David Brin is best-known for shining light — plausibly and entertainingly — on technology, society, and countless challenges confronting our rambunctious civilization. His best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. Other novels are translated into 25+ languages. His short stories explore vividly speculative ideas.
Brin's 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.
As a scientist, tech-consultant and world-known author, he speaks, advises, and writes widely on topics from national defense and homeland security to astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction, creativity, and philanthropy. 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.
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)
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)
Are we in phase 8 of America’s 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)
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.
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.
On April 2, 2020 acclaimed science fiction authors David Brin, Kevin J. Anderson, and Ramez Naam appeared on the "Breaking Banks" show to talk about how the Covid-19 crisis might affect humanity on a long term basis, looking out short-term and then 50 years from now. listen here
During times of great stability, many people — taking continuity for granted — pile up ever greater amounts of risk without hedging against a reversal... till reversal happens — a "Minsky Moment" when instability suddenly returns, at which point things shake out amid lots of pain. David Brin has railed for 20 years, all over DC and media, about our need for Resilient Systems that are robust enough to ride these shocks out. See this 2019 interview in ACM listing a dozen major ways that we have avoided simple preparations for the next "Minsky Moment." read it here
All sorts of famous folks — and then also me — give 13 quotes about the future of AI. And yes, mine was the only one that offered — instead of a pablum warning or reassurance — an action that could make a difference. read it here
NBC News web-featured "19 bold predictions for science and technology in 2019." Here's what thought leaders in innovation expect to see in the coming year. Nearly all the sages and experts, with one or two exceptions, made interesting but short-term forecasts about their own fields. David Brin took a risk... but then, he can afford to. read it here
Thomson Reuters just published one of David Brin's best interviews about Artificial Intelligence and ways to get a "soft" singularity. His 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. read it here
David is asked to speak and/or consult with businesses, groups, organizations and agencies, helping them think through both near- and long-term opportunities, along with challenges our rambunctious civilization may confront in coming decades.
email for more info
Characters, action, and vivid plots? Check. But does a gripping story have to exclude ideas? Come sample novels, story collections and nonfiction books set 10, 100, or 1000 years from now, or in the present or past.
find out more here
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor than a novel. Some are available (free or cheap!) to read here or on your ebook.
find out more here
Many of Brin's articles, speeches, and favorite blog posts are categorized and curated on Scoop.it. Find links to all the pages here.
OMNI Online listed The Postman as one of ten science fiction books that changed the genre forever. read it here
Urban Developer Magazine named David Brin one of four "World's Best Futurists" — in august company with Kevin Kelly, Michio Kaku and Ray Kurzweil.
See Brin's calendar of future appearances.
Optimists point out how much more knowledge the average person can access, predicting better minds and savvier citizenry. Pessimists perceive a dumbing-down effect that spreads users too thin, resulting in shallowness that could be detrimental to politics and clear thinking. This David Brin essay (available as an audiobook on Amazon and iTunes) weighs the evidence and ponders whether it may be possible to profit from this revolution of vision and memory — as we did from others that came before. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)
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 300 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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"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."
"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."
"The fiction of David Brin is informed by a central recurring theme as well, in his case the operation of various kinds of evolution: organic and synthetic, directed and undirected, fast and slow. This interest in dynamic change feeds into his vision of SF as an essentially optimistic form: not because he believes in 'progress' but because he believes in the ability of humankind to improve its condition."
"If enough people read Brin's book [The Transparent Society], or are brushed by the currents of thought in represents, then it may turn into a self-negating prophecy: a warning of dystopia that by virtue of the horror it paints helps avoid that horror. That was the function of George Orwell's 1984. That is an honorable role for anyone's book."
It's good that we have a rambunctious society, filled with opinionated individualists. Serenity is nice, but serenity alone never brought progress. Hermits don't solve problems. The adversarial process helps us to improve as individuals and as a culture. Criticism is the only known antidote to error — elites shunned it and spread ruin across history. We do each other a favor (though not always appreciated) by helping find each others' mistakes.
And yet — we'd all be happier, better off and more resilient if each of us were to now and then say:
"I am a member of a civilization." (IAAMOAC)
Step back from anger. Study how awful our ancestors had it, yet they struggled to get you here. Repay them by appreciating the civilization you inherited.