Happy birthday David Brin!

David Brin in 2005
David Brin in 2005

Glen David Brin (photo ©Glogger) was born on October 6, 1950 in Glendale, California, USA.

David Brin earned a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy in 1973 from the California Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Applied Physics in 1978 and a PhD in Space Science in 1981 from the University of California, San Diego. For some years he worked as a postdoc researcher at the university.

David Brin’s career as a science fiction writer began while he was still studying for his doctorate with the publication of his first novel “Sundiver” in 1980. It became the first novel of what has become known as the Uplift novels and introduces a fictional universe full of sentient species where the practice of uplifting of non-sentient species is normal. The first sequel, “Startide Rising” was published in 1983 and won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards.

In subsequent years, David Brin also devoted himself to self-contained novels: “The Practice Effect” (1984) and “The Postman” (1985). “Heart of the Comet” (1986), was co-written with Gregory Benford.

David Brin returned to the Uplift universe with the 1987 novel “Uplift War”, winner of the Hugo Award. In the 1990s, he wrote the self-contained novels “Earth” (1991), and “Glory Season” (1993). In the following years he devoted himself to a new trilogy that completed the Uplift universe: “Brightness Reef” (1995), “Infinity’s Shore” (1996), and “Heaven’s Reach” (1998).

Occasionally, David Brin has written stories set in fictional universes not created by him: that’s the case of the 1999 novel “Foundation’s Triumph”, set in the Isaac Asimov’s Foundation universe, and the 2002 comic book “Forgiveness”, set in the Star Trek universe at the time of the TV show “Star Trek: The Next Generation“. The author also wrote two other comic books: “The Life Eaters” (2002), and “Tinkerers” (2010).

Considered a hard science fiction author because technological and scientific themes are crucial in his works, David Brin has also kept pace with real technologies by embracing the Internet. His online presence has become more visible with the emergence of social networks, which he uses to write about science fiction, real technological and scientific research, and even politics. The interconnections between technology and politics are among the topics he discusses online but also that of his essay “The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?” 1998, winner of the American Library Association’s Freedom of Speech Award. In fact, he also writes a lot of articles about science, technology, science fiction, and their relationship with today’s society.

Perhaps these activities left David Brin less time to write novels because “Kiln People” (2002) was followed by “Existence” in 2012 and “The Ancient Ones”, a sort of sci-fi comedy, self-published in 2020. He looks really busy between collaborations with NASA and consultancies regarding future evolution of science and technology. That’s not surprising for a writer who created space operas but also stories set in a future that’s near and very realistic.

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