As a scientist himself, author David Brin has a sharp advantage when it comes to works of science fiction. Given he's the winner of a Nebula Award, Locus Award, Inkpot Award, and two Hugo Awards, it's clear this real-life knowledge has given him an edge. With his high-concept plots, intricate worldbuilding, and grasp on emotional nuance, Brin has produced gripping science fiction tales.
Here are eight outstanding David Brin books sci-fi fans need to read.
The second in the six-book Uplift Saga (after the novel Sundiver), Startide Rising follows Earthship Streaker, which has a crew comprised of humans, dolphins, and chimpanzees. Humanity's exploration to galaxies far beyond has led to countless species coming together under ancient tradition.
Among those traditions is uplift, which requires all races venturing out into space to welcome those new to Galactic culture by enhancing each client species to full sapience. In return, 'patron' races require centuries of labor.
When the crew of Streaker stumbles upon a devastated armada, they wonder if the wreckage might have been left behind by the earliest patrons.
The Uplift Storm Trilogy
Collected here in one set, this is the second trilogy of the Uplift Saga, and includes Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, and Heaven's Reach.
Brightness Reef sees six excommunicated races running from the law on the planet Jijo. In Infinity Shore, the Streaker crew has settled on the isolated planet after years of running, but their enemies have followed them.
In the final installment, Heaven's Reach, the six races on Jijo band together to combat their unexpected enemies, while the crew of Streaker have their own foes to face.
The Practice Effect
When physicist Dennis Nuel becomes the first human to probe peculiar alternate universes called anomaly worlds, he learns the laws of science are drastically different in these new dimensions.
Dennis finds a world which almost precisely mirrors our own, except the process of entropy works in reverse. Swords get sharper with use, and baskets get stronger the more the carry. But matter is also inclined to deteriorate if it's not put to its purpose.
Now Dennis is revered as a great wizard in this strange land, pitted against an enigmatic warlord.
Heart of the Comet
David Brin and Gregory Benford co-authored this tale of humanity's near-future in space. It follows a dangerous mission to alter the orbit of Halley's Comet, the first step in mining its resources.
Before long, the human setters fall victim to the indigenous lifeforms of the comet and their diseases. The unexpected turn of events causes the expedition crew to splinter into factions, arguing over the future of the comet and Earth.
In a tumultuous future, expendable duplicate bodies carry out the whims of their masters. Indulging desires both legal and otherwise, this leads to a life of decadence for those with duplicates to spare.
As an investigator, Albert Morris knows the perks of these duplicates all too well, as he uses his own double as a replacement during dangerous situations.
But when he discovers a blackmarket group making unauthorized copies of an actress, the real Albert Morris is thrown into the heart of danger.
Gerald Livingston is just a humble garbage space collector. Then he finds the Artifact. This piece of orbiting trash isn't on Livingston's map, and it causes a clamor among other humans, who believe it contains a message from alien life asking to communicate.
And those who hear these messages react as humans always do—with a mixture of fear, violence, hope, and curiosity.
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