonnen, military leader of the Planet of Salusa Secundus; Xavier's fiancée, Serena Butler, an activist who will become the unwilling leader of millions; and Tio Holtzman, the scientist struggling to devise a weapon that will help the human cause. Against the brute efficiency of their adversaries, these leaders and the human race have only imagination, compassion, and the capacity for love. It will have to be enough.

Author Biography: Brian Herbert, the son of Frank Herbert, is the author of numerous acclaimed science fiction novels, including Sidney's Comet, Sudanna, Sudanna, Prisoners of Arion, The Race for God, and Man of Two Worlds (with Frank Herbert). He has also written Dreamer of Dune, a comprehensive biography of his illustrious father.

Kevin J. Anderson has written twenty-nine national bestsellers and has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Reader's Choice Award. His critically acclaimed original novels include Captain Nemo, Hopscotch, and Hidden Empire. He also set the Guinness world record for "largest single-author book signing."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765301574
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 09/17/2002
Series: Legends of Dune Series , #1
Pages: 624
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 10.96(h) x 1.83(d)

About the Author

Brian Herbert, the son of Frank Herbert, is a multiple New York Times bestselling author in his own right. He is the winner of several literary honors and has been nominated for the Nebula award. His critically acclaimed science fiction novels include Sidney's Comet, Sudanna Sudanna, The Race for God, and Man of Two Worlds (written with Frank Herbert). Recently, he completed Dreamer of Dune, a comprehensive biography of his illustrious father.

Kevin J. Anderson has written twenty-nine national bestsellers and has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Reader's Choice Award. His critically acclaimed original novels include Captain Nemo, Hopscotch, and Hidden Empire. He also set the Guiness world record for "Largest Single-Author Book Signing."

Scott Brick first began narrating audiobooks in 2000, and after recording almost 400 titles in five years, AudioFile magazine named Brick a Golden Voice and "one of the fastest-rising stars in the audiobook galaxy." He has read a number of titles in Frank Herbert's bestselling Dune series, and he won the 2003 Science Fiction Audie Award for Dune: The Butlerian Jihad. Brick has narrated for many popular authors, including Michael Pollan, Joseph Finder, Tom Clancy, and Ayn Rand. He has also won over 40 AudioFile Earphones Awards and the AudioFile award for Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense 2011. In 2007, Brick was named Publishers Weekly's Narrator of the Year.

Read an Excerpt

Princess Irulan writes:

Any true student must realize that History has no beginning. Regardless of where a story starts, there are always earlier heroes and earlier tragedies.

Before one can understand Muad'Dib or the current jihad that followed the overthrow of my father, Emperor Shaddam IV, one must understand what we fight against. Therefore, look more than ten thousand years into our past, ten millennia before the birth of Paul Atreides.

It is there that we see the founding of the Imperium, how an emperor rose from the ashes of the Battle of Corrin to unify the bruised remnants of humanity. We will delve into the most ancient records, into the very myths of Dune, into the time of the Great Revolt, more commonly known as the Butlerian Jihad.

The terrible war against thinking machines was the genesis of our political-commercial universe. Hear now, as I tell the story of free humans rebelling against the domination of robots, computers, and cymeks. Observe the basis of the great betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen, a violent feud that continues to this day. Learn the roots of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, the Spacing Guild and their Navigators, the Swordmasters of Ginaz, the Suk Medical School, the Mentats. Witness the lives of oppressed Zensunni Wanderers who fled to the desert world of Arrakis, where they became our greatest soldiers, the Fremen.

Such events led to the birth and life of Muad'Dib.

• *

LONG BEFORE MUAD'DIB, in the last days of the Old Empire, humanity lost its drive. Terran civilization had spread across the stars, but grew stagnant. With few ambitions, most people allowed efficient machines to perform everyday tasks for them. Gradually, humans ceased to think, or dream…or truly live.

Then came a man from the distant Thalim system, a visionary who took the name of Tlaloc after an ancient god of rain. He spoke to languid crowds, attempting to revive their human spirit, to no apparent effect. But a few misfits heard Tlaloc's message.

These new thinkers met in secret and discussed how they would change the Empire, if only they could overthrow the foolish rulers. Discarding their birth names, they assumed appellations associated with great gods and heroes. Foremost among them were General Agamemnon and his lover Juno, a tactical genius. These two recruited the programming expert Barbarossa, who devised a scheme to convert the Empire's ubiquitous servile machines into fearless aggressors by giving their AI brains certain human characteristics, including the ambition to conquer. Then several more humans joined the ambitious rebels. In all, twenty masterminds formed the core of a revolutionary movement that took over the Old Empire.

