David Brin's best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. His award-winning novels and short stories explore vividly speculative ideas through a hard-science lens. His nonfiction book, The Transparent Society, won the American Library Association's Freedom of Speech Award for exploring 21st Century concerns about security, secrecy, accountability and privacy.
The experience of having a novel transformed into a major Kevin Costner film was a mix of major highs and lows — including Costner's choice to bring it out the very same weekend as Titanic! His film is easily one of the dozen or so most visually and musically beautiful works of cinema... and kind of incoherent in places. The kicker has to do with whether he was faithful to the HEART of The Postman. To find out what Brin thinks, read his essay about The Postman: The Motion Picture.
David Brin's take on other science fiction films can be found on his movie page.
A team of brilliant cinematographers have forged ahead on the production of Neo, a film about humanity's future. Their first announcement trailer (featuring David Brin) won the 'Future-Maker Award' at Beijing's 2016 Global Innovator Conference.
Watch a vivid History Channel show "Star Trek: Secrets of the Universe." Brin was one of the pundits illuminating both scientific and dramatic themes of the wonderful Star Trek cosmos.
"The ArchiTECHS" was a boldly innovative show that challenged "five geniuses" to solve an impossible design problem in 48 hours. In the first pilot, a four-star general challenged our design team to come up with a 21st Century replacement for the Humvee. (A design far better than the awful MRAP.) The second pilot — which aired October 2006 — saw former FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, one of the heroes of 9/11, call upon the group to innovate more than a dozen new fire rescue and evacuation tools for skyscraper disasters.
Brin was also top pundit on Life After People (most popular show ever on The History Channel).
Based on Brin's Hugo nominated novella, "Thor Meets Captain America," THE LIFE EATERS asks: what might the Nazis have really been up to? Perhaps a hidden agenda that nobody knows about even to this day? The theme is explored with stirring imagery by the great Scott Hampton.
FORGIVENESS is set in the famed Star Trek universe, with approval from Paramount Pictures and DC Comics. The inventor of the technology that will give the Earth the transporter and the holodeck is beamed into space toward a dangerous rendezvous three hundred years in his future, as the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise tensely prepares for an encounter that may erupt in new waves of interstellar war. What the Federation doesn't need right now is a distraction — or another crisis.
What if America lost its knack and desire to make things? TINKERERS, set in 2024, posits a version of the United States where manufacturing has declined precipitously, young people head into service careers, and nearly all innovation comes from overseas. After a catastrophic failure, our protagonist searches for answers... and a way America might come back.
See a recent spread that features a BRIN novel, in a popular literary comic strip — the "Unshelved Book Club."
Tribes!, a realistic role-playing game, designed by Steve Jackson and David Brin, has long been a legend among gamers. Play-tested at select conventions under the name "Darwinopoly", Tribes! delivers loads of fun for six to eight players, who follow simple rules to simulate life as it must have been for our ancestors, 50,000 years ago — hunting, foraging, mating, and occasionally fighting. Can you figure out how to survive — and have successful offspring — in a world where only your own wits stand between you and harshness of nature? Tribes! was created with the advice of several prominent anthropologists, as well as one of the most experienced game designers on the planet. For more information see the web site for Steve Jackson Games.
Steve Jackson Games has also re-issued GURPS Uplift, updated and expanded by the original author-designer, the incredible Stefan Jones! This long sought-after game (high bids on eBay!) is a perfect match for Contacting Aliens: The Illustrated Guide To Aliens In David Brin's Uplift Universe. To purchase GURPS Uplift, contact Steve Jackson Games.
Brin wrote the storyline, scenario and opening sequence to the famous Dreamcast game (now ported to Playstation 2!) Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future. The scenario is special for its emphasis on an interesting science fictional back story. But the real excitement lies in Appaloosa Inc.'s vivid new 3-D worlds and rendering-on-the-fly technology. The underwater worlds of Ecco are truly wonderful to behold, and the game playing is outtasight. The wonderful old Dreamcast game has been re-issued as a downloadable for the Nintendo Wii. For a great (and impartial) review of Ecco the Dolphin, see the GameSpot review.
TED Talks reach millions around the globe. Here are David Brin's.
The Question of Existence (TEDx Del Mar)
Reinventing Civilization Across Half a Century (TEDx Brussels)
Indignation, addiction and hope — does it help to be mad as hell? (TEDx UCSD)
Making Gods: Will That Bother Anyone? (TEDx NYC)
At this Google Talk, titled "Third Milennium Problem Solving," Sheldon Brown and David Brin discuss how much better we might be doing at communicating online if actual human discourse ever got anywhere near the priority given to sexy bod-mods!
