Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"


Moderators: Omphalos, Freakzilla, ᴶᵛᵀᴬ, SandRider

User avatar
lotek
Posts: 5784
Joined: 28 Jul 2009 08:33

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by lotek »

Probably because what he found was not worthy of being called an outline in his eyes.
Love you always Omphalos
Spice is the worm's gonads.
User avatar
Cpt. Aramsham
Posts: 207
Joined: 06 Oct 2012 11:11

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Cpt. Aramsham »

I suppose, but in that case I would disagree. Just for Dune there are at least five different documents/texts among the Fullerton papers that I would consider outlines: Two brief plot summaries; two chapter-by-chapter breakdowns with "bullet points" for the developments in that chapter; and various loose notes that describe the contents planned for particular chapters, scenes or storylines. I have a hard time seeing what an "outline" would mean that is not covered by any of these.

Of course, again, it is too late to have that debate. But I guess my point is that saying the Dune 7 outline doesn't exists because Frank Herbert didn't make outlines is false.
User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18454
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Freakzilla »

Can't prove something doesn't exist
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman
User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
Posts: 18454
Joined: 05 Feb 2008 01:27
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Freakzilla »

I asked KJA a few years ago at Dragon*Con, while signing my hardcover of Road to Dune :wink: if they'd ever publish the notes and outline, and he said, "everything worth publishing is in that book (RtD).
Image
Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman
User avatar
Cpt. Aramsham
Posts: 207
Joined: 06 Oct 2012 11:11

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Cpt. Aramsham »

And I would disagree with that as well. (Though from what we have seen, it's true that The Road to Dune includes much of the coherent material that is clearly distinct from material in the finished version of Dune, i.e. not simply earlier drafts of scenes in the finished book.)

Of course, "what's worth publishing" is a very subjective question, except perhaps from a commercial point of view. I'm sure fans like us would be thrilled with a work along the lines of The History of The Hobbit (which I think is a better parallel than Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-Earth, since the development of Dune was much less complex than JRR Tolkien's legendarium as a whole), with the complete manuscript history of the work along with analysis and commentary. Perhaps something similar for the rest of the series as well. But it's hard to tell whether such a book would actually sell enough to pay for all the work that would be required to produce it.
distrans
Posts: 483
Joined: 04 Jan 2013 01:06

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by distrans »

on three occasions
ive bought every one of brains works sitting there on the [used] shelf

and burned them...


and hats off to whomever beat me to it a week ago here in riverside

bless you...
User avatar
Pinky&theBrian
Posts: 6
Joined: 10 Jun 2023 21:06
Location: Japan

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Pinky&theBrian »

Freakzilla wrote: 01 Sep 2019 17:42 I asked KJA a few years ago at Dragon*Con, while signing my hardcover of Road to Dune :wink: if they'd ever publish the notes and outline, and he said, "everything worth publishing is in that book (RtD).
Do you remember the guy who got LRH...err KJA to sign the back of his Sandchigger t-shirt? :D
Combine Herbert Ober Anderson Mercantile
User avatar
Pinky&theBrian
Posts: 6
Joined: 10 Jun 2023 21:06
Location: Japan

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Pinky&theBrian »

SandRider wrote: 23 Oct 2010 12:29
HB Jack, in the Chapterhouse ending thread, wrote: (There's the whole other question of whether this chapter is Frank's way of saying goodbye to Dune; that Daniel and Marty represent Frank and Beverly, and the no-ship's escape from D & M represents the release of the Dune creators' hold on their creation. As interesting - and, in a way, desirable - that idea is, it runs counter to the intention of this thread, I expect. So I'll say no more about it).
I've been one of those that've held to that line - Chapterhouse did not have a "cliff-hanger" ending
as much as an "open ending" - cf Frank's recorded talk with McNelly about "leaving things for the reader", the epilogue dedication to Beverly
that immediately follows the last chapter; the last line - "Gholas. He's welcome to them." - a disinterest in raising the dead ?


if we are intending to come to some conclusions about what Frank Herbert intended for "Dune 7",
we must consider the possibility that he had no intentions at all ....
EXACTLY!
The first time I ever heard of a cliffhanger was during the interviews with KJA.
If you don't mind me also adding to an old thread...

Last week, I listened to a recent podcast on YouTube about Dune 7 and what stood out was the comment that when asked about the Dune 7 notes, Brian's snarky response was to just show the picture of the two floppies. Afterwards, I listened to an interview of Frank Herbert recorded in April 1985 (7 months before his cancer diagnosis, he passed away 3 months after his diagnosis in February 1986). He was coughing and clearing his throat all through out the interview. I recognized that cough. Anyway, at the end of the interview, he was asked about the next Dune book.
Q Are you planning a 7th Dune book?
A Yes, it will be a novella prequel.