Victorious, they called themselves Titans, after the most ancient of Greek gods. Led by the visionary Tlaloc, the twenty allocated the administration of planets and peoples among themselves, enforcing their edicts through Barbarossa's aggressive thinking machines. They conquered most of the known galaxy.

Some resistance groups rallied their defenses on the fringes of the Old Empire. Forming their own confederation--the League of Nobles--they fought the Twenty Titans and, after many bloody battles, retained their freedom. They stopped the tide of the Titans and drove them back.

Tlaloc vowed to dominate these outsiders one day, but after less than a decade in power, the visionary leader was killed in a tragic accident. General Agamemnon took Tlaloc's place as leader, but the death of his friend and mentor was a grim reminder of the Titans' own mortality.

Wishing to rule for centuries, Agamemnon and his lover Juno undertook a risky course of action. They had their brains surgically removed and implanted in preservation canisters that could be installed into a variety of mechanical bodies. One by one--as the remaining Titans felt the specter of age and vulnerability--all of the others also converted themselves into "cymeks," machines with human minds.

The Time of Titans lasted for a century. The cymek usurpers ruled their various planets, using increasingly sophisticated computers and robots to maintain order. But one fateful day the hedonistic Titan Xerxes, anxious to have more time for his pleasures, surrendered too much access to his pervasive AI network.

The sentient computer network seized control of an entire planet, followed quickly by others. The breakdown spread like a virulent infestation from world to world, and the computer "evermind" grew in power and scope. Naming itself Omnius, the intelligent and adaptible network conquered all the Titan-controlled planets before the cymeks had time to warn each other of the danger.

Omnius then set out to establish and maintain order in its own highly structured fashion, keeping the humiliated cymeks under its thumb. Once masters of an empire, Agamemnon and his companions became reluctant servants to the widespread evermind.

At the time of the Butlerian Jihad, Omnius and his thinking machines had held all of the "Synchronized Worlds" in an iron grip for a thousand years.

Even so, clusters of free humans remained on the outskirts, bound together for mutual protection, thorns in the sides of the thinking machines. Whenever attacks came, the League of Nobles defended themselves effectively.

But new machine plans were always being developed.

Copyright © 2002 by Herbert Properties LLC

Table of Contents


Inventing History for Dune
When Frank Herbert first created the Dune universe almost four decades ago, he placed his story on a canvas that spanned more than 20,000 years. A masterpiece of world building and history, Dune is richly detailed, full of characters and cultures, clearly giving the impression that the author knows much more than he's letting on.

One of the most tantalizing events mentioned in all six of Frank Herbert's Dune novels is the Butlerian Jihad, a titanic conflict of humans against thinking machines, which serves as the genesis for many of the familiar ingredients in Dune. This fascinating part of Dune history is the single event most hotly anticipated by Frank Herbert fans.

After completing three immediate prequels to Dune -- House Atreides, House Harkonnen, and House Corrino -- we reawakened the fervor for Frank Herbert's grand history. Many readers have returned to the original novels, and new fans have picked up the books. Our first prequel trilogy features all familiar characters and events, leading directly into Dune.

For The Butlerian Jihad, we had to travel back 10,000 years before the events in the original story. This posed a difficult, but entertaining, challenge -- to create an original universe, building our own characters and events, yet one that captures the flavor and essence of Dune.

Armed with Frank Herbert's unpublished notes and background material, we had some important clues to the events of the Butlerian Jihad, but none of the extensive details. Building on this material, The Butlerian Jihad answers the most vital questions fans have been asking: the circumstances behind the great betrayal that made mortal enemies of House Atreides and House Harkonnen, the foundations of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, as well as the creation of the Order of Mentats, the Suk doctors, the Swordmasters of Ginaz, and the Spacing Guild. We also show the dramatic struggle of the oppressed Zensunni Wanderers who escape their bondage and flee to an uncharted desert world, where they settle among the spice and sandworms and declare themselves "Free men" of Dune. Readers will recognize some familiar names and meet new friends and enemies.

Because The Butlerian Jihad is so far removed from the original classic novel, we felt we had a greater freedom but also a greater responsibility. We are opening a new chapter in this grand history, yet it must be familiar enough to belong beside the other Dune novels. We created a new set of characters that we found remarkable in their own right -- the half-machine tyrant Agamemnon and his brainwashed son Vorian Atreides, the dedicated free human Xavier Harkonnen, the genius scientist Tio Holtzman, and of course the incomparable heroine, Serena Butler. The independent robot Erasmus -- whom Publishers Weekly calls "a Thinking Machine Hannibal Lecter with whimsical Mr. Spock-ish meditations" -- is probably the best villain either of us has ever concocted. The Butlerian Jihad is just the first of a projected trilogy. Frank Herbert has left us a vast landscape to explore, but at least we have a map. We still have a lot more history to create. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (Legends of Dune Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. A great introduction to the Dune universe.
Cybertinker More than 1 year ago
Entertaining story behind the mysterious concepts that form the original Dune. It is well written and I found myself making time to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a new comer to the Duniverse, I decided to travel through it chronological. Although I'm 201% sure that this comes nowhere near the fansty that the late Frank Herbert wrote, I still found it a fun and exciting tale of the 11,000 year off future, and I will countinue to journy throughout it. A*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love anything by these authors, nd frank, I live in the dune universe everytime I feel the pages on my fingertips (or touchscreen) lol..
ScottFree76 More than 1 year ago
The Butlerian Jihad is, as I knew it would be a fantastic work of science fiction which transcends its genre. Once again Brian Herbert & Kevin J Anderson prove themselves worthy inheritors of the legacy of Frank Herbert. I would also like to Give my thanks and commend Barnes & Noble Books for their fantastic service. When I lived in my home town of New York City there was always a particular joy in my visits to any of the local B&N branches, and now that I live abroad I continue to enjoy the courtesy and effectiveness of their on-line
yosarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
well what can I add that's not already been said? Yes, they are nowhere near as good as Frank Herbert's original series (and let's be honest that's why we all bought them ...), the characters are awful, the dialogue mediocre (at best) ... but ... it's Dune!This book and the next two (Machine Crusade / Battle of Corrin) describe the events leading up to Frank herbert's first book, they describe the history of the battles between humans and the robotic enemy controlled by a vastly superior AI mind that was devised by the humans themselves and then rebelle........ hang on, any of this sound familiar? There's nothing original here but the hero's this time around against the cylons / skynet are descendants of the Harkonnen and Atreides and that's what makes this book worth reading. It's for fans of the original Dune series who are curious.
santhony on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While this book and its successors, Machine Crusade and Battle Of Corrin, are certainly not the equal of the original Dune, they are far preferable to the earlier predecessor novels House Atriedes, House Harkonnen and House Corrin. Those earlier novels were very simplistic and written on a junior high level.The Legends of Dune series, on the other hand, are at least moderately well written and contain the genesis for many of the historical events referred to in Dune. In my opinion, they are entertaining without being as heavily philosophical as many of the Dune successors, which I frankly found unreadable.
JeffV on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first of earliest prequel trilogy in the Dune series, The Butlerian Jihad takes place millennia prior to the events in Dune. The book explains legendary historical events that still resonate all those years later. While on one hand, it provides more substance to the actions and philosophy of characters to come, there is a huge plausibility factor when one considers the roots of everything trace back to a common nexus of coincidental events. Not only are the machines overthrown, but the shadowy precursors of the Tlielax are selling mysteriously-grown body parts (not to mention also being involved in slave trade), a group of "sorceresses" hone telepathic and truthsaying skills, and an aboriginal, outcast Zensunni on Arrakis becomes the first to ride a worm. Atreides and Harkonnen ancestors play prominent roles, and the inventor Holtzmann, whose inventions set the fundamentals of space travel and warfare, is busily developing the shield which forever bears his name.Most of the story lines were left open in preparation of the two books to follow (The Machine Crusade and the Battle of Corrin). There seemed to be too many story lines, and a few characters that don't seem to have a lasting legacy take up space for reasons yet unknown.
AnotherPartOfMeLost on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The legend of dune series give some explanations for things that are an issue in other Dune novels. For example, this is where we learn why the feud between Harkonnen and Atreides exists. And off course we meet the machines, and the independent robot Erasmus. The books in itself are far off from the original Dune novels. Though entertaining, I wouldn't hold against anyone skipping these books.
laileana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am personally a HUGE fan of the original Dune novels by Frank Herbert. After his death his son, Brian Herbert, hooked up with sci fi author Kevin J. Anderson to bring some Frank Herberts notes on the history of Dune to novel format. The result was not nearly as good as the original novels, but better than average regardless.I really liked the Butlerian Jihad. It takes places 10,000 years before the first Dune novel and relates the war between humans and their machines. Humanity had become too dependent upon machines for everyday life. Humans no longer even had to work at all-mahcines took care of everything. Then they took over. They made slaves of all of the humans they did not kill. A few of the planets managed to form a resistance to the machines. This is about what set off what would become the legend of the Butlerian Jihad which even in the original Dune novels forbid totally and completely the use of thinking machines.I also read the second installment in this series-Dune: The Machine Crusade. It was ok, but I liked the first book much better.
Brent_McDougal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First in the Dune prequel series written by brian herbert and kevin j anderson using frank herberts notes.If you are a fan of the Dune series you might enjoy this book as it expands on the history of the Dune universe, the book by itself is not horrible but it's not very good either.
Nodosaurus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Butlerian Jihad, by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, is the first of three books in a prequel to the Dune series. The books focus on the human war against the machines. The human-created thinking machines were able to seize control of a number of worlds. The story describes the machine attacks on human worlds in a seemingly pointless struggle for humans to survive to an understanding of the machines and technology that helps turn the tide. I found the personalities of the machines to be interesting in their strengths, weaknesses, and their understanding of humanity. they strive to learn about people and to subjugate them for their own good. This book sees the earliest beginning of the Fremen, Bene Gesserit, Ixians and Bene Tleilax. There are further suggestions or promises to develop the spacing guild and mentats in the next volumes. The book violated some of the tenets of the Dune series previously. The technology is explained in present terms rather than left to the imagination. Now we know for sure that the lasguns are laser-related. This felt odd since it was intentionally left vague. Another violation was that action took place on Earth, which was previously a mysterious birth-place of humanity and never described. These didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. It provides a good background for the later stories and fits well with the previous writing styles.
bjh13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read this book nearly 10 years ago, and remembered enjoying it but not very much of the details as I read it during the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom and had more important things on my mind. I did read the original 6 Dune novels about 15 years ago and decided I wanted to go through all of them in chronological order. I have not read other Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson Dune novels, so this was my first exposure. I had previously read some Kevin J. Anderson Star Wars books, which I hated so much I stopped reading Star Wars books for 10 years.The book got off to a rough start at first, it felt like I was reading a space opera from the 1970s and some of the ideas regarding AI and space travel seemed a bit outdated. Quickly however the story picked up, and I began to get drawn in to the characters. You find yourself cheering for them, and hating the evil Cy-meks and the plodding, self-centered politicians. The massive scale of the story, with multiple character viewpoints, also adds greatly to the experience.This book is a pure distillation of classic space opera, and I absolutely loved it. The connections to Dune are there, though honestly this story would have worked great in it's own universe. Perhaps that will change in the later books. A lot of purist seem to hate these books with a passion, but I did not find anything that disagreed with the Dune canon as I remember it.I would recommend this book to any fans of sf and especially space opera. If you are a fan of the original Dune novels by Frank Herbert you should give these books a try.
B3agleboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had not been impressed with the Dune prequels, but I put that down to the authors being constrained with existing characters and events. As such I had higher hopes for The Butlerian Jihad. They would be able to create their own characters, and had fewer plot restraints. Unfortunately I was disappointed. The characters were flat, descriptions dull, few thought provoking moments (other than maybe identifying weaknesses), and little innovation in the Dune universe. The plot was okay, and it was enough to carry me through the book.
seanvk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this collaboration between the two authors. It describes the period leading up to the machine wars which predates the Dune story by 11,000 years. It also sets the background to the Spacing Guild, the Suk doctors, and the Bene Gesserit, as well as the Freemen. One challenge I had near the end was the connection of jihad with the League of Nobles. The notion of a holy war in a society (Nobles) without any faith seemed odd. How are they going to bridge the gap between the Zensunnis and Zenshiites who shaped the Freemen and the rest of society? Then 11,000 years later society is stratified as before the machine wars at the commencement of the Dune series as we know it. I supposed I will need to read the sequel to this one to find out.
szarka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I enjoyed the first three of the Dune prequels, with this one I gave up on the series in disgust.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For being so long it did a pretty good job of staying interesting. Great drama and cool to compare who treats humans worse, machines or humans. Cool dual uprising.
ennui2342 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As other reviews have stated, this is not the most well written of books, and some of the plot holes are pretty hard to ignore. In particular the behaviours of the machine overlords and the idea that humans, reduced to slave status, would have any impact is a stretch. This kind of scenario has been done much better elsewhere.However, this is the world of Dune and for those who loved Dune as kids, as I did, you'll find it easy to forget the difficulties with the novel and just enjoy the exploration of the Dune back-story and the origins of the complex society that Herbert described. For that alone it is well worth a read of any Dune fan, and I for one will happily work my way through the whole series.
prof_brazen_guff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As mentioned by another reviewer, Anderson and Brian Herbert are certainly not authors of the calibre of Frank Herbert. They shouldn't be criticised for this however, because few are. Also, as a huge fan of Dune, there was much in these prequels for me to enjoy.
penwing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This whole series (Legends of Dune) was awful. Flat characterisations with only one characteristic. Twists to the plot with had no foreshadowing and made no sense. I only battled my way through because I had bought them. It's put me off the two authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great prologue to the great House books in the series and the original Dune.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice story but pales in comparison of Frank Herbert
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read, fun, fast and a fabulous way to set the Dune back story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago