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Earth School & Library Binding – May 1 1991


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School & Library Binding, May 1 1991
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--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • School & Library Binding: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0833567306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0833567307
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.1 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 395 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,728,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric D. Austrew on July 13 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As he says in the introduction, Earth is David Brin's most optimistic view of what the future will look like. The fact that the planet he depicts is on the knife edge of environmental collapse and disaster shows us just how serious he believes our current problems are. This book could be classified into many different sci-fi subgenres; the Dystopian Future, the emergence of the Singularity, and of course the standard Planet in Peril storyline. The wrecked and dying planet provides the dystopian feel, and the discovery of a miniature black hole in the interior of the Earth gives the characters a deadline and a problem to solve. (I won't spoil the Singularity storyline.)
The characters in the book are realistic enough, but in some cases entirely too sane and well adjusted to be interesting. The three most interesting characters are a trio of teenagers who only appear in short blurbs in between major sections, while the ostensibly main characters have predictable, reasonable, plausible emotional reactions to the craziness going on around them.
The reach of the story is impressive, but it relies on several gimmicks for resolution that leave one feeling a little disappointed. Although this book was obviously meant to have several parallel storylines all but one of them is somewhat neglected. When one of these side stories turns out to be key in the resolution of the book the reader can be forgiven for wondering why it wasn't given more focus, or at least a more convincing lead-up and explanation.
Despite all this, David Brin is a very talented author, and this book is an enjoyable read. Coming from anyone other than the author of the Uplift books I would have expected less and been more pleased. If you've never read a book by Brin before start out with Startide Rising or The Uplift War first.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, I just finished Brin's Earth, nearly 700 pages worth. As almost always happens, the book suffers from the chronic plague of science fiction novels: the photos, title, and summary on the front and back cover always seem far more interesting than actually reading the book. I guess it's the phenomenon of the monster outside your door being scarier than actually looking it in the face. Or maybe there are a million great science fiction stories running through our heads, and it takes these book covers to nudge us towards their realization.
But getting back to Brin. He certainly does impress. His prose exhibits some real talent, and I relished lines like: "Trees regularly died for literacy in those days," or ". . . conveniently diverted censure form the real culprit. The designer of trees. The destroyer. Man himself," or "gets sucked down the throat of its own self-made demon," or ". . . she preferred by far her own obsessions over the distracting nuisance of his love." He even shows his literary bravado by commenting (perceptively) on James Joyce: "Only Joyce ever came close to depicting the real hurricane of internal conflict and negotiation, those vast, turbid seascapes surrounding that island of semi-calm that named itself 'me.'"
And the story? This novel is set in the near future, where nearly all environmental crises of today has befallen the world. Initially, I appreciated how Brin seemed to even-handedly look at humanity and our eco-emergencies from all angles: those who see humans as a cancer, those who think we can manage the planet, those who look to technology to save us, those who see space as a safety valve, the interplay of the natural world and religion, etc.
So far so good.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading the final page and closing the book, I felt like I read 800 pages of a story that I didn't care too much about.
OK, Brin does a good exercise in imagining what would be the Planet's conditions fifty years after he wrote the book. But that's it. In the middle, just so the story would have a plot, there's the thing about the black hole graviting through Earth's central core, and the struggle of a team of scientists to stop it and to find who was responsible for it.
I think Brin tried to hold all the world with this book, and came up with a flat story. Yes, it's nice to read some of the passages concerning ecological development in the Planet for the next half century, but that was about it. The characters appearances were so spaced and so inocuous that I didn't feel related to them; in fact, in the end I couldn't care less if they were able to save the planet or not. There's something else with Brin's books: he uses some complex concepts and explains very little of them. Sometimes the reader, being ignorant about the science facts that he's reading about, stops trying to understand, and then the story looses most of its fun. We could see this problems, altough in a minor scale, in books as "Startide Rising" and "The postman". I think Brin likes to create his stories trying to pass to the readers a sense of mistery that sometimes doesn't work well in science fiction.
"Earth" could be better developed in lots of aspects.
Grade 6.8/10
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By Screendoor on July 27 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Earth" is an epic novel by one of the greatest SF authors of our time. Author of "The Postman" and the Uplift Series, David Brin is nothing but magnificent. Reading this book reminds me of such masterpieces like "Dune" or "The Lord of the Rings." Although it is not as good as those other books, "Earth" does offer something new.
The book takes place in 2038. The Earth has been devastated by global warming. The USSR never fell. Canada, China, Russia, and Switzerland are the superpowers. South Africa never abolished apartheid. The United States is falling apart because of side-effects to global warming. Immigrants who are not accepted into open countries go to the Sea State (A State made up of floating cities and boats. Sort of like Water World.) for acceptance.
The book opens up introducing us to Alex Lustig, George Hutton, and Stan Goldman. They were doing secret research to harness a black hole as an energy source, but they failed and the black hole sunk into the center of the Earth endangering the whole planet.
We then meet Jen Wolling. She a biologist working on the Ark Project in South Africa. The Arks are enclosed environments that are created to keep the remaining endangered species from becoming extinct. We also meet Nelson Grayson, a black Canadian who immigrates to South Africa to see where his ancestors came from. Jen discovers that he is bright and she takes him under her wing and becomes his teacher.
There are several other characters like the three Indiana teens, the astronaut Teresa Tikhana from Texas, Logan Eng, his ex-wife Daisy, and their daughter Claire. There are so many characters in this book that it would bore you to tell you all about them, you'll just have to read the book.
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