EARTH

by DAVID BRIN

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


DAVID BRIN's Earth

Bantam Spectra, 1990

Read the first 7 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase EARTH.


"This speck, a mote, exists."

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.

From an underground lab in New Zealand to a spacestation in Low Earth Orbit, from an endangered species conservation ark in Africa to a home in New Orleans, Earth spans exotic settings and challenging new ideas. It's peopled with extraordinary characters: a brilliant, devoted young scientist who discovers his life's work may be responsible for destroying the world; a hard-bitten shuttle pilot who vows to learn the secret of her husband's tragic death; a legendary Novel laureate whose relationship with the planet borders on the mystical; amidwestern youth who leaves behind the boredom of suburban American life for the dangers of the unknown; a Maori billionaire who fears that all his money cannot control his fate — or the fate of the world.

But, above all Earth is a profound, impassioned testament about our own responsibility to our endangered planet.

Earth was NOMINATED: 1991 Hugo award for best novel [runner-up].


book sales

purchase Earth

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Amazon.com US: paperback and Kindle ebook and audiobook (unabridged)

Amazon.ca Canada: paperback and Kindle ebook

Amazon.co.uk UK: paperback and Kindle ebook

#AmazonCommissionsEarned

Apple iBooks

Apple iTunes US: iBook and audiobook (unabridged)


Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble US: paperback and NOOK Book and Audio MP3 on CD


indie bound

indiebound.org US: paperback


Kobo.com

Kobo.com US: ebook


Powell's

Powell's US: paperback


exclusive to this website

A limited number of autographed first edition hardcover copies of Earth are available for sale for $45. Go here for ordering details.


more about Brin's Earth

a prediction engine?

From the First Edition cover of Earth: "In Earth," Brin has created a novel of an incredibly real future: global computer networks that put limitless information at everyone's fingertips; endangered animal populations that survive only in genetic laboratories; an environment, ravaged by the greenhouse effect, made habitable only with sunglasses and skin creams; a Siberia that has become a temperate zone due to violently shifting weather patterns; a quiet revolution by the politically powerful elderly; and radical new conservation laws that make polluting a felony offense — alas, too late."

It's been more than two decades since Earth was first published. Since then, some things have eerily come true. The prediction getting the most attention was the book's portrayal of a vivid, dynamic world wide web — though under a different name. (Note how the web-address system it uses differs from the URL codes that developed a few years later.) Some people credit Earth with foreseeing the 'web page' and self-forming internet communities, but the ideas were already latent — almost obvious — when Brin began 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 glasses. Some say this first appeared in Earth, but several people 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 Earth.

One Brin-vention that is turning out differently: 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.

Learn more about all of Brin's novels and books here, and his shorter fiction here.


foreign-language editions

Earth has been translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Portugese. Here are some of the covers of the foreign and foreign-language publications.

Earth's foreign editions

Earth in the world

on this site

  • a class discussion guide for Earth
  • Brin's science fiction novels
  • his shorter fiction
  • articles, interviews and essays about space exploration and the seti search
  • articles, interviews and essays about science discoveries and developments
  • on the web

  • the Goodreads page
  • the LibraryThing page
  • the Wikipedia page
  • film & media queries

    Queries about film or media rights to any DAVID BRIN books or stories can be addressed to his film agent:
    Vince Gerardis
    Created-By Agency
    email: rightsqueries@gmail.com
    (with cc: to David Brin)

    Brin reads Earth

    Watch these YouTube videos of David brin reading chapters from Earth.

  • "A Tale of the New-Born Earth"
  • "A Dust Wafts through the Hills and Valleys of Iceland"
  • predictions registries

    People have been compiling lists of predictions from Earth and some of Brin's other books. Here are several prediction collections:

  • FrontPage
  • Issuepedia
  • Technovelgy.com

  • Earth reviews

    Locus

    "A major effort ... the Moby-Dick of the whole earth movement."

    San Francisco Chronicle

    "It's a powerful, cautionary tale and deserves an audience well beyond the confines of science fiction fans."

    Goodreads community review

    "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!"

    Thomas M. Disch, EW.com

    "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"

    Publishers Weekly

    "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."

    Amazon.com customer review

    "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."


    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

    novels

    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

    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 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

    visit other pages on this website

    pages about DAVID BRIN

  • latest news and activities
  • information about DAVID BRIN
  • public speaking and consulting & popular topics
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  • 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

  • THE TRANSPARENT SOCIETY
  • 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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    testimonials

    reviews and recommendations

    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."

    Alex Good, TheStar.com

    "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."

    Science News

    "Brin expounds upon his belief that people need to keep watch on snooping governments, employers, insurance companies, and so on.... In assessing the current state of affairs, Brin divulges a barrage of ways and means of monitoring electronic transmissions."

    praise for Insistence of Vision

    "David Brin excels at the essential craft of the page turning, 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."
    — Entertainment Weekly