Existence by David Brin

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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.


About David Brin

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Gregory Benford, Physicist and writer Professor Gregory Benford earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 1967. He's a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a consultant for NASA. Benford's first novel "Deeper than the Darkness" (1970), which was revised as "The Stars in Shroud" (1978), gave him notice as a serious Science Fiction writer. His most popular work is "Timescape" (1980), which was the winner of the Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards; it presented a hard physics approach to limited time travel. "In the Ocean of Night" (1977), "Across the Sea of Suns" (1984), "Great Sky River" (1987), "Tides of Light" (1989) and "Furious Gulf" (1994) were all a part of the Galactic Cluster Series. He has also written the juvenile novel "Jupiter Project" (1975), "Against Infinity" (1983) and the thriller "Artifact" (1985). Benford, writing alternately with Bruce Sterling, produces science fact articles for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. They took over after the death of regular columnist Isaac Asimov. He has also co-edited theme anthologies with Martin H. Greenburg, which include "Hitler Victorious" (1986), "Nuclear War" (1988), "What Might Have Been, Volume 1: Alternate Empires" (1988), "Volume 2: Alternate Heroes" (1989) and "Volume 3: Alternate Wars. David Brin is a scientist, writer, and public speaker. He was born in Pasadena, California, on October 9, 1950. Brin attended the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and later earned a doctorate at the University of California. He accepted a position as an engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company. Brin is a former fellow at the California Space Institute and serves on several government and nongovernment advisory committees dealing with issues involved with technological growth. Brin has lectured all over the world on such topics as space flight, ecology, and the search for extraterrestrial life. Brin deals with global warming, the destruction of the ozone layer, and pollution of Earth. His 1987 novel, The Uplift War, received the Hugo Award and the Locus Award. His novels have been translated into 20 languages.
Published June 19, 2012 by Tor Books. 896 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Existence

Kirkus Reviews

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Peng Xiang Bin, a scavenger along China's drowned coast, discovers a second crystal whose denizens insist that Gerald's aliens are liars.

May 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

The Guardian

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Existence by David Brin, Pandemonium edited by Anne C Perry and Jared Shurin, Silent Voices by Gary McMahon and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Jun 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

Publishers Weekly

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The discovery of alien artifacts pushes an already troubled Earth to the brink of chaos in bestseller Brin’s exciting story of first contact.

Apr 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

The Bookbag

His AI world with its controls, virtually overlaying our reality with levels and levels of adjustments, scanning options, adverts, graffiti et al, the culture of this version of the Internet, with flash mobs built up regarding potential cause to be a living Wiki with a hive mind, and influencing ...

Jun 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence


Through such details, mentioned in passing, we are led (if we stop to reflect on them) to ask whether and to what extent touching a technologically-enhanced crucifix around one’s neck that can detect one’s non-verbal queries and provide answers in fact does not only what such religious accessori...

Nov 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence


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Jul 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence


It is both a novel of ends and beginnings, a novel of first contact and a novel that approaches an answer to the question partially framed by the Fermi Paradox “Are we alone in the universe?” Brin casts a fairly wide net of viewpoint characters in Existence, the first of which is where the even...

Jul 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

Fantasy Literature

Existence is David Brin’s first novel in some time and while I’ve long bemoaned his absence, it’s hard to complain about the time he takes if this is what he ends up with.

Oct 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

Bookmarks Magazine

Bookmarks has not yet published a review of this book.

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

Los Angeles Review of Books

Brin’s latest novel, Existence, is in many ways less optimistic about the future of galactic civilization, though it is perhaps the most ambitious of all his novels in a literary sense.

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

Geek Speak Magazine

And I welcome having to actually put thought into a book I am reading, as my brain may have atrophied from reading about too many throbbing members.

Jun 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence


I've read hundreds of science fiction book but somehow David Brin's books always passed me by even though I've always been told that he's great and that I would have liked him.

Jul 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

Shades of Sentience

The main question this novel seems to ask ‘is humanity destined to repeat mistakes made in the past?’ (Though not necessarily by humans.) This question isn’t ever really answered, which seems to add more to the story rather than feeling like it’s lacking.

Jul 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

MacMillian Library Marketing

-Library Journal (starred review) "Brin's EXISTENCE is bursting with ideas, including near-future tech, first contact with aliens, and the exploration of what it means to be human.

Jul 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Existence

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