Earth
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Earth

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  3,887 ratings  ·  184 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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Apatt
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
Kernos
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...more
Kate
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...more
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...more
Rod
Sep 05, 2007 Rod rated it 5 of 5 stars 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!
Rob
Mar 25, 2008 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars 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.
Ryan
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...more
Natalie
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...more
Gary
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...more
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
Sven
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...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.
Ed
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
Jessica
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
David
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:...more
Laura
Oct 06, 2012 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars 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...more
Felix Dance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Remo
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...more
Andrewcharles420
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
CollinB
[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,...more
Lewis
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...more
Anthony
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'...more
Jim
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...more
Rodney
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
Miles
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
Jared Millet
This book blew me away when I first read it twenty years ago, and it demonstrates the one great strength science fiction has over fantasy: its use as a forum for discussing big, real-world issues. My copy is one of the most beat-up books I own, not from rereading it but from loaning it out to other people. In the past couple of decades it's gained a reputation for having been uncannily prescient in its depiction of the near future. Reading it today, it still holds up as a rip-roaring hard scienc...more
Flying_Monkey
'Earth' is a bit of a strange mixture: it is a considered ecosocial critique patched onto a not entirely serious B-movie disaster plot and terrible deus-ex-machina ending. Brin can certainly write, and 'Earth' is a great read (until the end), populated by many well-painted characters, from the major protagonists like Alex Lustig, creator of the world-threatening miniature black hole, to the minor roles, like the excruciatingly realistic middle-class teenage gang-members in Bloomington, Illinois....more
Isabel
Written at the end of the 1980s, "Earth" is set at the end of the 2030s, when the countries of the world are working together in a culture of openness as the Net means that secrecy is (supposedly) a thing of the past, and the need to recycle everything means that 'dumpit' has become a swearword. Opinions differ as to whether the environmental measures put in place to protect the earth will work or whether the human race will (or should in the opinion of the extremer Gaians) become extinct, but a...more
Steve
First, David Brin is a great ideas author but has a horrible trait of being unable to end a book well. I've read many of his books and they all have great ideas and well-realized worlds and then at some point he realizes that he actually has to END the book and throws something together; The Postman is perhaps the most egregious offender of his that I've read but they all suffer from this problem. While Earth's ending is somewhat of a letdown relative to the rest of the book, it's pretty good b...more
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Hard SF: BotM: "Earth" by David Brin 4 24 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
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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