"He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things." — Halifax

"Heart of the Comet may well be the masterpiece of the (hard science) movement ... this book is what science fiction is." — Chicago Tribune

DAVID BRIN's Heart of the Comet

Lucky Bat Books, 2012; Bantam, 1986

Read the first 5 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase HEART OF THE COMET.

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the lone wanderer returns

"He had always been a problem-solver, a man who reflexively reacted to the unknown by breaking it into understandable pieces. Then Carl would carefully solve each small puzzle, confident that the sum of such microproblems would finally resolve the larger confusions." — Heart of the Comet

It is 2065, and a regular visitor makes its long-awaited dive toward the sun in a 75 year cycle. Only this time, Halley's Comet is met by an ambitious expedition, using the great fuming ball of gas, dust and ice as a natural spaceship to "hitch a ride" through the solar system. The scientific and commercial enterprise aims to herd the valuable object into a close orbit to Earth, for disassembly into resources to make the world rich again.

Only, nature and luck intervene. Soon a mysterious virus decimates the crew. Other life-forms, from a genetic heritage separated from ours by a billion years, begin a rough, sometimes deadly "negotiation" with the bodies of the human settlers, stoking stress between their already volatile factions. Conflicts explode as panicky orthos — unmodified humans — blame those expedition members who are genetically enhanced "Percells."

Against this background, the novel highlights a love triangle between ortho biologist Saul, who helped create the Percells, and Percell computer engineer Virginia (whose biologically-based computer just might possess genuine artificial intelligence)... and crewman Carl, whose steadfast courage might hold the key to survival.

And... perhaps... something far more than mere survival.

Heart of the Comet tells the story of an ambitious manned mission to visit the comet and alter its orbit in order to mine it for resources. The discoveries soon include a deadly viral lifeform that decimates the crew.

watch the book trailer for Heart of the Comet

Watch the preview book trailer, featuring cover artwork by Patrick Farley, Bob Eggleton, and Fred Gambino, as well as fascinating NASA images.

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more about Heart of the Comet

the return of a classic

After many years out of print, co-authors Gregory Benford and David Brin have revised and re-issued their bold novel about our near-future in space, when we plant our boots — and stake our destiny — on becoming the people of the comet.

Prescient and scientifically-accurate, Heart of the Comet was known as one of the great "hard sf" novels of the 1980s. The novel, first published in 1986, coincided with the last return visit of Comet Halley to Earth.

foreign-language editions

Here are some of the covers of Heart of the Comet's foreign and foreign-language publications.

Heart of the Comet's foreign editions

Here are the covers of Heart of the Comet's Japanese edition.

Heart of the Comet's Japanese edition covers

a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

To learn more, visit his books page, or see his "about me" page or detailed biography.



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

shorter fiction

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

Contrary Brin blog

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

social media influencer

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 scientist


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

transparency expert

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

speaker & consultant

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

future/tech advisor

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 appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More

Contacting BRIN

All the Ways in the World to Reach David Brin

an ornery, contrary BLOG, and other insightful wormholes!

Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's incendiary posts on science, sci-fi and politics and its engaged, opinionated community poke at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate — and infuriate. See for yourself, and if you like — subscribe for more.

Questions? Concerns? Email DAVID BRIN at mail@davidbrin.com


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