Visions of Our Coming Transparent World


Locus Magazine's 2017 Recommended Reading List

"Entertaining and provocative, and piercingly relevant for our own time." — Toronto Star

DAVID BRIN's Chasing Shadows

Tor Books, 2017

Read James Gunn's introductory essay, "Private Lives," and Vylar Kaftan's story, "FeastWar," on Tor's website, or scroll down to purchase CHASING SHADOWS.

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Vince Gerardis
Created-By Agency
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light appears to be pouring across the planet

Young people log their lives with hourly True Confessions. Cops wear lapel-cams and spy agencies peer at us — and face defections and whistle blowers. Bank records leak and "uncrackable" firewalls topple. As we debate internet privacy, revenge porn, the NSA, and Edward Snowden, cameras get smaller, faster, and more numerous.

Has Orwell's Big Brother finally come to pass? Or have we become a global society of thousands of Little Brothers — watching, judging, and reporting on one another?

Partnering with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, and inspired by Brin's nonfiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?, noted author and futurist David Brin and scholar Stephen W. Potts have compiled essays and short stories from writers such as Robert J. Sawyer, James Morrow, William Gibson, Damon Knight, Jack McDevitt, and many others to examine the benefits and pitfalls of technological transparency in all its permutations.

Among the many questions...

  • Do we answer surveillance with sousveillance, shining accountability upward?
  • Will we spiral into busybody judgmentalism? Or might people choose to leave each other alone?
  • Will empathy increase or decrease in a more transparent world?
  • What if we could own our information, and buy and sell it in a web bazaar?

inter-viewing editors

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

book sales

purchase Chasing Shadows US: paperback and Kindle ebook Canada: paperback UK: paperback and Kindle ebook


Apple books

Apple Books US: iBook

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble US: paperback and Nook ebook US: ebook

Mysterious Galaxy

Mysterious Galaxy San Diego: (Kobo) ebook

table of contents


Introduction: Private Lives James Gunn

Mine, Yours, Ours Jack Skillingstead
Insistence of Vision David Brin
Planetbound Nancy Fulda
The Right's Tough Robert J. Sawyer
The Circuit Riders R.C. FitzPatrick
The Werewolves of Maplewood James Morrow
The Road to Oceania William Gibson

I See You Damon Knight
Eyejacked David Walton
FeastWar Vylar Kaftan
Your Lying Eyes Jack McDevitt
The Disaster Stack Vernor Vinge

First Presentation Aliette de Bodard
AfterShift Memories David Ramirez
Spew Neal Stephenson
Private Life in Cyberspace John Perry Barlow

Elderjoy Gregory Benford
Street Life in the Emerald City Brenda Cooper
The Eyes Have It Stephen W. Potts

Preferences Cat Rambo
Vectors Stephen Gaskell
Public Domain Scott Sigler
To See the Invisible Man Robert Silverberg
The Disconnected Ramez Naam

Eminence Karl Schroeder
Sport Kathleen Ann Goonan
Elephant on Table Bruce Sterling
A Tsunami of Light Afterword by David Brin

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


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