the Book of Frank Herbert

Un recueil de 10 nouvelles par F.Herbert. C'est la version UK de 1977 aux éditions Panther Science Fiction qui m'a été de façon fort gentille offerte par Askaris. Comme nous l'indique la page Wikipédia à son propos, l'ouvrage comporte des publications antérieures faites dans des revues spécialisées telles que Analog.
    * "Seed Stock"  - Analog, April '70
    * "The Nothing" -  Fantastic Universe, January '56
    * "Rat Race" -  Astounding Science Fiction, July '55
    * "Gambling Device" -  '73
    * "Looking for Something?" - Startling Stories, April '52
    * "The Gone Dogs" - Amazing Stories, November '54
    * "Passage for Piano"  -  1973
    * "Encounter in a Lonely Place" - 1973
    * "Operation Syndrome" - Astounding Science Fiction, June '54
    * "Occupation Force" - Fantastic, August '55

3 des 10 histoires sont pour l'occasion de nouvelles œuvres. La publication US du recueil date de 1973 aux édtions DAW books avec une couverture quelque peu différente, et si l'illustration de la version UK fait explicitement référence à la nouvelle "The Gone Dogs", celle de la version US m'apparaît plus anonyme... étrangement, dans la version que je possède, aucun crédit n'est fait à l'auteur de l'illustration - il s'agit de Peter Jones comme l'indique Jeff sur son blog Ski-ffy.

Il ne semble pas exister pas de version française de cette édition, pour lire ces nouvelles dans la langue de Molière, il faut se référer à 3 autres ouvrages de F.Herbert :
* "Le livre d'or : Frank HERBERT" (1978) [voir]
* "Champ mental" (1987) [voir]
* "Les prêtres du psi" (1985) [voir]
Je cite Jeff encore qui s'interroge sur la nécessité d'accoler le nom de F.Herbert à celui de Dune pour vendre une collection de nouvelles.
One thing you can't help but notice about FRANK HERBERT books published in the 1970s is the overkill the publishers indulge in when stating that the guy also wrote DUNE, as if the name FRANK HERBERT wasn't synonymous with DUNE in the first place.
Je me permets ici simplement une remarque : dire ceci en 2011 tombe sous le sens, mais en 1973-77, Dune venait juste de paraître et de faire sa place sous le soleil de la SF à côté d'autres autres auteurs déjà bien établis. Donc, pour aider le consommateur à acquérir un recueil de nouvelles mineures, il faut employer l'artillerie lourde :D

Pour ce qui est du contenu, les histoires sont très disparates dans leur thématiques et longueurs, chacune d'entre elles est une surprise à leur lecture : terreur bio-génétique, contôle du sub-conscient, jeu avec les règles, survie en milieu hostile...

extrait de "the Nothing"
   The fire got this fellow's attention. He knew I'd started it. He just glanced at me once and turned away. 'Leave me alone,' 'he said. 'I'm a Nothing.'
  I don't know what it was. Maybe I have a little of the tele like that doctor said once, but I knew he was telling the truth. It wasn't one of those gags like you see in the feelies. You know-where there are two comedians and one says, 'What's yours?' And the other one answers, 'Nothing.'
   Only all the time he's levitating the other guy's chair and juggling half a dozen things behind his back, no hands. You know the gag. It's been run into the ground. Well, when he said that, it kind of set me back. I'd never seen a real-life Nothing before. Oh, I knew there were some. In the government preserves and such, but I'd never been like this-right next to one.
   'Sorry,' I said. 'I'm a pyro.'
   He glanced at the ashes in the tray and said, 'Yeah, I know.'
   'There's not much work for pyros any more,' I said. 'It's the only talent I have.' I turned and looked at him. Handsome in spite of being a Nothing. 'What did you do?' I asked.
   'I ran away,' he said. 'I'm a fugitive from the Sonoma Preserve.'

extrait de "Seed Stock"
   Men moved then. Sails dropped with a slatting and rasping. Each thing was done with sparse motion in the weighted slowness of their fatigue.
   Trodi had been thick in the current out there, and Kroudar pushed his people to their limit. It had not taken much push. They all understood the need. The swarmings and runnings of useful creatures on this planet had not been clocked with any reliable precision. Things here exhibited strange gaps and breaks in seeming regularity. The trodi might vanish at any moment into some unknown place as they had been known to do before.
   The colony had experienced hunger and children crying for food that must be rationed. Men seldom spoke of this any more, but they moved with the certain knowledge of it. More than three years now, Kroudar thought, as he shouldered a dripping bag of trodi and pushed his weary feet through the sand, climbing the beach toward the storage huts and racks where the sea creatures were dried for processing. It had been more than three years since their ship had come down from space.
   The colony ship had been constructed as a multiple tool, filled with select human stock, their domestic animals and basic necessities, and it had been sent to plant humans in this far place. It had been designed to land once, then be broken down into useful things.
   Somehow, the basic necessities had fallen short, and the colony had been forced to improvise its own tools. They had not really settled here yet, Kroudar realized. More than three years-and three years here were five years of Mother Earth-and they still lived on the edge of extinction. They were trapped here. Yes, that was true. The ship could never be reconstructed. And even if that miracle were accomplished, the fuel did not exist. The colony was here.
   And every member knew the predatory truth of their predicament: survival had not been assured. It was known in subtle things to Kroudar's unlettered mind, especially in a fact he observed without being able to explain.
   Not one of their number had yet accepted a name for this planet. It was 'here' or 'this place.'
   Or even more bitter terms.