Dune graphic novelists Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson discuss inspiration in unexpected places

We can first assume that as big fans of “Dune”, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson would be in other epic pieces of sci-fi. However, they seem to prefer to read outside of this genre and expand their horizons in other ways. Herbert explained, “I tend to read non-fiction, so I don’t like to quote fiction too much. I read a lot of history. That’s what I read every day.”

He shared that his father was much the same way and often read articles about history and was inspired by it: “He read encyclopedias, literally. He was looking for something. He was at the Smithsonian Library – sometimes he did in Washington, DC – he was looking for something and he couldn’t avoid the temptation to read what was on the other page.”

Meanwhile, Anderson opened up about how much he enjoys reading big, sprawling epics. Among his favorite books are “Shogun” by James Clavell, “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry, “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo” and “The Stand” by Stephen King. Of course, the book he finds himself in comes back in the time. and time is again, naturally, ‘Dune.’ I don’t think I’d live long enough to read ‘Lonesome Dove’ 23 times, but ‘Dune’ is something we come back to over and over again,” he said.

Anderson also provided a good explanation of why they don’t exactly read a ton of sci-fi. “It’s like eating leftovers all the time,” he explained. “I [don’t] want to read what I write. I want to read outside of that, just like Brian reads non-fiction.” For an artwork as dense as “Dune,” it makes sense that it has many influences outside of the obvious.

“Dune: The Graphic Novel, Volume 2: Muad’Dib” is available now. You can order from Abrams Books.