now revised, and with a new introduction by the author

"It's said that "power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power." — The Postman

revised and with a new introduction, 2020

DAVID BRIN's The Postman cover for revised edition

DAVID BRIN's The Postman 1985 cover

Bantam, 1985

Read the first 7 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase THE POSTMAN.

will we miss government?

"Lying still, Gordon felt a sad poignancy — something like homesickness. The jeep, the symbolic, faithful letter carrier, the flag patch ... they recalled comfort, innocence, cooperation, an easy life that allowed millions of men and women to relax, to smile or argue as they chose, to be tolerant with one another — and to hope to be better people with the passage of time." — The Postman

This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth.

Gordon was a survivor — a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating bio-war.

Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it Gordon begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.

The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream. This best-selling and award-winning novel (NOMINEE: 1986 Nebula and Hugo Awards; WINNER: Locus and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards for best novel; "Best" from the American Library Association) is widely considered the most universally "accessible" Brin novel, for those who don't normally read SF.

the civil service we all want

"This tale of struggle against chaos, by mayors and university professors and postmen, had a 'what if' flavor that was too poignant for him to consider for long." —The Postman

book sales

purchase The Postman US: Kindle ebook


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exclusive to this website

A limited number of autographed first edition hardcover copies of The Postman are available for sale for $300. Go here for ordering details.

more about The Postman

post-apocalyptic breakthrough

OMNI Online listed The Postman as one of ten science fiction books that changed the genre forever.

the author reacts to the film

The Postman, the movie

"As many of you know, a movie version of The Postman premiered December 1997 ( watch the film's theatrical trailer), and was promptly killed by both Titanic and attacks by cynical critics. If you missed it, do see it in video. It's a flawed and uneven but ambitious rendition of my story, with some stirring moments and wonderful visual imagery that make it well worth looking at. Though I could complain about lots of things, it's far better than the critics said... though not what it could have been if Costner had stayed closer to the book."

Read David Brin's complete reaction to the Kevin Costner film, or watch his YouTube video comments.

Learn more about all of Brin's novels and books here.

foreign-language editions

The Postman has been translated into Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. Here are some of the covers of the foreign and foreign-language publications.

The Postman's foreign editions

more and more dystopias

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

On Such a Full Sea, by Chang-Rae Lee

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins

The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood

bInternment, by Samira Ahmed

The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders

The Last Policeman, by Ben H. Winters

The Freedom Artist, by Ben Okri

Infinite Detail, by Tim Maughan

Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig


The Postman in the world

film & media queries

Queries about film or media rights to any DAVID BRIN books or stories can be addressed to his film agent:
Vince Gerardis
Created-By Agency
(with cc: to David Brin)

genre-shaping sf

OMNI Online listed The Postman as one of ten science fiction books that changed the genre forever.

The Postman reviews

Chicago Tribune

"The Postman will keep you engrossed until you've finished the last page."

Whitley Streiber, co-author of War Day

"A moving experience ... a powerful cautionary tale."

Los Angeles Times

"The world Brin draws is terrifying; the metaphor of the postman and his lie is thought-provoking."

San Francisco Chronicle

"An engaging novel, serious and light-hearted, with all the charm and innocence of a Frank Capra film ... A post-holocaust tale that is inspiring, often moving and (strange as it may sound) fun to read."

San Diego Tribune

"A thoughtfully-written book ... As good story-tellers do, Brin fills the book with life-and-death struggles, disappointments and triumphs."

Hartford Courant

"A memorable tale of humantity, fueled by love and hope, rebuilding in the face of almost insurmountable odds."

Publisher's Weekly

"Brin successfully and dramatically deepens his theme of responsibility in surprising and provocative ways."


"Thoroughly well done, offering absorbing reading ... It also represents an encouraging development — post-holocaust novels that are neither survivalist fantasies nor 'awful warnings.'"

Austin Statesman

"An aventurous and entertaining read. It has similarities to Walter Miller's classic masterpiece, A Canticle for Liebowitz, but is clearly a work with Brin's distinctive stamp on it." customer review

"I quite enjoyed this novel and found it uplifting in the message of a regular man who had greatness thrust upon him and came to realize that he had to take responsibility. The movie, starring Kevin Costner, is also good but diverges a good bit from the book, especially in the second half. As is often the case, the book is better."

The Charlotte Observer

"This intriguing, well-written story explores the power of symbols and of belief and the difference an individual can make."

Providence Journal

"A warm, enchanting tale. David Brin offers a fine cast of strong, compelling characters. The Postman is the story of the illusions that give meaning to our lives and give people a reason to build civilizations."

Goodreads community review

Our modern day struggles may not be born of a disaster of epic proportions, but more than ever do I see these two conflicting archetypes emerging in our own society as it becomes increasingly polarized. The harsh survivalists... the counter to the Musketeers 'All for one. One for all' bent on their own self-interest and independence versus the weak who gather as beacons of community and the champions of mans responsibility towards their fellow man. On which side do you lay? Which side will survive the struggle in the end?"

Asbury Park Press

"The Postman has a lot to offer. Far superior to most novels that deal with what happens after mankind drops the big one. Although it is a novel that deals with despair and destruction, it is mainly about hope, as well as the fine line that separates myth from history."

The Sacramento Bee

"Storytelling of a high order ... the book's theme is a mature one. Brin offers a wealth of philosophical speculation and draws us into contemplation of whether our leaders have the right to act in ways that violate our futures."

Kirkus Reviews

"A highly persuasive, often gripping, and warmly involving odyssey."

The Pittsburgh Press

"The Postman is a marvelous tale of adventure. Perhaps we should all read it before our mail gets returned stamped 'Addressee Unknown — No Forwarding Address.'"

South Bend Tribune

"Brimming with life, emotion and hope. The Postman is a wonderful antidote for creeping cynicism and fashionable despair."


"Brin's characters are strong ... He portrays the survivor's problems on an individual level. He reminds us that there is more to lose in a war than just life ... Here is a timely reminder that although a 'minor' nuclear war might not destroy life on earth, it would still be the end of life as we know it."

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Brin makes telling points about the fragility of the pleasures and privileges we take for granted in modern America. But it is very much an adventure story as well."

Orange County Register

"Brin is a natural storyteller. The Postman is an entertaining yet disturbing work which offers a reaffimation that dreams die hard, and dreams of a civilized world die the hardest of all."

Library Journal

"A thoughtful story, both memorably and gracefully told. Highly recommended."

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

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

  • 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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    reviews and recommendations

    praise for Insistence of Vision

    "David Brin excels at the essential craft of the page turning, 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."
    — Entertainment Weekly

    Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

    Like E E "Doc" Smith before him, Brin gives joy and imparts a Sense of Wonder; but he also thinks about the near world.

    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

    Facebook Headquarters

    "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."