David Brin

Updated Thursday, 18 October, 2012

David Brin is one of the best authors I've had the pleasure of encountering. His is not a perfect world, and he really makes the reader think. He raises philosophical and moral questions that are not always easily answered. With the sole exception of Otherness, I highly recommend all of the books I have read by him. Otherness is a collection of short stories and essays. Parts of the collection are great, but other parts are a struggle just to get through.

Books I've Read by David Brin


Earth
A microscopic black hole has accidentally fallen into the Earth's core, threatening to destroy the entire planet within two years. Some scientists are frantically searching for ways to prevent the disaster. But others argue that the only way to save the Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct: to let the evolutionary clock rewind and start all over again. (from the back cover of the book)
Glory Season
Young Maia is fast approaching a turning point in her life. As a half-caste var, she must leave the clan home of her privileged half sisters and seek her fortune in the world. With her twin sister, Leie, she searches the docks of Port Sanger for an apprenticeship aboard the vessels that sail the trade routes of the Stratoin oceans. On her far-reaching, perilous journey of discovery, Maia will endure hardship and hunger, imprisonment and loneliness, bloody battles with pirates and separation from her twin. And along the way, she will meet a traveler who has come an unimaginable distance--and who threatens the delicate balance of the Stratoins' carefully maintained, perfect society.... (from an Amazon.com review)
Heart of the Comet (with Gregory Benford)
In 2061, the governments of the Earth team up to launch a group of astronauts to colonize Haley's Comet as it makes its next flyby. The group of astronauts is made up of not only people from all over the world, but includes genetically normal "Orthos" as well as genetically enhanced "Percells". As the group gets to work on digging into the comet, they start running into complications. There is also a building resentment between many of the Orthos and Percells. The Percells feel discriminated against because all of the top-level positions on the expedition are held by Orthos, and the Orthos don't like the genetically enhanced nature of the Orthos. Then things start to get really interesting when indiginent life is discovered. Too bad that life seems intent on killing everybody.

Otherness
In "Dr. Pak's Preschool" a woman discovers that her baby has been called upon to work while still in the womb. In "NatuLife" a married couple finds their relationship threatened by the wonders of sex by simulation. In "Sshhh . . . " the arrival of benevolent aliens on Earth leads to frenzy, madness . . . and unimaginable joy. In "Bubbles" a sentient starcraft reaches the limits of the universe--and dares to go beyond. These are but a few of the challenging speculations in Otherness. (from an Amazon.com review)
The Practice Effect
If you are a physicist (like this reader), you will be rolling on the floor laughing. If not, you will simply find the book very, very funny. Brin sneaks in everything, from parodies of Star Wars to bad Latin puns. So it falls in the standard hero-goes-to-strange-country-and-makes-good, complete with Helpful Sidekick and Beautiful Damsel. So what? Brin obviously had great fun writing this one. (from an Amazon.com review)
The Postman
Gordon Krantz survived the Doomwar only to spend years crossing a post-apocalypse United States looking for something or someone he could believe in again. Ironically, when he's inadvertently forced to assume the made-up role of a "Restored United States" postal inspector, he becomes the very thing he's been seeking: a symbol of hope and rebirth for a desperate nation. Gordon goes through the motions of establishing a new postal route in the Pacific Northwest, uniting secluded towns... (from an Amazon.com review)

The Uplift Trilogy

  1. Sundiver
    No species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of a patron--except perhaps mankind. Did some mysterious race begin the uplift of humanity aeons ago? Circling the sun, under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in history--a journey into the boiling inferno of the sun. Reissue. (from an Amazon.com review)
  2. Startide Rising
    The Terran exploration vessel Streaker has crashed in the uncharted water world of Kithrup, bearing one of the most important discoveries in galactic history. Below, a handful of her human and dolphin crew battles armed rebellion and a hostile planet to safeguard her secret--the fate of the Progenitors, the fabled First Race who seeded wisdom throughout the stars. (from an Amazon.com review)
  3. The Uplift War
    As galactic armadas clash in quest of the ancient fleet of the Progenitors, a brutal alien race seizes the dying planet of Garth. The various uplifted inhabitants of Garth must battle their overlords or face ultimate extinction. At stake is the existence of Terran society and Earth, and the fate of the entire Five Galaxies. Sweeping, brilliantly crafted, inventive and dramatic, The Uplift War is an unforgettable story of adventure and wonder from one of today's science fiction greats. (from an Amazon.com review)

The Uplift Storm Trilogy

  1. Brightness Reef
    Millennia ago the Five Galaxies decreed the planet Jijo fallow (off limits). But in the last thousand years six races have begun resettling Jijo, embracing a pre-industrial life to hide their existence from the Galactics. Overcoming their differences, the Six have built a society based on mutual tolerance for one another and respect for the planet they live on. But that has all changed with an event the Six have feared for hundreds of years: the arrival of an outside ship. Author David Brin has returned to his popular Uplift universe in this, the first book of a new trilogy. (from an Amazon.com review)
  2. Infinity's Shore
    Serious trouble is brewing on Jijo. Starships fill the skies, and the threat of genocide hangs over the planet that once peacefully sheltered six bands of sapient beings. The settlers of Jijo must make heroic--and terrifying--choices. Four youngsters find that what started as a simple adventure--imitating exploits in Earthling books by Verne and Twain--leads them to the dark abyss of mystery. Meanwhile, the Streaker arrives on Jijo in a desperate search for refuge. What the crew finds instead is a secret hidden since the galaxies first spawned intelligence--a secret that could mean salvation for the planet and its inhabitants...or their ultimate annihilation. (parphrased from an Amazon.com review)
  3. Heaven's Reach
    This is the final book in the Uplift Storm trilogy. I sincerely hope Mr. Brin decides to continue this series, as he left it wide open with the end of this book. Things are nearing the boiling point for Earth, Jijo, and the crew of the Streaker. Earth is under seige by hostile aliens, the Jophur are relentlessly chasing the Streaker, and there's a good possibility that the governing bodies of the Five Galaxies will find out about the existence of the Sooners (illegal colonists) living on Jijo. On top of all this, it seems that the Five Galaxies are falling apart--literally.
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