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Predictions for the “Great Schools of Dune” Book Series

“Back to the exciting and unexplored territory”?

It seems only fitting to let Byron Merritt, in his post to The Dune Saga group on Facebook, announce the inception of this exciting new McDune series*:

The authors are going back to the exciting and unexplored territory of the first century after the end of the Butlerian Jihad for a trilogy that explores the formation of the major schools and political organizations that guide and shape the Dune universe. They’ll describe the formation of the Bene Gesserit, the Mentats, the Suk Doctors, the Spacing Guild and the Navigators, as well as the solidifying of the Corrino imperium. It’s a big story over the course of the three books, all set against the great turmoil of continuing anti-technology fervor and the religious unrest of the C.E.T. The first novel is titled THE SISTERHOOD OF DUNE and will likely be published in early 2012. Anyone who’s attended their talks and signings knows they’ve been planning these books for a long time and, while they still have two more inquels to do, they found themselves much more engrossed with this story.

If you actually believe that, buy that story, you are definitely too stupid to be reading anything on this site, so please go away!

“There may be a change in the line-up of books.”

With that superfluous end to a comment answering a simple question about the scheduled release dates for Throne of Dune and Leto of Dune, forum admin Byron Merritt let the cat out of the bag that the last two “Heroes” books were going to be scrapped (or at least tabled indefinitely). Since the only other upcoming series they have mentioned is the “Great Schools” books, to be set after the previous “Legends” series, during the aftermath of the Butlerian Jihad, they must be planning to release the first book in that series in 2011. A supposition which has since apparently been confirmed by KJA on Twitter. (See my blog post here for details.)

Used without permission.

In an interview with The Trades in mid-August 2009, Brian Herbert named the following three “Great School” titles: The Sisterhood of Dune, The Mentats of Dune, and The Swordmasters of Dune.* There have also been comments made in the past about books about the further development of the Guild and about the C.E.T. and creation of the Orange Catholic Bible (in which context KJA’s response to Carlos_S01 seems relevant), so divisions for predictions concerning those topics are included below, with the caveat that such plotlines will most likely be woven into the other three announced titles.


Series Overviews...

Prediction (Hunchback Jack): I think these three, if they eventuate, will be like the House books, in that the titles are meaningless.* I think this will be a trilogy of medicore SF pap, in which the BG sisterhood, the Mentat school and the Swordmaster school get created from whole cloth, at the last minute, as an afterthought.

Prediction (Thodol): The three Great Schools is going to be an Animal House style romp. With the Swordsmasters as the campus jocks who often raid the BG house (sorority) of panties (space panties) The mentats will be done in the style of Revenge of the Nerds. And how they overcome diversity and weekly beatings by the Swordmasters to eventually win the love of the BG.

These books will also be the introduction to the Young nu-Dune series. Whose target demographic will be school children. Vampires of Dune will be the next book.

Prediction (Omphalos): I absolutely cannot wait to see what schools these yo-yos come up with that did not make it to the Dune era. I can only imagine the stupidity. Maybe a business school? A bunch of MBAs addicted to the Rossak Witch-poison run “The Brotherhood” until they are conquered by an invading force of second-stage Guild navigator/marines, who co-opt it for their own nefarious purposes!

Prediction (Superdog): Brian and Kevin were working on their inter-equel series and then canned it to work on another prequel series. So far, we've seen all kinds of non-Dune things introduced into the McDunes. EMP blasts, Normacle, telepathy and so on. I now wish to make my prediction for the final insult to intelligent sensibility:


After all, BH&KJA probably have all kinds of notes for stories that were meant to take place between Children of Dune and God Emperor and such. How to use such elements with characters that live in the past? Now, it may be that I overestimate how awful these people are. But Winds of Dune was probably the worst McDune, so it seems like they are getting worse as time goes on. I hope I am wrong, but I can't say I would be surprised.

Prediction (Unfront): Somewhere in [the series], a guild navigator, or a student at the Spacing Guild School, will be practicing his/hers/its prescient abilities, when said navigator envisions a future ruler being transported on a guild highliner to join the circus with his friend.*

Prediction (Hunchback Jack, after reading Amazon UK description): It's shaping up to be the Dune equivalent of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Really.

Remember how in the prequel trilogy, everything was deliberately designed to look like the precursor of what was in the originals? Like the star fighters that Anakin and Obi Wan flew around in had characteristics of x-wings and tie fighters, clone troopers looked a bit like stormtroopers, the big-ass troop carriers looked like smaller versions of Star Destroyers, etc.

Well, this trilogy will be just like that. There are going to be dozens of little details that KJA won't be able to resist putting in, that will be obvious precursors of what came later. Of *everything* that came later. And KJA will think it's just so cool.

And the story will suck.


Individual Books

The Sisterhood of Dune

  • (Since this one has been officially announced as the next McDune book to be published, it now has its own predictions page. —SC 13Jul2010)

The Mentats of Dune

  • Erasmus’ memory core will figure heavily in Gilbertus Albans’ creation of the Mentat School. (In fact, would anyone really be all that surprised if Gilbertus brings Erasmus back entirely, or even in some limited “talking head” condition? KJA has said he loves writing Erasmus, after all.) UPDATE

The Swordmasters of Dune


Other Groups & Organizations Whose Development will be Covered

The Suk Doctors

The Spacing Guild & Navigators

The Ecumenical Translators

  • The Earth was devastated in a nuclear attack in the “Legends” series. But Appendix II: The Religion of Dune in Dune clearly states that the “C.E.T. convened on a neutral island of Old Earth, spawning ground of the mother religions.” So unless the hacks completely dismiss the appendix as just another erroneous in-universe text, watch for a plotline about:
    1. A rush re-terraforming job (over less than a century) to make the Earth habitable again; or
    2. Norma Cenva pops back into real space and SHAZAAM! restores the Earth to a pristine natural state!
    3. Retcon: The Hawaiian Islands weren’t hit in the nuclear bombardment! (SC)

    We will meet the eccentric recluse Lord Sandwich, who moved to an asteroid field called “The Hawaiian Islands,” just before the nuclear holocaust. The C.E.T. convenes at his space resort “The Brown Repose.” (merkin muffley)

    It’s almost a dead cert that the “island” is a space station. (DuneFishUK)

    KJA puts the “neutral island” on Mars and claims Frank was wrong because his books were “in universe” texts. (Kojiro)


And just to be really silly...

Film Directors of Dune

In Film School of Dune, Irulan will finally complete her senior thesis, “The Dune Chronicles” and fall in love with her professor: powerful Co-Producer Kevin J. Anderson, Hollywood player and critical darling, thus accomplishing the ultimate purpose of nuDune: to make Kevin J. Anderson the central character. (merkin muffley)

Historians of Dune

Writing history will be made some type of art form that needs to be studied. (Nekhrun)