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This article or section refers to elements from a Dune-related work not written by Frank Herbert.
As such it is considered non-canon by the Dune Wiki.


The Dune Encyclopedia is a reference text compiled and edited by Dr. Willis E. McNelly in 1984. A total of 43 people contributed articles to the work.

The book was based on the first 4 books of the original Dune saga by Frank Herbert, namely Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, and God Emperor of Dune. At the time it was written, The Dune Encyclopedia was promoted as the "official" Dune chronology. Dr. McNelly was a personal friend of Frank Herbert, who wrote the foreword for the Encyclopedia.

Despite the Encyclopedia being the official reference text for the Dune universe, some of the information contained therein was contradicted by Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune.

Rumours existed that Herbert himself contributed to the Encyclopedia. However, if this were true, he wrote under a pseudonym, as his name only appears on the foreword.

The Encyclopedia was printed only once in 1984. After Herbert died, his estate took over all licensing and copyright on Dune material. As a result, The Dune Encyclopedia has been out of print for more than 20 years, and is highly sought after by fans.

Foreword by Frank Herbert

"Here is a rich background (and foreground) for the Dune Chronicles, including scholarly bypaths and amusing sidelights. Some of the contributions are sure to arouse controversy, based as they are on questionable sources. Others round out long speculation. Specialists have had their field day here with problems geological, biological, astronomical, and mystical, with pronounciations, major biographies, histories and accounts of little-known figures. The range of topics is catholic: cf. from games for amusement to games of life and death (Cheops or Pyramid Chess to "The Assassins' Handbook").

"The history of the Financial Synod which spawned CHOAM gets its first airing in these pages. In fact, many secrets hidden in the Dune Chronicles are answered here. How did Irulan first gain and then arouse the displeasure of Ghanima? Who was Jehanne Butler and why does the Butlerian Jihad carry her name? What are the hidden origins of the Spacing Guild? Where did spice-trance navigational techniques develop? What was Leto II's private opinion of Holy Sister Quintinius Violet Chenoeh? Does Cheops have something in common with the three-body problem?

"I must confess that I found it fascinating to re-enter here some of the sources on which the Chronicles are built. As the first "Dune fan", I give this encyclopedia my delighted approval, although I hold my own counsel on some of the issues still to be explored as the Chronicles unfold."

List of contributors

Joan Bouchelle — J.B.

Edgar L. Chapman — E.C.

Judith A. Clark — J.A.C.

Michael Clayton - M.C.

Grace W. Eckley — G.W.E.

Greta Eisner — G.E.

Peter Facione — P.F.

J. L. Germain — J.L.G.

J. H. Gervais — J.H.G.

Stephen Goldman — S.G.

Lee Granell — L.G.

Jane Hipolito — I.H.

William Hornaday — W.H.

Wesley D. Ives — W.D.I.

Edward M. Jennings — E.J.

Alan Kaye — A.K.

Dorothy Kilter — D.K.

Gillian Kitrick — G.K.

Linda R. Levy. — L.R.L.

Gregory Lichtenberg — G.L.

Victoria Lustbader — V.L.

Michael W. McClintock — M.M.

Willis McNelly — W.M.

Douglas J. McReynolds — D.M.

Walter E. Meyers — W.E.M.

Frederic H. Miller — F.M.

Myron Orleans — M.O.

Charles A. Povlovich — C.A.P.

John Quijada — J.Q.

Julia Reed — J.R.M.

R. Reginald — R.R.

Thomas E. Roberts — T.R.

John A. Ryan — J.R.

Roger Schlobin — R.S.

Maureen A. Shifflett — M.S.

Ray C. Shiflett — R.C.S.

Joyce Tally - J.T.

Stephen Tobias — S.T.

Michael Tolley — M.T.

Robert Trowbridge — R.T.

John A. Turner — J.A.T.

Christine Watson — C.W.

Carl B. Yoke — C.Y.

Letter regarding the Encyclopedia

This is a letter written by Dr. Willis McNelly, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson, regarding the Dune Encyclopedia [1]:

"THE DUNE ENCYCLOPEDIA reflects an alternate "DUNE universe" which did not necessarily represent the "canon" created by Frank Herbert. Frank Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, writing with Kevin J. Anderson, IS continuing to establish the canon of the DUNE universe. This is being done with the full approval of the owner of the DUNE copyright, the Herbert Limited Partnership.

"While Frank Herbert himself considered THE DUNE ENCYCLOPEDIA interesting and entertaining, he did not refer to Dr. McNelly's derivative work while writing any of his DUNE novels. Likewise, in writing their DUNE novels (beginning with DUNE: HOUSE ATREIDES), Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson have exclusively used, and will continue to use, Frank Herbert's original notes as well as their own imaginations, and not THE DUNE ENCYCLOPEDIA.

"We hope that the millions of DUNE fans will continue to enjoy all of the works written in Frank Herbert's marvelous universe."

A letter written by Dr. Willis McNelly, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson


Some or all of this article was copied from the following external source:
The Dune Encyclopedia, dunenovels.com

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