Saturday, March 7, 2015

Existence by David Brin

If hell is other
people, Sartre's universe
will be hot, not cold.

Reading David Brin's Existence showed me at least one thing. I don't read as much science fiction as I used to.

Near-future humanity comes face to face with the question of universal existence when an orbiting garbage man snares a crystalline egg of obvious (?) extraterrestrial origin that soon begins communicating with him. Except the message isn't quite what we all expected.

Less about our place in the universe and more about what it means to be human, Existence proposes one vision of our near-future that's entertaining, fills a decades-long plot line with existential questions, and leaves you pondering science fact instead of fiction.

I'll get to hear Brin speak at next month's Congress on the Future of Engineering Software and hopefully he'll tell me how all my interpretations of Existence are wrong.

Brin's website for the book is

Added 25 Apr 2015: David Brin autographed my copy of Existence at COFES 2015, the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software.

I received no compensation of any kind for this review. The book was provided to me and other COFES attendees at no cost.

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