David Brin's best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. His award-winning novels and short stories explore vividly speculative ideas through a hard-science lens. His nonfiction book, The Transparent Society, won the American Library Association's Freedom of Speech Award for exploring 21st Century concerns about security, secrecy, accountability and privacy.
During times of great stability, many people — taking continuity for granted — pile up ever greater amounts of risk without hedging against a reversal... till reversal happens — a "Minsky Moment" when instability suddenly returns, at which point things shake out amid lots of pain. David Brin has railed for 20 years, all over DC and media, about our need for Resilient Systems that are robust enough to ride these shocks out. See this 2019 interview in ACM listing a dozen major ways that we have avoided simple preparations for the next "Minsky Moment."
David Brin was interviewed about transparency and freedom and the future by the Indian magazine Factor Daily, with emphasis on India's ambitious Aadhaar Program to digitize all billion of the nation's people.
Thomson Reuters just published one of David Brin's best interviews about Artificial Intelligence and ways to get a "soft" singularity. Good questions and editing by Paul Thies. Brin's proposal re AI is (alas) not offered anywhere else, though it's the only one that can possibly work... because it already has worked, increasingly well, for 200 years.
At David's interview for the Artificial Intelligence Conference in San Francisco, he noted, "Skynet is unlikely to come from the military — they really love off-switches!"
Here are the answers to 12 questions from my Reddit AMA "what's the scariest thing about the future that hasn't come true yet?" session.
This interview, for the European Union's Horizons 2020 Congress, takes a business-friendly look at the future.
In this MarketShadows interview, David Brin discusses how our current crises fit into the patterns of 6000 years of human history... how this phase of the Civil War might end... whether a key human ingredient (lacking in powerful men who commit sexual aggressions) is satiability... whether we face tech-driven unemployment... and the likelihood of "singularity."
At GigaOm, Brin answers questions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and why it is possible that these new, genius offspring of humanity may decide not to treat us badly.
An interview with Futurist.com looks at future trends in philanthropy, and whether longer lives leads to kinder lives.
This interview, posted on Futurism, asks about how science fiction writers craft futures ranging from AI to the apocalypse.
Brin's Gizmodo interview looks at the cautionary tale's ability to accurately predict a technology's danger.
A fun, brief Clarkesworld interview discussing transparency, transformation, and the joy of the short story.
In this interview with Henry Herz, David talks about writing's "sweat equity."
In this Amazing Stories interview, Brin talks about the science — and the scientist — in science fiction.
Discover Magazine interviews Brin about looking for those "honey-pot ideas."
A panel discussion at Arizona State University on reputation systems, surveillance technologies, and the future of the Internet as a problem-solving tool.
NPR's All Tech Considered asks Brin how the many new technologies will change the way we live.
San Diego's Union-Tribune, on what we're finding out about the solar system — and SETI.
The Union-Tribune again, asking about transparency and spying.
This author profile and interview at HBS Author Spotlight looks at what it takes to be an author in the age of the internet.
Santa Barbara Independent, on expanding our notion of existence.
The Science Technology Future site interviews Brin about "Star Wars on Trial, asking — is it a "feudalistic fantasia pushing an elitist anti-democratic agenda"?
Nature Journal interviews David about writing science into a story.
For Italian readers, this Nocturnia interview about science fiction and writing.
In this interview, which originally appeared in Albedo One #21, John Kenny asks how science and fiction writing interact (do they compete, or cooperate?) and whether it can foretell humankind's destiny.
In this Writing World interview, David Brin answers questions about the genre of science fiction — its range, influences, and future trends.
Living Planet Magazine interviewed Brin about whether science fiction can offer solutions to our environmental problems — or merely sensationalize its disasters.
In this gameranx interview, Brin looks at how both gams and novels play with the future.
io9 interviews David about the challenges of creating a plausible future when the range of possibilities is so rapidly evolving.
In this extensive Wired Magazine interview, Brin discusses the 21st Century's inventions, discoveries and wars, whether we will ever meet aliens — and Star Wars, of course.
Metroactive wants Brin's contrarian solution to society's technological unmasking.
Stephen Ormsby's Q&A on a writer's life.
Geek Wire wants to know about science fiction, new technologies — and geek culture.
Futurist.com asks David: what significant problems must we overcome if we want to thrive, and not merely survive?
In this Metroactive interview, Brin talks about what makes science fiction authors think — and write.
