writing and reading about writing and reading

when he's not writing science fiction novels and short stories, David Brin writes and talks about writing (and reading)


David Brin's advice & observations

Advice to Writers

the long, lonely road authors traverse

advice to new writers

I believe writing was the first truly verifiable and effective form of magic. Think of how it must have impressed people in ancient times! To look at marks, pressed into fired clay, and know that they convey the words of scribes and kings long dead — it must have seemed fantastic. Knowledge, wisdom and art could finally accumulate, and death was cheated one part of its sting. read on

The Postman movie

the postman movie

my impression of the film

Years ago, about the same time that studios were bidding for The Postman, my wife Cheryl and I went to a screening of Field of Dreams. As we emerged, she turned to me and said, "That's him. He's the one." read on

the idiot plot

the idiot plot

The self-preventing prophecy is arguably the most important type of literature, since it gives us a stick to wield, poking into the ground before us as we charge into a murky future, exploring with our minds what quicksand dangers may lurk just ahead. Indeed, forward-peering storytelling is one of the major ways that we turn fear into something profoundly practical. But this doesn't explain the dreary ubiquity of contempt that seems to fill the vast majority of contemporary novels and films, depicting the writer's fellow citizens as barely smarter than tree frogs, in a civilization unworthy of the name. read on

forward-peering storytelling

the difference between science fiction & fantasy

All literature has deep roots in fantasy, which in turn emerges from the font of our dreams. But why are science fiction and fantasy so often grouped together? The core thing about fantasy tales is that, after the adventure is done and the bad guys are defeated... the social order stays the same. Science fiction, in sharp contrast, rebels against its literary foundations by embracing change. read more

successfully defying fate

science fiction & our duty to the past

Does science fiction owe a "duty" to the past? First: SF authors read more history than science (only a few of us know very much about the latter). Second, almost everything we do is about extending, or extrapolating, or pondering alterations in the grand, sweeping epic of humanity. I've long pondered — might the field better have been named Speculative History? read on

all kinds of science fiction

musings about Brin's genre-muse of choice

Many of David's published articles and blog-post speculations about science fiction are curated on scoop.it.

How to Define Science Fiction

how to define science fiction

The question has filled pages and books, resonating across hotel bars and conferences for decades. What, exactly, is science fiction? It matters for many reasons, not least because the genre encompasses just about everything that's not limited to the mundane here and now, or a primly defined past. read on

Predicting the Future with SF

predicting the future with sf

There's no way we know what the future is going to be like. In this Fast Forward video, Brin describes how science fiction designs thought experiments. watch this

Explore Science Fiction

explore science fiction

For the science fiction pro, teacher or avid reader: these websites offer a wealth of background, history and insight into "the literature of the future" — science fiction. read on

the future of sci-fi dystopias

are today's sci-fi dystopias lazy?

If you're poking at the future, the most important thing to do is poke where the landmines are. Is that what today's dystopias do — or do they create faux enemies and let the carnage carry the film or book? watch this

exciting new sf & fantasy for 2021

Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

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

Recursion, by Blake Crouch

Agency, by William Gibson

The Eleventh Gate, by Nancy Kress

Docile, by K. M. Szpara

The City We Became, by N. K. Jemisin

A Witch in Time, by Constance Sayers

The Vanished Birds, by Simon Jimenez

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

#AmazonCommissionsEarned
all things uplift

all things uplift

will humans raise other species to sapience?

It's one thing to portray this endeavor in fiction — the prospects, dangers and hopes for increasing animal (and possibly human) intelligence. But could it happen in real life? And if so, what are the ethical, biological, and political drawbacks?

How could such a program ever begin? Who would — or should — monitor it? And would the goal — an Earth civilization filled with diverse and beautifully different minds — be worth the costs of getting there? explore the possibilities


David Brin's new and current projects

DAVID BRIN's High Horizon series of young adult novels

the High Horizon series for young adults

interstellar kidnapping ... or opportunity?

When a group of teens rescue a stranded alien, humanity is rewarded with a "gift": their entire high school, along with a quarter-mile radius of town surrounding the school, is transported to a new planet, millions of light years from Earth. 1200 'colonists,' mostly teens, must learn to survive in a strange and hostile environment. Learn more about Colony High and Castaways of New Mojave, the first two books of the High Horizon series.

DAVID BRIN's short stories

short stories & story collections

short reads of the near & distant future

Some tales and ideas require less room than a complete novel. Short stories, novelettes, and novellas each have very different styles, rhythms and artistic flavor. Many of Brin's can be read on this site; others are compiled in story collections.

The Out of Time series of young adult novels

the Out of Time! series for young adults

the future needs heroes!

In the 24th century, people live in the very opposite of a dystopia. Only now their near-utopia is in desperate peril! David Brin's Out of Time series of YA books sends young adventurers — much like the reader, from the inner city or suburbia or an immigrant background — hurtling out of today's vexing world into a future where only their courage and savvy innovation can save the day.


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

novels

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

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


other points of departure

visit other pages on this website

pages about DAVID BRIN

  • latest news and activities
  • information about DAVID BRIN
  • public speaking and consulting & popular topics
  • speaking/consulting references and testimonials & a list of past appearances
  • print and podcast interviews
  • video interviews and talks
  • Brin's presskit and complete biography
  • traditional media and social media
  • Brin quotes and frequently asked questions
  • pages about BRIN's science fiction

  • Brin's novels and books
  • Brin's short stories and novellas
  • all about Brin's uplift universe
  • a selection of book reviews
  • Brin's special-order books for sale
  • Brin's advice for new writers
  • Brin reviews sci fi films — including The Postman
  • a compilation of great sf books to read
  • recommended sf films
  • science fiction that teaches
  • BRIN's nonfiction explorations

  • THE TRANSPARENT SOCIETY
  • 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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    final thoughts ...

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

    Contrary Brin blog

    So... we're starting to get accustomed enough to this new century to want it to be different from the last, which is why I've expanded my "laboratory" to the real world, blogging ideas and topics that pique, fascinate, and infuriate.
    read my blog

    for journalists (and the curious)

    Seeking concise background information, bios etc.?
    my Press Kit/Backgrounder
    a list of major interviews
    complete professional biography
    a compilation of social media pages
    Brin's favorite quotes

    DAVID BRIN quote