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 (1920-86) was born in Tacoma, Washington and worked as a reporter and later editor of a number of West Coast newspapers before becoming a full-time writer. His first sf story was published in 1952 but he achieved fame more than ten years later with the publication in Analog of 'Dune World' and 'The Prophet of Dune', amalgamated into the Hugo and Nebula-winning novel Dune in 1965.