DAVID BRIN's podcast interviews and discussions

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.

activities & interviews

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  • a scoop.it compilation of interviews about science, technology, and the future
  • a scoop.it compilation of interviews about science fiction and writing

  • hours and hours of podcast & audio interviews

    coronavirus & humanity

    On April 2, 2020 acclaimed science fiction authors David Brin, Kevin J. Anderson, and Ramez Naam appeared on the "Breaking Banks" show to talk about how the Covid-19 crisis might affect humanity on a long term basis, looking out short-term and then 50 years from now.

    rebuilding after coronavirus

    Hosted by Dr. David Bray of the Atlantic Council: A conversation with internationally recognized author and scientist Dr. David Brin and noted public policy professor and expert Dr. Kathryn Newcomer on the technologies, investments, and policy actions that could help us rebuild from COVID-19 on a global scale.

    the future of privacy policy

    As technology advances, there will be no hiding from surveillance. What we should instead fight for is transparency: the watchers must feel just as exposed as the watched. AE Ideas, a public policy blog issued by the American Enterprise Institute, asks: What will privacy policy mean when applied to the government versus the increasingly powerful tech titans?

    outrage fatigue?

    In this episode of Intellectual Explorers David discusses our culture’s addiction to self-righteous indignation, how we engage in 'ritual combat' over ideas, and possible ways out, such as setting up disputation arenas to debate issues — and more.

    let's surveil the surveilers

    One response to stepped-up surveillance is a stepped-up effort to hide from it — more laws regulating what people and governments are allowed to record, and more funds devoted to encryption and other privacy-protecting resources. But while this approach reflects the right instincts, it is insufficient. Especially as technology advances, there will be no hiding from surveillance. What we should instead fight for is transparency: the watchers must feel just as exposed as the watched.

    space, astronomy, alien life and AI, oh my!

    MacObserver runs an interesting interview podcast series. This one with David Brin covers a wide range, from his education at Caltech and UCSD and how he started writing fiction to where he imagines "things" heading.

    science fiction in the genes!

    Check out daughter Ari Brin's iTunes podcast Novum: A Science Fiction Exploration, broadcasting live out of JAM Radio in Dundee, Scotland. Her episodes "explore" sci fi tropes and themes — where it's been, where it could go — including an episode reading David's short story, "The Logs."

    it’s exhausting — and addictive

    Are we, as a nation, addicted to anger? That's the question posed by the To the Best of Our Knowledge podcast interview of David's essay, "Addicted to Self-Righteousness?"

    podcasting @ Mars

    Planetary Radio podcasts Science Fiction Greats at the Mars Society — Gregory Benford, David Brin, Geoffrey Landis and Larry Niven — about terraforming Mars, the origin of life, the drive to explore and more.

    where is my privacy?

    Co-editors David Brin and Stephen Potts were interviewed on KPBS radio about Chasing Shadows. Among the questions posed: what happens in a society without privacy?

    can sf writers prevent nuclear war?

    BBC reports: "Catherine Asaro and David Brin are both science fiction writers. They’ve also both advised the US government on challenges society could someday face. Reporter Daniel Gross recently spoke to them about their jobs."

    predicting — inventing! — the future

    In this Bloomberg RealClear Radio Hour interview with Bill Frezza, David Brin explores how science fiction can improve the future, by helping us chart technological dangers to avoid and promising goals to pursue.

    the note show

    Brin talks about the power of sci fi to create self-preventing prophecies on The Note Show. The host seemed pleased, despite hardly getting a word in! Also available on itunes and stitcher.

    partially examined living

    David Brin participated in a podcast radio panel discussion about Philosophy(!) on the Partially Examined Life show with some very smart co-panelists. All sorts of implications of SETI, the Fermi Paradox, transparency, humanity, life, the universe... and almost everything.

    next-gen futurism

    For a garrulous ramble that will take you from Pericles to Popper to Pluto — though mostly focusing on transparency and accountability and re-learning the art of pragmatism — here's a podcast interview Brin gave about the future of freedom.

    author stories

    David Brin joins writer Hank Garner for Episode 172 of The Author Stories Podcast, where they talk about: Why authors should first write a murder mystery, moving the plot along in science fiction stories, writing believable stories with believable characters... and more.

    finding quicksand

    In this Tech Emergenceinterview, Dan Faggella talks with David about fiction's unique role in helping humanity find a beneficial future — a job done in large part by pointing out what we want to avoid most.

    overlordzing robotz

    The Robot Overlordz guys had David on their show for an audio interview about topics ranging from SETI to tech freedom to why Hollywood sci fi plots are so dumb.

