Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence.
Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there's something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn't on the decades' old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth's infomesh about an "alien artifact."
Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.
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The discovery of alien artifacts pushes an already troubled Earth to the brink of chaos in bestseller Brin's exciting story of first contact. Gerald Livingston finds an alien "egg" while cleaning space garbage out of valuable satellite orbits. When word leaks to the press, speculation and fears abound. Change has already brought "Awfulday," when Washington, D.C., was hit by a dirty bomb, and an autism plague has created a generation that neurotypical people can't understand. As a self-styled antitechnology prophet, Tenskwatawa, calls for slowing down technological progress, the alien artifact is an unwelcome "Disturber," even as it promises to fix all Earth's problems with a catch, of course. Meanwhile, a second artifact recovered by a desperate Chinese fisherman warns against following other artifacts, suggesting these miniature Pandora's boxes have steered Earth's culture for some 9,000 years. Are the artifacts truly "worldstones," full of wonders and ingenious advice, or "demon-stones" that will only ruin the little stability to which humanity clings? Brin's thoughtful, multilayered story explores a first contact scenario where every twist reveals greater peril. His longtime fans will especially appreciate that this story could be read as a prequel to 1983's Startide Rising, while those not familiar with his work will find it an impressive introduction to one of SF's major talents.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The novel has a slow start but once the various pieces begin falling into place (about 1/4 of the book later) the novel becomes quite good. Thought provoking, original and eventually a page turner though not at the start. Some characters are a bit cliched at times.
Marvelous and inspiring.
Every time I set this book down, I started thinking. A lot. Not just about the book, but about life and humanity. This book is not one you want to miss, a must read in my opinion.
A marvelous SF story with more great ideas per page than most books.