David Brin's EARTH

EARTH description and bonus information


"Self-awareness is probably overrated. A complex, self-regulating system doesn't need it in order to be successful, or even smart." -- Earth

"Prison for the crime of puberty -- that was how secondary school had seemed." -- Earth

"The species greatest harvest -- words." -- Earth

It's been more than a decade since Earth was first published. Since then, some things have eerily come true. The prediction getting the most attention was my portrayal of a vivid, dynamic world wide web -- though under a different name. (Note how the web-address system I use differs from the URL codes that developed a few years later.) Some people credit me with foreseeing the 'web page' and self-forming internet communities, but I think the ideas were already latent -- almost obvious -- when I started writing the book in 1987.

The same holds true for 'wearable' computing... the ability to walk about in wireless contact with a seamless Net, looking up information, even through your VR sunglasses. Some say this first appeared in Earth, but I know several people who spoke of similar possibilities even earlier.

As for Global Warming, a looming refugee crisis, the need for young people to demand a place amid an aging population, the desperate struggle to preserve species and all the rest... even the notion of a micro-black hole as an ultimate "environmental threat"... none of these originated with me. I will, however, take credit for the "Helvetian War" -- a metaphor standing in for the inevitable day when the world's people will get fed up with the wretched and universally vile effects of banking secrecy. Events of late 2001 seem to have made this possibility all the more likely, and sooner than even I expected.

People have begun compiling lists of predictions from Earth and some of my other books. FrontPage tracks the predictive successes of Earth: currently there are 14 confirmed, 8 likely, 5 open, 2 unlikely, 1 disproved, and 22 still to be assessed. Here are several other prediction collections:


In Earth (NOMINEE: 1991 Hugo award for best novel [runner-up]), it's fifty years from tomorrow. A microscopic black hole has accidentally fallen into the Earth's core and the entire planet is in danger of being destroyed within two years. A team of scientists frantically searches for a way to prevent the ultimate disaster. But while they look for an answer, others argue that the only way to save the Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct: to let the million-year evolutionary clock rewind and start over.

As writers go, I suppose I'm known as an optimist. So it seems only natural that this novel projects a future, (now less than forty years from now), where there's been just a little more wisdom than folly... perhaps a bit more hope than despair.

In fact, this is just about the most encouraging tomorrow I can imagine right now. What a sobering thought.

Exclusive to this site: Read sample chapters from Earth.






Stephen Colbert fans might be interested to learn that my novel Earth was nominated for the Stephen T. Colbert Award for the Literary Excellence!


"'Earth' raises a lot of issues about the environment, the supposed superiority of humankind, the interconnectedness of all living things, the individual's right to privacy, and much more. Lots of food for thought and a fantastic book for discussion (I read this for a book discussion group, and I can't wait to hear what everyone else has to say about it). I haven't read anything else by David Brin, but after reading 'Earth', I definitely want to." -- Amazon.com customer review

"Weaving an epic of complex dimensions, Brin ( Startide Rising ) plaits initially divergent story lines, all set in the year 2038, into an outstandingly satisfying novel. At the center is a type of mystery: after a failed murder attempt, a group of people try to save the victim, recover the murder weapon, identify the guilty party and fend off other assassins, all the while being led through n + 1 plot twists--each with a sense of overhanging doom, because the intended victim is Gaea, Earth herself. The struggle to save the planet gives Brin the occasion to recap recent global events: a world war fought to wrest all caches of secret information from the grip of an elite few; a series of ecological disasters brought about by environmental abuse; and the effects of a universal interactive data network on beginning to turn the world into a true global village. Fully dimensional and engaging characters with plausible motivations bring drama to these scenarios. Brin's exciting prose style will probably make this a Hugo nominee, and will certainly keep readers turning pages. " -- Publishers Weekly

"Brin is a physicist of note who has been a NASA consultant, and he knows how to turn the abstractions of particle physics into high adventure without resorting to the time-saving but unconvincing tricks of Star Trek-style space operas. He excels at the essential craft of the page-turner, 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. Overall, Earth resembles Herman Wouk's The Winds of War, except that the history Brin is dramatizing, though also on a similar global scale, is of his own imagining" -- Thomas M. Disch, EW.com

"This book is a treasure. It drastically changed my worldview and made me come to see the urgency of some of the issues facing our generation. One of Brin's concepts has actually become a major piece of my belief system. Besides all of this serious stuff....this is a damn fun book to read that you will not put down until you are finished!" -- Goodreads community review


Here are a collection of covers for Earth from its foreign and foreign-language publications.