It hit me.
He wouldn't have written the 7th Dune on the disks.
More natural to write Dune 7, right?

Any notes would've been for the prequel.
Combine Herbert Ober Anderson Mercantile
The Seed
Posts: 35
Joined: 08 Dec 2023 16:56

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by The Seed »

Notes,what notes. It was just memories.
If you know,you know 😉
ThighPadz66
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Jan 2024 03:18

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by ThighPadz66 »

So, I don't know the odds that this will be seen as it's new post in an old thread, and I'm a newbie.
My bonafides? Love Frank's Dune.
Cannot stand what the son did with it.
But it's a provable fact that Frank had started work on Dune 7.
I bought the House Trilogy deluded by the promise that it might be based somewhat on Frank's works. Do not care at all for the contradictions.
In the book, there is an "Afterword" or "Authors' Notes," interestingly enough, separate notes from Brian and Kevin.
The most interesting thing I gleaned from that was their claim that when they decided to start, they knew they were going to have to go at it completely themselves. In Brian's section, he wrote that there was NO KNOWN OUTLINE or NOTES for Dune 7, despite the "cliffhanger."
It got to be an excruciating cliffhanger later, I suppose.
Now, he was SPECIFIC. There was no outline known to him, Frank's son, and a member of the Partnersship that was tasked with protecting Frank's legacy. He also said that Frank's publishers and editors at those publishers were aware of NO OUTLINE or NOTES.
So NOBODY knew about any notets.
Except there's this.
https://www.reddit.com/r/dune/comments/ ... 7_outline/
It's a snippet from a magazine or newspaper article. I have no idea which publication, but it's a definitely a jumpline from a paper circa the 1980s.
In it, Frank talks about his reaction to David Lynch's Dune.
The important sentence is in the last sentence in the middle paragraph in the middle leg of type.
"He said an outline for the as-yet untitled seventh volume is in the hands of his publisher."
So, whatever publication this is had the scoop on the outline more than a decade before Brian found it.
If this newspaper clipping is accurate, well, what can we say?
Brian didn't know how far along his father was in preparing Dune 7 when he decided to work it up with Kevin. Suggests he might not be as close to his Dad as he wants us to believe. Or as close as he wants to believe himself.
It is interesting that either Frank's publishers and editors either forgot they got an outline from Frank, or they lied to Brian about having it.
Also interesting that the bulk of Brian and Kevin's books have been published by a different publishing house than Frank used.
At the stage Frank was in according to the newspaper clipping, he was awaiting publication of Chapterhouse, he was probably not that far along. He was probably just finished with proofing galleys and picking artwork for the book covers, etc.
I think Frank used the word OUTLINE in his interview with the newspaper to use a term that would be familiar to a general audience. But it might just have been a proposal for the novel.
But it's just another example of the truth being hard to nail down with BH/KA.

Hope this isn't a case of :beat dead horse:
georgiedenbro
Posts: 1043
Joined: 11 Jun 2014 13:56
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by georgiedenbro »

Very interesting little article clipping. I personally do agree that he was thinking of a 7th, and that the events in CH:D were not meant to be the end of the saga. Too many mysteries and threads leading somewhere were brought up in that book to be left open. And although do give FH a lot of credit for not telling us answers to things he wantes us to think about ourselves, I also don't think he was into dangling threads like the modern crop of crappy mystery box writers. If he opened up a topic it was for a reason. Technically speaking the term "outline" in literature is much more than just an elevator pitch or book proposal. Outlines can be rather detailed, even to the point of having chapter descriptions or at least distinct book sections and structure.

If the misfits claimed that there was no such outline, the likely explanations would be that (a) the publisher didn't feel authorized to distribute FH's outline to anyone, even his son, or (b) they did have it and, knowing they couldn't or wouldn't stick to it, pretended they didn't have it. Later on they apparently would claim to have all sorts of notes and things, which I think most of us assume was a lie. It would be consistent to assume that they were basically writing their own fanfic but wanted it to appear authoritatively part of FH's intended universe.
"um-m-m-ah-h-h-hm-m-m-m!"
ThighPadz66
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Jan 2024 03:18

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by ThighPadz66 »

Perhaps they are holding on to a detailed outline until Dune's copyright expires. Like the Mouse.
In 75 years or so, we might see the real outline and real Dune 7.
User avatar
Cpt. Aramsham
Posts: 207
Joined: 06 Oct 2012 11:11

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Cpt. Aramsham »

