DAVID BRIN's favorite quotes

David Brin is best-known for shining light — plausibly and entertainingly — on technology, society, and countless challenges confronting our rambunctious civilization. His best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. Other novels are translated into 25+ languages. His short stories explore vividly speculative ideas. Brin's 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.

As a scientist, tech-consultant and world-known author, he speaks, advises, and writes widely on topics from national defense and homeland security to astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction, creativity, and philanthropy. 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.

These quotes, gathered from Brin's novels, books, articles and interviews, have gained a fair amount of use over the years. Feel free to share with your circle.

Contrary Brin blog

We're starting to get accustomed enough to this new century to want it to be different from the last, which is why Brin expanded his "laboratory" to the real world, blogging ideas and topics that pique, fascinate, and infuriate.
Contrary Brin

quotes on fiction & writing

DAVID BRIN: Science fiction contemplates the possibility of successfully defying fate.
DAVID BRIN: I like to be surprised. Fresh implications and plot twists erupt as a story unfolds. Characters develop backgrounds, adding depth and feeling. Writing feels like exploring.

"For every good idea, ten thousand idiotic ones must first be posed, sifted, sniffed, tried, and discarded. A mind that's afraid to toy with the ridiculous will never come up with the brilliantly original."
— David Brin

DAVID BRIN: Our species' greatest harvest - words.

"Many post-holocaust novels are little-boy wish fantasies about running amok in a world without rules. In fact, such lonely 'heroes' would vanish like soot after a real apocalypse."
David Brin

DAVID BRIN: Change is the principal feature of our age and literature should explore how people deal with it. The best science fiction does that, head-on.
DAVID BRIN: We all create monsters in our minds. The only important difference may be which of us let our monsters become real.
DAVID BRIN: My first duty is to write a gripping yarn. Second is to convey credible characters who make you feel what they feel. Only third comes the idea.

"If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego. Don't let too much of it prevent you from seeking the feedback you need in order to keep honing your craft."
David Brin

DAVID BRIN: But we're at the dawn of a new era. In today's Hollywood writers are the lowest form of life. But that will change when a small team - writer-led - can create a rough, animated storyboard of a film, fully 90 minutes long with spoken dialogue and music, that can gain a web following long before any studio sees it.
DAVID BRIN: Creative people see Prometheus in a mirror, never Pandora.
DAVID BRIN: Anyone who wants simple, pat stories should buy another author's product. The real universe ain't that way and neither are my fictive ones.
DAVID BRIN: To predict is human... But to be right is divine.
DAVID BRIN: Forward-peering storytelling is one of the major ways that we turn fear into something profoundly practical.

quotes about life and other creative acts

DAVID BRIN: I am a member of a civilization (IAAMOAC).

"A hallmark of sanity is the courage to face even unpleasant points of view."
— from Earth

DAVID BRIN: Why must conversions always come so late? Why do people always apologize to corpses?
DAVID BRIN: The Dogma of Otherness insists that all voices deserve a hearing, that all points of view have something of value to offer.
DAVID BRIN: Our most precious human gift: The wonder of curiosity. The insatiable thirst to know about what we know... and to speculate about what we don't - and to explore this vast realm.
DAVID BRIN: Some claim we must let our wisdom catch up with advances in technology, suggesting that we would be better off if we slowed or suppressed changes in technology. I disagree: I believe that technology has not yet caught up with our wisdom.
DAVID BRIN: Self-awareness is probably over-rated. A complex, self-regulating system doesn't need it in order to be successful, or even smart.
DAVID BRIN: Our civilization's success depends at least as much on the mistakes we avoid as successes we plan, but sadly no one compiles lists of these narrow escapes.
DAVID BRIN: Only a knowledgeable, empowered and vocal citizenry can perform well in a democracy.
DAVID BRIN: A successful person is one who can lay a foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.
DAVID BRIN: Each of us is many. Within every human, a cacophony of voices rages.
DAVID BRIN: Truth - it has been proved mathematically - is a thing with fuzzy outlines, when you look up close.

Continue reading quotes for science and progress/change.

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 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

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.

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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
  • 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

  • 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