The Jesus Incident
By Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom
Victor Gollancz 1979
ISBN 0 575 02685 5
Frank Herbert writes head books. There is as much soul-searching and meditating on the meaning of life and our place in the Universe, as there is physical action and adventure. While researching this book, I discovered that ‘The Jesus Incident’ is actually the second book in a sequence – 'Destination: Void' - which explains some of the odder references to the back-story.
In the early chapters there are some vivid descriptions of the myriad forms the clones created by the crew of the colony/starship have taken which makes interesting reading, as does their relentless battle for survival against the hideously vicious life forms of the planet Pandora.
Parts of the novel I found rather disturbing, but it is an interesting read. I can't say it is one of my favourites, but these two reviews, from SF Reviews and Novel Reflections seem to reflect the general consensus that 'The Jesus Incident', and the larger 'Destination: Void' sequence, are at least the equal, if not superior to Herbert’s more famous 'Dune' series.
There is also a brief Wikipedia entry that links through to entries on both Herbert’s 'Dune' series and the other 'Dune' books written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.