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Otherness

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,146 ratings  ·  25 reviews
From multiple award-winning author David Brin comes this extraordinary collection of tales and essays of the near and distant future, as humans and aliens encounter the secrets of the cosmos--and of their own existence. 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 r ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 23rd 2009 by Bantam Spectra (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,847)
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The_Mad_Swede
I have been digesting this pleasant miscellany by science fiction writer David Brin at a slow pace, and have found the experience (my first encounter with Brin) highly enjoyable.

Otherness is a miscellany in that it mixes short stories (13), along with story notes (3 texts), and essays (5) in a fine collection of interesting ideas. It is divided into five parts: Transitions, Contact, Continuity, Cosmos, and Otherness, all representing basic ideas around which the texts in each part circles.

For me
...more
Dustin
Nice collection, this. Some good stories, a few great stories, and a couple of thought-provoking essays that I wasn't expecting.
Shawn
I normally enjoy David Brin. His ideas are pretty good. I do enjoy him when he speaks. But this book..well....It just bored me. Short scifi stories need to be able to grab you fast, get you into the characters then maybe give the reader a bit of a twist or leave you awestruck at the end. Hopefully leaving you in deep contemplation. Not one story in this book did any of that for me. They all ended with out my even caring about what just happened. The only thing I found entertaining were the lectu ...more
Raj
This is an excellent collection of short stories and essays by Brin. The stories don't really have much of a theme, but the essays all touch on Brin's theme of 'otherness': a valuing of diversity and change.

The essays are good, but the stories are uniformly excellent. In particular, Dr Pak's Preschool left a lingering sense of unease after it, and is certainly not one that I'll forget any time soon. Those Eyes (an alternative explanation for UFOs) and The Warm Space (biological and artificial in
...more
Tasilee
Very well written and provocative short stories in the main. Some well thought through ideas put into SF context
Jim
A very good book of SF short-stories with a couple essays thrown in for good measure. There was only one story I was luke-warm towards, and my only complaint was that it wasn't always obvious when an essay was an essay and when a story was a story. Labeling them as such would have been nice.

Given that's all I can really find to complain about, if you like the author, if you like real SF (as opposed to fantasy SF), then you should like these stories. I would guess.
Stewart Tame
Decent anthology. As I've found with Brin's novels, these stories and essays are kind of hit-or-miss. Some of them--particularly the final essay--I like very much. But the rest of the book, while there's nothing I actually hate, just doesn't do much for me. I wish I had a clue what it is that puts me off some of his work because then I could share it and be all insightful and critic-y. I'll probably read more David Brin in the future, but I'm definitely not in a hurry to do so.
Paul
Imagine a room, where Science Fiction is introduced to the Weird Sisters; Philosophy and Anthropology; and shakes them warmly by the throat. Its like reading John Pilger or Jonathon Swift, a mirror to society revealing the distortions inherent in virtually every other lens. The "Dogma of Otherness" has changed my perception of the world within which I live more than anything else I have read.
Broodingferret
I've never read any of Brin's stuff before, but I think I'm going to put a few of his things on my list. He has a knack for presenting social commentary and analysis as enjoyable fiction. And I must say that I find his insights into our own Liberal-Western paradigm quite amusing and right on the money.
Leporidae
A really great collection of short stories and mini-essays on the topic of tomorrows. Contained a disproportionate (for a sci-fi collection) number of tales regarding pregnancy and motherhood, yet all of them took on a different point of view concerning the condition and its implications.
Mel
The notes by the author in large chunks between the short stories was a bit of a turnoff. For some I could see this as being really, very interesting as he has a discourse about what had him write the stories you are about to read, but it takes up at least 1/3 of the book.
Andrew
A great short story collection from a great author. I've always found his ideas to be compelling, but this book took that up a notch. Masterful storytelling combines with mind bending ideas and insightful essays in a way that kept me reading long past bed time.
Hoby
Pretty good for most of it.. the open commentary stories lacked eloquence and his obsession with tying childbirth to just about everything was a little much - but overall it was some okay delving into human situational twists and physics theories.
Miramira Endevall
I had never heard of this author until I was perusing the bookswap and read this book's description. I loved how smart these stories are, and I'll be looking for more of Brin's works in future.
Maribeth
I usually prefer short stories, but these were too technical and lacking character development. I really found them sterile and inaccessible.
Kae Cheatham
Interesting concepts. Surprising that even though Brin uses Asian characters regularly, his philosophies are quite "Western." Intentional?
Shane
Over all a good collection of short stories, but the reason I gave it 4 stars was "The Giving Plague." I thought that one was great.
Lsilberman
Sci Fi anthology, with essays intermingled. The Warm Space is my favorite short story. Nice surprise ending.
Nicole Leahy
It's a collection of short stories. Some were fantastic, some weren't so good,some where between the two.
Paul
I think I liked the essays better than the short stories.
Rairy
contains Dr Pak's Preschool
Jesse Powell
If I had a lit class...
Mike
Nov 16, 2007 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: scifi
So many good stories.
Melissa Whitcomb
Melissa Whitcomb marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
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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
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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