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Earth Paperback – 1 Nov 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (1 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356501760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356501765
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Brin is a scientist, public speaker and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

David's latest novel - Existence - is set forty years ahead, in a near future when human survival seems to teeter along not just on one tightrope, but dozens, with as many hopeful trends and breakthroughs as dangers... a world we already see ahead. Only one day an astronaut snares a small, crystalline object from space. It appears to contain a message, even visitors within. Peeling back layer after layer of motives and secrets may offer opportunities, or deadly peril.

David's non-fiction book -- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? -- deals with secrecy in the modern world. It won the Freedom of Speech Award from the American Library Association.

A 1998 movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based on his post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. Brin's 1989 ecological thriller - Earth - foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends such as the World Wide Web. David's novel Kiln People has been called a book of ideas disguised as a fast-moving and fun noir detective story, set in a future when new technology enables people to physically be in more than two places at once. A hardcover graphic novel The Life Eaters explored alternate outcomes to WWII, winning nominations and high praise.

David's science fictional Uplift Universe explores a future when humans genetically engineer higher animals like dolphins to become equal members of our civilization. These include the award-winning Startide Rising, The Uplift War, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore and Heaven's Reach. He also recently tied up the loose ends left behind by the late Isaac Asimov: Foundation's Triumph brings to a grand finale Asimov's famed Foundation Universe.

Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction and philanthropy.

As a public speaker, Brin shares unique insights -- serious and humorous -- about ways that changing technology may affect our future lives. He appears frequently on TV, including several episodes of "The Universe" and History Channel's "Life After People." He also was a regular cast member on "The ArciTECHS."

Brin's scientific work covers an eclectic range of topics, from astronautics, astronomy, and optics to alternative dispute resolution and the role of neoteny in human evolution. His Ph.D in Physics from UCSD - the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) - followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Space Institute. His technical patents directly confront some of the faults of old-fashioned screen-based interaction, aiming to improve the way human beings converse online.

Website: http://www.davidbrin.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/davidbrin1

Product Description

Review

This book is not just a green globe-trotting adventure; it is also a thoughtful mix of warning and promise (GUARDIAN)

One hell of a novel . . . has what sci-fi readers want these days; intelligence, action, and an epic scale (ISAAC ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE)

He weaves the alien textures exquisitely (NEW SCIENTIST)

Book Description

A brand new look for one of SF master David Brin's most acclaimed novels: a scientifically faithful tale of the fate of our world and the havoc mankind wreaks upon it

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jan 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was really fascinated by this book, even if it was a tad long. I find the idea of writing near-future sci-fi to be one of the most challenging types of stories, especially when the political climate can change as dramatically as it has since Earth was written: I get bogged down in the what-ifs of it all. Anyway, I'm impressed with the "prediction" factor, as it seems Mr. Brin has balanced interest with plausability all with skill. I wonder if the the larger alien intervention idea wasn't influenced by a similar one in Sagan's Contact.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many a man has traced his fingers in the smooth sands of the future, foretelling stories of glory or grisly reality. Few (none I have read) have held up to time's test for accuracy and foresight like Mr Brin's work in Earth. Written over 7 years ago, I (yesterday) finished the experience and turned on the television, checked my email, and, like a whispering fortuneteller, the television news described the probable mental effects of today's solar flares, the flooding in the great plains, greenhouse gases, and Greenpeace activists misguided efforts to save the arctic wastelands and getting frozen in the act, so to speak.

I gave this book to my girlfriend, with encouragement to keep a dictionary close by and "just get through the first fifty pages". The purpose was to create considerable fodder for discussion for many eves to come. It seems to me this rigorous and scientific work has a wisdom and coherence that can be appreciated only by those willing to put down all preconceptions about human limits, and capable of ingesting the depths and implications of modern science. I am convinced two years of university schooling could be substituted for a thorough study of just this book.
Multifaceted, multilevel, and, best of all, multi- perspective. I admit some of the detail could have been left out to avoid losing the interest of the scientifically literate, and simplifying the daunting task of the reader whose mind has yet to consider the implications of who and what we are, and what the future holds for humanity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Feb 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
David Brin has managed to extrapolate in ways that no other SF author has done. He not only advances technology by half a century, but also the trends of society. His idea that senior citizens will basically control the world because they are the largest voting group sounded right on. Maybe the most impressive thing about Brin's writing is the way he takes multiple plot lines and plays them on each other, having them all come together at the end. My only problem is that the characters didn't seem as well rounded as the ones in his other novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jan 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I hadn't read anyhthing by Brin before, when I saw EARTH at the library, I judged it by its cover. It turned out to be a great story with well developed, thoughtful characters. The end was not too "out there" (just barely) but he made it sound plausible. I was very happy he didn't end it on some cliche ominous note. I liked his vision of our future. I'll enjoy being a little old man there. My only wish was that, in a book this long, he had included a list of characters to refer back to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Sep 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Two very difficult tasks are managing a large cast of important characters and building a near-future society. David Brin does both brilliantly in Earth. The people are engaging and believable, even when their parts are tangental, and the society is phenomenal. He correctly anticipates many aspects of the WWW, and I'm eagerly watching as many more predictions move towards fulfillment. His ecological predictions are realistic, not catastrophic, and his solution, though a bit over the top, leavens the divine intervention with the practical steps we still need to take. Not only is this a first class work of science fiction, it's a insightful work of sociology, technology forecasting, and people watching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Aug 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Earth, David Brin has managed to place me in a juxtaposition, as a reader. In half of the near-future portrayed in Earth, life is dismal, and the characters are resigned each to a diminished existence amidst a humanity submissive to Gaia. On the other hand, there happen to be situations and characters that drew me in, that I wanted to be part of. This book seems to be Brin's answer to Gore's Earth in the Balance. All of our worst nightmares about humankind's destruction of the planet have come true, and it is this grim outlook that hangs like smog over an excellent science fiction tale that seems like slim pickings during the reading, but shines in retrospect.

In desirable morsels between the dreary passages, Brin explores the possibility of a black hole being accidentally released on the surface of the Earth. Initially, it is a microscopic "singularity", and slips through the crust to eventually orbit our planet's core. Theoretically, it would consume the Earth's mantle for years until this 3rd rock from the sun implodes--over 80% of the Earth's mass being consumed in the final few minutes. Of course, David Brin is too brilliant for it to be left so simple a problem, which is why Earth is as intriguing a mystery as it is science fiction.

In typical Brin style, all the stops are pulled out for the climax. That includes the wildly unexpected. Regular readers of Brin won't be surprised at the feeling that they've stepped into a completely different tale when the lengthy, exciting climax erupts.
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