DAVID BRIN's print 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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  • traditional media and social media
  • Brin quotes and frequently asked questions
  • a scoop.it compilation of interviews about science, technology, and the future
  • a scoop.it compilation of interviews about science fiction and writing

  • pages and pages of print interviews

    are we prepared for the next "Minsky Moment"?

    During times of great stability, many people take continuity for granted and pile up ever greater amounts of risk without hedging against a reversal... till reversal happens and creates a "Minsky Moment," at which point things shake out amid lots of pain. See this 2019 interview in ACM about our need for Resilient Systems that are robust enough to ride these shocks out.

    surveillance technologies

    David Brin was interviewed about transparency and freedom and the future by the Indian magazine Factor Daily, with emphasis on India's ambitious Aadhaar Program to digitize all billion of the nation's people.

    getting more AI than we bargained for?

    Thomson Reuters just published one of David Brin's best interviews about Artificial Intelligence and ways to get a "soft" singularity. Good questions and editing by Paul Thies. Brin's proposal re AI is (alas) not offered anywhere else, though it's the only one that can possibly work... because it already has worked, increasingly well, for 200 years.

    who will unleash the terminator?

    At David's interview for the Artificial Intelligence Conference in San Francisco, he noted, "Skynet is unlikely to come from the military — they really love off-switches!"

    what about the future?

    Here are the answers to 12 questions from my Reddit AMA "what's the scariest thing about the future that hasn't come true yet?" session.

    who's looking forward?

    This interview, for the European Union's Horizons 2020 Congress, takes a business-friendly look at the future.

    is civilization a pyramid or a diamond?

    In this MarketShadows interview, David Brin discusses how our current crises fit into the patterns of 6000 years of human history... how this phase of the Civil War might end... whether a key human ingredient (lacking in powerful men who commit sexual aggressions) is satiability... whether we face tech-driven unemployment... and the likelihood of "singularity."

    should we worry about AI?

    At GigaOm, Brin answers questions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and why it is possible that these new, genius offspring of humanity may decide not to treat us badly.

    does generosity have a future?

    An interview with Futurist.com looks at future trends in philanthropy, and whether longer lives leads to kinder lives.

    learning to write science fiction?

    This interview, posted on Futurism, asks about how science fiction writers craft futures ranging from AI to the apocalypse.

    are we too worried about AI?

    Brin's Gizmodo interview looks at the cautionary tale's ability to accurately predict a technology's danger.

    what keeps David Brin writing?

    A fun, brief Clarkesworld interview discussing transparency, transformation, and the joy of the short story.

    writer to writer?

    In this interview with Henry Herz, David talks about writing's "sweat equity."

    can we outgrow the power-mad scientist character?

    In this Amazing Stories interview, Brin talks about the science — and the scientist — in science fiction.

    are we following Asimov?

    In this interview, the authors of three new novels in Asimov's Foundation universe talk about the challenges of expanding his grand design for humanity. (Learn more about the novels here.)

    is predicting so difficult?

    Discover Magazine interviews Brin about looking for those "honey-pot ideas."

    can we keep our credibility?

    A panel discussion at Arizona State University on reputation systems, surveillance technologies, and the future of the Internet as a problem-solving tool.

    how will we use our new devices?

    NPR's All Tech Considered asks Brin how the many new technologies will change the way we live.

    is anybody out there?

    San Diego's Union-Tribune, on what we're finding out about the solar system — and SETI.

    who's watching us now?

    The Union-Tribune again, asking about transparency and spying.

    where else can Brin get published?

    This author profile and interview at HBS Author Spotlight looks at what it takes to be an author in the age of the internet.

    are we cosmically alone?

    Santa Barbara Independent, on expanding our notion of existence.

    what's the message in Star Wars?

    The Science Technology Future site interviews Brin about "Star Wars on Trial, asking — is it a "feudalistic fantasia pushing an elitist anti-democratic agenda"?

    what goes with "Bubbles"?

    The science fiction and fantasy magazine Lightspeed online-published Brin's story "Bubbles," and includes an author interview-discussion.

    do we get the science right?

    Nature Journal interviews David about writing science into a story.

    is life getting longer, or busier?

    SFFworld.com interviews Brin about how Kiln People portrays cloning and life extension.

    Brin's "inebriating" philosophy?

    For Italian readers, this Nocturnia interview about science fiction and writing.

    the "glass house" effect?

    This CNNMoney interview asks about the business and political ramifications of public revelations about celebrities and other leaders — a much-discussed topic in The Transparent Society.

    which comes first, science or science fiction?

