Existence by David Brin
Release date: June 2012
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
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.
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. It sounded so interesting and it’s gotten a lot of good reviews. But unfortunately, this book was not for me. It’s taken me a long time to get this review up because I kept coming back to it. Not to re-read, but to read, period.
The first few chapters were so scattered, covering many different characters, that I had no idea what was going on. Especially since I couldn’t see where their independent storylines would converge (like I knew they would). That piece of space garbage — the artifact — was supposed to be really important, but after the astronaut discovers it, it disappears. Well, I assume it reappears several chapters later, but I admit I never got that far.
So, unfortunately, I did not finish this book. It just wasn’t a book I could get into, even after several tries. Of course, while this book wasn’t for me, you might enjoy it immensely. So if the book interests you, give it a try.