Title: Existence
Publisher: Tor/Forge
Imprint: Tor Books
Pub Date: June 19, 2012
ISBN: 9780765303615
Author: David Brin
Category: FICTION – ADULT: Science Fiction & Fantasy: Science Fiction

Marketing Copy:

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.

My Review:

I must say as a first thing that I felt cheated by this novel. It is only in the afterword that you realise this is a collection of short stories and essays that Brin wrote in the 80’s wrapped in a new story. This explains so much about this book.

It feels disjointed. The characters lack depth. There seems at points different writers writing this.  I also found myself slightly bored by it in places, which I hate saying.

But… this is Brin’s first ‘novel’ in ten years, So I hoping he manages to find his feet again. I have always enjoyed Brin’s style, but this just did not work for me. The concept behind the book is brilliant but gets bogged down in this overly big tome (at 500 odd pages). If written as a cohesive whole, it may have been a brilliant book as well.

Brin is back, but this is not the book you are expecting.

My Rating:

3 spacejunk out of 5