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Earth (Earth)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  4,984 ratings  ·  211 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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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
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 the planet from the inside out.

Tell me more.
Earth was published in 1990, and its core plot is set in 2038. This dates the book occasionally, but, as with all aging science fiction, it's interesting to se
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
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 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!
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 Swanger
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.
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
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
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
John Holder
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
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
Mark Berger
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
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
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
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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
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“Prison for the crime of puberty -- that was how secondary school had seemed.” 18 likes
“Only people with full stomachs become environmentalists.” 11 likes
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