David Brin's THE POSTMAN

THE POSTMAN description and bonus information


"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

"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

"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

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.

This best-selling and award-winning work (NOMINEE: 1986 Nebula and Hugo Awards; WINNER: Locus and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards for best novel; "Best" from the American Library Association) and was the core basis for a 1997 motion picture of the same name, starring and directed by Kevin Costner. Widely considered the most universally "accessible" Brin novel, for those who don't normally read SF.

Exclusive on this site: Read sample chapters from The Postman.




As many of you know, a movie version of The Postman premiered December 1997, and was promptly killed by both Titanic and attacks by cynical critics. If you missed it, do see the flick 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. For more on my personal reaction, read "The Postman, the Movie."


"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." -- Amazon.com customer review

"One of my favorites from the Science Fiction genre. It is amazing (and frightening) how in many ways it parallels our current political/societal discourse. Society in "The Postman" is in shambles and is polarized to the extreme. There are two types of people in this novel: 1.) Those who survive at any cost, who haughtily mock and murder those innocents that cross their path (perhaps in a subconscious play of survival of the fittest i.e. survive or die becomes kill or be killed) and 2.) Those who struggle onward attempting to hold onto the shreds of community, society, and decency that survives the fallout.
         "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?" -- Goodreads community review


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