    3 writers talk ... writing

    This podcast poses an hour's worth of questions about writing to the great Sci Fi author Allen Steele, rising star Dan Haight, and David Brin.

    our newest civil war

    Here's an informal recording at a Portland restaurant... in which Brin explores the roots of today’s phase of the American Civil War.

    what's the point of thinking?

    The brainiac philosophers at "A Partially Examined Life" have posted both the two hour podcast of our interview and their followup notes.

    space for enlightenment

    Here's an interview David Brin gave Veritas Radio about SETI and space and maintaining a scientific civilization.

    is sci fi a good predictor?

    Does science fiction still influence or predict technological advances? Brin is one of several sages interviewed on this terrific-yet-too-brief NPR show about the ideas and influence of science fiction in creating the modern world.

    what about EXISTENCE?

    Here's a podcast interview David Brin did with Scott Sigler about Existence.

    talking about ET

    Brin is the go-to guy on the topic of Extraterrestrial life. Here's a podcast and interview he gave to Tom Fudge of KPBS radio.

    getting our geeks on

    The fun fellows at "GeeksOn" interviewed Brin about everything from the future to politics to SETI to all the myriad ways that science fiction has either gone astray or else propelled our thoughts into new frontiers.

    Brin is dweebcasted

    Dweebcast is one of these joyfully-geeky mini-shows that celebrate tech optimism. In this episode they ask Brin: "Hey, where are the hoverboards we were promised in Back to the Future?"

    the pirate hour

    David Brin spends an hour with the California Pirate Party, discussing inventors, inventiveness, intellectual property, transparency — and Existence. "Brin's philosophy is refreshing because it projects meaning and understanding from thousands of years of human evolution and activity. Our conversation with him was insightful, funny and uplifting."

    getting wired

    WIRED Magazine interviewed Brin for their popular "Geek's Guide to the Galaxy" podcast.

    the hero's role

    Kevin Tumlinson's interviews Brin for his 100th Wordslinger podcast episode, about writing and the role of the hero.

    the point of inquiry

    David Brin talks with Chris Moony on the Point of Inquiry podcast, discussing the value of scientific inquiry and rational minds in creating a better world (or even a better novel!).

    can we rely on the kindness of crowds?

    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.

    ain't mythbehavin'

    Mythbehaving is a way-fun site filled with interesting podcast interviews and other goodies. David Brin gave them an hour recently — about science fiction, dystopias, augmented humans, science, movies, propaganda and so much more! Good for your daily commute.

    our reality tv president

    Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson interviews Brin and Boise State University professor Justin Vaughn about how our cameras-everywhere culture is affecting the candidates, presidential campaigns and us.

    is there an ideal sci-fi protagonist?

    Catch this episode of Roundtable Podcast, 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 — along with many more.

    building future societies with transparency and freedom

    In this FutureThinkers podcast, Brin notes that sub-saharan tribeswomen today have better access to information via the Internet than world leaders did just a few decades ago. That’s huge — although it doesn’t make as entertaining news as terrorism or twerking, so few news agencies are talking about it.

    can we snapchat and forget it?

    On KCRW's "To The Point" Brin joined a panel of experts to discuss SnapChat and the Future of an Erasable Internet."

    40 years from now

    NPR interviews Brin about "The Nature of Existence."

    third millennium problem solving

    Can our civilization maintain its 200-year commitment to openness, transparency, accountability, and confident belief in progress, or will a growing "relinquishment movement" fight back against the onrush of change?

    virtually speaking

    This Virtually Speaking podcast interview discusses transparency, security, privacy, surveillance and sousveillance.

    getting to the future

    SF Signal Podcast chats with David Brin about science fiction's exploration of the future, by presenting gedankenexperiments, or thought experiments, as well as the notion of self-preventing prohecies.

    getting to existence

    David Brin talks with Planetary Radio about his monumental new novel, Existence.

    getting science into science fiction

    NPR's Talk of the Nation interviews David and William Gibson, author of Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive and Virtual Light.

