Round 2: Stephen King vs Frank Herbert

Stephen King

Special attack: Killer clown. That turns out to be an alien.


  • Has sold over 350 million books worldwide
  • Father of a million childhood nightmares


  • Probably has enough money to build a space station but hasn’t yet built a space station
  • Has probably written more books than he’s read

Frank Herbert

Special attack:His name is a killing word


  • Best-selling author of the Dune series
  • Magnificent beard


  • Chronic Spice addiction
  • Fast on defense, slow on attack


How we think it’d play out…

The victory over John Grisham had Stephen King’s blood pumping, and eagerly he pounded at the door of Frank Herbert’s office, crysknife at the ready.

“Herbert! I’ve come for you! Open the door and let’s do this!”

Frank Herbert was slumped in his chair, his eyes the deep, luminous blue of a man in a Spice fugue. He’d been imbibing his invented drug more and more often as the hour of his showdown with King approached. His lips mumbled the Litany Against Fear automatically, but the words no longer soothed him; everything was confused by the faint orange glow of the Spice.

Wearily, he took his own crysknife from the desk and opened the door. King pounced through the threshold and immediately assumed the fighter’s stance. “It’s a shame you have to go, Herbert,” he hissed. “But nothing will stop me from becoming the Ultimate Writer.”

“It’s easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire,” replied Herbert, shifting gracefully into his own stance. The fog was beginning to lift. All possible outcomes of the fight were beginning to manifest in his mind’s eye: he had only to choose the path that led to his victory.

King snorted, taking the first swipe as the two circled one another. “Empty mysticism won’t save you, old man. Not from my friend Pennywise!”

As the razor-toothed clown blinked into existence and charged, Herbert shut his eyes tight. “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see… a dead hell-clown.”

Herbert opened his eyes again to a gently bubbling pile of goo on the floor, in which only a couple of twitching spider legs and a lone clown’s nose still sizzled.

King’s face was a mask of fury. “My murderclown! I’ll cut you good!” He lurched forward, slashing with the crysknife and forcing Herbert onto the defensive. The fight had lost all pretence of grace and honour; Herbert struggled to think of a pragmatic aphorism describing what all this said about Man, the warring animal, but he was too busy trying not to get stabbed in the face.

In the melee, Herbert was knocked backward over his desk, displacing a cylindrical device that fell onto the floor and immediately began to let out a series of low, ominous thuds. “You fool!” cried Herbert. “The Thumper… Shai-Hulud is coming.”

King laughed, but nervously. “A sandworm? Pull the other one, Herbert…”

Neither man moved. The ground began to tremble.



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34 thoughts on “Round 2: Stephen King vs Frank Herbert

  1. Stephen King will always and forever be the Master Ultimate Writer!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…That IS my final answer!!!!!!!!!

  2. Stephen King is BY FAR the best writer!! My daughter is still afraid of clowns!! I have collected all his books and all his movies..Next thing on my bucket list is to go and see his house! Love him

    • I’m from Maine and have seen his house many times from the outside so to me it’s obvious the winner is Stephen King. My bucket list would include seeing the inside of that beautiful house though.

  3. The Dune series was great, but King has SOOOOO many awesome tales, and his ability to transport the reader along with him down the rabbit hole is astounding.
    King, by Knockout in the 1st round

  4. I read Salem’s Lot at age 13. Herbert may be more literary stylistic and therefore more appealing to the so-called intelligentsia, but how many teens did he inspire without the films? I found Dune dreary till I saw Sting.
    Thus, the wyrme is slain.

  5. Stephen King, of course! I’ve been reading his books since I was a teenager! I won’t reveal my age but needless to say, it’s been a long time! He’s the best! Love him! Lots, lots!

  6. The rumble is really three inbred brothers tunneling out from the nearby Derry County jail, and when they break through the floor the one who was in longest mistakes Herbert for his old English teacher from HS who failed him, and pops his eyeballs out with his thumbs. Meanwhile SK hypnotizes the other two cretins by using big words in that mesmerizing voice…they stand, swaying like prairie dogs as he sidles around the room to open the door. The gust of cold air reminds them they are FREE, and they run off to cause havoc downtown. And the winner is….the King!

  7. why do you even have this kind of contest?there’s should be no contest.Stephen King is the best.He has more novels that is really loved even by peple who have fears of the dark.

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