"Take a world soaked in near-future strangeness and complexity... Add a beautiful alien artifact that turns out to be the spearpoint of a very dangerous, very ancient invasion... Hotwire with wisdom and wonder... Existence is as urgent and as relevant as anything by Stross or Doctorow, but with the cosmic vision of Bear or Benford. Brin is back."
—Stephen Baxter, bestselling author of Ark and The Time Ships
"In Existence, David Brin takes on one of the fundamental themes in science fiction—and what is also one of the fundamental questions humanity faces in this century. Since Brin is both a great storyteller and one of the most imaginative writers around, Existence is not to be missed."
—Vernor Vinge, bestselling author of Fire Upon the Deep and The Children of the Sky
"Existence is a book that makes you think deeply about both the future and life's most important issues. I found it fascinating and could not put it down."--Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures
From the Inside Flap
Best-selling futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning high concept fiction with Existence.
Telepresence. Global security. Everyone watching everyone, all the time. Anything interesting draws a flash crowd of ten million eyes. One man in Afghanistan live-tweets a special forces attack, and the world tunes in. Revolutions coordinate online. And that's today! Tomorrow, you'll wear the Web, immersed in augmented overlays. Your aiware glasses will ID, name-tag, and tattle on each person you walk by, in a global village of ten billion souls.
But instant access to all of human knowledge only widens the gulf between those eager for tomorrow...and those fearing an end to human existence.
Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector, clearing a hundred-year mess, when he spots something unexpected -- a glinting crystal, unmapped and strange. An hour after he captures it, rumors fill Earth's info mesh about an "alien artifact."
Peng Xiang Bin is a shoresteader off the Chinese coast, salvaging homes abandoned to the rising tides. Under one mansion, Bin finds a secret treasure cache. One box bears a warning. Inhabited by Demons.
Tor Povlov is a new-era reporter, a genius at trolling Web and street for exciting and heart-breaking "you are there" reports. On a cross-country zeppelin tour she documents an America an world fracturing apart, torn between a future promising godlike powers for all ... and a beguiling past that might offer the only sanctuary. She does not expect to find herself -- and her million-member smart posse -- snagged by the biggest story ever.
From a tribe of beleaguered dolphins to the highest mountain observatory, Existence asks the question: Are we alone in the universe? Does every bright new race stumble over the same pitfalls? The same, entrapping seven hundred ways to fail?
Thrown into this maelstrom of worldwide shared experience and tension over human destiny, the Artifact is a game changer. A message in a bottle, an alien capsule that wants to communicate ... but for good or ill? The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback
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