Direct Descent, by Frank Herbert


Orthodox Herbertarian

Direct Discent is the only YA entry in Frank Herbert's entire catalog. Expanded into novella length from a 1954 story called Rat Pack Planet it tells the story of a 81st century Earth that has been hallowed out entirely and turned into a planet-sized library. The innards of the Earth were used to construct a fleet of ships that colonized the stars while the people who remained behind dedicated themselves to the pursuit of knowledge; they sent wave after wave of librarians out who collected knowledge, returned to Earth, created programming about thier discoveries, then broadcast those programs to everyone in the universe for free. If you decide to read this work, do not go into it expecting Herbert's usual standards. The book is divided into a short story (the original) and a novella, both of which are untitled. The short story is terrible and the novella is only marginally better. And when I say that this book is YA, know that there is a heavy emphasis on the "Y." Parts of this book read like an English primer, and though in one, maybe two places some of Herbert's brilliance showed, the book strangely lacks any cohesive or meaningful message...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..