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Existence by David Brin
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Existence (edition 2012)

by David Brin

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4742622,239 (3.54)20
Member:seanvk
Title:Existence
Authors:David Brin
Info:Tor Books (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Rating:***
Tags:sf

Work details

Existence by David Brin

  1. 00
    Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter (Aarontay)
    Aarontay: Another resolution of the Fermi's Paradox.
  2. 00
    Manifold: Space by Stephen Baxter (Aarontay)
    Aarontay: Another attempt to explain the Femi's Paradox.
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English (23)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I am normally a fan of David Brin's work and in whole this book was good. However, there are a couple of problems that cause me to have reservations about it. First of all, I don't know how to categorize this book. In the beginning, this felt like near-future SF, with a tremendous emphasis on VR/internet personal technology, artificial intelligence and some spaceflight. By the middle, it felt like a prequel to his Uplift series. Then it morphed into a first contact novel. By the end, I wasn't sure which it was. Its certainly near-future, but was all the time spent on it in the beginning just to set the stage for a first contact book? The second problem was that it is tremendously difficult to get into. The first 300 pages are spent introducing 4 main characters - 2 of which turn out to not be main characters at all by the end, while one new character almost takes over. There's just so much in that first 300 pages that was hard to read. After that, the pace picked up, but I'm still not sure this book came to a satisfying conclusion, by then it felt like there was another book coming. It never did quite match up with Sundiver or the other Uplift books, almost as if Brin decided he needed to revise some of his technology in those books and this is how he decided to start on it. Overall I liked it, but mostly because I'm a big fan of the Uplift books. ( )
  Karlstar | Apr 10, 2015 |
I love SciFi and I have loved all the other Brin books I have read, but I didn't love this one.
It took me forever to finish where I am usually a very fast reader- but I'm not sure why.
In the beginning I got lost in all the characters and even had to write them down to remember just who was who. Then just as I am really getting into their individual parts in the story, he moves the time head enough here several of these characters are not around anymore.
Then the ending- rather blah I thought.
Wouldn't recommend it to my reader friends sadly. ( )
  KarenHerndon | Mar 27, 2015 |
Packed full of ideas like a Brin book usually is, but I didn't think it cohered well, especially the last two chapters which took jumps in time away from the main story. A friend told me the last chapter was originally a short story so it may be that writing the novel around it didn't really work. ( )
  MikeRhode | Sep 26, 2014 |
The back half of this book was much more interesting than the first. Also: What was that monkey all about?
Read the rest of my review at SporadicReviews.com.


( )
  kevbayer | Jun 20, 2014 |
Big concept book with many exciting action scenes. The destruction of a Zeppelin, the person saved by dolphins, the political maneuvering, and anything with the Peng Xiang Bin character were well done. To be honest, sometimes I was not in the mood to read the 'big concept' parts: ways we are going to die, taunts to ET about contacting us, enhancing dolphins with human intelligence, collecting space junk, are we alone?, artificial intelligence, and SETI; just to name a few. I thought about them when I was in the mood, so all is good. It was a blast reading the Jamaican dialog out loud in my head. ( )
  mainrun | Apr 27, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Those who ignore the mistakes of the future are bound to make them.

- Joseph Miller
Dedication
To "Tether Joe" Carroll, who spins real space lariats . . .
and
"Doc" Sheldon Brown, who teaches time travelers . . .

. . . and Ralph Vicinanza,
who helped many dreams and dreamers to thrive.
First words
what matters? do i? or ai? + the question spins
I.
I, AMPHORUM

The universe had two great halves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer - a message in a bottle, an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765303612, Hardcover)

Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence.

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.”

Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:29 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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 augemted overlays. Your aiware glasses will ID, name-tage, and tattle on each person you walk by, in a global village of ten billion souls.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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