Pop anthropologists claim, oh, happy refrain, that man's defined by tools. Tools help us abide ol'entropy's tide, but even they obey the rules!The Practice Effect

"Brin has taken a single premise (what if one of the laws of thermodynamics were repealed?), and woven it into a clever tale of a world of practical magic.... Further, the central concept of the novel makes explicit the crucial difference between creators and users." — review

DAVID BRIN's Practice Effect cover for revised edition

revised, and with a new introduction

© David Brin, 2020; Bantam, 1984

Read the first 2 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase THE PRACTICE EFFECT.

film & media queries

Vince Gerardis
Created-By Agency
email: (with cc: to DAVID BRIN at

does practice make perfect?

"He tried to remember a few facts from the linguistics course he had taken in college in order to get out of the infamous Professor LaBelle's English 7. There were a few sounds, he had learned, that were nearly universal in meaning among human beings. Anthropologists used to use them at the beginning of contact with newly discovered tribes. He swallowed, then ventured one of them. 'Huh?' he said." — The Practice Effect

Physicist Dennis Nuel was the first human to probe the strange realms called anomaly worlds — alternate universes where the laws of science were unpredictably changed.

But the world Dennis discovered seemed almost like our own — with one perplexing difference. To his astonishment, he was hailed as a wizard and found himself fighting beside a beautiful woman with strange powers against a mysterious warlord as he struggles to solve the riddle of this baffling world.

can you 'practice'?

Want to try out the 'practice effect' in this universe? Take a look at this page evaluating agile vs. scrum vs. waterfall vs. kanban.

book sales

purchase The Practice Effect US: paperback and Kindle ebook and audiobook Canada: paperback and Kindle ebook and audiobook UK: paperback and Kindle ebook and audiobook


Apple iBooks

Apple Books US: iBook and audiobook

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble US: NOOK Book US: ebook


Smashwords US: ebook

more about The Practice Effect

practicing puns

The chapter titles for The Practice Effect are jokes, mostly puns. In order, with explanations:

  • Sooee Generis (like 'Sui Generis' but with the pig-caller's noise)
  • Cogito, Ergo Tutti Fruitti (I think, therefore tutti fruitti)
  • Nom de Terre (tr. 'name of the land' but in the context of the chapter a play on 'Nom de Guerre')
  • The Best Way to Carnegie Hall (... is practice)
  • Transom Dental (a play on 'transcendental')
  • Ballon d'Essai (tr. 'trial balloon')
  • Pundit Nero (Pandit Nehru, first Prime Minister of India)
  • Eurekaarrgh (a more accurate variation of 'eureka')
  • Discus Jestus (majesty disc)
  • Sic Biscuitus Disintegratum (or 'this is how the cookie crumbles')
  • Et Two Toots (or 'Et tu, Brute?')
  • Semper Ubi Sub Ubi (tr. 'always where under where' but in the context of the chapter, 'always wear underwear')

  • foreign-language editions

    Here are some of the covers of The Practice Effect's foreign and foreign-language publications.

    The Practice Effect's foreign editions

    a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

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    DAVID BRIN author


    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

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