There are other interviews as well where he talks about it. See this post. (Though the December 1984 issue of Twilight Zone reproduces a quote from a "recent Newsweek interview" with Frank Herbert: "I haven't another one in mind"—presumably that interview was conducted a good deal before the others.)
ThighPadz66 wrote: 18 Jan 2024 04:03 He also said that Frank's publishers and editors at those publishers were aware of NO OUTLINE or NOTES.
He may have claimed that somewhere else, but as far as I can see he doesn't say so in the House Atreides afterword you reference, or in Dreamer of Dune, or in the Hunters of Dune authors' note. The only instance I'm aware of in which Brian or Kevin discuss what the editors or publishers knew about the outline or notes is in their 2005 statement on the dunenovels.com website, where they assert that "Frank's editor at Ace/Putnam back when he originally sold the book" had read the outline—so, the opposite.

I know that it's nitpicky to quibble over this, but if we're going to speculate based on discrepancies between different sources, we need to be careful about what the sources actually say.

It's certainly true that in the 1990s, Brian Herbert was clearly unaware of any Dune 7 outline ever having been in the hands of the publisher back then.
ThighPadz66 wrote: 18 Jan 2024 17:47 Perhaps they are holding on to a detailed outline until Dune's copyright expires. Like the Mouse.
In 75 years or so, we might see the real outline and real Dune 7.
The copyright to the outline (along with any of Frank Herbert's works published in or after 1978) would expire 70 years after his death, meaning on 1. January 2057—so in 33 years. But the copyright to Dune only expires in 2061, and that to Children of Dune in 2072, so if they can argue that it's a derivative work of those (a case that can easily be made for Dune, at least), they could probably retain IP control until those dates.

But there's no real link between the two things: they wouldn't lose the copyright by publishing the outline, nor could they extend it. And the expiration of the copyright gives them no particular reason to publish it—if anything, at that point the only way they could ensure that people don't use the outline however they like would be to not make it public.

I think that—unless there's some unauthorized leak—the outline is only going to become public once whoever owns it no longer has any motive to keep its content secret. That might mean not until after BH and KJA are dead, and the sales of their Dune books are insignificant (or they are out of copyright). Or more optimistically, when the benefits of publishing it ("Legendary outline finally revealed in new book!") outweighs the drawbacks ("Outline shows Herbert scion botched finale!").
Last edited by Cpt. Aramsham on 25 Jan 2024 01:06, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Cpt. Aramsham
Posts: 207
Joined: 06 Oct 2012 11:11

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Cpt. Aramsham »

georgiedenbro wrote: 18 Jan 2024 12:54 the likely explanations would be that (a) the publisher didn't feel authorized to distribute FH's outline to anyone, even his son, or (b) they did have it and, knowing they couldn't or wouldn't stick to it, pretended they didn't have it.
I don't think alternative (b) is particularly plausible. But I think you're overlooking alternative (c): someone at the publisher knew at one time, but not the people Brian Herbert ended up dealing with (quite possibly a good deal later).

Personally, I believe the truth is even simpler than that: there was a dispute over the estate.

The only source I can currently find is an old alt.fan.dune post claiming that speaking at the NASFIC con, KJA said that the reason it took so long to find the deposit box with the Dune 7 outline was that it took years to settle the estate. But if that's really the case, the only plausible reason for the delay is that the prospective heirs couldn't come to agreement. And if so, the obvious suspicion is that it came down to the children vs. the new wife—but that part is pure speculation.

Anyway, the publisher may have wisely decided to stay well out of it until the rights were sorted out—a variation on your (a). Once the claimants finally agreed on how to divide up the estate, they set up the Herbert Limited Partnership with Brian in charge, everyone probably signed some non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreement to not speak about the conflict publicly, and whoever had been sitting on the deposit box handed over the contents (previously kept secret), thus allowing Brian to discover the Dune 7 notes.

If this theory is correct, Brian's story is technically true, at least in its essentials, but deliberately glosses over some details. However, it could well be that he must gloss over those details, because he cannot speak openly about the legal dispute. He does refer to "legal complexities" that blocked previous Dune book projects, and that could very well have to do with this (hypothetical) dispute.
georgiedenbro wrote: 18 Jan 2024 12:54 Later on they apparently would claim to have all sorts of notes and things, which I think most of us assume was a lie. It would be consistent to assume that they were basically writing their own fanfic but wanted it to appear authoritatively part of FH's intended universe.
They have definitely consulted the Fullerton collection, and the material in The Road to Dune does suggest that they have access to other papers that are not at Fullerton (though it's also notable that most of the draft excerpts in The Road to Dune can be found in the Fullerton collection, suggesting that the papers they have are not as extensive or interesting).

