Glen David Brin (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards. His novel The Postman was adapted as a feature film and starred Kevin Costner in 1997. Brin's nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association and the McGannon Communication Award.
Brin at an Association of Computing Machinery conference in 2005
|Born||October 6, 1950|
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Education||University of California, San Diego (1981), Ph.D.|
University of California, San Diego (1978), M.S.
California Institute of Technology (1973), B.S.
|Occupation||Novelist, NASA consultant|
|Notable works||Uplift series, The Postman, Earth, "The Transparent Society"|
|Thesis||Evolution of cometary nuclei as influenced by a dust component (1981)|
|Doctoral advisor||D. Asoka Mendis|
Brin was born in Glendale, California in 1950 to a Jewish family. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in astronomy, in 1973. At the University of California, San Diego, he earned a Master of Science in applied physics in 1978 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in space science in 1981. From 1983 to 1986 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the California Space Institute, of the University of California, at the San Diego campus in La Jolla.
Brin is a 2010 fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. He helped establish the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination (UCSD). He serves on the advisory board of NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts group and frequently does futurist consulting for corporations and government agencies.
Brin consults and speaks for a wide variety of groups interested in the future, ranging from Defense Department agencies and the CIA to Procter & Gamble, SAP, Google and other major corporations. He has also been a participant in discussions at the Philanthropy Roundtable and other groups seeking innovative problem solving approaches.
Brin has a very active side career in public speaking and consultation. He appears frequently on science or future related television shows such as The Universe, Life After People, Alien Encounters, Worlds of Tomorrow, and many others. He briefly was a regular on the challenge design show The Architechs in which "five geniuses" were challenged to solve a major problem (e.g. new ways in and out of burning buildings) in 48 hours.
Brin's works, when taken as a whole, is normally categorized as hard science fiction, in that most (not all) works apply some degree of plausible scientific or technological change as partial plot drivers. Exceptions include the graphic novel The Life Eaters, in which Norse gods assist the Nazis.
The Uplift novels are:
Additionally, Brin wrote two short stories set in the Uplift universe, "Temptation" and "Aficionado". "Temptation" appeared in Robert Silverberg's anthology Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction and is set after the events in the Infinity's Shore. "Aficionado" was published in the limited-edition collection Tomorrow Happens, and is a short-story prequel to the novels. This story was originally published as "Life in the Extreme" in Popular Science Magazine Special Edition (August 1998). Both stories are also freely available on Brin's website. Brin has stated that he intends to return to the uplift universe at some point, but is not currently working on anything. A segment of his novel Existence deals with the origins of dolphin Uplift and hence might be considered linked to the Uplift Universe.
Brin co-wrote with Kevin Lenagh Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide to David Brin's Uplift Universe.
Brin has written a number of stand-alone novels:
His short fiction has been collected in:
Many of Brin's works not set into preexisting series or universes focus on the impact on human society of technology humankind develops for itself, a theme which commonly appears in contemporary North American science-fiction. This is most noticeable in The Practice Effect, Glory Season and Kiln People.
Brin's Jewish heritage is the source of two other strong themes in his works. Tikkun Olam ("repairing the world", i.e. people have a duty to make the world a better place) is originally a religious concept, but Brin, like many non-orthodox Jews, has adapted this into a secular notion of working to improve the human condition, to increase knowledge, and to prevent long-term evils. Brin has confirmed that this notion in part underscores the notion of humans as "caretakers" of sentient-species-yet-to-be, as he explains in a concluding note at the end of Startide Rising; and it plays a key role in The Uplift War, where the Thennanin are converted from enemies to allies of the Terragens (humans and other sapients that originated on Earth) when they realize that making the world a better place and being good care-takers are core values of both civilizations. Many of Brin's novels emphasize another element of Jewish tradition, the importance of laws and legality, whether intergalactic law in the Uplift series or that of near-future California in Kiln People but, on the other hand, Brin has stated that "Truly mature citizens ought not to need an intricate wrapping of laws and regulations, in order to do what common sense dictates as good for all".
Brin currently lives in San Diego, California with his wife and children. He has Polish Jewish ancestry, from the area around Konin. His grandfather was drafted into the Russian army and fought in the Russian-Japanese War of 1905.
Brightness Reef is a 1995 science fiction novel by American writer David Brin, the fourth book of six set in his Uplift Universe (preceded by The Uplift War and followed by Infinity's Shore). It was nominated for both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1996.Earth (Brin novel)
Earth is a 1990 science fiction novel by American writer David Brin. The book was nominated for the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1991.Foundation's Triumph
Foundation's Triumph (1999) is a science fiction novel by David Brin, set in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe. It is the third book of the Second Foundation trilogy, which was written after Asimov's death by three authors, authorized by the Asimov estate. Brin synthesizes dozens of Foundation-Empire-Robots novels and short stories by Isaac Asimov, Roger MacBride Allen, and authorized others into a consistent framework. Foundation's Triumph includes an appendix chronology compiled by Attila Torkos.Heart of the Comet
Heart of the Comet is a novel by David Brin and Gregory Benford about human space travel to Halley's Comet published in 1986. Its publication coincided with the comet's 1986 approach to the Earth.
