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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEVER SO LATE.
I am sorry that I havent read this and other Uplift books before. But better to read late than never. In this book with the background given in SUN DIVER (First book of Uplift Saga), you find yourself in a forgotton corner of the uplift universe. With the dolphins and man as a team (though it is weird for the ancient galactics to work as a team for the clients and...
Published on 10 Jan 2002 by m842@rocketmail.com

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad Kindle formatting
The book itself is excellent, but there are enough formatting errors and spelling mistakes in the Kindle version to be annoying. It looks as though it has been OCR'd.
Published 8 months ago by FC


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEVER SO LATE., 10 Jan 2002
By 
This review is from: Startide Rising (Uplift) (Paperback)
I am sorry that I havent read this and other Uplift books before. But better to read late than never. In this book with the background given in SUN DIVER (First book of Uplift Saga), you find yourself in a forgotton corner of the uplift universe. With the dolphins and man as a team (though it is weird for the ancient galactics to work as a team for the clients and masters) earthlings are against all universe. Usually when reading a book you put yourself in the place of the main character. In this book in each chapter you view the galaxy with the eyes of one of the characters. Though it is sometimes tiresome to try to reach the speed of the events, David Brin made it fantastically wonderful. Also the thought mechanisms of eatiees and uplifted dolphins and chimpanzees are well plotted. Time to time I asked myself whether David Brin live among those eatiees.
It is a MUST BE READ book for not only sci-fi lovers only but fiction lovers as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific fun, 16 July 2011
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Startide Rising (Uplift) (Paperback)
The abandoned and fallow ocean world of Kithrup, AD 2489. The predominantly dolphin-crewed starship Streaker has sought refuge deep underwater whilst pursuing armadas belonging to dozens of major Galactic races clash in the skies overhead, each fighting for the right to capture Streaker and the secrets she possesses. Streaker has found a fleet of abandoned starships in a globular cluster that date back to the time of the fabled Progenitors, and there are races willing to commit murder and genocide to learn more about the birth of intergalactic civilisation. The crew of the Streaker will have to call upon all their resources and cleverness if they are to escape from Kithrup, but the crew itself is divided over the course of action to take, and the planet itself harbours dark secrets of its own.

Startide Rising was first published in 1983 and is one of the rare SF novels to 'win the double', securing both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Novel, a feat also achieved by Dune, Neuromancer, Doomsday Book, Rendezvous with Rama and Ender's Game. It's one of the best space opera novels published in the last thirty years and is probably the most advisable starting point for reading Brin's Uplift Saga (the first book, Sundiver, is the weakest in the series and has little to nothing to do with the other five books, though still a reasonably entertaining novel on its own merits).

The book is notable for being a space opera where most of the action takes place deep underwater, and where humans are in the minority as characters. Most of the cast are neo-dolphins, 'uplifted' from animals into sentient beings. They are mostly at home in the water, but have cybernetic walkers to allow them to interact with humans on dry land. Because dolphins are a new addition to the ranks of uplifted races they are also a tad of the flaky side, and several subplots in the books follow the problems caused when some of the dolphins' conditioning fails in the face of stress and they revert into mindless animals (especially dangerous for the ones that have elements of more hostile aquatic species spliced into their genetic code). Brin puts a lot of work into the dolphin society, organisation and language (the dolphins have a haiku-like way of speaking which bridges their primal language of squeaks, clicks and sonar and the human language, Anglic) and it's extremely convincing. The premise - talking space dolphins! - could veer into silliness very easily, but Brin overcomes this by simply taking the subject seriously, though injecting a lightness of tone into proceedings to reflect the playful nature of the species.

The character-building is strong. The neo-dolphin captain, Creideiki, is developed as a philosophical warrior who has developed a personal code of combining the best traits of his pre-sentient ancestors with things they have learned from humanity, rather than valuing one above the other as some of his other crewmembers do. Similarly, many of the other dolphins are painted distinctly with their own personalities, goals and motivations, some of them in conflict with one another. The other crewmembers of Streaker - seven humans and a neo-chimp - also come across well, though they fall into broader archetypes than the dolphins: the befuddled professor, the morally ambiguous and ambitious scientist, the hotheaded young kid who discovers responsibility and maturity and so on. Still entertaining, but it is interesting that the human characters come across as slightly broader than the dolphin ones. I was also surprised that some characters who play major roles in later books barely even appear in this one.

