Earth by David Brin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'll preface this review by mentioning that I've been in love with this book ever since I first read it when it came out. I loved it so much that it rode my top three books of all time for many, many years, and I even jumped at the chance to meet the author in a speech he made about the transparent society and I even cornered him afterward to let him know how much I appreciated him.
This was in the mid-'90s shortly after Glory Season had come out.
I just said, "Mr. Brin, I just wanted to let you know that your novel Earth is in my top three favorite novels of all time."
Mr. Brin, still a rather young man at this time, became shy and embarrassed, tipping his head downward, perhaps shuffling his feet a little, and said, in a tiny voice, "Really? I'm frankly rather surprised at how much I got away with."
This, to me, really says it all. Modesty, being a great writer despite getting a PHD in Physics, being a multi-Hugo Winner, and being someone who is STILL predicting the living hell out of the future.
Test it. Read Earth.
This came out right when the internet was mostly just a bunch of BBS's but he captured the feel of what we have today. Tru-Vue glasses, with hoards of people recording everything, everywhere, for any reason, are basically us with our cell phones. The ecological transformations, the social pressures, the way that we absolutely KNOW we have to change everything about our world, right this very moment, is reflected in THEIR world, having already made that change, and with many of the same things that we're about to do... on just as big a scale.
Well, assuming we DO get our butts in gear.
And none of this really touches on the true glorious spectacle of what we get to experience in this near-future Earth. Some REALLY impressive shit goes down, easily bringing them all to the brink of total death, (a miniature black hole swimming around in the center of the earth), but it's how the novel is balanced on a knife's edge with OPTIMISM that had astounded me.
If you're a millennial and you've never even HEARD of David Brin or his novel EARTH, please do yourself a very big favor and hunt it down. It is still as valid, wonderful, and shockingly thoughtful as it was when it first came out. And more, it's even MORE timely now than it was back in the early '90s.
If you need someone to force you to pick up a true classic that is NOT getting enough love, that should be still getting ALL the love, then I will be that person. *flexes muscles*
Run. Don't walk. Get a copy. You will thank me.
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