Written in the third person, the perspective alternates between the three main characters, the "spacer" Carl Osborn, the computer programmer Virginia Herbert and the doctor and geneticist Saul Lintz.Heaven's Reach
Heaven's Reach is a science fiction novel by American writer David Brin, the third book in the Uplift Storm series. Like its two predecessors, it follows the adventures of the Terran scout ship, Streaker. This novel, though, features more alternate storylines than its predecessors, tracking not only the humans, but the Jijoan exiles as they re-enter mainstream Galactic society, the chimpanzee hyperspace scout Harry Harms, the Jophur as they chase the humans, and the humans hiding on the Jophur ship Polkjhy.Infinity's Shore
Infinity's Shore is a science fiction novel by America writer David Brin, the second novel in the Uplift Storm series. The plot follows the adventures of the Jijoan exiles, although the crew of Streaker are minor characters.Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
Winners of the Locus Award for Best SF Novel, awarded by the Locus magazine. Awards presented in a given year are for works published in the previous calendar year.
The award for Best Science Fiction Novel was first presented in 1980, and is among the awards still presented (as of 2016). Previously, there had simply been an award for Best Novel. A similar award for Best Fantasy Novel was also introduced in 1980.Mirror Dance
Mirror Dance is a Hugo- and Locus-award-winning science fiction novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. Part of the Vorkosigan Saga, it was first published by Baen Books in March 1994, and is included in the 2002 omnibus Miles Errant.Otherness (book)
Otherness (1994) is an anthology of science fiction short stories by American writer David Brin. Interspersed in the book are notes on some stories and other short articles by Brin.Startide Rising
Startide Rising is a 1983 science fiction novel by American writer David Brin, the second book of six set in his Uplift Universe (preceded by Sundiver and followed by The Uplift War). It earned both Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel. It was revised by the author in 1993 to correct errors and omissions from the original edition.
An early work by David Brin, it was extremely well reviewed when it was published, has remained popular, and served as the seed for three more novels which revolved around the crew of the Earthship Streaker (the Uplift Storm Trilogy). It joins the ranks of double-winners of both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best science fiction novel. Startide Rising also won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 1984.Parts of Startide Rising were published as "The Tides of Kithrup" in the May 1981 issue of Analog. The Tides of Kithrup was an early title of the novel; uncorrected proofs of the novel that still bear that title have become collector's items.Sundiver
Sundiver is a 1980 science fiction novel by American writer David Brin. It is the first book of his Uplift trilogy, followed by Startide Rising in 1983.The Crystal Spheres
"The Crystal Spheres" is a science fiction short story by American writer David Brin, originally published in the January 1984 issue of Analog and collected in The River of Time. It won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story 1985. In it, Brin presents an explanation for the Fermi Paradox.The Postman
The Postman is a post-apocalyptic dystopia science fiction novel by David Brin. In it, a drifter stumbles across a letter carrier uniform of the United States Postal Service and, with empty promises of aid from the "Restored United States of America", gives hope to an Oregon threatened by warlords.
The first two parts were published separately as "The Postman" (1982) and "Cyclops" (1984). Both were nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novella. The completed novel won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, both for 1986. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and Nebula Award for Best Novel for 1986. In 1997, a film adaptation starring Kevin Costner and Will Patton was adapted from the novel.The Practice Effect
The Practice Effect is a novel by David Brin, written in 1984.The River of Time
The River of Time (1986) is an anthology of science fiction short stories by American writer David Brin.The Transparent Society
The Transparent Society (1998) is a non-fiction book by the science-fiction author David Brin in which he forecasts social transparency and some degree of erosion of privacy, as it is overtaken by low-cost surveillance, communication and database technology, and proposes new institutions and practices that he believes would provide benefits that would more than compensate for lost privacy. The work first appeared as a magazine article by Brin in Wired in late 1996. In 2008, security expert Bruce Schneier called the transparent society concept a "myth" (a characterization Brin later rejected), claiming it ignores wide differences in the relative power of those who access information.The Uplift War
The Uplift War is a 1987 science fiction novel by American writer David Brin, the third book of six set in his Uplift Universe. It was nominated as the best novel for the 1987 Nebula Award and won the 1988 Hugo and Locus Awards. The previous two books are Sundiver and Startide Rising.Uplift Universe
The Uplift Universe is a fictional universe created by American science fiction writer David Brin. A central feature in this universe is the process of biological uplift.
His books which take place in this universe are:
Startide Rising (1983)
The Uplift War (1987)
The Uplift Trilogy (sometimes called the Uplift Storm trilogy):
Brightness Reef (1995)
Infinity's Shore (1996)
Heaven's Reach (1998)There is also a short story, "Aficionado" (originally titled "Life in the Extreme"), published in 1998, which serves as a prequel to the series as a whole (it also serves as a part of Existence, an unrelated work by Brin), and a novella, Temptation, published in 1999 in Far Horizons, which follows on from Heaven's Reach. He also wrote Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide to David Brin's Uplift Universe, a guidebook about the background of the series.
At least one more Uplift book is planned by Brin, as he has stated in 2012 that Temptation "will be a core element of the next Uplift novel... and answers several unresolved riddles left over from Heaven's Reach." GURPS Uplift is a sourcebook for a science fiction themed role-playing game based on the Uplift Universe. It includes a few stories that happen in Jijo after the end of Heaven's Reach.