Earth (novel)

infobox Book |
name = Earth
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover of first edition (hardcover)and the second edition (paperback)
author = David Brin
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Science fiction novel
publisher = Bantam Books
release_date = 1990
media_type = Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
pages = 601 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-553-07064-9
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Earth" is a 1990 science fiction novel written by David Brin. The book was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1991.

Plot introduction

Set in the year 2038, the book is a cautionary tale of the harm humans can cause their planet via disregard for the environment and reckless scientific experiments. The book has a large cast of characters and Brin uses them to address a number of environmental issues including endangered species, global warming, refugees from ecological disasters, ecoterrorism, and the social effects of overpopulation. The plot of the book involves an artificially created black hole which has been lost in the Earth's interior and the attempts to recover it before it destroys the planet. The events and revelations which follow reshape humanity and its future in the universe.

The scope of the story expands vastly as the plot gradually reveals itself, bringing into question the future course — and even the survival — of humanity.


Brin set this novel 50 years in the future from the time he was writing, using the book as an opportunity to predict what technologies might — at that future date — be taken for granted day to day. Three technologies he predicted, which were unheard of at the time, came to pass within only 8 years of the writing, include a media-centric, hypertext Internet, e-mail spam, and the proliferation of personal video recording devices.

Brin claims at least 15 predictive hits in "Earth" including:

* the World Wide Web (including it as being a major news-media outlet, complete with videos and discussion forums) and blogging. (Brin did not predict the URL, rather using a clumsier numeric form of address.)
* e-mail spam and sophisticated personalized filtering software
* levees breaking on the Mississippi
* the dissolution and partitioning of the Soviet Union
* global warming associated sea level rise and severe storm seasons
* subvocal input devices
* sophont-made black holes considered seriously
* crisis habitat arks for endangered species, with a view to later restoration to the wild.
* eyeglass cameras
* the erosion of personal privacy
* eyeglass overlays on real environments
* personality profiling through brain imaging
* art sculptures on a geologic scale
* decline of delivered mail
* lawyer software

See also

* Micro black hole
* Gaia hypothesis
* Tunguska event
* Gravitational radiation

External links

* [ David Brin's Official Web Site: My Other Science Fiction Novels]
* [ Earth Wiki]

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