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Got a Question for Author Kevin J. Anderson?

On Thursday, October 21st, we’ll be sitting down to chat with Nebula Award Nominated author Kevin J. Anderson. Kevin has written books in the Star Wars, Dune & X-Files universes as well as creating original novels and stories set in his own worlds: specifically his Saga of the Seven Suns, Gamearth, and Terra Incognita series.

Here’s your chance to be a part of the podcast – ask Kevin a question of your own!

There’s three ways you can do this:

  1. Call our voicemail line at 720-277-9082, leave us a vm and we’ll play it for Kevin,
  2. Shoot us an email at – you could also record an mp3 and shoot it to us there or
  3. Leave us a comment here on this post

Be a part of the podcast! Ask Kevin J. Anderson a question!

About Patrick Hester (527 Articles)
Patrick Hester is a writer, blogger, podcasting dude, Denver transplant and all around Functional Nerd. Don't hate him cuz he has a cool hat.

39 Comments on Got a Question for Author Kevin J. Anderson?

  1. You have been a prolific and successful author writing in shared universes (such as Starwars), other peoples universes (Dune) and creating your own, which do you find more fulfilling and do you approach them differently?

  2. Gerald Preston // October 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm //


    I think of you very much as a modern day Charles Dickens with the adventurous spirit of an Ernet Hemingway.  Why don’t you think you’ve been recognized as such, and do you think your books will be part of the core curriculum in English Literature courses?


    Why do critics like bad writing?


    Ask him about writing with a voice recorder while hiking.  I hear he’s in great shape.


  4. Kevin, do you ever plan to write more novels which take place in the Saga of Seven Suns universe?

  5. TheDukester // October 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm //

    Kevin —

    Where was Paul Atreides born?

  6. Hunchback Jack // October 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm //


    You and Brian Herbert have written about the Dune 7 outline that Frank Herbert left behind. Can you tell us how long it was, and give us some idea about the kind of material that was in it? Can you give any details or specific quotes from it?


  7. Hunchback Jack // October 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm //


    A lot of fans were upset by your decision to have a young Paul Atreides run away from home to join the circus in The Winds of Dune. Can you describe the thought process that led you to such a controversial plot choice?

  8. You and Brian Herbert have done so well together, what’s the hold up on ‘Hellhole?’


    Who gets to choose the questions Kevin J will answer?

    Any thoughts on why Kevin wouldn’t do a live show?

    Congratz on landing this interview, how’d you swing it?

    Is there any chance sfsignal might try to sneak in a hard question or two?

  10. Kevin,

    Having conquered Star Wars, Star Trek, Dune, and DC, whos sandbox is on the horizon?

  11. Kevin,

    In previous interviews, you mentioned that Frank Herberts safe deposit box contained, among other things, recipes. Will you and Brian Herbert collaberate on a cookbook any time soon?

  12. NotTheDukester // October 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm //

    Kevin —

    Could you describe what a “brainstorming session” is like with Brian Herbert?

    Also, how do you figure who gets the even- and odd-numbered chapters? Is it a coin flip? Ro-sham-bo? Or something more sophisticated?

  13. Re D Pope:

    Who gets to choose the questions Kevin J will answer?

    Excellent question! Probably me.  Or John D.  Or JP.  Or John A.  I don’t know – I got nothin.  It’ll probably be a group thing.

    Any thoughts on why Kevin wouldn’t do a live show?

    It’s not that Kevin doesn’t do live shows, we don’t do live shows.  I’ve considered doing a ustream or something – what do the masses think?  If enough people were interested, I’d be willing to look into it.

    Congratz on landing this interview, how’d you swing it?

    I swing for the bleachers and send out a lot of emails.  Sometimes I hit a homerun.

    Is there any chance sfsignal might try to sneak in a hard question or two?

    What, like math?  I hate math…


  14. There is only one question of any import that Anderson could answer, but will not :


    When will the “Dune7 Notes&Outline” alledgedly discovered on the old floppy disks in the secret/lost safety deposit box and the box of Frank’s other notes alledgedly uncovered in Brian Herbert’s garage be turned over to the Fullerton Library Archive to be housed  with Frank Herbert’s other (authenticated) notes and material, open to scholars and historians for study ?