But Brian has also been pretty clear that apart from Hunters/Sandworms, the other books are their original creations, with very little of the substance coming from any unpublished material by Frank Herbert. (Some statements can be taken to suggest that the Butlerian Jihad-era prequels also draw on ideas and worldbuilding notes FH developed for a possible prequel, but I don't remember any very definite such claim—at least not by Brian.)
ThighPadz66
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Jan 2024 03:18

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by ThighPadz66 »

But Brian has also been pretty clear that apart from Hunters/Sandworms, the other books are their original creations, with very little of the substance coming from any unpublished material by Frank Herbert. (Some statements can be taken to suggest that the Butlerian Jihad-era prequels also draw on ideas and worldbuilding notes FH developed for a possible prequel, but I don't remember any very definite such claim—at least not by Brian.)
While Brian might have been clear in some spaces, he's not been very vocal about this.
People always say or ask, "Isn't it in the notes?" about every single Dune book.
So every Dune book gets the imprimatur from the grave by Frank.
ThighPadz66
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Jan 2024 03:18

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by ThighPadz66 »

Cpt. Aramsham wrote: 24 Jan 2024 12:56 He also said that Frank's publishers and editors at those publishers were aware of NO OUTLINE or NOTES.

He may have claimed that somewhere else, but as far as I can see he doesn't say so in the House Atreides afterword you reference, or in Dreamer of Dune, or in the Hunters of Dune authors' note. The only instance I'm aware of in which Brian or Kevin discuss what the editors or publishers knew about the outline or notes is in their 2005 statement on the dunenovels.com website, where they assert that "Frank's editor at Ace/Putnam back when he originally sold the book" had read the outline—so, the opposite.

I know that it's nitpicky to quibble over this, but if we're going to speculate based on discrepancies between different sources, we need to be careful about what the sources actually say.
I know it's nitpicky to quibble over this, but as far as I can see, I didn't say anything in my post about claims in Dreamer of Dune.
Haven't read it. Just recently purchased a copy of it and only cracked it open so far as the index.

As for the rest, I went back and created a jpg with the three quotes directly, two from House Atriedes and one from Hunters of Dune.

But suffice it say, in all three instances, it says " NO NOTES" in all three instances. It says no known notes or outline in the first House Atriedes quote. It says no known notes or CLUES in the second. It says Frank APPARENTLY left no notes.

The important distinction is that in the first House Atriedes quote, Brian ropes in the publishers. He says Frank SOLD the project to his publisher.
I guess you could say it's taking a leap, but if you are implying either the publishers bought the project without seeing anything about it, as no known notes are said to exist, or even clues. or, I guess, they lost whatever he provided them to make them buy it? Because you certainly, if you are going to claim that no notes or CLUES exist to a sold project, you gave the publisher the courtesy of a phone call?

Anyway, that's my sources.
BHKA claims.jpg
BHKA claims.jpg (497.77 KiB) Viewed 5258 times
ThighPadz66
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Jan 2024 03:18

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by ThighPadz66 »

Cpt. Aramsham wrote: 24 Jan 2024 12:56 There are other interviews as well where he talks about it. See this post. (Though the December 1984 issue of Twilight Zone reproduces a quote from a "recent Newsweek interview" with Frank Herbert: "I haven't another one in mind"—presumably that interview was conducted a good deal before the others.)
On this, I can claim no exhaustive knowledge of Frank Herbert interviews on the topic of a Dune 7. But the ones I have seen are mostly from friends that say they talked to Frank before his death about what the novel would be. That he certainly was THINKING of a project.

The clipping I cited is the only one I have seen where it says that an OUTLINE exists and is the hands of his publisher.

That's the distinction I see.
User avatar
Cpt. Aramsham
Posts: 207
Joined: 06 Oct 2012 11:11

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Cpt. Aramsham »

ThighPadz66 wrote: 01 Feb 2024 02:45 I know it's nitpicky to quibble over this, but as far as I can see, I didn't say anything in my post about claims in Dreamer of Dune.
Haven't read it. Just recently purchased a copy of it and only cracked it open so far as the index.
Nor did I say that you did. But since I checked in the two other most likely places where he might have said something of the kind, I thought it was worth mentioning that it's not there either.
ThighPadz66 wrote: 01 Feb 2024 02:45 The important distinction is that in the first House Atriedes quote, Brian ropes in the publishers. He says Frank SOLD the project to his publisher.
I guess you could say it's taking a leap, but if you are implying either the publishers bought the project without seeing anything about it, as no known notes are said to exist, or even clues. or, I guess, they lost whatever he provided them to make them buy it? Because you certainly, if you are going to claim that no notes or CLUES exist to a sold project, you gave the publisher the courtesy of a phone call?
I would say that it's taking a leap, yes.