    science fiction is evolving

    Another Talk of the Nation episode interviews David and James Gunn and Michael Capobianco, where they discuss the art and evolution of Science Fiction.

    a singular interview

    David Brin talks with Singularity about science fiction, the singularity, Star Wars and Existence.

    our inevitable future

    Science and technology are converging to change the global game. Join David and Paul Rosenbloom to talk about our cyber future. Will humanity survive and even thrive when the Singularity arrives?

    crowdfunding dreams

    David Brin is interviewed on Funding the Dream about the idea that crowds can make smart decisions for society.

    getting into space

    In David Livingston's syndicated radio SPACE SHOW, Brin talks starships, asteroid mining, and bringing boldness back to our civilization.

    the world transformed

    David Brin joins P. J. Manney and Thomas McCabe to discuss our thinking transformed. Our thinking is always subject to scrutiny and inspection, but perhaps never more urgently than now. If profound change truly is upon us, what assumptions must we avoid? What new ideas must we be ready to embrace? And what cherished "truths" must we be prepared to put away once and for all?

    40 years from now

    On NPR David Brin, a "San Diego Futurist," explores the nature of Existence.

    listening to culture

    Hearsay Culture interviews author David Brin on transparency, reciprocal accountability, cyber-utopianism and the preservation of excitement in an age of cynicism.

    limits of understanding

    This "Endless Universe" podcast, featuring David and Paul Steinhardt (Endless Universe), touches up against the outer limits of cosmology, and through that brings up questions of limits on the imagination, the role of theology, and the end (and endings) of the universe.

    fanboys — gotta love 'em!

    Is it better to "go where no one has gone before" or "fly around a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away"? In this Fanboy Planet, podcast, David answer these burning questions and more.

    cheaters, transparency, and how ICOs avoid jail

    In this episode of Milk, Brin tackles the crypto space and issues of state surveillance in an entirely different manner.

    getting creative

    Now live, Ed Willett's podcast at The Worldshapers, where David Brin gives some of his best advice on writing science fiction to would-be best-selling authors!

    DAVID BRIN's podcasted stories

    Of course, Brin's novels and books are available as audiobooks. These short stories are also offered as podcasts. Enjoy the listen!



    part of my novel EXISTENCE

    "Aficionado" (read here or listen to the podcast) takes you on a wild rocket ride — the new sport of the super-rich in 2050. Hacker Sander is spoiled, temperamental and a champion rock-jock, expert at the game of Space War... till a crash landing throws him into lethal peril. His sole hope? A tribe of strangely savvy sea creatures, with a secret need of their own.

    Harlan Ellison reads Bubbles


    with Harlan Ellison

    The September 2011 issue Lightspeed Magazine features an audio recording of "Bubbles" read by science fiction great Harlan Ellison: The "universe" is full of holes, emptiness, and Serena is stranded within that great emptiness. Will she spend eternity staring at unreachable galaxies strung at the fringes of monstrous cavities like flickers on the surface of a soap bubble?

    The Logs

    The Logs

    included in Insistence of Vision

    How to endure the unendurable? "The Logs" is a tale of survival in the harshest of conditions... in an isolated asteroid work camp. Hear daughter Ari Brin read David's poignant short story in the latest Novum podcast. It was originally included in Shadows of the New Sun (stories inspired by the vision of Gene Wolfe), ed. by J.E. Mooney and Bill Fawcett.



    a novella from the Uplift universe

    "Temptation" is also available as an audio podcast. In it, a female dolphin on Jijo who must escape from two of her own kind and then penetrate a deeply dangerous ancient secret. The novella answers several unresolved riddles left over from Heaven's Reach.

    exciting new sf & fantasy for 2020

    Zed, by Joanna Kavenna

    Children of Ruin, by Adrian Tchaikovsky

    The Sisters Grimm, by Menna van Praag

    House of Earth and Blood, by Sarah J. Maas

    The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins

    Empress of Flames, by Mimi Yu

    Qualityland, by Marc-Uwe Kling

    Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

    The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, Book 2), by Philip Pullman