  15. Gerald Preston // October 18, 2010 at 11:47 pm //

    How do you deal with professional jealousy when it becomes an issue in your collaborations with other authors?

  16. Richard A. Rimali // October 19, 2010 at 12:00 am //

    Hi, Mr. Anderson!

    I started reading the Dune books two years ago after we did a “scifi as literature” unit in my English class. As an Arab American, I really identified with the Fremen and their culture, so I was glad when you and Mr. Herbert returned to the Fremen times in Paul of Dune and Winds of Dune!

    Here’s my question: Will we ever learn more about the Muadru and their relationship to the Fremen? Also, where does the “Chisra Sala Muad’dib” name in Winds come from?

    Please keep writing Dune books no matter what the haters say!



  17. newfacesitter // October 19, 2010 at 12:33 am //

    Dear Mr. Anderson,

    I recently had the opportunity to consult the Akashic Records and was fascinated to discover that you have a reincarnational relationship to Charles Dickens with

  18. newfacesitter // October 19, 2010 at 12:36 am //

    Dear Mr. Anderson,

    I recently had the opportunity to consult the Akashic Records and was fascinated to discover that you have a reincarnational relationship to Charles Dickens with less than 2 degrees of Spiritual Separation, placing you in a immediately familial and/or directly sexual relationship to Mr. Dickens.

    Do you believe this spiritual connection to Mr. Dickens has had a significant influence on your writing?

    (apologies for the re-post: formatting error)

  19. Gerald Preston // October 19, 2010 at 12:38 am //

    What are Akashic Records?

  20. Who is Ernet Hemingway?

  21. Oh, excuse me. Please disregard my previous post, google result;

    Did you mean: Ernest Hemingway  

    I’m awfully sorry, I should’ve known.

  22. Re your  Butlerian Jihad trilogy – what exactly is ‘prescient manipulation’? and how would it stop the usual shield/lasgun explosion?

  23. SeriouslyNotTheDukester // October 19, 2010 at 10:54 am //

    Mr. Anderson —

    Following up on the above question: what is the level of concern that Brian Herbert will be nearing his eighties if the listed publishing schedule is followed?

    Meaning no offense, but … well, Brian’s had some “hard years,” if you follow me. How many more McDunes does he have left in him, do you think?

    Or … are you not concerned at all? Will you just keep writing them? Maybe change the titles to read: “Kevin J. Anderson presents: DUNE”?

    Thanks in advance, Keith.

    — A Big Fan



  24. Erik Maddocks // October 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm //

    When co-authoring a work with a more experienced writer, you can’t help but learn and improve your own craft.

    During your work on the Dune novels, have you found that simply writing in the universe of a much better writer than you has had the same effect? Have you, as a journeyman writer, learned anything at all from being exposed to the work of such a great master craftsman?


  25. Questions for Kevin –

    In Paul of Dune it says that things happened in the life of Paul Atreides that were left out of his official biography – is Frank Herbert’s original Dune that biography?

    One of Frank Herbert’s key concepts in Dune was that leaders can be dangerous, even disastrous, for humanity. Do you agree with his assessment? and how does that tie in with the idea of an “Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach”?

    Wouldn’t a more democratic finale to the series be more appropriate? – What was your rationale on that one?


    Thanks! 🙂

  26. Slappy Internet // October 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm //


    It’s no secret that Frank Herbert’s grandson, Byron Herbert wanted to write a Dune novel for young adults. Any plans on collaborating with him on a future Dune book? If so, how do you think you’ll downshift your complex writing style for the young adult audience in something like the Dune universe?


    Thank you.

  27. Two questions:

    First, I’ve always hated sprawling epics with casts of thousands, but I couldn’t stop reading Saga of Seven Suns. Thanks for that.
    Saga felt like a continuous story all the way through. Did you start out with seven books in mind or did it just kind of get away from you?

    And second, when you’re balancing your checkbook, or perhaps while depositing royalty checks, do you ever stop and have a chuckle at all the dipshits that can’t pass up an opportunity to insult your work?


