Tales of Wonder by a Modern Master of Science Fiction

David Brin

“Ideas are like fruit, watered with patience and observation — but pollinated by surprise!” — David Brin, writing about "Stones of Significance"

Now available in two versions —
a special limited collectable hardcover and an e-book!

DAVID BRIN's The Best of David Brin

Subterranean Press, 2021

scroll down to preview the Table of Contents, read sample stories, and order The Best of David Brin

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the best of Brin's worlds

David Brin has thrilled readers in almost thirty languages by presenting vastly imaginative — and well-grounded — challenges set in times that might yet come... along with a sometimes razor-thin hope we’ll persevere. In this major retrospective collection of shorter work, gathered from across an extraordinary career spanning decades, you’ll find wonder via David Brin’s unparalleled talent at imagination, extrapolation, hard headed optimism, and plain old fun.

Here, you will find “The Crystal Spheres,” the Hugo Award winning short story that first brought Brin wide acclaim, posing one more — colorfully strange — answer to: “Are we alone in the universe?” Other tales explore a universe of possibilities ... such as when a hero climbs an impossible mountain to confront Fate itself, in “The Loom of Thessaly,” or when world powers battle over a Vegas magician’s knack for prediction, in “The Tell.” Or uncovering ancient terrors long-buried under an urban landfill (“Detritus Affected”), or when a mother in labor fights to save her child from an invention gone-wrong (“Dr. Pak’s Preschool”).

Before The Postman won awards as a novel and became a major motion picture, that tale of a storyteller reviving dreams of a better world originated in the Hugo-nominated novella that’s included here. Confronting one of the oldest challenges in modern SF — “What if the Nazis won?” — Brin presents an unexpected answer in “Thor Meets Captain America.” And his penchant for offering I-hadn’t-thought-of-that! answers, as well as questions, erupts in “Stones of Significance,” a post-Singularity world where human identity can and will survive technological evolution.

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table of contents or more about Brin's novels

table of contents

Here, in more than twenty stories representing the best work of a masterful writer, readers will find an entire orchard of ideas, rooted in guarded optimism and stretching skyward towards a multitude of possible worlds.

Introduction by Catherine Asaro

Lift your gaze!
Insistence of Vision
The Crystal Spheres
The Loom of Thessaly
Transition Generation

It’s alive! So be wary.
The Giving Plague
Dr. Pak’s Preschool

Persevere! (Tales of the Coss)
The Logs
Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss

Things may just get weird.
Detritus Affected
Mars Opposition
Toujours Voir
The River of Time

Light. Let it shine!
The Tell
The Avalon Probes
The Escape

Prevailing... despite everything...
The Postman
A Need for Heroes
Thor Meets Captain America

And good news may get... complicated...
Stones of Significance
Reality Check

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 cited as one of the top 10 writers the AI elite follow. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More

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 at


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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
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  • 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