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Earth (Earth)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  4,545 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Set in the year 2038, the book is a cautionary tale of the harm humans can cause their planet via disregard for the environment and reckless scientific experiments. The book has a large cast of characters and Brin uses them to address a number of environmental issues including endangered species, global warming, refugees from ecological disasters, ecoterrorism, and the soc ...more
Published (first published 1990)
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This is not an easy read in spite of well written, accessible prose, some good characterization and some exciting scenes. The difficulty is due to the ambitious scope of the book which seems to necessitate numerous plot strands, myriad characters, and frequent expositions and infodumps. Personally I am not wired for reading nonfiction, I am always grateful to novelists who manage to impart some new knowledge to me packaged in their fiction. Indeed I am also grateful to David Brin for the bits of ...more
Great novel, well deserving of the 1991 Hugo, though it lost to Bujold's The Vor Game. It lost the SF Chronicle award and the Locus to Simmon's The Fall of Hyperion. All of these are great SF and I'd be hard pressed to chose among them. I give Earth 9 of 10 stars, very good, not perfect.

50 years in the future an extinction level event threatens the Earth. Noble laureate Alex and his many cronies have to figure out how to save us all using hard science, Maori mysticism, primate social behavior an
Should I read it?
Not really. Earth has some interesting ideas, but they're swallowed up by a host of extraneous characters and subplots. Worse, the ending--a deus ex machina--will frustrate many readers.

What's the short and skinny of it?
It's the year 2038, and Earth ain't doin' so well. The planet is overheated and overpopulated. Economies have failed; income inequality is rampant. And somewhere, deep inside the earth, a technological innovation has gone awry as an artificial black hole may eat
Ben Babcock
The Large Hadron Collider is doing pretty well this early into its life. It has already produced compelling evidence for the existence of a Higgs boson. And it hasn’t produced a microscopic black hole that would sink into the centre of the Earth and devour us all. Yet.

David Brin wrote Earth around the same time I was born, long before the LHC was being built and its doomsayers were crying disaster. Even then, however, the idea of experimental physics creating a world-swallowing black hole was a
Sep 05, 2007 Rod rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nephyr
This book is a treasure. It drastically changed my worldview and made me come to see the urgency of some of the issues facing our generation. One of Brin's concepts has actually become a major piece of my belief system. Besides all of this serious stuff....this is a damn fun book to read that you will not put down until you are finished!
This was the second time I read this book, and I liked it better this round.

It's fast-paced action with a strong ecological message. Although it was published pre-internet (1990), it anticipates much of the immediacy of instant communications. Unfortunately, the situation with the environment hasn't gotten better, and we'll have to face many of the challenges this book portrays.

I especially liked the author's explanation of the assumptions he made and the points he exaggerated. He's a great stor
Mar 25, 2008 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any sci-fi fan
Despite the many numerous poor reviews, I found this to be quite an enjoyable novel and, at the very least, gave me plenty of things to consider in my own view of my place in the grand scheme of things.
Once again, I find that several of the interesting ideas percolating through my own brain have already been developed (and published) by some famous author a long time ago. At least David Brin had the courtesy to only beat me to print by a couple of decades, unlike those damned Pre-Socratics...

But in all seriousness, this is a great book, and it has weathered the last twenty years far better than its ilk usually have any right to expect. It's a sweeping, grand, thrilling story that starts out as
Author David Brin just posted a link to a video where he does a reading from Earth. But, this is not just a talking head video.

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Brin's bookshelves and some kitchen appliances are visible in the background, but they will not distract because the reading is illustrated w/fade-ins to terrific astronomical spacescape photography and art, and not randomly either, but in synch with the passage Brin reads.

Brilliant, fun, and much better than those origins of earth and the universe films y
Sad to say, this book was a clunker. It looked promising in the beginning--like it was going to be a parable about the dark side of technological progress. And it might have worked, had Brin kept his story on a smaller scale, focusing on the effect an abused planet was having on a few people. Unfortunately, he decided to attempt writing an epic, with the result that there were too many characters involved in too many subplots that I couldn't very invested in.

