New David Brin novel (finally)

David Brin used to publish a new novel about once a year. But for some reason, he stopped in 2002 and hasn’t released a new novel in ten years.

But happy days. His new book, Existence, is set for a June release.

He wrote kiln people didn’t he? I think that’s the only Brin book I’ve read. It was pretty good.

Yes, he did. He also wrote the Uplift series, which is how I was introduced to him.

I’d not heard about this, Little Nemo, but Brin is one of my favorite authors, so I quite appreciate the heads-up! I’m certainly glad to hear he’s publishing again.

That was his most recent book (the one in 2002). There apparently had been plans for a sequel, Kiln Time, but it never happened.

I just bought Existence and it’s the “origin story” of the Uplift universe, focusing on the Seeker and what they found.

If it’s anything like the previous books, Brin will have his characters hiding somewhere, avoiding the rest of his fascinating universe. :rolleyes:

There’s a review here.

Actually, I don’t think this is an Uplift novel at all… I saw “sentient dolphins” on the jacket, opened the book and saw what I thought was the name of the ship that carried the dolphins, therefore assumed. But upon further review I think I’m wrong…

I really liked Kiln People too, although I thought the ending was way too…cosmic? esoteric? for the story he was telling.

About 40 pages in, this one reminds me most of Earth. Which I liked a lot, so that’s a good thing.

The pisser is that I bought this book and Pratchett/Baxter’s The Long Earth as my vacation reading. Just finished TLE yesterday, started Existence today… and my vacation starts Saturday.


Oh well, back to the bookstore! :smiley:

I enjoyed The Postman.

Here’s the page on Brin’s website about the book.

It’s set in 2050, and apparently Jen Wolling didn’t save the world in this timeline, because our world is apparently a good bit more fucked up than it is now when we get a missive from ETs. But people in this version of 2050 are working on Uplifting chimps and dolphins, so that part of the Briniverse carries over.

So he’s abandoned the Uplift universe? Boo!

Actually, in the afterword Brin says he’ll return to the Uplift universe in the future… but this isn’t that novel.

200 pages in: Definitely a book along the lines of Earth.

Yeah, it’s a completely different Briniverse than the one in Earth.

Finished it a couple of weeks ago, and pretty much every post I had on this book is wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s not an Uplift book. It’s not the same universe, nothing. Uplift, as a concept, exists (there’s even an “Uplift Institute”), but the concept (as well as the storyline) is dropped after about 300 pages.

I liked the book, but because I’m nit-picky, here are the two things that drove me batty:

  1. The main story that we follow ends about 70 pages before the book does. The story shifts 20-odd years in the future so we can see what the outcome was of the actions in the first 5/6ths of the book.

  2. Too many references to world-changing events between now and the novel (takes place in 2060 or so), too few references to the world prior to 2010. You’d think somebody would mention Mozart. Or Hitler. Or Alexander the Great. Or, well, something that happened in the real world.

  3. Storylines are just dropped. Like the above-mentioned Uplift Institute. One of the characters finds the institute, sees uplifted dolphins, finally figures out what’s going on, and… nothing. You don’t hear from him again (in any meaningful way, that is.)

Go ahead, read it Brin fans. But wait until it comes out in paperback, or check it out from the library.

Speaking of Brin…

On the same trip, I read the first three books in the Uplift series (Sundiver, Startide Rising, Uplift War). I remember when the second trilogy was released I was all excited because I enjoyed the uplift books, but I never got past the first book in the trilogy when I found out:

a. The main protagonists were children. I can’t stand children in science fiction. Love them in real life, but don’t want to read about them in my fiction.
b. Brin set yet another Uplift book on a “outlaw/out-of-the-way/forgotten” planet where the humans were hiding from the Galactics (again).

While I liked the first three Uplift books, the mechanism of having this vast, interesting, and exciting universe being largely ignored because the author prefers to tell tales of people hiding secrets on rarely-trodded planets freakin’ pissed me off. It’s the equivalent of having a story placed in Manhattan, but the only part that you’re allowed to see is through a keyhole because the protagonist spends the entire novel hiding in a closet. WTF? If that’s your story, why set it in one of the most exciting cities on the planet? Why create the Uplift universe only to have your characters hide from it constantly? BORING!

Anyway, enough bitching. My question is this: Are the final 3 Uplift books worth reading, or will they just be more cause for frustration? Do they even answer the questions about what the Streaker found, mankinds missing patrons, etc, that were raised in Startide Rising?

Too many great starts, just not enough good finishes. The last 1/6 or so was exposition, and did not have enough momentum to carry through to the end. And the book ended with a hanging question.

Some of the concepts were exceptional, some were not so much.