At this Google Talk, Brin has a thing or two to say about EXISTENCE.
And at this Google Talk, Brin expounds on positive-sum technologies and the age of amateurs.
See MTV's interview of David Brin during the 2012 WorldCon, where he talks about why more earth species haven't uplifted naturally. Is there a sentience "glass ceiling"?
Here's a talk I gave at a recent Singularity Summit addressing the question: How can an optimistic futurist reassure those alarmed by talk of transcendence and life extension?
Trekspertise just released a beautiful, image-rich video accompaniment of a talk I gave about "What Is Science Fiction?"
The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD recently held a panel discussion on "The Physics of Free Will," with David Brin, Brian Keating, and Andrew Friedman.
In September 2012, David helped dedicate a new Engineering Building at UCSD, along with luminaries from as far away as Bauhaus University. His talk focused on the building's deliberate collaboration between science and art, a melding predicted 50 years ago by CP Snow and essential to our Enlightenment. Watch the video — or read the speech.
On KCRW's "To The Point" Brin joined a panel of experts to discuss SnapChat and the Future of an Erasable Internet."
In this YouTube video, two renowned futurists, David Brin and John Smart, discuss what inventions and adventures await us in the next 40 years.
Here's a podcast interview of David Brin one on the subject of "Kickstarter and other open-source methods for dream-funding." Interesting sub-topics around the notion that creativity will open all sorts of new opportunities for all of us.
For your commute, one of the more interesting and well-done interview shows is the Roundtable Podcast. Catch this episode in which a number of top sci-fi authors were offered this particular challenge at a recent World Science Fiction Convention: "Describe your ideal protagonist." Providing short, pithy and fascinating answers were Elizabeth Bear, Alan Dean Foster, Howard Tayler, David Brin — and many more. Good stuff.
It's a cliché Brin is asked about more and more: the idiot plot — the tendency for most authors and/or film-makers to disdain the intelligence and wisdom of society as a whole, portraying a majority of their fellow citizens as sheep or fools. This "rule" of contemporary storytelling is so nearly universal because you don't notice propaganda that you already agree with.
Will the future live long and prosper? See this New York Daily News article where Brin tackles this question. Star Trek helped turn this physicist into a science fiction author with the vision it offered — exploring human destiny, confronting big issues and pondering a unique notion, seldom expressed anywhere else: that our descendants might somehow be admirable.
Ray Bradbury was the last living member of the “BACH” quartet — writers who transformed science fiction from a pulp magazine ghetto into a genre for hardcover bestsellers. Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke and Robert Heinlein helped shatter barriers for the rest of us, establishing the legitimacy of literature that explores possible or plausible tomorrows. But it was Bradbury who made clear to everyone that science fiction can be an art form combining boldness and broad horizons with sheer, unadulterated beauty.
It's been said that Western civilization has spent the last hundred years trying to resolve a deep cleavage in our culture — a continuing struggle between prescriptions offered by the Enlightenment and those of the Romantic movement. For generations, a vast majority of writers, artists and academics have sided with Romanticism, from Keats and Shelley to nearly every modern musician or movie star. Seizing every opportunity to extoll emotion and put down "cold" reason has become as natural as breathing.
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
All the Ways in the World to Reach David Brin
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"Brin is a physicist of note who has been a NASA consultant, and he knows how to turn the abstractions of particle physics into high adventure.... He excels at the essential craft of the page-turner, which is to devise an elegantly knotted plot that yields a richly variegated succession of high-impact adventures undergone by an array of believably heroic characters."
— Thomas M. Disch, EW.com
"It was a great honor to have you speak on campus. I am a huge fan of your books, and you did not disappoint in person. You achieve a rare combination of originality, intellectual rigor, and fun."
"David Brin is notable for unquenchable optimism, focusing on the ability of humanity to overcome adversity."
"Brin slathers a sober and hard-edged landscape at one turn, and in the next pinpoints with pixel clarity the humanity all jumbled up in the epic action. There are no mutant cockroaches or other absurdities. We are in the Oregon mountains, crawling through bracken, or hiding in the snowdrifts because a sniper has pinned us down. On every page we see the dirty, lined, broken faces of hardscrabble existence, but we also see them light up at the simple gesture of receiving a piece of mail from a long-lost loved one. And we see mythopoesis right in our faces."
— SF Site Reviews
"But we're at the dawn of a new era. In today's Hollywood, writers are the lowest form of life. But that will change when a small team —- writer-led — can create a rough, animated storyboard of a film, fully 90 minutes long with spoken dialogue and music, that can gain a web following long before any studio sees it. This new intermediate art form will change everything and shift the center of power over to story. To the writer." — David Brin