Given the fact that the book was publ
Michael Havens
David Brin is one of those hard Science Fiction writers who know the art of writing stories. He has characters that are flesh and blood; he gives good details of the scene before us without causing anemia in the telling. One irritation of many books, especially many found in the New York Times Best Seller List, is that the story and characters are so skeleton, if you were to blow on the page, perhaps the words themselves would float away in the wind for what little story and art there is betwee ...more
Just awful. I loved Brin's first three "Uplift" books (Sundiver, Startide Rising, and The Uplift War), thought the next three in that series (the "Jijo" books) were ok, and liked "The Postman," but "Earth" is so bad on so many levels I'm surprised I finished it. I think I didn't bail out early because often his style is to have several seemingly unrelated stories going on at the same time, and as the book goes on it all makes sense in a surprising and/or enjoyable way. But in "Earth" they didn't ...more
Truly just awful. There are 150 interesting pages here, intermixed with 400 mind-numbingly boring pages. Despite Brin's reputation as a "hard" SF author not one scientific element if the story is believable. His insight that environmentalism leads to mysticism, collectivism, and ultimately totalitarianism is undercut by his apparent approval of this outcome. He claims to be an "optimist" but his future is the most depressing imaginable. If you see this book, run away like you are being chased by ...more
There's a lot of things about this book that make it, frankly, awesome. The first is probably the most obvious: it's written in some attempt to predict the future, or to at least be close to the ball park of what the future might be. And from my vantage point of about 20 years after it was written, an amazing amount turns out to seem pretty familiar. While we haven't yet had a literal war with banks and bankers in the real world, for instance, that sure reminds me of some things that have been i ...more
Todd Martin
A few years ago I read David Brin’s The Postman and was rather unimpressed by the silly plot-line and story. Then, a few months ago, I got a chance to hear Brin speak and found his talk quite interesting. It was clear that he had thought quite a bit about the near future (next 50 years) and possible scenarios that may arise given a continuation of current trends. His discussion touched on the future of the security state, animal rights, evolution and technology as well as the societal issues tha ...more
Jennifer Perez
Reading this book was wonderful. But then you get to the ending... And eh. So read it, by all means read it. It definitely makes you think. He strikes a cord when he describes these silent forests. And, living in the suburbs, I know what he means about these perfectly planted trees. Just be prepared to be disappointed by the ending. Just make up your own, and pretend like the written ending isn't real.
Stephen Gallup
Dang those profligate "TwenCen" forebears of ours! They went and burned off the ozone layer and depleted the water tables and used up all the petroleum, and consequently just a few decades later people lead stunted lives, devoid of privacy and required by law to maintain a near-zero environmental footprint. Those who are smart wear goggles to protect their vision from "sleeting ultraviolet radiation" (and also to record, and to upload if they wish, whatever they see).

That's the background situa
Patrick Gibson
The scientific basis for this sci-fi novel is refreshingly plausible, and the narrative style is inventive. The characterizations are well done, though the characters' emotions are incomplete. In particular, the female characters lack je ne sais quois; though they are likeable, capable, and much better written than many sci-fi heroines, they aren't quite real women. Perhaps they are enigmatic even to Brin. I enjoyed the round-the-world tour Brin offers, and I'm glad he didn't hesitate to take on ...more
I can imagine that reading this back in 1990, when it was first published, you might have forgiven the uninteresting characters, unnecessarily long slog of a plot, and unbelievable ending...because the book's elements of climate change and human negative impact on the environment might have been new to you, at least new enough to benefit from accompanying Brin on his 50-years-in-the-future "Gedankenexperiment." But if you've already given serious thought/attention to these things, you won't get ...more
I have mixed feelings. The book provides speculation about the future with climate change, population / natural resource issues, etc. It speculates about extraterrestrials, harmful and helpful. It has ideas about singularities (point-like masses) and gravity. It has ideas about government spying, plutocratic conspiracy, computer hacking, etc. It has an afterword in which Brin tries to clarify what was established science, what was speculative science and what was pure fiction.

