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.
Once again, Brin has created a successful mix of social speculation and hard SF that puts him in the honorable company of such authors as Charles Sheffield and Gregory Benford. Undeniably, this is demanding SF; but just as undeniably, it is superior SF as well.
I suppose you could call this book 'apocalyptic' in the sense that the Sacred Scrolls of the Jijoan sooners have always predicted a 'Judgement Day' from above. Now it's come, and everything is going to hell, because you know what? When starships descend from on high, suddenly all those sacred stanzas just don't quite prepare you for the sheer pants-soiling, hoof-tripping, wheel-blocking, claw-catching terror of the moment.
The writing (and presentation) is clean, and the story moves along at a quick pace. The aliens initially seem anthropomorphic, but subtly shift in ones perception into truly alien characters. The only comparable work regarding complex interstellar alien conflict is the excellent Chanur series by C.J. Cherryh. In my opinion, with the exception of The Uplift War, this series is better.
Many hard science fiction books, with the exception of those by Greg Bear and Gregory Benford, fail to connect the cosmic happenings to a believable personal level. This work, and this book, succeed in that endeavor. If you want exciting, thought provoking, and moving hard science fiction with characters you care about, then you should buy this book.
Take it from me, the book is jam-packed with incidents like no other since Dan Simmon's first two Hyperion books. Brin makes sure the reader arrives at the end breathless and more than a little emotionally burnt out. Satisfaction is there, too, that Heaven's Reach supplies a good closure to the main story of Streaker, though there are enough loose ends to fill a third trilogy of books, if Brin so wishes.
An excellent ending to a challenging series. Leaves things open for more stories if Brin ever wanted to revisit all these years later. The concepts are mind-blowing while still grounding much of the story in characterization even when — or, perhaps, especially — dealing with interspecies relations. Enjoyed the ride!
Heaven's Reach is, by far, the most wildly inventive of the six Uplift novels. Ideas that would fill up other novels, or entire trilogies, rocket past the reader at a rate of knots: the Fractal World (a fresh spin on the Dyson Sphere idea), a cluster of space habitats circling a white dwarf so fast that time slows down, memetic entities, hydrogen-based lifeforms and many more concepts are on display here, Brin unleashing them with fiendish glee. The Uplift universe has already been established as a colourful, epic setting packed with thousands of sentient races and lots of cool ideas, but Heaven's Reach brings it up to the next level and does so in a readable, gripping manner.
Brin concludes the Uplift trilogy, his own best work and one of the most ambitious explorations of sapient evolution in all science fiction.
A literary conjunction of two of the brightest stars in the science-fiction firmament. In Heart of the Comet, we have it all, the techno-props and accurate physics and biology of John W. Campbell, the heroic battles with outrageous monsters of Robert E. Howard, the insights into seething human perversity of J.G. Ballard and Thomas M. Disch, the characterizational depth of Theodore Sturgeon, all of it wrapped in a scientifically plausible and entertaining package that should not be missed. Heart of the Comet should be on everyone's award ballot.
Brilliant. Phenomenal. Written in 1986, this "hard science" science fiction book still stands up. Assumptions about Halley's comet, written before it's 1986 appearance in this book, are accurate. There is a lot of math, science, computers, vectors, logarithms, biology ad nauseaum. If you like this, with two astrophysicist authors you get the real deal. If you don't, it's still cool because it's so amazing and true!
A magnificent effort ... their story gets better, and better, and better.
Tremendously imaginative ... a breathtaking effort from two of science fiction's brightest stars.
HEART OF THE COMET is one of the best true science fiction novels I've read in a very long time. In some ways, it is classic hard science fiction, with very convincing scientific extrapolations that stay well away from the science-fantasy cliches of FTL travel, transporter beams, and the like. On the other hand, the book is rather atypical for hard SF, in that, as a result of the hostile indigenous life and endless factional fighting, it makes the grand task of colonizing Halley's Comet seem about as appealing as a life sentence in a third-world prison. This results in a continual tension between the sweeping, go-where-no-man-has-gone-before scope of the book and the spectacularly unpleasant living conditions to which the characters are subjected.
Yes, the repeated casual allusions to Asimov's work are wonderful. The ability to fit things in with Asimov's world is wonderful. But most wonderful of all is that Brin has managed to write a story which develops the Foundation in a direction consistent with the way Asimov worked himself when he wrote and overcome some of the problems that the Good Doctor's later Foundation books introduced.
And like any good writer, Brin has left the door open for sequels. In particular, what will happen after the end of Foundation and Earth, when Daneel finds himself suddenly confronted with people from his own past? And there's the story of how Gaia fails to develop yet to write.
I should point out that Brin even integrates Asimov's other fiction in a fashion consistent with the way the Good Doctor did it: old stories, even legends, handed down and possibly distorted over the age but stumbled across (or cherished) by our heroes.
While Benford and Bear introduced many concepts which were foreign to Asimov's universe, David Brin has provided a worthy successor to Asimov's works in the form of Foundation's Triumph. What Brin seems to have done, is gone back and re-read the 14 novels and myriad short stories Asimov wrote, along with the related novels written by Roger MacBride Allen, Gregory Benford and Greg Bear. While reading, Brin seems to have compiled a list of all the incompatibilities and questions which occurred in the books. With master-craftsman skill, Brin has managed to write a relatively short novel which addresses all of these issues and provides reasonable explanations for nearly all of them.
In fact, while knowledge of Asimov's books is essential for reading and understanding Foundation's Triumph, the reader does not necessarily have to be familiar with the earlier books in the Second Foundation trilogy to enjoy Brin's novel. Certainly, some of the events which occurred in Foundation's Fear and Foundation and Chaos form the background to Foundation's Triumph, but their importance can be gleaned from the context Brin includes.
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 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
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