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Encyclopedia > The Postman
The Postman

Cover of first edition (hardcover)
Author David Brin
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Post-apocalyptic science-fiction
Publisher Bantam Books
Publication date 1985
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 294 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-553-05107-5
Cover of recent paperback edition of The Postman.
Cover of recent paperback edition of The Postman.

The Postman (1985) is a post-apocalyptic novel by David Brin. A drifter stumbles across the uniform of an old United States Postal Service letter carrier and gives hope to a community threatened by local warlords with empty promises of aid from the "Restored United States of America." The first two parts were published separately as "The Postman" (1982) and "Cyclops" (1984). Both won Hugo Awards for Best Novella. The completed novel was awarded first prize in the John W. Campbell Awards for the best science fiction novel of the year in 1986. It was also nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel. The Postman may refer to: Mail carrier, a person delivering post in music: Postmen a dutch reggae/hip hop band Postman, a song by The Rasmus from their 1996 debut album Peep The Postman, a song by The American Analog Set from their 2001 album Know by Heart in cinema... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 396 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (415 × 628 pixel, file size: 62 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Low res scan of book cover (The Postman by David Brin, Bantam Books first edition hardcover) for use in illustrating article about book. ... Glen David Brin, Ph. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Apocalyptic fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction (or, in some cases, the more general category speculative fiction) that is concerned with the end of civilization through nuclear war, plague, or some other general disaster. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Bantam Books is a major U.S. publishing house owned by Random House and is part of the Bantam Dell Publishing Group. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN-13 represented as EAN-13 bar code (in this case ISBN 978-3-16-148410-0) The International Standard Book Number, ISBN, is a unique[1] commercial book identifier barcode. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Apocalyptic science fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction that is concerned with the end of the world or civilization, through nuclear war, plague, or some other general disaster. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... Glen David Brin, Ph. ... USPS and Usps redirect here. ... A warlord is a person with power who has de facto military control of a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works. ... The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel has been awarded every year since 1973, except in 1994. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years (see rolling eligibility below). ...

In 1997, a film adaptation was made of the novel. For other uses, see The Postman (disambiguation). ...


Plot summary

Despite the post-apocalyptic scenario, and several action sequences, the book is largely about civilization and symbols. Each of the three sections deals with a different symbol. The first is the Postman himself, who takes the uniform solely for warmth after he loses everything but his sleeping clothes. He wanders without establishing himself anywhere, and acts in scenes of William Shakespeare for supplies. His reputation as a real postman builds not because of a deliberate fraud (at least initially) but because people are desperate to believe. Later, in the second section, he encounters a community (Corvallis, Oregon) led by Cyclops, apparently a sentient artificial intelligence created at Oregon State University which miraculously survived the cataclysm. However, the machine was actually destroyed, and the appearance of it is being maintained by a group of scientists trying to keep hope, order, and knowledge alive. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Corvallis (IPA: ) is a city located in central western Oregon, USA. Originally called Marysville, (possibly after early settler Mary Lloyd but now thought to be derived from French fur-trappers naming of a local paek after the Virgin Mary [1]), the legislative assembly changed the citys name to Corvallis... Not to be confused with sapience. ... Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. ... Oregon State University (OSU) is a four-year research and degree-granting public university, located in Corvallis, Oregon in the United States. ...

Eventually, in the third section, as the Postman joins forces with the Cyclops scientists in a war against an influx of "hypersurvivalists" (the concept of survivalists taken to a slave-owning, misogynistic extreme—indeed, Brin has said that the novel was, in a way, an anti-survivalist novel), he begins to find that the survivalists are being pressed from the Rogue River area to the south as well. As the story ends, and he comes close to the survivalist's southern enemy, he begins to find traces of them, primarily in the symbol that they rally behind: the Bear Flag of California. The final scenes give the impression that the three symbols may rally together in an effort to revive civilization. A survivalist is a person who anticipates a potential disruption in the continuity of local, regional or worldwide society, and takes steps to survive in the resulting unpredictable situation. ... Slave redirects here. ... Misogyny is an exaggerated pathological aversion towards women. ... Rogue River Gorge, Oregon The mouth of the Rogue River in the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach, Oregon The Rogue River is located in southwest Oregon. ... The modern Bear Flag of California The flag of California was first flown during the Bear Flag Revolt as the flag of the California Republic, and a modified version was then adopted by the California state legislature in 1911 as the state flag. ...

The hypersurvivalists are more commonly referred to as Holnists, after the founder of their ideal, Nathan Holn. Many times through the book, curses are uttered which damn Holn for his actions. Nathan Holn was an author who championed an extreme, violent, misogynistic and survivalist society. Holn is never seen in the novel, but in the time following what should have been a brief period of civil disorder, followers of Holn prevented the United States from recovering from the limited war, and the plagues that followed.

Another message of the plot deals with the backstory of the post-apocalyptic world: specifically, that it was not the electronics-destroying electromagnetic pulses, nor the destruction of major cities, nor the release of various bio-engineered plagues that actually destroyed society: rather, it was the survivalists themselves, those who maintained stockpiles of weapons and ammunition and who preyed on humanitarian workers and other forces of order. The message of this is obviously that what could really destroy civilization is its own members. The term electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has the following meanings: electromagnetic radiation from an explosion (especially a nuclear explosion) or an intensely fluctuating magnetic field caused by Compton-recoil electrons and photoelectrons from photons scattered in the materials of the electronic or explosive device or in a surrounding medium. ... Biological warfare, also known as germ warfare, is the use of any organism (bacteria, virus or other disease_causing organism) or toxin found in nature, as a weapon of war. ...


Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ...

See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with List of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Neil Postman's Criticisms of the Television Medium (2685 words)
Postman’s concern is that modern culture reduces everything, which prior to the Age of television was held sacred and important, to the realm of entertainment.
Postman’s assertion is that people in their multitudes, under the irresistible influence of the resonance of the press were always ready and willing to listen to public speakers performing oratory for hours on end in the name of the furtherance of political education.
Postman believes the former to be markedly inferior; it records the world rather than comments on it, for which language is needed, language that has categorised a world of flux and infinite variety in a way that is not possible in a photograph.
  More results at FactBites »



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