    This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone


    newest book (and short story) releases

    The Escape

    The Escape

    One of the oldest notions in fantasy is a hero's confrontation with the supernatural. Humans are forever pondering some way to change the hand they're dealt. From Gilgamesh and Odysseus to Faust and Daniel Webster, fascinating characters have tried arguing with fate or divine will... or the Devil. In the genre of "debating the devil," The Escape takes a hyper-modernist and rather science-fictional take on that theme, reshuffling the deck and challenging the Grand Order of Things.
    Find out more, start reading the first scene, or purchase The Ancient Ones as a paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)

    The Ancient Ones

    The Ancient Ones

    Dr. Alvin Montessori is Human Advisor aboard the mostly demmie-crewed star cruiser Clever Gamble, orbiting above Oxytocin 41, a planet where something weird is going on. When the crew unreels a humungous hose down to the surface, their first contact team discovers a whole lot of 'somethings weird.' Life... death... and the living dead... will never be the same.
    Find out more, read the first 2 chapters, or purchase The Ancient Ones as a paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)

    Polemical Judo

    Polemical Judo

    Are we in phase 8 of America’s 250 year civil war? If so, the Union's side has a problem with its generals, who keep getting lured into grunt-and-shove combat, on ground chosen by the other side. The possibility of using agility to win political battles — the energy, creativity, and jiu-jitsu dexterity that foot soldiers do best — never occurs to Democratic politicians or strategists.
    Find out more, read the first two chapters here, or purchase Polemical Judo as a trade paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)

    Chasing Shadows

    Chasing Shadows

    The authors contributing stories and essays to Chasing Shadows explore their own visions of what might propel — or obstruct — a world civilization awash in the light of transparency. Eminent critic Paul Di Filippo offers an insightful, thorough and positive appraisal of CHASING SHADOWS.
    Find out more or read "PRIVATE LIVES" here.

    Insistence of Vision

    Insistence of Vision

    Visit a chillingly plausible tomorrow, when prisoners may be sent to asteroidal gulags. Or might prisons vanish and felons roam, seeing only what society allows? Suppose, amid lavish success, we gain the superpower to fly! Will we even appreciate it... or will we find new reasons to complain?
    Find out more or read "REALITY CHECK" and "TUMBLEDOWNS" here.



    Billions of planets may be ripe for life, even intelligence. So where is Everybody? Do civilizations make the same fatal mistakes, over and over? Might we be the first to cross the mine-field, evading every trap to learn the secret of EXISTENCE?
    Find out more or read "AFICIONADO," SHELTER OF TRADITION" and "SHORESTEADING" here.

    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 author


    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 300 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

    other points of departure

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    pages about DAVID BRIN

  • latest news and activities
  • information about DAVID BRIN
  • public speaking and consulting & popular topics
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  • a compilation of great sf books to read
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  • BRIN's nonfiction explorations

  • privacy, security, accountability and transparency
  • designing and crafting our amazing 21st Century
  • predicting and projecting our near and far future
  • leading and following our politics and economy
  • keeping track of changes in science and technology
  • scanning our sky for habitable (inhabited?) worlds
  • 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


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    endorsements and recommendations

    Howard Rheingold, author of The Virtual Community

    "David Brin is one of the few people thinking and writing about the social problems we are going to face in the near future as the result of new electronic media. The Transparent Society raises the questions we need to ask now, before the universal surveillance infrastructure is in place. Be prepared to have your assumptions challenged."

    praise for Earth

    "The struggle to save the planet gives Brin the occasion to recap recent global events: a world war fought to wrest all caches of secret information from the grip of an elite few; a series of ecological disasters brought about by environmental abuse; and the effects of a universal interactive data network on beginning to turn the world into a true global village."
    — Publishers Weekly

    praise for Existence

    "Science fiction fans were finally given what they crave: Real science explained and possible science dreamed, all wrapped up in an excellent story. After reading it, you feel like you've done an A-level and experienced a cultural event. Daring yet plausible, challenging yet rewarding, it raised the bar for grown-up alien contact sci-fi."
    The Sun (UK) Best of 2012

    praise for The Postman

    "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. 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

    final thoughts ...

    ... for this page, at least ...

    why we communicate

    "A hallmark of sanity is the courage to face even unpleasant points of view." — from Earth

    "It is simplistic to claim that secrecy is the root of all evil. But there is no evil that is not worsened by secrecy." — from The Transparent Society

    DAVID BRIN quote