Glen David Brin
October 6, 1950
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Education||University of California, San Diego (1981), Ph.D.|
University of California, San Diego (1978), M.S.
California Institute of Technology (1973), B.S.
|Occupation||Novelist, NASA consultant|
|Notable works||Uplift series, The Postman, Earth, "The Transparent Society"|
|Thesis||Evolution of cometary nuclei as influenced by a dust component (1981)|
|Doctoral advisor||D. Asoka Mendis|
Glen David Brin (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and author of science fiction. He has won the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards. His novel The Postman was adapted into a 1997 feature film starring Kevin Costner.
Early life and education
Brin was born in Glendale, California in 1950 to Selma and Herb Brin. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in astronomy, in 1973. At the University of California, San Diego, he earned a Master of Science in electrical engineering (optics) in 1978 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in astronomy in 1981.
From 1983 to 1986 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the California Space Institute, of the University of California, at the San Diego campus in La Jolla. In 2010 Brin became a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. He helped establish the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination (UCSD). He serves on the advisory board of NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts group and frequently does futurist consulting for corporations and government agencies.
Brin has a side career in public speaking and consultation. He appears frequently on science or future related television shows such as The Universe, Life After People, Alien Encounters, Worlds of Tomorrow. He consults and speaks for a wide variety of groups interested in the future, ranging from Defense Department agencies and the CIA to Procter & Gamble, SAP, Google and other major corporations. He has also been a participant in discussions at the Philanthropy Roundtable and other groups seeking innovative problem solving approaches.
Brin has Polish Jewish ancestry, from the area around Konin. His grandfather was drafted into the Russian army and fought in the Russian-Japanese War of 1905. As of 2022, Brin was living in San Diego County, California with his wife and children.
Most of Brin's fiction is categorized as hard science fiction, in that they apply some degree of plausible scientific or technological change as important plot elements. About half of Brin's works are in his Uplift Universe. These have twice won the Hugo Award for Best Novel.
Much of Brin's work outside the Uplift series focuses on the impact on human society of technology, a theme which commonly appears in contemporary North American science fiction. This is most noticeable in The Practice Effect, Glory Season and Kiln People.
Influence of Jewish heritage
This section possibly contains original research. (July 2022)
Brin's Jewish heritage is the source of two other strong themes in his works. Tikkun Olam ("repairing the world", i.e. people have a duty to make the world a better place) is originally a religious concept, but Brin, like many non-orthodox Jews, has adapted this into a secular notion of working to improve the human condition, to increase knowledge, and to prevent long-term evils. Brin has confirmed that this notion in part underscores the notion of humans as "caretakers" of sentient-species-yet-to-be, as he explains in a concluding note at the end of Startide Rising;[need quotation to verify] and it plays a key role in The Uplift War, where the Thennanin are converted from enemies to allies of the Terragens (humans and other sapients that originated on Earth) when they realize that making the world a better place and being good care-takers are core values of both civilizations. Many of Brin's novels emphasize another element of Jewish tradition, the importance of laws and legality, whether intergalactic law in the Uplift series or that of near-future California in Kiln People but, on the other hand, Brin has stated that "Truly mature citizens ought not to need an intricate wrapping of laws and regulations, in order to do what common sense dictates as good for all".
The Uplift stories
The Uplift novels are:
- Sundiver (1980), ISBN 0-553-13312-8
- Startide Rising (1983), ISBN 0-553-23495-1 – Hugo and Locus SF Awards winner, 1984; Nebula Award winner, 1983
- The Uplift War (1987), ISBN 0-932096-44-1 – Hugo and Locus SF Awards winner, 1988; Nebula Award nominee, 1987
- The Uplift Trilogy (sometimes called the Uplift Storm trilogy):
- "Aficionado" (1998) was first published as "Life in the Extreme" in Popular Science magazine, republished in the 2003 limited-edition collection Tomorrow Happens, and included in Brin's 2012 novel Existence. It is available on Brin's website. "Aficionado" takes place before the novels.
- "Temptation" (1999) appeared in Robert Silverberg's anthology Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction and is set after the events in the Infinity's Shore.
- Colony High (February 2021) ISBN 978-1953034526
- Castaways of New Mojave (August 2021) 978-1956015126 – with Jeff Carlson
- The Practice Effect (1984), ISBN 978-0-553-23992-8
- The Postman (1985), ISBN 0-553-05107-5 – Campbell and Locus SF Awards winner, Hugo Award nominee, 1986; Nebula Award nominee, 1985 Originally appeared, in substantially different form, as a three-part novella in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Filmed by Kevin Costner as a major motion picture.
- Heart of the Comet (1986), ISBN 0-553-25839-7 (with Gregory Benford) – Locus SF Award nominee, 1987
- Earth (1990), ISBN 0-553-07064-9 – Hugo and Locus SF Awards nominee, 1991. Contains many successful predictions of current trends (such as email spam) and technologies.
- Glory Season (1993), ISBN 0-553-07645-0 – Hugo and Locus SF Awards nominee, 1994
- Kiln People (2002), ISBN 0-7653-0355-8 – Campbell, Clarke, Hugo, and Locus SF Awards nominee, 2003. Kiln People (published in the UK as Kil'n People) was shortlisted in four different awards for best SF/fantasy novel of 2002—the Hugo, the Locus, the John W. Campbell Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award; each time finishing behind a different book.
- Existence, Tor Books, (2012), ISBN 978-0-765-30361-5
- The Ancient Ones, self-published, (2020), ISBN 978-1-70798-865-5
- Forgiveness (2002), ISBN 978-1563898501 – set in the Star Trek: The Next Generation universe
- The Life Eaters (2003), ISBN 978-1401200985 – published by the Wildstorm imprint of DC Comics, art by Scott Hampton
- Tinkerers (2010) – discussion of the causes of the decline of American manufacturing
His short fiction has been collected in:
- The River of Time (1986), ISBN 0-913165-11-5
- Otherness (1994), ISBN 1-85723-310-7
- Tomorrow Happens (2003) ISBN 978-1886778436
- Insistence of Vision (2016), ISBN 978-1611882216
- Articles in professional journals, including The Astrophysical Journal and Information Technology and Libraries, as well as popular magazines, such as Omni, Nature, and Popular Science.
- Extraterrestrial Civilization by Thomas Kuiper and Glen David Brin, (1989) ISBN 0917853385
- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? (1998) ISBN 0-7382-0144-8—won the Eli M. Oboler Award for intellectual freedom from the American Library Association
- Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (2006) ISBN 1-932100-89-X
- Polemical Judo: Memes for our Political Knife-fight (2019) ISBN 978-1704368030
Honors and awards
- Nebula Award for Best Novel winner in 1984
- Hugo Award for Best Novel winner in 1984, 1988
- Inkpot Award winner in 1985
- Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel winner in 1984, 1986, 1988
- Hugo Award for Best Short Story winner in 1985
- Minor planet 5748 Davebrin discovered by Eleanor Helin in 1991, is named in his honor.
- 1984 Hugo Awards Archived 2007-12-25 at the Wayback Machine, Best Novel:Startide Rising by David Brin (Bantam, 1983), The Hugo Awards
- Who's Getting Your Vote? Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, October 29, 2008, Reason
- Startide Rising Archived 2009-03-30 at the Wayback Machine, Science Fiction & Fantasy Books, WWEnd
- The Postman Archived 2009-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Science Fiction & Fantasy Books, WWEnd
- The Uplift War Archived 2009-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Science Fiction & Fantasy Books, WWEnd
- 1986: 1st - The Postman, David Brin Archived 2011-10-25 at the Wayback Machine, 2003: 2nd - Kiln People, David Brin, The John W. Campbell Memorial Award
- "Nebula Award Winners: 1965 – 2011 Archived 2015-01-31 at the Wayback Machine". Section: 1983. Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. sfwa.org. "Best Novel: Startide Rising by David Brin". Retrieved 2018-02-04.
- Jones, Fiona M (March 20, 2021). "David Brin: The Postman". Mythaxis Review. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
- "David Brin". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Retrieved via Biography in Context database, 2018-02-01. Available online via Encyclopedia.com Archived 2018-02-03 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Caltech Commencement Program" (PDF). Caltech Campus Publications. June 8, 1973. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "David Brin." St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers. New York: St. James Press, 1996. Retrieved via Biography in Context database, 2018-02-01.
- Brin, Glen David (1981). Evolution of cometary nuclei as influenced by a dust component (Ph.D.). University of California, San Diego. OCLC 8067212 – via ProQuest.
- "David Brin". ieet.org. Archived from the original on January 23, 2010.
- "David Brin | Closer to Truth". www.closertotruth.com. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
- Snider, Mike (November 3, 2013). "Funds sought for science fiction museum lift-off". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- Wojtowicz, Slawek (2002). "DAVID BRIN REVEALED: A two-year-long interview with Slawek Wojtowicz". www.slawcio.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011.
- "David Brin's biography". davidbrin.com. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
- "David Brin on future societies of transparency and freedom". Future Thinkers. March 31, 2016. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017.
- Brin, David (March 12, 2006). "The Ultimate Goal". www.reformthelp.org. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008.
- "1984 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1983 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1988 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1987 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1996 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1986 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1985 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1991 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "1994 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "2003 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "Forward | Graphic Novel". Forward.msci.org. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1985. New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc. 1985. p. 415. ISBN 0-911818-71-5.
- Inkpot Award
- "(5748) Davebrin". (5748) Davebrin In: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Springer. 2003. p. 486. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_5421. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7.
- Official website
- David Brin's blog, Contrary Brin
- David Brin at IMDb
- David Brin at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- "David Brin Awards". Science Fiction Awards Database. Mark R. Kelly and the Locus Science Fiction Foundation.
- David Brin at the Internet Book List
- Critical Resources :: David Brin
- Interview with David Brin at SFFWorld.com(2002-07-19)
- Interview with David Brin at Actusf.com
- All of David Brin's audio interviews on the podcast The Future And You, in which he describes his expectations of the future
- Metareview, Kiln/Kil'n People
- Video of conversation between David Brin and James Pinkerton on Bloggingheads.tv
- on YouTube
- Alliance for Progress Encyclopedia, encyclopedia of David Brin's Uplift Universe