David Brin

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Glen David Brin, Ph.D. (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo,[1] Locus,[2][3][4] Campbell[5] and Nebula Awards.[6]



Brin was born in Glendale, California in 1950. In 1973, he graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in astronomy. He followed this with a Master of Science in applied physics in 1978 and a Doctor of Philosophy in space science in 1981, both from the University of California, San Diego.

Brin is a 2010 fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.[7]

He currently lives in southern California with his children.



Brin's body of science fiction, when taken as a whole, is normally categorized as hard science fiction.

The Uplift stories

About half of Brin's works are in his Uplift Universe. These have won a large following in the SF community, twice winning the international Science Fiction Achievement Award (Hugo Award) in the Best Novel category.

This future history depicts a huge galactic civilization responsible for "uplifting" all forms of life which are potentially capable of building and operating interstellar spaceships for themselves. The stories focus almost exclusively on oxygen-breathing species but make it clear that there are other "orders of life", of which hydrogen-breathers are the most important. In the "Uplift" novels humans are economically and technologically the weakest spacefaring race, and are an anomaly since they have no apparent "patron" species responsible for their uplift from animal pre-sapience (Whether their patron abandoned them or whether humans gained sentience on their own is never definitively settled). As a result several races are eager to force humans to become their clients; but galactic law saves humans from this fate because they are patrons themselves, having already made considerable progress in uplifting dolphins and chimpanzees before developing faster-than-light space travel, and thus attracting the attention of galactic civilization. Many sentients see humans' lack of patrons as an opportunity to bully them mercilessly. It does not help that humans have a relatively non-hierarchical society with rather informal habits of speech, while most of galactic society is rather feudal and very particular about etiquette, especially deference.

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