Wednesday, April 17, 2013

David Brin - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author David Brin. He is the award-winning bestselling Author, Scientist and Futurist with such books to his credit as: The Transparent Society, Existence, Earth and The Postman.

Author Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Thriller, Comics & Graphic Novels

Website: Worlds of David Brin
Author's Blog: Contrary Brin
Blog: Google +
Twitter: @DavidBrin1
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest


Author Description:
David Brin is a scientist, public speaker and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

David's latest novel - Existence - is set forty years ahead, in a near future when human survival seems to teeter along not just on one tightrope, but dozens, with as many hopeful trends and breakthroughs as dangers... a world we already see ahead. Only one day an astronaut snares a small, crystalline object from space. It appears to contain a message, even visitors within. Peeling back layer after layer of motives and secrets may offer opportunities, or deadly peril.

David's non-fiction book -- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? -- deals with secrecy in the modern world. It won the Freedom of Speech Award from the American Library Association.

A 1998 movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based on his post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. Brin's 1989 ecological thriller - Earth - foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends such as the World Wide Web. David's novel Kiln People has been called a book of ideas disguised as a fast-moving and fun noir detective story, set in a future when new technology enables people to physically be in more than two places at once. A hardcover graphic novel The Life Eaters explored alternate outcomes to WWII, winning nominations and high praise.

David's science fictional Uplift Universe explores a future when humans genetically engineer higher animals like dolphins to become equal members of our civilization. These include the award-winning Startide Rising, The Uplift War, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore and Heaven's Reach. He also recently tied up the loose ends left behind by the late Isaac Asimov: Foundation's Triumph brings to a grand finale Asimov's famed Foundation Universe.

Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction and philanthropy.

As a public speaker, Brin shares unique insights -- serious and humorous -- about ways that changing technology may affect our future lives. He appears frequently on TV, including several episodes of "The Universe" and History Channel's "Life After People." He also was a regular cast member on "The ArciTECHS."

Brin's scientific work covers an eclectic range of topics, from astronautics, astronomy, and optics to alternative dispute resolution and the role of neoteny in human evolution. His Ph.D in Physics from UCSD - the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) - followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Space Institute. His technical patents directly confront some of the faults of old-fashioned screen-based interaction, aiming to improve the way human beings converse online.

Brin lives in San Diego County with his wife and three children.


SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Readers have been patiently awaiting for 30 years for my return to the planet Kithrup where (at the end of STARTIDE RISING) I left a small crew of dolphins and humans who must protect a secret that will rock five galaxies. I figure it's time to keep that promise.

You have a good following on Twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How much has it changed your book launch process?

Social media can be very useful and I try to keep up with the best techniques. After all, in EARTH (1989) I had web pages before there was a web and predicted many of the advantages… and problems … of digital, two-way media. Still, I have found that it is very important not to let it all vampire away your time to read, to write and to enjoy the outdoors. Especially to write.

You do a lot of video presentations, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? When and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

My web site is one of the most extensive author web presences around, with a good listing of coming events. The good news? You'll find heaps of meaty content in dozens of categories. The bad news is that creating all that stuff -- while interesting -- has subtracted from my fiction, which should be my main livelihood. It's what people around the world seem to think I do best.

I enjoyed watching your Youtube presentations. What advice can you give to authors about the importance of using video in their marketing effort?

We are entering an era when it will be rare for written fiction to stand entirely alone. Oh, I love the power of the autonomous novel. But it is becoming easier to enhance the experience. For example, in EARTH I included "links" (way back in 1989) that already crudely expanded the main storyline and that could now pop over to broad experiences - and some young artists want to do that.

The best recent example was my collaboration with the great web artist Patrick Farley (electricsheepcomix.com)
on a gorgeous and very dramatic 3 minute video trailer for EXISTENCE. At the opposite end are YouTube spoken missives that range from simple chapter readings to advice for new writers and freshmen heading off to college.

Always the goal remains the same… to entertain. To have folks go: "Huh… interesting!" And for them to want more.

You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

I am at a level where the publisher consults with me and tries to keep me happy… but I ain't J. K. Rowling.

Indeed, though, I get sent a lot of fan-generated art. It is so cool to see beautiful scenes inspired by pages that I wrote. Often they are more lovely than anything I ever imagined. We are collaborators!

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers? They look very professional. Do you use the trailer in your character development? Are the pictures and background the way you see your characters and scenes?

I need to add this note: Authors should read your blog: Help Make a Trailer for my next book?


Well, I mentioned Patrick Farley. I think he is spectacularly talented and folks should look up his other works. For EXISTENCE he hand painted 3 minutes of wonderful renditions of scenes from the book, stitched together with great drama. (http://www.tinyurl.com/exist-trailer).


My wife did some more standard 1 minute trailers for HEART OF THE COMET and for GLORY SEASON, using Ken Burns Effect pans across book covers and I thought the results were outstanding. Folks can view them under "books" at http://www.davidbrin.com.


Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, your marketing and the relationship with your readers and fans?

Not so far… but it will happen soon. I am already offering individual short stories that have proved very popular. And my two story collections. Soon I shall be offering whole novels.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I've long contributed copies to charity auctions, shelters, military base libraries. Lately, also giveaway contests on Goodreads etc. But I must be careful, or the tsunami of requests becomes overwhelming.

How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?

I do keep notes. And I was born to use computers… bought my first in 1980! But charts? No. Given how ornate books like EXISTENCE can be, you'd think I did. But no. It's mostly in the skull.

You have a great blog and website. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal?

To be a lively, interesting and active participant in a civilization where some folks care more about questions than about rigid dogmas and marching to the tune obeyed by their neighbors. I write for contrarians and ornery types who want their assumptions challenged. I will never get rich that way! But it is a large enough niche market to keep my family fed.

You published Postman and several other novels in different languages. How is your audience abroad? Does the SF genre drive the foreign sales?

A civilization's creativity and future orientation can be measured by the health of its sci fi tradition. I am pleased to say there are signs of an exciting new wave of science fiction in China. That bodes well (if it continues) for our future.

You not only write great SF novels and short stories but it appears you live and work in and around that futuristic world. Had you ever thought about writing something in a different genre?

I have written mysteries and tense suspense… (and when I teach writing I urge students to start with a murder mystery). Oh, sure, they all wind up being categorized as science fiction, because I am fascinated by CHANGE and how we humans react to it. Change is the one salient feature of our times. Any genre that ignores this is not trying to be relevant. It is hiding.