On the other hand:
Oct 06, 2012 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People
Recommended to Laura by: Lorna Aites
This book was revelatory for me in college. It synthesized so much about the world; environmental collapse, failed states, science as destroyer, science as savior, reporters as heroes, reporters as exploiters, blah blah blah. Reading it was exhilarating and exhausting.

Reading it 20 years later, I’m more aware of its flaws. A Jack Kirbyesque level of exclamation points. Prose that is all too often intrusive. More characters than I can keep track of. A whole lot of them could have been combined t
Felix Dance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
De nuevo una novela de David Brin. Me ha encantado.

Un científico, trasteando con un experimento bastante peliagudo, libera un agujero negro que se va derechito hacia el fondo de la Tierra, empezando a oscilar y devorarla por dentro. Comenzará una carrera contra el reloj (y contra el agujero negro, claro está) para salvar a la Tierra de su fatal destino. Pero por el camino nuestros protagonistas se darán cuenta de que había muchas cosas que desconocían. Y hasta aquí puedo leer .

El libro está muy
Perhaps the format I was reading in detracted from the overall experience (a poorly formatted ebook read in iphone-size half pages), but I thought there were too many characters and storylines to follow cohesively throughout the story. I also thought ending every character's page or two with a cliffhanger, then shuffling through the other 30 characters own cliffhangers, before coming back to the character to resolve and bring up another cliffhanger (etc), was difficult to remember or make sense ...more
[Update] Just reread Earth. First time I had read is was circa 2002. I am finding that there are elements in this book that are resonating strongly with our current times.

First, we have the Large Hadron collider run by CERN, which has the potential to do something like the small black hole in this story.

Second, in this story's history, there was a international war against Switzerland and bankers. At the time I thought this was very silly. After the crash of 2008, I don't.

Third, after the war,
I was close to putting this as 3 stars at 1 point. The main part of the book is interesting, but slow. I think a ruthless editor could've made it a lot better in many ways

However, i persevered through this because the central idea was brilliant and the characters on the whole compelling and intriguing

This idea of averageness changed in the last 150-200 pages though, as it came together brilliantly and everything exploded into life. Ideas that, while good up to then, were not particularly origina
Earth, written by David Brin, is an unforgettable journey and story though a not-so-distant future that stresses the importance of taking care of the environment. With the well thought out characters, wonderful story line full of twists and quirks, Earth grabs your attention from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the final word.

The story takes place in futuristic 2030. Not so far from where we are today, but the book was published in 1995. However, Brin paints a situation that doesn'
3.5 Stars. There is much to admire about this 1990-vintage panorama of Earth in the 50-year future (at the time of writing). From our vantage point, ~20 years into that predicted future, many of the deeply disturbing trends are playing out along very similar lines as those predicted in the book. Equally important, a lot of mostly-positive trends are also falling more or less into place. In many ways, the predictive power of this book is quite remarkable.

I was also impressed by the ambitious scop
Earth started out as a compelling idea, one that drew me in right away. However, about halfway through, I found myself struggling merely to finish the book. It becomes bogged down in excessive information, characters, and plot lines, many of which could easily be pared down or cut, without negatively affecting the novel as a whole. The style in this novel was equally difficult to follow. Characters would come and go, sometimes quickly, other times, at painfully slow paces. Brin seemed to want to ...more
I imagine this might be the case for a lot of other readers, but this book failed to come together for me until its final act. Despite Brin's ever-engaging intelligence and wit, I struggled to stay involved with the plot throughout the exposition and central storyline. The whole thing felt too abstract, too specialized and technical to be understood by a mathematical peasant like myself. I found the characters endearing, but they didn't elicit deep emotions from me. This is par for the course fo ...more
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Hard SF: BotM: "Earth" by David Brin 4 25 Oct 26, 2011 09:13AM  
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David Brin is a scientist, speaker, and world-known author. His 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.

Existence, his latest novel, offers an unusual scenario for first contact. His ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends
More about David Brin...
Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, #2) The Postman The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3) Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, #1) Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3)

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“Prison for the crime of puberty -- that was how secondary school had seemed.” 16 likes
“Only people with full stomachs become environmentalists.” 11 likes
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