David Brin has thrilled readers in almost thirty languages by presenting vastly imaginative — and well-grounded — challenges set in times that might yet come... along with a sometimes razor-thin hope we’ll persevere. In this major retrospective collection of shorter work, gathered from across an extraordinary career spanning decades, you’ll find wonder via David Brin’s unparalleled talent at imagination, extrapolation, hard headed optimism, and plain old fun.
Here, you will find “The Crystal Spheres,” the Hugo Award winning short story that first brought Brin wide acclaim, posing one more — colorfully strange — answer to: “Are we alone in the universe?” Other tales explore a universe of possibilities ... such as when a hero climbs an impossible mountain to confront Fate itself, in “The Loom of Thessaly,” or when world powers battle over a Vegas magician’s knack for prediction, in “The Tell.” Or uncovering ancient terrors long-buried under an urban landfill (“Detritus Affected”), or when a mother in labor fights to save her child from an invention gone-wrong (“Dr. Pak’s Preschool”).
Before The Postman won awards as a novel and became a major motion picture, that tale of a storyteller reviving dreams of a better world originated in the Hugo-nominated novella that’s included here. Confronting one of the oldest challenges in modern SF — “What if the Nazis won?” — Brin presents an unexpected answer in “Thor Meets Captain America.” And his penchant for offering I-hadn’t-thought-of-that! answers, as well as questions, erupts in “Stones of Significance,” a post-Singularity world where human identity can and will survive technological evolution.
Writing about "Stones of Significance," Brin says that “Ideas are like fruit, watered with patience and observation — but pollinated by surprise!” Here, in more than twenty stories representing the best work of a masterful writer, readers will find an entire orchard of ideas, rooted in guarded optimism and stretching skyward towards a multitude of possible worlds.
Introduction by Catherine Asaro
Lift your gaze!
Insistence of Vision
The Crystal Spheres
The Loom of Thessaly
It’s alive! So be wary.
The Giving Plague
Dr. Pak’s Preschool
Persevere! (Tales of the Coss)
Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss
Things may just get weird.
The River of Time
Light. Let it shine!
The Avalon Probes
Prevailing... despite everything...
A need for Heroes
Thor Meets Captain America
And good news may get... complicated...
Stones of Significance
David Brin's science fiction 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. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More
Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More
Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More
David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from 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. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More
Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More
Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More
Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was cited as one of the top 10 writers the AI elite follow. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More
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reviews and recommendations
"I would consider Existence to be a triumphant, epic Science Fiction novel on many levels. It stayed with me after I set it aside for the day, continues to simmer in my mind now that I've finished reading it, and has opened up a gateway to Brin's novels I'd wanted to enter for a while. Brin achieved an excellent gestalt of character, big ideas, and narrative energy."
"The fiction of David Brin is informed by a central recurring theme as well, in his case the operation of various kinds of evolution: organic and synthetic, directed and undirected, fast and slow. This interest in dynamic change feeds into his vision of SF as an essentially optimistic form: not because he believes in 'progress' but because he believes in the ability of humankind to improve its condition."
"Your provocative future scenarios, your explanation of developmental trends in technology and your balanced, nuanced delivery got folks energized like no speaker we've had before. I think the truest mark of a great speaker is their popularity in the hallways afterward, and on that score you again exceeded all expectations. It was great to see how many groups self-organized to discuss the issues you raised for the remainder of the weekend."
"David Brin's nonfiction marvel The Transparent Society is what Lewis Mumford or Thorstein Veblen might write, could they contemplate our increasingly webbed world and its prospects for social change.... Brin's book is full of imaginative, farsighted concern for how fluid information is going to transform our civil society."