  28. You have a history with writing comics.

    If you were given the option, what existing book/character would you like to write?
    Or, if you were able to create your own book, what would it be?

  29. TotallyNotTheDukester // October 20, 2010 at 1:42 am //

    Kevin, I think it’s cool that are of your books bear some sort of “by international best-selling author” tagline.

    Question: How many of those “bestsellers” are your own ORIGINAL works? And how many are from you putting your name on an established brand such as Dune and Star Wars?

    Thanks in advance.


  30. [REDACTED – Don’t be mean to our guests — Ed.]

  31. Hi Kev,

    If the <strong>next</strong> question that I ask you here is an easy one, <strong>and</strong> if I promise to give you good reviews at Amazon for the book of your choosing, can I get two KJASF shirts? 

  32. Then how about this?

    A quick glance at any property for which you’ve written shows intense dislike and satisfaction by die-hard fans of those works, though you claim that there is only a vocal minority of a few people who don’t like your work.

    Without saying that no one is as good as Frank Herbert, can you tell the fans of Dune why you have chosen to produce books so quickly rather than putting the time, care and research into those novels that Frank did? Inconsistencies between your works and his have generated dozens of pages, don’t you think his masterpiece deserves more respect than this?

  33. In your righting process, how much does the final product change from your overly detailed outlines? Also, how does it feel to take more books to tell less story than Frank Herbert did?

  34. Check out the Rosewell Six prog rock band that ties in with his Terra Incognita series (he wrote the lyrics):


  35. How does Mr. Anderson feel about switching between Hard epic SF and, in his latest series, fantasy? What challenges has he faced in switching gears?

  36. Gerald Preston // October 21, 2010 at 8:30 am //

    Your process of rapid dictation is reminiscent of the process of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  It is my belief that Mozart was divinely inspired, receiving his compositions in a nearly-polished form. To me, you represent a fascinating combination of Amadeus and Salieri.

    What is it like to be able to speak in nearly-polished prose, and do you believe there is a spiritual element to this gift?  Or are you simply a craftsman? 

    Do you believe that everyone can reach a level of mastery that will allow us to dictate multiple chapters in the course of one day hike, despite the extreme conditions and physical demands of such an undertaking?

    What was the most perilous day hike you have ever experienced?  Have you ever considered writing your own version of a “Snows of Kilimanjaro” based upon these extreme sports activities?


    I think David Weber dictates his prose these days too.  Maybe he’s more like Beethoven.


  38. The Questionator // October 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm //

    How does it feel knowing that the people who run this website had to delete so many of the questions that people really wanted to know the answers to?

    [Your questions were deleted because they were disrespectful to our invited guest. When you have something meaningful to contribute, let us know. – Editor]

  39. It seems to me that you are trying to write mainstream SF, yet I think that it’s clear that your influences are from the golden age era of the genre.  For example, on multiple occasions you have used one-sided, flat evil overlord characters, artificial intelligence that clearly lacks the depth of wisdom and intelligence of humans, stale, linear plots rather than rounded and vibrant twisted ones, incredible and flawless technology with little explanation, that gets better as the situations require with no concern for scientific realism, et cetera.  I don’t say that to be insulting; but just because they are just the stock literary devices that you seem to use pretty frequently. 

    Ive also read that you don’t think much of some of the more popular cerebral authors out there, such as Ursula K. Leguin and Iain M. Banks, to name two. 

    Finally, in many of your interviews you seem proudest of the fact that you meet deadlines and that the timing of your output is predictible, that you take only certain amounts of time in plotting and writing (for example, one year for many of the Dune books), and that you have proofreading teams that look for errors and consistency (suggesting to me that you let others do this for you).

    Given all of that, where do you see yourself sitting in the modern pantheon of SF authors?  Do you see yourself at the forefront of SF/literary innovation, or do you see others ahead of you in that regard?

    I want to also know if you see that your work has any special literary significance?  If you see that it does, please explain how and why.  If you don’t, then please talk about why you were the correct author to continue the Dune series, which obviously has serious literary significance. 

    Please also feel free to refute anything that I said above, but I think that the last two questions should be answered, and not avoided. 


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