Home Literature Stories Movies Games Comics News Discussion Forum
  Science Fiction and Fantasy News
Esslemont's Stonewielder Prologue and Cover (07-26)
Deals and Deliveries (9!!!) (09-12)
Iron Man: Femmes Fatales by Robert Greenberger (09-12)
Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Pe (09-12)

Official sffworld Reviews
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber (05-29 - Book)
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent (05-25 - Book)
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (05-21 - Book)
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith (05-17 - Book)


Site Index

Book Reviews and Comments    Bookmark and Share

Page 1 of 1

Whipping Star by Frank Herbert

(26 ratings)

Submit Review / Comment

More reviews by author
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Submitted by Brad Wheeler 
(Aug 03, 2002)

If you think aliens in typical science fiction are a little too human, this one is for you. In the far future, interstellar transport is the responsibility of a singe group of individuals, an extremely nonhuman species called the Caleban. When the Calebans suddenly begin dying, anyone who has used their 'jumpdoors' begins to go insane and eventually dies. For this reason, the Bureau of Sabotage has sent two of its agents, McKie and Furuneo, to rescue the last survivor, who had unfortunately sold himself to a psycotic millionaire.

The plot is relatively unimportant and undistinguised, and the ending requires rereading several pages to fully comprehend it. The novel's main attraction is the Caleban intself, inexplicably named Fanny Mae. Its perception of the universe is such that the BuSab agents' attempts to communicate with it are exercises in frustration. However, it is quite enjoyable to tackle the Caleban's thought in one's own head, and I found myself thinking about it whenever I had a quiet moment.

Not a book to read casually or slowly, this novel, much like Dune, will horribly confuse if the reader is not paying attention. Well worth the time, if anyone can manage to locate a copy.

Submitted by Anonymous
(Feb 09, 2000)

Dune this, dune that! With all the hype over the past thiryt plus years over the magnum opus "Dune" one may forget the other works by Mr. Herbert. "Whipping Star" is the first novel length adventure starring Herbert's favorite creation of his, his Sabotour Extraordinary Jorj X. McKie!

This book is different from Dune. Namely it is short, but don't let that fool you. It pack a wallop! Also the book ends on a good note (a real departure for just about any Frank Herbert book)! Also, it is a love story. Both of the McKie stories are love stories. Oh, don't go running off in fear of Harlequin Herbert. This is a unique love story.

What happens? Baisically a rich socialitte with mental problems hires this mysterious being who allows sentient beings to "fold" space, a la guild from Dune, to be whipped. Her companion, a psychotic sentient suffering from an unusual paranoia about his person which makes him fear baisically anything that may have any amount of control over him. Well this comic duo are killing off these "Calabans".

Well it's Jorj X. McKie to the rescue! He is a top agent of a government agency whose sole purpose is to slow the wheels of government. Yep, Herbert shows with the McKie adventure a keen sense of comic irony if not a mastery of it! Well, McKie not only has to stop the bad guys, but he must figure out just what the hell this "Caleban" thing is anyway.

Why is it a love story? Well, the love expressed in this story is one of maternal love. With the array of alien species and Herbert's masterfully created characters with actual motivations (note to Sci-Fi writers of today) he creates a world of paranoia and subterfuge with little in the way of honor. The communication difficulties and the plot within plots all lead to an ethnic James Bond in space. The only true act of communication is that of love. A thing that McKie lacks for one reason or another and the the Calaban has in abundance!

It is a must read, not only for Dune fans but also for non-Dune fans who like Science fiction as well as people who hated Dune but who are willing to giver Herbert another chance. It is a truly unique world, just as unique as Dune and just as rich. It proves beyond a doubt that Herbert is a true story teller and one of the best social story tellers of his generation! In short, he makes Bradbury look like Dean Koontz!

Page - 1

Sponsor ads



The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize!
05-31 - News
Stephen King's Joyland UK Promotion
05-30 - News
UK Publisher of Stephen King’s New Novel Unusual Promotion
05-30 - News
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber
05-29 - Book Review
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent
05-25 - Book Review
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
05-21 - Book Review
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith
05-17 - Book Review

05-10 - News
The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham
05-04 - Book Review
Galaxy's Edge 1 by Mike Resnick
04-28 - Book Review
Poison by Sarah Pinborough
04-21 - Book Review
Bullington, Beukes and Bacigalupi event
04-19 - News
The City by Stella Gemmell
04-17 - Book Review
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
04-15 - Book Review
Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell
04-09 - Book Review
Frank Hampson: Tomorrow Revisited by Alastair Crompton
04-07 - Book Review
The Forever Knight by John Marco
04-01 - Book Review
Book of Sith - Secrets from the Dark Side by Daniel Wallace
03-31 - Book Review
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
03-25 - Book Review
Fade to Black by Francis Knight
03-13 - Book Review
The Clone Republic by Steven L. Kent
03-12 - Book Review
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker
03-06 - Book Review
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
03-04 - Book Review
Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri
02-28 - Book Review
Excerpt: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
02-27 - Article
Tales of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
02-24 - Book Review
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
02-20 - Book Review
Evie Manieri Guest Post
02-19 - Article
The Grim Company by Luke Scull
02-17 - Book Review
Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein
02-11 - Book Review

New Forum Posts

About - Advertising - Contact us - RSS - For Authors & Publishers - Contribute / Submit - Privacy Policy - Community Login
Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use. The contents of this webpage are copyright © 1997-2011 sffworld.com. All Rights Reserved.