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The Green Brain Mass Market Paperback – September 16, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, September 16, 2002
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Pandemic by Sonia Shah
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Editorial Reviews


“Herbert does more than carry events forward: he deals with the consequences of events, the implications of decisions.” ―St. Louis Post-Dispatch

About the Author

Frank Herbert (1920-1986) created the most beloved novel in the annals of science fiction, Dune. He was a man of many facets, of countless passageways that ran through an intricate mind. His magnum opus is a reflection of this, a classic work that stands as one of the most complex, multi-layered novels ever written in any genre. Today the novel is more popular than ever, with new readers continually discovering it and telling their friends to pick up a copy. It has been translated into dozens of languages and has sold almost 20 million copies.

As a child growing up in Washington State, Frank Herbert was curious about everything. He carried around a Boy Scout pack with books in it, and he was always reading. He loved Rover Boys adventures, as well as the stories of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and the science fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs. On his eighth birthday, Frank stood on top of the breakfast table at his family home and announced, "I wanna be a author." His maternal grandfather, John McCarthy, said of the boy, "It's frightening. A kid that small shouldn't be so smart." Young Frank was not unlike Alia in Dune, a person having adult comprehension in a child's body. In grade school he was the acknowledged authority on everything. If his classmates wanted to know the answer to something, such as about sexual functions or how to make a carbide cannon, they would invariably say, "Let's ask Herbert. He'll know."

His curiosity and independent spirit got him into trouble more than once when he was growing up, and caused him difficulties as an adult as well. He did not graduate from college because he refused to take the required courses for a major; he only wanted to study what interested him. For years he had a hard time making a living, bouncing from job to job and from town to town. He was so independent that he refused to write for a particular market; he wrote what he felt like writing. It took him six years of research and writing to complete Dune, and after all that struggle and sacrifice, 23 publishers rejected it in book form before it was finally accepted. He received an advance of only $7,500.

His loving wife of 37 years, Beverly, was the breadwinner much of the time, as an underpaid advertising writer for department stores. Having been divorced from his first wife, Flora Parkinson, Frank Herbert met Beverly Stuart at a University of Washington creative writing class in 1946. At the time, they were the only students in the class who had sold their work for publication. Frank had sold two pulp adventure stories to magazines, one to Esquire and the other to Doc Savage. Beverly had sold a story to Modern Romance magazine. These genres reflected the interests of the two young lovers; he the adventurer, the strong, machismo man, and she the romantic, exceedingly feminine and soft-spoken.

Their marriage would produce two sons, Brian, born in 1947, and Bruce, born in 1951. Frank also had a daughter, Penny, born in 1942 from his first marriage. For more than two decades Frank and Beverly would struggle to make ends meet, and there were many hard times. In order to pay the bills and to allow her husband the freedom he needed in order to create, Beverly gave up her own creative writing career in order to support his. They were in fact a writing team, as he discussed every aspect of his stories with her, and she edited his work. Theirs was a remarkable, though tragic, love story-which Brian would poignantly describe one day in Dreamer of Dune (Tor Books; April 2003). After Beverly passed away, Frank married Theresa Shackelford.

In all, Frank Herbert wrote nearly 30 popular books and collections of short stories, including six novels set in the Dune universe: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune. All were international bestsellers, as were a number of his other science fiction novels, which include The White Plague and The Dosadi Experiment. His major novels included The Dragon in the Sea, Soul Catcher (his only non-science fiction novel), Destination: Void, The Santaroga Barrier, The Green Brain, Hellstorm's Hive, Whipping Star, The Eyes of Heisenberg, The Godmakers, Direct Descent, and The Heaven Makers. He also collaborated with Bill Ransom to write The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, and The Ascension Factor. Frank Herbert's last published novel, Man of Two Worlds, was a collaboration with his son, Brian.


Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (September 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765342502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765342508
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,114,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 that were amalgamated in the novel Dune in 1965.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some time in the future, people are trying to make the Earth more habitable by destroying all of the world's insects and replacing them with genetically engineered ones that are more favorable to human populations. As the insects are faced with extinction, mutations appear that are better able to combat the new threat. Things get pretty strange, but this is by no means a bad thing.
Oh no! A *CHIGGER* has appeared inside of the insect-free zone! By the way, the chigger is half a meter long and spits acid. Yes, I realize that that is technically impossible. Don't worry: technicalities like that are taken care of.
Anyway, it gets better. The insects have also managed to copy the human idea of INTELLIGENCE--hence the title of the book.
The introduction and exploration of these ideas are done admirably during the first half of the novel. Then, around the half-way point, the whole tone and direction of the story changes. And this is when it gets REALLY good. The final chapters are composed of pages and pages of description. Sound boring, does it? Not in the least. This is the best description I have ever read in my life. The mood is perhaps described best as "Poe-esque"--subtle psychological descriptions that pull you right into the story, make you really understand how the characters feel. It takes you right along with the characters, providing real empathy, fear, love, anger and understanding all the way. Of course, it's more than JUST description. The Master brings so much into the writing in ways that only he can do. There's just no way to describe it--like everything Frank Herbert, you need to read it for yourself to know what it's like. I didn't really like the very last chapter, but I suppose nine out of ten ain't too bad.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dune was one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It was a feast for the mind. This book on the other hand was a light snack. Wich I think Mr. Herbert intended. I have nothing bad to say about this novel. It is an interesting story with a cool ending. The guy who did the first reveiw took it too seriously. Lighten up!
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Here the concept of consciousness is grappled with. The insects are part of a greater collective mind that manifests itself and communicates with human adversaries. Very interesting interface, makes your own brain start to cook in its very juices just to think about it all. Reminds me of the Death World series by "Harry Harrison" I wonder if it's ok to plug both in this one space.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Green Brain - Frank Herbert [535 - 2014-05-27 - SF novel]

Frank Herbert (1920-86) who will forever be known for "Dune" wrote this gem of a story in 1966 - just as "Dune" was being published in Analog magazine. Credit Herbert with taking one of the most trite, shop worn SF themes and imparting an astonishing level of narrative life into what could of been a forgettable piece of fluff.
An overpopulated world seeks additional lands by transforming jungles to farm and residential acres. An elite corps is formed to eliminate "green" areas of all insects not directly beneficial to man and to go into "red" locations to exterminate the voracious insects that make those areas uninhabitable. I found this idea, even today, a logical extrapolation of current trends. The conflict arises when an "intelligent" mutated insect endeavors to re-infect the "green" in order to notify mankind that victory over insects would result in barren, sterile soil and signal man's demise. The strength of this novel comes from the interaction of three complex, believable characters: Chen-Lhu- the Chinese representative, Rhie his companion and Joao the focus of the novel. The climax is a voyage though "red" territory interspaced with philosophical discourses on the complex relationships between and among the three humans and the efforts of the insect intelligence to detain them.
Aside from Dune Frank Herbert wrote several well receive novels - this is one of them. Portions of this novel first appeared in Amazing Stories in 1965 under the title Greenslaves.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a science fiction novella first published in 1966, one year after the classic Dune. One of the big themes of Dune is, of course, ecology. In The Green Brain, Herbert explores ecology in another setting - the jungles of a future Brazil, on Earth. In this future Brazil, the humans are trying to eliminate all insects in an effort to decrease disease and increase food production (they will keep some bees around to pollinate the crops). Needless to say, this is an ecological disaster in the making. And the bugs find a rather unique way to fight back - they develop a group brain that is every bit as bright (or brighter) than the humans. But the Green Brain does not want to fight a war with humans - it wants to find a way to communicate with them, and get them to stop the destruction of the ecosystem that all life depends upon.

Herbert has some really interesting ideas here, but the short length of the work prevents him from fully developing them. He also does not fully develop the three main characters (a Brazilian who fights the bugs on the front line, a beautiful Irish entomologist who also acts as a seductive spy, and a Chinese scientist who helped eliminate insects in China with very bad results). I was particularly puzzled on what the Chinese man's motivations were, as he knew what happened in China was a disaster, yet still pushing for the destruction of insects in Brazil.

Great ideas, but simply not fully developed...
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