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Earth (Earth)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,424 Ratings  ·  230 Reviews
TIME IS RUNNING OUT Decades from now, an artificial black hole has fallen into the Earth's core. As scientists frantically work to prevent the ultimate disaster, they discover that the entire planet could be destroyed within a year. But while they look for an answer, some claim that the only way to save Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct: to reset the evo ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published May 1st 1991 by Spectra (first published 1990)
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Sep 22, 2015 Apatt rated it really liked it
This is not an easy read in spite of the 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 b ...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
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
Jan 04, 2016 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 the planet from the inside out.

Hard Sci-Fi in a Nutshell
Earth was published in 1990, and it's set in 2038. This dates the book occasionally, but, as with all aging science fiction, it's interesting to see what the author was and wasn't a
Oct 16, 2010 Sven rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Sep 05, 2007 Rod rated it it was amazing
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!
Jul 26, 2011 Ryan rated it really liked it
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
Feb 07, 2011 Natalie rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 19, 2012 Gary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2007 Travis rated it did not like it
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
Feb 21, 2014 Ed rated it did not like it
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
Jul 16, 2015 Zak rated it really liked it
This book, although not likely to be an award-winning piece of English literature, wonderfully exemplifies how good sci-fi is a field of social commentary, thought experiments, and moral ruminations. I read this at a young age, and it was mind opening. Perhaps the glasses of youth led to a different view from that which I might have now (and that the disappointment in the poor ending has faded), but I would still definitely (or 'defo' in proper Australian) recommend.
Dans ce trop épais roman (900 pages, quand même) qui se situe dans une cinquantaine d'années, on découvre un personnage "principal" qui tente de lutter contre le trou noir qu'il a accidentellement envoyé dans la terre.
Je dis principal, parce qu'il y a dans ce roman une dizaine de personnages qu'on va suivre tout du long, et qui peuvent éventuellement être antagonistes, ou tout au moins avoir des intérêts très différents. Et en fait, l'existence de tous ces personnages tient au plus gros problème
Chris Gager
Feb 10, 2016 Chris Gager rated it it was ok
Started this last night as a break from "War and Peace." We'll see how it goes. Already there's a potential disaster caused by a super-collider thingee. People have been protesting the existence of those dubious contraptions. There was one in "Angels and Demons" as I recall.

Moving in a bit after last night. As with "War and Peace" there are several plot trains running here. As is common with sci-fi, especially so-called "hard" sci-fi, the ideas are interesting while the writing is merely functi
Dennis Swanger
Apr 13, 2015 Dennis Swanger rated it did not like it
Lousy book. Too long and too many characters who don't further the story. If author had cut out all the extraneous people and story-lines, the book would have been half as long and better. Brin is usually pretty good, but not this time.
Mar 25, 2008 Rob rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 15, 2015 Chris rated it it was ok
This one was a book group read. I picked it up on Sunday morning, saw it was 600 pages and cursed. I flew threw it and finished it by Thursday. I can say I didn't actually hate it until the last 100 pages or so.

Quick spoiler filled recap. It's the near future and earth has evolved into a hot, overpopulated crapsack world. Then one of our main characters through some fantasy physics creates a black hole and drops it into Earths core. So far so good. Then we discover the other black hole put there
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
Aug 08, 2014 Atheshya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
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
Michael Havens
Apr 06, 2008 Michael Havens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2008 Brittany rated it liked it
Shelves: sciencefiction
I just reread this as an exercise in revisiting books I loved when I was younger. Earth didn't really hold up. It was fun to read, but Brin has a problem with exclamation marks. He uses so many of them that it causes you to want to ex them out with a little red pen and go around showing people (who didn't ask) that "The glacier exploded," is SO much more dramatic and effective than "The glacier exploded!" I was interested in Brin's take on consciousness and the Gaia Hypothesis (which I think is ...more
Dennis Davidson
I illustrated the original cover of Earth. I have an interesting back story to how I got this commission. I met David Brin in the early 1980s at UC San Diego. We were both regular attendees at the weekly seminars of the California Space Institute (CalSpace) held in one of the seaside cottages at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. I was shifting my professional focus from biomedical illustration to space illustration. David was either finishing his doctorate or was a postdoc. He was also lau ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Tomislav rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this much more than I think I did when I first read it 16 years ago. While the purpose of science fiction is not typically to predict the future with accuracy, I was quite impressed with the accuracy of David Brin's predictions in this book, as well with his synthesis of multiple scientific disciplines. I found one of his fictional reference passages, to be very interesting -

"Nations are often likened to living bodies. And so, oldtime state socialism may be said to have turned many a b
Todd Martin
Mar 04, 2014 Todd Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Feb 08, 2013 Jennifer Perez rated it liked it
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.
Patrick Gibson
Jan 01, 2015 Patrick Gibson rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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
John Holder
Mar 26, 2015 John Holder rated it really liked it
Talked about this with a celebrated and very wise futurist speaker just today. This novel, which I read way back around 1991 or so, is just about the only speculative-fiction piece that almost completely anticipated the internet in the 20th century. Yes, I know that many other talented authors snagged a piece of it, and even Brin gets the timing a little wrong... this is set in the 2040s and envisions a global information network that we already have, and have had, since the early aughts. But st ...more
Oct 12, 2015 Rockwell rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Earth really took a while to get going. It really lays the eco-guilt on thick in the first - oh, half or so? - and spins off casts of minor characters, all of whom wax lyrical on how awful everything is. I almost gave up. It took me a month to get that far.

That second half, though. I read it in an afternoon. I wouldn't say it makes all the woe in the first half worthwhile, per se, but it defintely makes it make sense. The world, the loose thought processes, all of these hints and dribs and drabs
Mar 06, 2016 EruditeBirdy rated it it was amazing
One of the top 10 books I have ever read.
I'd give it 100 out of 100 points, even after all these years.

I had to put it down, every 20 or so pages, and think for awhile before continuing.
It was so involved, with multiple plots, great characters, and HE GOT THE SCIENCE CORRECT.
Staggering in scope, well written, well plotted, I loved it, cover to cover.
I have the hardback version and would never part with it.

I was so upset he didn't win the Hugo for it.
That year it went to a much inferior book, no
Oct 06, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, classics
I first started reading this thick volume (680+ pgs) back in high school. I think it was the death of a few particular characters which put me off it for a bit that time. I picked it up again a few years later as a tide-over between other things, but probably didn't even clear the halfway mark that time (as I think I had before). This time I definitely found myself wondering at the length, but still enjoyed it quite a bit. I've not read too much near-future science fiction, but I can definitely ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: please add cover 2 10 Dec 29, 2015 01:51AM  
Hard SF: BotM: "Earth" by David Brin 4 26 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...

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“Prison for the crime of puberty -- that was how secondary school had seemed.” 20 likes
“Only people with full stomachs become environmentalists.” 11 likes
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