Author's Book List
Existence
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.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Book Trailer: Existence
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Heart of the Comet
Gregory Benford and David Brin come together again to issue a new edition of their bold collaboration about our near human future in space, planting our boots . . . and staking our destiny . . . on becoming the People of the Comet. Prescient and scientifically accurate, Heart of the Comet is known as one of the great "hard sf" novels of the 1980s. First published in 1986, it tells the story of an ambitious manned mission to visit Halley's Comet and alter its orbit, to mine it for resources. But all too soon, native cells— that might once have brought life to Earth—begin colonizing the colonists. As factions battle over the comet's future . . . and that of Earth . . . only love, courage and ingenuity can avert disaster, and possibly spark a new human destiny.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Book Trailer: Heart of the Comet
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Kiln People
In a perilous future, disposable duplicate bodies fulfill every citizen's legal and illicit whim. Life as a 24-hour "ditto" is cheap, as Albert Morris knows. A brash investigator with a knack for trouble, he's sent plenty of clay duplicates into deadly peril, then "inloaded" memories from copies that were shot, crushed, drowned . . . all part of a day's work. But when Morris tackles a ring of crooks making bootleg copies of a famous actress, he trips into a secret so explosive it incites open warfare on the streets of Dittotown. Kiln People is a 2003 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon
Foundation's Triumph - Second Foundation Trilogy
Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the highwater marks of science fiction.The monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline and a secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the coming Dark Age with tools of Psychohistory, Foundation pioneered many themes of modern science fiction.Now, with the approval of the Asimov estate, three of today's most acclaimed authors have completed the epic the Grand Master left unfinished. The Second Foundation Trilogy begins with Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear, telling the origins of Hari Seldon, the Foundation's creator. Greg Bear's Foundation and Chaos relates the epic tale of Seldon's downfall and the first stirrings of robotic rebellion. Now, in David Brin's Foundation's Triumph, Seldon is about to escape exile and risk everything for one final quest-a search for knowledge and the power it bestows. The outcome of this final journey may secure humankind's future-or witness its final downfall…
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Transparent Society - Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy And Freedom?
In New York and Baltimore, police cameras scan public areas twenty-four hours a day. Huge commercial databases track you finances and sell that information to anyone willing to pay. Host sites on the World Wide Web record every page you view, and “smart” toll roads know where you drive. Every day, new technology nibbles at our privacy.Does that make you nervous? David Brin is worried, but not just about privacy. He fears that society will overreact to these technologies by restricting the flow of information, frantically enforcing a reign of secrecy. Such measures, he warns, won’t really preserve our privacy. Governments, the wealthy, criminals, and the techno-elite will still find ways to watch us. But we’ll have fewer ways to watch them. We’ll lose the key to a free society: accountability.The Transparent Society is a call for “reciprocal transparency.” If police cameras watch us, shouldn’t we be able to watch police stations? If credit bureaus sell our data, shouldn't we know who buys it? Rather than cling to an illusion of anonymity-a historical anomaly, given our origins in close-knit villages-we should focus on guarding the most important forms of privacy and preserving mutual accountability. The biggest threat to our freedom, Brin warns, is that surveillance technology will be used by too few people, now by too many.A society of glass houses may seem too fragile. Fearing technology-aided crime, governments seek to restrict online anonymity; fearing technology-aided tyranny, citizens call for encrypting all data. Brins shows how, contrary to both approaches, windows offer us much better protection than walls; after all, the strongest deterrent against snooping has always been the fear of being spotted. Furthermore, Brin argues, Western culture now encourages eccentricity-we’re programmed to rebel! That gives our society a natural protection against error and wrong-doing, like a body’s immune system. But “social T-cells” need openness to spot trouble and get the word out. The Transparent Society is full of such provocative and far-reaching analysis.The inescapable rush of technology is forcing us to make new choices about how we want to live. This daring book reminds us that an open society is more robust and flexible than one where secrecy reigns. In an era of gnat-sized cameras, universal databases, and clothes-penetrating radar, it will be more vital than ever for us to be able to watch the watchers. With reciprocal transparency we can detect dangers early and expose wrong-doers. We can gauge the credibility of pundits and politicians. We can share technological advances and news. But all of these benefits depend on the free, two-way flow of information.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Book Trailer: The Transparent Society
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Heaven's Reach - The Second Uplift Trilogy #3
Winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards, David Brin brings his bestselling Uplift series to a magnificent conclusion with his most imaginative and powerful novel to date--the shattering epic of a universe poised on the brink of revelation...or annihilation. The brutal enemy that has relentlessly pursued them for centuries has arrived. Now the fugitive settlers of Jijo--both human and alien--brace for a final confrontation. The Jijoans' only hope is the Earthship Streaker, crewed by uplifted dolphins and commanded by an untested human. Yet more than just the fate of Jijo hangs in the balance. For Streaker carries a cargo of ancient artifacts that may unlock the secret of those who first brought intelligent life to the Galaxies. Many believe a dire prophecy has come to pass: an age of terrifying changes that could end Galactic civilization. As dozens of white dwarf stars stand ready to explode, the survival of sentient life in the universe rests on the most improbable dream of all--that age-old antagonists of different races can at last recognize the unity of all consciousness.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Postman
This is the story of a lie that became the most powerful kind of truth. A timeless novel as urgently compelling as War Day or Alas, Babylon, David Brin's The Postman is the dramatically moving saga of a man who rekindled the spirit of America through the power of a dream, from a modern master of science fiction. He was a survivor--a wanderer who traded tales for food and shelter in the dark and savage aftermath of a devastating war. Fate touches him one chill winter's day when he borrows the jacket of a long-dead postal worker to protect himself from the cold. The old, worn uniform still has power as a symbol of hope, and with it he begins to weave his greatest tale, of a nation on the road to recovery.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Book Trailer: The Postman
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Brightness Reef - The Uplift Trilogy, Book 1
David Brin's Uplift novels--Sundiver, Hugo award winner The Uplift War, and Hugo and Nebula winner Startide Rising--are among the most thrilling and extraordinary science fiction tales ever written. Now David Brin returns to this future universe for a new Uplift trilogy, packed with adventure, passion and wit. The planet Jijo is forbidden to settlers, its ecology protected by guardians of the Five Galaxies. But over the centuries it has been resettled, populated by refugees of six intelligent races. Together they have woven a new society in the wilderness, drawn together by their fear of Judgment Day, when the Five Galaxies will discover their illegal colony. Then a strange starship arrives on Jijo. Does it bring the long-dreaded judgment, or worse--a band of criminals willing to destroy the six races of Jijo in order to cover their own crimes?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The Uplift War - The Uplift Saga, Book 3
David Brin's Uplift novels are among the most thrilling and extraordinary science fiction ever written. Sundiver, Startide Rising, and The Uplift War--a New York Times bestseller--together make up one of the most beloved sagas of all time. Brin's tales are set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being "uplifted" by a patron race. But the greatest mystery of all remains unsolved: who uplifted humankind? As galactic armadas clash in quest of the ancient fleet of the Progenitors, a brutal alien race seizes the dying planet of Garth. The various uplifted inhabitants of Garth must battle their overlords or face ultimate extinction. At stake is the existence of Terran society and Earth, and the fate of the entire Five Galaxies. Sweeping, brilliantly crafted, inventive and dramatic, The Uplift War is an unforgettable story of adventure and wonder from one of today's science fiction greats.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Sundiver - The Uplift Saga, Book 1
No species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of a patron--except perhaps mankind. Did some mysterious race begin the uplift of humanity aeons ago? Circling the sun, under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in history--a journey into the boiling inferno of the sun.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Startide Rising - The Uplift Saga, Book 2
David Brin's Uplift novels are among the most thrilling and extraordinary science fiction ever written. Sundiver, Startide Rising, and The Uplift War--a New York Times bestseller--together make up one of the most beloved sagas of all time. Brin's tales are set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being "uplifted" by a patron race. But the greatest mystery of all remains unsolved: who uplifted humankind? The Terran exploration vessel Streaker has crashed in the uncharted water world of Kithrup, bearing one of the most important discoveries in galactic history. Below, a handful of her human and dolphin crew battles armed rebellion and a hostile planet to safeguard her secret--the fate of the Progenitors, the fabled First Race who seeded wisdom throughout the stars.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment