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Existence Hardcover – June 19, 2012
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“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
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Top Customer Reviews
Operating a long bola tethered to a space station, Gerald Livingstone grabs orbiting space debris before it can do any damage. After snatching a puzzling object from orbit, Gerald eventually realizes that it is a communication device, an alien emissary. Understanding what its many voices are trying to communicate becomes a daunting task that captivates the world's imagination. Peng Xiang Bin, collector of salvage in flooded Shanghai, finds a submerged object that closely resembles the orbiting artifact. Intriguingly, the "worldstone" is communicating a different message than its orbiting rival.
Hacker, the playboy heir to a fortune whose hobbies include amateur rocketry, befriends some unusual dolphins after his reentry vehicle crashes. Hacker's mother, Lacey, is a member of the powerful clade that exerts influence over nearly everything. Tech-bashing apocalyptic novelist Hamish Brookeman is a proponent of the Renunciation Movement, which wants to slow the development of technology until wisdom catches up.Read more ›
In this book, Brin makes two huge mistakes. He recounts a lecture delivered by one of his characters (and has another bored by it!). And he interlards a series of entries from made up guides, encyclopedias, and futuristic authors. Heck, he also from time to time has one character explain the world to another. These devices let Brin slip into his story telling a great amount of gloomy, the world is going to face challenges lecturing, and this is boring. Face it, we want to be shown these points of view through story telling, with wit and humor, not through lecturing.
When Brin does tell his story, he is pretty good. Interstellar civilizations using pellets, crystal stones that communicate. This first contact is both a puzzle and a threat. Pretty good tale, and interesting to read.
My quibble is that nobody in this book has any joy of life, any verve. Even when faced with extinction, I would hope that somebody, somewhere, has a joke to tell, or can spit in the face of death. Why write a book about gloomsters, facing gloomy situations with gloomy miens?
I liked this book at about a 3.5 stars level. I wish an editor would tell Brin to dump all lectures, all encyclopedia references, and all gloomy intonations from his next book. Tell us a story, do not lecture us like a group of sophomores trapped in a lecture hall.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Painfully overwritten. Foundation of a great saga was needlessly disconnected and lofty. Could easily be 20 chapters shorter. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Keith
As far as science fiction goes this book really nails it.
As far as science fact goes there is very little that requires that "You suspend your sense of disbelief" in... Read more
Interesting, I suppose, but where was his editor? This was clunky, harder to follow than it needed to be, and did I mention clunky? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ann
I rounded up from 2.5 stars. I picked up this book because I've NEVER read a book by David Brin that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Well, there's a first time for everything I suppose. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
The paperback version of the book was produced with margins that are about 3/8th's of an inch, and so the book of nearly 900 pages is unreadable. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kevin Cahill