    In this interview, which originally appeared in Albedo One #21, John Kenny asks how science and fiction writing interact (do they compete, or cooperate?) and whether it can foretell humankind's destiny.

    where is it going?

    In this Writing World interview, David Brin answers questions about the genre of science fiction — its range, influences, and future trends.

    fixing, or foretelling?

    Living Planet Magazine interviewed Brin about whether science fiction can offer solutions to our environmental problems — or merely sensationalize its disasters.

    making a game of it?

    In this gameranx interview, Brin looks at how both gams and novels play with the future.

    the technological singularity of sci-fi?

    io9 interviews David about the challenges of creating a plausible future when the range of possibilities is so rapidly evolving.

    first contact or worst contact?

    In this extensive Wired Magazine interview, Brin discusses the 21st Century's inventions, discoveries and wars, whether we will ever meet aliens — and Star Wars, of course.

    the future of secrets?

    Metroactive wants Brin's contrarian solution to society's technological unmasking.

    what won't a writer write?

    Stephen Ormsby's Q&A on a writer's life.

    gadgets and games?

    Geek Wire wants to know about science fiction, new technologies — and geek culture.

    does Brin see threats or opportunities?

    Futurist.com asks David: what significant problems must we overcome if we want to thrive, and not merely survive?

    are sci-fi writers ideologues?

    In this Metroactive interview, Brin talks about what makes science fiction authors think — and write.

    what are our pessimistic and optimistic options?

    In this Orbit Magazine interview David Brin talks about the transformative power of science fiction.

    is the unconventional ordinary?

    In The Horror Zine's Q&A about technology, Brin consults his palantir to foresee the people-friendly tech.

    hiding oppression in plain sight?

    Read h+ Magazine's feature interview about surveillance's traps — and positive sousveilance.

    wistfully wanting a feudal future?

    Science Fiction Musings interviews Brin about writerly obsessions and other ODDysseys.

    explosions in different directions?

    Slawek Wojtowicz interviews David about a writer's day-to-day work and leisure activities.

    a red sunrise?

    Planetary Society asks Brin — are we ever getting to Mars?

    Brin's pièce de resistance

    Read Orbit Book's interview with David Brin about the transformative power of science fiction.

    author to author

    In this interview with Ann Wilkes Brin wonders: How and why did humanity escape (at last) from its old, vicious cycle of feudalism and begin a tremendous enlightenment — one that included vital things like science, democracy, human rights and science fiction?

    frequently-asked interview questions

    Here's a FAQ of sorts — a compilation of questions that David Brin is asked most often by interviewers. Writing still is magical. To create strings of black squiggles that millions of others skillfully de-code with just their eyes — into emotions and thoughts, or the struggles of believable characters.

    science fiction's lessons of the past

    In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Brin talks about how science fiction is more of a study of history.

    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‚Äôs 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
  • 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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    endorsements and recommendations

    George B. Dyson, author of Darwin Among the Machines

    "As David Brin details the inevitability of ubiquitous surveillance, your instinct, as an individual facing this one-way mirror, is to hope that he is wrong about the facts. As you follow his argument for two-way social transparency, you realize your only hope is that he is right."

    praise for Existence

    "I would consider Existence to be a triumphant, epic Science Fiction novel on many levels. It stayed with me after I set it aside for the day, continues to simmer in my mind now that I've finished reading it, and has opened up a gateway to Brin's novels I'd wanted to enter for a while. Brin achieved an excellent gestalt of character, big ideas, and narrative energy."
    — Rob H. Bedford, SFFWorld.com

    praise for Kiln People

    "Brin deftly explores the issues of identity, privacy and work in a world where everyone is supported with a living wage and has ready access to duplication technology. The book features the author's usual style, with a lighter touch and punnish humor abounding amid the hard SF speculation. The duplication of the 'ditective' makes for a challenging twist on the standard private eye narrative, allowing Morris to simultaneously lead the reader through three separate (and interacting) plot lines."
    — Publisher's Weekly

    Stanford University

    "Your provocative future scenarios, your explanation of developmental trends in technology and your balanced, nuanced delivery got folks energized like no speaker we've had before. I think the truest mark of a great speaker is their popularity in the hallways afterward, and on that score you again exceeded all expectations. It was great to see how many groups self-organized to discuss the issues you raised for the remainder of the weekend."

    final thoughts ...

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

    so many questions... and answers

    DAVID BRIN quote

    "Perhaps we are the first to talk and think and build and aspire, but we won't be the last. Others will follow us in this adventure. Some day we may be judged by how well we served, when we alone were Earth's caretakers."
    — from The Uplift War

    DAVID BRIN quote