It's not at all hard to imagine that Berkley/Putnam made a deal for Dune 7 sight-unseen. Proven authors often get book deals for unspecified future books (sometimes even for several books at a time), and according to Dreamer of Dune, Frank Herbert's agent was negotiating the sale of Dune 6 (Chapterhouse) before Frank had even started writing Heretics. So it might very well be that what he provided them was merely the promise "it will be another Dune book" along with the series' track record as best-sellers.

In any case, Brian is not specifically claiming that nobody at the publisher knew about it, and he's writing this after he found the notes and outline. The point is that before the box was found, they didn't know about the existence of any notes or outline (and from Dreamer of Dune it's clear that Brian was under the impression that Frank only began working on it shortly before his death, while he was hospitalized, so he probably wouldn't have been looking far afield for notes). And after they were found, the question was moot: there was no immediate reason to start investigating whether anyone else had known about them after all.
ThighPadz66
Posts: 11
Joined: 18 Jan 2024 03:18

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by ThighPadz66 »

Again, Brian makes out like he and Frank were thick as thieves and almost writing partners before his sudden death, right?
And he had some knowledge of what his father was doing to prepare for a Dune 7, right? Highlighting passages in prior books, etc.
Yet he was not aware of an interview his father gave talking about delivering an outline to Dune 7 to his publisher?
That's the disconnect I see.
User avatar
Cpt. Aramsham
Posts: 207
Joined: 06 Oct 2012 11:11

Re: Alleged Cliff-Hanger: There is no "Dune 7"

Post by Cpt. Aramsham »

ThighPadz66 wrote: 14 Feb 2024 14:37 Again, Brian makes out like he and Frank were thick as thieves and almost writing partners before his sudden death, right?
Not really, no. In your source he just says, "Dad and I had spoken in general terms about collaborating on a Dune novel one day in the future, but we'd set no date, had established no specific details or direction. It would be sometime after he completed DUNE 7 and other projects."

If you get around to reading Dreamer of Dune, you'll get a better sense of their relationship (as Brian portrays it) during that period. After Beverly Herbert's death at the start of 1984, Brian acted as his father's business manager (leaving his former job as an insurance agent that summer), which by his account seems to have been something they would touch base on every few weeks: he describes how for a charity sneak premiere of the Dune movie in December 1984, he had to pull his father aside to discuss urgent tax business and legal issues they hadn't had the opportunity to talk about (apparently Frank hated having to deal with that sort of thing).

They wrote one book together, Man of Two Worlds (fulfilling a final request by Bev Herbert), and tossed around vague plans for other collaborations at some unspecified future date, but aside from that project, Brian was not a writing partner on other things Frank Herbert was working on. And Frank spent a lot of the later half of 1984 in LA with his new girlfriend, later wife, while Brian (who writes at length about his fear of flying, which among other things meant he didn't visit his mother in Hawaii in the final weeks before her death) stayed in Seattle with his family.

Also note what Frank Herbert said about talking too much about works in progress:
Frank Herbert wrote:You’ve probably heard that I don’t talk about work in progress, mainly because you use the same energies to talk about the work that you use to write it, and you want to save that energy for the paper.
(Quoted from https://theaugustry.com/frank-herbert-a ... omplexity/ but stated elsewhere as well.)

Though it's clear from Dreamer of Dune that he did sometimes talk about his progress on various projects, in general terms like "I've written 200 pages of the first draft."
ThighPadz66 wrote: 14 Feb 2024 14:37 And he had some knowledge of what his father was doing to prepare for a Dune 7, right? Highlighting passages in prior books, etc.
Yet he was not aware of an interview his father gave talking about delivering an outline to Dune 7 to his publisher?
That's the disconnect I see.
Frank Herbert gave, perhaps literally, hundreds of interviews around this time, to promote the release of the Dune movie and the upcoming release of Chapterhouse. Why would you expect Brian Herbert to be familiar with every one of them?

You're also looking at this from a position of hindsight, where the existence and whereabouts of this outline becomes important. But at the time, it was just a routine part of the writing process, and there's no real reason for Brian to have been particularly concerned with it.

I don't see why it would be hard to believe that he wouldn't know about it, or how it contradicts anything else he has said. Nor do I see the point of scrutinizing every detail of the story if we've already agreed that the outline is real but that the BH/KJA series conclusion volumes cannot, on many points, represent Frank Herbert's intentions. It starts to seem more like a personal beef than about any concern over Dune.
Post Reply