He was a survivor--a wanderer who traded tales for food and she...more
Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.
On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.
While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became...more
I stumbled on this book some years ago and frankly was surprised at how much I liked it. There are a lot of post apocalyptic books out there. They run the proverbial gamut from excellent to unreadable. This is actually not only a good one, but one of the best.
No spoilers, but we pick up some years after "the collapse" when the infrastructure of the country has ceased to exist. O...more
This is the second Brin book for me, the previous one I...more
Ok. I've finished reading it. The myth Gordon builds is brilliant. However, I thought the description of the augmented soldiers was a little too Bruce Banner turns into Incredible Hulk. Overall, it was really good.
In the last 5ish years it looks like it’s become more popular to write for, lucky me. That being said dystopian books written decades ago that are more relevant now, WOWEEEEEE. This came out in 1985, turns out the current years in the books are 2011ish, which is cool. Didn’t know it, aWESome bit of randomness (yes th...more
The second half of the book is, at best, 1.5 stars. It's as if someone else wrote it, and it barely resembles the firs...more
First let me say I have to go against the overwhelming tide of opinion that holds this novel to be an excellent work. Not that it's terrible, but it wasn't what I expected - or wanted.
The first half of the novel isn't bad as we accompany the protagonist and his effort to survive in post-apocalyptic America. The character isn't heroic. Instead he's a survivor. And then we get started with the postman charade. At first it has potential - the reestablishing o...more
Purtroppo devo dire subito che questo non l'ho trovato particolarmente brillante; non ci sono descrizioni accurate dell'ambiente e dell'ipotetica vita post-apocalittica, che io solitamente apprezzo molto, anche la storia di fondo dell'avventuriero che si ritrova suo malgrado...more
This was another one of those novels that eluded me for quite a few years. Originally made aware of it's existence when checking out top 10 post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction lists, The Postman was hailed as one of the better books within those genres.
After searching high and low at local book chains, indie shops, library and used book sales, I contacted it's author David Brin, who selflessly sent me a copy for review. (Many thanks David!)
My timing for this novel could...more
Basically it's the story of how a postman (or at least someone with the garb of a postman) reunited a post-apocalyptic America by helping connect disparate communities through their official function.
The first section deals with how the Postman, aka Gordon Kran...more
I'm glad I've finally got around to give it a try. It starts as a rather bland post-apocalyptic adventure, but gradually the author weaves in the real theme - the role of myths (or Big Lies as they are called in the text) in shaping society. The Postman, the supercomputer and Denna are all riffs on the theme of the Messiah in the guise of Dut...more
Movie Opinion: Kevin Costner's movie version did not do this novel justice and was a big bore in comparison.
Also, if you ever get a chance to attend a Brin talk, he's an excellent speaker. He's very engaging and knowledgeable especially on s...more
The author does a fantastic job of...more
This ranks right up there with Stephen King's The Stand for a horrible, abrupt ending that had little to do with the build-up and character development of the first 95 percent of the book.
If Brin wou...more
That said, this is also an exemplar of a very average novel about a "post-apocalyptic America". It makes me want to see the film with Costner. Just to compare.
Also: Brin's attempt at being sympathetic to a woman's plight in this post-apocalyptic scenario? Fell way short. Trust me bro, these broads would be way tougher than y...more
The protagonist was a reluctant hero, but that only served to make him more relatable. After reading one grimy tale after another of man's inhumanity to man, it was encouraging to read one that held forth a tiny bit of hope.
I'll be certain to pi...more
He was a survivor - a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. But when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker, his life changes forever. As he journeys from one isolated community to the next, the old, worn uniform becomes far more than a protection against the unrelenting cold: it becomes a reminder of how things were before the world collapsed - and a symbol for how things might be again. And his story becomes one of a l...more
As in most cases, though, the book is better. It's very different, and I would say that the second half of the book could definitely have been much shorter, but the way the Postal Service myth evolves in Brin's book is much more logical and nuanced than Costner's project.
I did sort of give the side-eye to his initial portra...more
The book was written in 1986 and takes place in what was then the future but is now our past. (The story ends in 2012, for those who d...more
Set in a post apocalyptic Oregon, a drifter spends a night in an old, abandoned/forgotten U.S. Mail jeep to keep warm and avoid a gang intent on beating him up. He steals the long dead postman's uniform for warmth and a few letters to read to pass the time. However, in his...more
Tras el holocausto nuclear, el mundo ha retrocedido hasta tiempos medievales. No hay máquinas, no hay apenas tecnología ni medicina, y la gente vive en ciudades-estado (las viejas polis, que tanto juego dieron). Nuestro protagonista, un juglar errante, descubrirá...more
The first few pages just captivated me and I kept on reading, finishing the book in one day (I didn't sleep). I'm a sucker for post-apocaly...more
The book is a hopeful post-apocalyptic novel, which sounds like a contradiction in terms, but the heart of the book is about hope, about the power of hope to transform not just individual lives but whole communi...more
Existence, his latest novel, offers an unusual scenario for first contact. His ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends...more
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A shadow loomed, and a creature settled into the drifts, and old, wounded thing of the skies, as near death as the tree.
Pinions drooping, it laboriously began building a nest--a place of dying. Stick by stick, it pecked among the ruined wood on the ground, piling the bits higher until it was clear that it was not a nest at all.
It was a pyre.
The bloody, dying thing settled in atop the kindling, and crooned soft music unlike anything ever heard before. A glow began to build, surrounding the beast soon in a rich purple lambience. Blue flames burst forth.
And the tree seemed to respond. Aged, ruined branches curled forward toward the heat, like an old man warming his hands. Snow shivered and fell, the green patches grew and began to fill the air with the fragrance of renewal
It was not the creature on the pyre that was reborn, and even in sleep, that surprised Gordon. The great bird was consumed, leaving only bones.
But the tree blossomed, and from its flowering branches things uncurled and drifted off into the air.
He stared in wonderment when he saw that they were balloons, airplanes, and rocket ships. Dreams.
They floated away in all directions, and the air was filled with hope.”
The glow in the pearly lens was subdued. But the row of little lights still flashed--a complex pattern that repeated over and over like an urgent message from a distant ship in some lost code--ever, hypnotically, the same.
Gordon felt a frantic dread rise within him, as when, during his boyhood, he had encountered his grandfather lying perfectly still on the porch swing, and feared to find that the beloved old man had died.
The pattern of lights repeated, over and over.
Gordon wondered. How many people would recall, after the hell of the last seventeen years, that the parity displays of a great supercomputer never repeated themselves? Gordon remembered a cyberneticist friend telling him the patterns of light were like snowflakes, none ever the same as any other.
"Cyclops," he said evenly, "Answer me! I demand you answer--in the name of decency! In the name of the United St--"
He stopped. He couldn't bring himself to meet this lie with another. Here, the only living mind he would fool would be himself.
The room was warmer than it had seemed during his interview. He looked for, and found, the little vents through which cool air could be directed at a visitor seated in the guest chair, giving an impression of great cold just beyond the glass wall.
"Dry ice," he muttered, "to fool the citizens of Oz.”