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The Postman Paperback – 3 Jul 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (3 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857234057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857234053
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,954 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.


Product Description


THE POSTMAN will keep you engrossed until you've finished the last page (CHICAGO Tribune)

A moving experience . . . a powerful cautionary tale (Whitley Strieber)

Book Description

A brand new look for one of SF master David Brin's most acclaimed novels: a moving post-apocalyptic tale of one man rekindling hope for a desperate nation --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Jan. 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a roundabout way, I read this because of the Kevin Costner movie! I found a copy of the mass market paperback WITHOUT Kevin Costner's face on the cover, and snatched it up before only the movie tie in edition was available. It is one of the tenets of my religion that I never read movie tie in editions (the only exception I have made in recent years was THE ENGLISH PATIENT, and then only because I was not willing to wait to turn up a different edition used)? I wonder why publishers believe that there is a great demand for tie-in editions. I previously worked at the University of Chicago Press, and knew that the UC edition of A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT outsold the mass market movie tie-in edition by quite a bit. And this can't be the only instance. But enough of this particular hobby horse.
Thanks to the fear of Kevin Costner's picture, I read my first David Brin novel, and I am certainly glad that I did. It is a real page turner; I bought it on a Saturday and finished it on a Tuesday, without sitting down and reading in it for any extended period of time. The story is compelling, the characters likable and interesting, and the situation intriguing. Everyone will, I am sure, have their own take on the probability of Brin's vision. For my part I do not believe that there would be the degree of loss of technology that he imagines, nor do I believe the survivalists would be so vehemently opposed to it (I have known a couple survalists, and they were as addicted to "stuff" and the products of technology as they were to their knife catalogs and SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine). But the great thing about the book is that it involves you to such a degree that you care enough to argue with it. Not a masterpiece, but a fun book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the book which the film The Postman [DVD] [1998]is based upon apparently but I would say that it is very loosely based upon the book.

There is essentially a play on words within the title, the book is narrated in the third person, has a good pace and poses many philosophical questions in the opening chapters, it weaves the back story of apocalypse into the storyline of the travels of a contemporary of the post-apocalyptic world well but Brin has really gone all out to include as many futuristic themes as possible into a single story.

This is the reason why the book differs so much from the more straight forward story featured in the film of world wary wanderer vs. philistine nobody turned dictator.

To a point there are parallels, there is a wanderer who does stumble upon a deceased post man in a van and does decide loot the post van and take the postmans coat, the idea that villagers will invite outsiders to father children where sterility has afflicted husbands features but does not develop as a love interest as in the film, although from this point the book departs majorly from the plot of the film.

Brin's account of the end of times is different from that of most other post-apocalypse authors in that it is more a matter of society withering on the branch than war. Complicity and decadence breed an assurity which is quickly confounded when a confluence of unrelated crisis, outbreaks of disease, anti-technology riots (similar to the "simplification" featured in
...Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 4u1e on 4 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've really wavered about how much I like this book. After ploughing my way through a few monstrously long post-apocalyptic novels, I refreshed myself with Neville Shute's much more elegantly paced On The Beach before approaching this, which I thought would be another overblown epic. I was delighted when I realised it's far less self-indulgent than some others in the genre and weighs in at about 400 pages, a length which feels 'right' for the story to be told.

It starts really well, constantly changing direction as Gordon Krantz struggles to survive in (yet another!) post-apocalyptic North America. It's realistically done and I enjoyed the focus on the rights and wrongs of life in this much battered society. In this respect this early section is rather like The Road, albeit nothing like so dark and without Cormac McCarthy's lyrical psychological insight. The core idea, that a small lie can snowball and serve a much bigger and better truth, is a really interesting one and kept me engaged off and on to the end. In fact there are interesting ideas throughout - the book also meditates on the nature of leadership and how leaders should relate to society, for example.

The book was originally written in three sections, which is obvious but actually works in its favour as each section has a different theme. It lost me slightly in the last section, as this element felt more like pulp scifi than the first two, but each to his own and I can hardly blame Brin for being a scifi author! Still, I found the final section less original than the first two and in this section the themes being explored are less subtly drawn, coming down to a physical confrontation between adherents of two different philosophies. For me, this has lost this easy to read and entertaining book one star.
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