This is one of the BEST books I have read in a LOOOONG time. I couldn't put it down - led to many a sleepless night! The premise is there is a black hole at the center of the earth that is found just about 30 years from now (2007). The earth's population is 10 billion and the ice caps are melting. Animal species have been saved in "arks" all over the globe (we hope they are saved anyway). Commentary on society and internalistic ideas is amazing and VERY good.
this book is written by an astrophysicist and takes many unexpected turns - especially the ending! A MUST READ for Sci-Fi Fans from the author who brought us The Postman and many others.
I really did not like this book. The end was good, but the long slog to get there wasn't worth it. The POV jumps all over, with many characters existing solely to express the author's pontifications. I had no problem with the science, and enjoyed the extrapolation of the future from the culture of the late 80s. The expansive growth of the internet is just about spot on, but then he ruins the effect by creating new swear words for his characters to use. They just sounded silly. Most of this book seemed to go nowhere and have no point. The plot gets lost amid the countless warnings and philosophical statements of the author. Characters feel like vehicles for the author's opinion, not real people. It got old, fast. I can't recommend this book.
I love reading David Brin's books, but read this one ages ago. Since it has been so long, I am borrowing a review from Amazon.
Reviewer: Jedidiah Palosaari "Not My Real Name" (Dar Baida-Casablanca, Morocco)
An amazing pre-sentient work, Earth explores the world fifty years from now with astonishing accuracy and vividness. Writing before the development of the world wide web, Brin describes nearly completely what we have today, and will likely in forty years, with a world culture dependent on the web for all it's information. It is a possible future, but a very likely one. Here, there is mandatory time spent on the net, as it is too important for survival, and though one may not have enough for food in the next day, still access to the world web is free. With this and the ever presence of personal vid-cams has come the complete death of privacy. Warming has continued apace, and so Bangladesh and the Maldives are gone, with floating cities to take their place. The world has finally realized the importance of the environment- only because it is forced to- and dropping a cup in the water can get you prison time. White folks are in trouble especially from the lack of ozone layer, and new religions have arisen- Gaiaism and interestingly neo-Raism, with the recognition of the sun as a power that can destroy lives through skin cancer.
I have to reduce this from five stars only because the last quarter of the book becomes more magic than science fiction or scientific realism, and the improbabilities become too great. But I would highly recommend this work for the vision of a very likely future which we should all be prepared for.
Interesting, but so many changes of view, and enough pseudo-scientific jargon that it was easy to get lost. Worth the read, probably better for hard-core science folks.
If you are looking for a book written like the Uplift books, this is not it. The book is overly long, has too many crazy plots. The dialoge is flat, and the Characters unlikable.