John Roe O'Neill, molecular biologist, American of Irish descent, saw the car bomb explosion that killed instantly his wife Mary and their twin five-year-olds, Kevin and Mairead. Physically almost unharmed, a shock wave of blinding, all-engulfing hatred and revulsion seared through his mind. Revulsion not just for the bombers but for a world that could produce such horror. And he sought revenge on that world, creating and unleashing a plague. Then, as his plague swept the world, bringing not just death but the mad anarchy of terror, he went on a journey where he was forced to see the awfulness of his own handiwork.
Frank Herbert was born in 1920. His colourful and varied career included stints as a radio news commentator and jungle survival instructor. He is best known for creating the world of DUNE, which became the bestselling science fiction novel of all time. It won great acclaim, as well as the Hugo and Nebula awards, establishing Frank Herbert as a master of modern science fiction. He died in 1986. His son, Brian Herbert, has now begun a new series of Dune novels, Prelude to Dune in collaboration with Kevin J. Anderson . The first novel to appear in the new series is House Atreides, published by Hodder & Stoughton.