In this Orbit Magazine interview David Brin talks about the transformative power of science fiction.
In The Horror Zine's Q&A about technology, Brin consults his palantir to foresee the people-friendly tech.
Read h+ Magazine's feature interview about surveillance's traps — and positive sousveilance.
Science Fiction Musings interviews Brin about writerly obsessions and other ODDysseys.
Slawek Wojtowicz interviews David about a writer's day-to-day work and leisure activities.
Planetary Society asks Brin — are we ever getting to Mars?
Read Orbit Book's interview with David Brin about the transformative power of science fiction.
In this interview with Ann Wilkes Brin wonders: How and why did humanity escape (at last) from its old, vicious cycle of feudalism and begin a tremendous enlightenment — one that included vital things like science, democracy, human rights and science fiction?
Here's a FAQ of sorts — a compilation of questions that David Brin is asked most often by interviewers. Writing still is magical. To create strings of black squiggles that millions of others skillfully de-code with just their eyes — into emotions and thoughts, or the struggles of believable characters.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Brin talks about how science fiction is more of a study of history.
Dr. Alvin Montessori is Human Advisor aboard the mostly demmie-crewed star cruiser Clever Gamble, orbiting above Oxytocin 41, a planet where something weird is going on. When the crew unreels a humungous hose down to the surface, their first contact team discovers a whole lot of 'somethings weird.' Life... death... and the living dead... will never be the same.
Find out more, read the first 2 chapters, or purchase The Ancient Ones as a paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)
Are we in phase 8 of America’s 250 year civil war? If so, the Union's side has a problem with its generals, who keep getting lured into grunt-and-shove combat, on ground chosen by the other side. The possibility of using agility to win political battles — the energy, creativity, and jiu-jitsu dexterity that foot soldiers do best — never occurs to Democratic politicians or strategists.
Find out more, read the first two chapters here, or purchase Polemical Judo as a trade paperback or Kindle ebook. (#AmazonCommissionsEarned)
His squad double-timed alongside a towering, aromatic, ornamental hedge, toward the sound of helicopters and the painful brilliance of searchlights. Perspiration loosened his grip on the stock, forcing him to hold his weapon tighter. His heartbeat quickened as they neared the scene of action. And yet, Roland felt certain he wasn't scared to die. No, he was afraid of screwing up.
Read A NEED FOR HEROES here.
The authors contributing stories and essays to Chasing Shadows explore their own visions of what might propel — or obstruct — a world civilization awash in the light of transparency. Eminent critic Paul Di Filippo offers an insightful, thorough and positive appraisal of CHASING SHADOWS.
Find out more or read "PRIVATE LIVES" here.
Visit a chillingly plausible tomorrow, when prisoners may be sent to asteroidal gulags. Or might prisons vanish and felons roam, seeing only what society allows? Suppose, amid lavish success, we gain the superpower to fly! Will we even appreciate it... or will we find new reasons to complain?
Find out more or read "REALITY CHECK" and "TUMBLEDOWNS" here.
Billions of planets may be ripe for life, even intelligence. So where is Everybody? Do civilizations make the same fatal mistakes, over and over? Might we be the first to cross the mine-field, evading every trap to learn the secret of EXISTENCE?
Find out more or read "AFICIONADO," SHELTER OF TRADITION" and "SHORESTEADING" here.
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 300 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
All the Ways in the World to Reach David Brin
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endorsements and recommendations
"As David Brin details the inevitability of ubiquitous surveillance, your instinct, as an individual facing this one-way mirror, is to hope that he is wrong about the facts. As you follow his argument for two-way social transparency, you realize your only hope is that he is right."
"I would consider Existence to be a triumphant, epic Science Fiction novel on many levels. It stayed with me after I set it aside for the day, continues to simmer in my mind now that I've finished reading it, and has opened up a gateway to Brin's novels I'd wanted to enter for a while. Brin achieved an excellent gestalt of character, big ideas, and narrative energy."
— Rob H. Bedford, SFFWorld.com
"Brin deftly explores the issues of identity, privacy and work in a world where everyone is supported with a living wage and has ready access to duplication technology. The book features the author's usual style, with a lighter touch and punnish humor abounding amid the hard SF speculation. The duplication of the 'ditective' makes for a challenging twist on the standard private eye narrative, allowing Morris to simultaneously lead the reader through three separate (and interacting) plot lines."
— Publisher's Weekly
"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."