Read the first 7 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase EARTH.
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].
indiebound.org US: paperback
Kobo.com US: ebook
Powell's US: paperback
A limited number of autographed first edition hardcover copies of Earth are available for sale for $45. Go here for ordering details.
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.
Earth has been translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Portugese. Here are some of the covers of the foreign and foreign-language publications.
Watch these YouTube videos of David brin reading chapters from Earth.
"A major effort ... the Moby-Dick of the whole earth movement."
"It's a powerful, cautionary tale and deserves an audience well beyond the confines of science fiction fans."
"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!"
"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"
"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."
"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."
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 200 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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reviews and recommendations
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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