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Frank Herbert was born Franklin Patrick Herbert, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington on October 8, 1920. He worked originally as a journalist, but then turned to science fiction. His Dune series has had a major impact on that genre. Some critics assert that Herbert is responsible for bringing in a new branch of ecological science fiction. He had a personal interest in world ecology, and consulted with the governments of Vietnam and Pakistan about ecological issues. The length of some of Herbert's novels also helped make it acceptable for science fiction authors to write longer books. It is clear that, if the reader is engaged by the story---and Herbert certainly has the ability to engage his readers---length is not important. As is usually the case with popular fiction, it comes down to whether or not the reader is entertained, and Herbert is, above all, an entertaining and often compelling writer. His greatest talent is his ability to create new worlds that are plausible to readers, in spite of their alien nature, such as the planet Arrakis in the Dune series. Frank Herbert died of complications from pancreatic cancer on February, 11, 1986, in Madison, Wisconsin. He was 65.