MENTATS OF DUNE final cover and jacket text

As I’m busy proofreading the typeset galleys for MENTATS OF DUNE, I realized I haven’t officially posted the final cover and jacket text.  The book will be released in the US and UK in March 2014. You can preorder your copy at your favorite bookstore, or on amazon at this link.

Jacket text:

The struggle for humanity’s future continues.

The thinking machines have been defeated after Serena Butler’s terrible Jihad. But now, civilization in the fledgling Imperium faces an even greater threat—human fear and fanaticism.

Gilbertus Albans has lived a secret, artificially extended life for nearly two centuries: first as the young ward of the sadistic robot Erasmus, and then for eight decades after the Battle of Corrin, he has created a different identity for himself, by founding the Mentat School, a place where humans can learn the efficient mental techniques of thinking machines . . . a curriculum developed in part by Erasmus himself.

But although Gilbertus’s great school teaches how humans can replace computers, it has attracted suspicion of the fanatical anti-technology group, the Butlerians, who despise any hint of the evil machines. Headmaster Gilbertus Albans has to walk an uneasy line between his own convictions and his compromises in order to survive against the fanatics, who are led by the madman Manford Torondo and his brutal Swordmaster Anari Idaho.

Ancient Mother Superior Raquella has seen her beloved Sisterhood School on Rossak destroyed in a fit of pique by the volatile Emperor Salvador Corrino. She attempts to rebuild it on Wallach IX, with her most talented and ambitious student, Valya Harkonnen . . . who also has designs on becoming the Sisterhood’s next leader after the old woman dies. But Valya Harkonnen has another goal—to hunt down and exact revenge on Vorian Atreides, the legendary and near-immortal hero of the Jihad, whom she blames for her family’s downfall.

Meanwhile, Josef Venport—head of Venport Holdings and its expansive Spacing Fleet—conducts his own war against the Butlerians. The large VenHold Spacing Fleet controls nearly all commerce throughout the planets in the Imperium, thanks to all the superior mutated Navigators that Venport has created, under the guidance of the great Norma Cenva.  Josef Venport places a ruthless embargo on any planet that accepts Manford Torondo’s anti-technology pledge, hoping to starve them into submission. But fanatics, when pushed into a corner, rarely surrender easily. . . .

The Mentats, the Navigators, and the Sisterhood all strive to achieve the improvement of the human race. But all know that as Butlerian fanaticism grows stronger and more widespread, the battle is not just one for personal glory . . . but to choose the path of humanity’s future—whether to embrace civilization, or to plunge into an endless dark age.