The book is broken up by interludes focusing on the various alien races battling for control of the planet: the humourless but honourable Thennanin, the avian Gubru, the rapacious Tandu, the cruel Soro, the weird Jophur (a race of hostile stacked donuts!) and so on. Brin doesn't have much time to do more than characterise these races in the quickest of strokes and they lack real depth, something I suspect Brin realised as subsequent books flesh out various of these races in more detail (the Gubru and Thennanin in The Uplift War, the Jophur in Infinity's Shore and so on). However, they are in the book primarily to provide an impetus for the Streaker to get away, and the regular switches away to their POVs keep us updated on the course of the battle and how much time the Earthlings have before one of the alien races triumphs and is able to pursue the Streaker. It's an effective way of building tension, especially as the novel moves into is climactic stages and the author puts his foot down in the run-up to the finale.

Essentially, Startide Rising is a big, brash, colourful and fun space opera. He addresses some interesting and real scientific issues and concerns (the need for the Galactics to be ecologically aware to avoid 'burning out' their galaxies of habitable planets in just a few tens of millennia is touched on, though lightly enough not to get preachy), but his main objective is to entertain, and he does that in spades. The structure of the series means that a number of storylines are left hanging at the end of Startide Rising which aren't revisited until the fifth book, which isn't a problem now but was a bit more unusual at the time (especially as the fifth book wasn't published until fifteen years after the second), but these hanging elements are more, "What adventures will they have next?" rather than cliffhangers. The book does a good job of standing alone, whilst the subsequent book, The Uplift War, shows the fall-out of events in this novel on Earth and her colonies, but also works more or less as a stand-alone.

Startide Rising (****) is a tremendously readable, entertaining and smart novel that takes a wild premise and runs with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uplifted dolphins and politics in Space, 20 May 2004
By 
julian halls (Wymondham, Norfolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Startide Rising (Uplift) (Paperback)
The second book in the uplift series but in reality part 1 of the Uplift Wars.A good read which is more about the dirty politics of alien cultures including our own, but it maintains the readers interest despite never properly addressing the cause of the problem which no doubt is to come in the Uplift Wars proper.
Early on, one is left thinking that the author will struggle to hold your interest until the end but the tension builds nicely and the conceptual originality which started in Sundiver builds nicely.
The dictionary at the front is useful and considerably helps in interpretation and understanding. The end is very clever and keeps you guessing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd in the Uplift saga, one of the best SF novels ever written, 16 July 2009
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
"Startide Rising" was the second book in the original "Uplift" hard science fiction trilogy, which was followed by a second trilogy a few years later. It is one of my all-time favourite science fiction books.

Whether or not you have read the previous book in the saga, "Sundiver", the extraordinary opening position really sucks you in.

The earth spaceship "Streaker", commanded and largely crewed by the galaxy's newest starfaring race - dolphins - is running from the battle fleets of practically every major power in five galaxies. While exploring, Streaker's crew found the long-lost remains of fifty thousand ancient and gigantic spaceships which have been lying derelict in space for billions of years. As soon as Streaker transmitted a message indicating what they had found, war broke out all over our galaxy and the four neighbouring ones. All the major powers jump to the conclusion that these ships may have belonged to the legendary "Progenitors" who founded the civilisation of the five galaxies and all try to grab Streaker's information by force. The only thing which gives either Streaker or humanity a chance of survival is that all the major powers go to war with each other as well as with us. As everything goes to hell in a handcart, the government of Earth has time to send one brief order - hide!

And that's just the start of a fantastic work of imagination ...

The uplift series consists of

1) Sundiver
2) Startide Rising
3) The Uplift War

and then the second trilogy:

4) Brightness Reef
5) Infinity's Shore
6) Heaven's Reach

There is also an illustrated guide to the Universe of the Uplift saga, "Contacting Aliens" by David Brin and Kevin Lenagh. This is written as though it were a field manual for agents of the "Terragens" government which looks after the affairs of "Earthclan" e.g. the sentient species originating on earth, which at the start of the story are humans plus sentient chimps and dolphins.

I'm not going to attempt to describe the plot of this excellent book, or the series, to avoid spoiling the story, but the basic setting of the series, set a few hundred years in the future, starts in 2206 AD when human explorers encounter a ship from another, much more advanced race, part of a civilisation which dominates our galaxy and four others.

This is a very complex and powerful civilisation which runs on a number of principles and two in particular:

1) That sentient species have a duty to help other potentially intelligent species reach intelligence and civilisation, and

2) That they have a duty to protect the environments and ecologies of the worlds where they live.

Sounds very sensible and ethical, doesn't it? Unfortunately

a) Some of the most powerful races in the civilisation of the five galaxies are very aggressive and fanatical, armed to the teeth (or beaks, or claws) and always looking for an excuse to take over or wipe out less powerful races who commit the tiniest sin against galactic rules. In consequence

b) The year after first contact, a human colony was "sequestered" (never exactly explained but the inference is that this is a euphemism for mass murder) by galactic officials because the colony had no license to settle on the planet concerned. The fact that humans had no way of knowing that such a licence was needed was not regarded as an excuse.

c) If the galactics ever discover that this planet once contained species such as the dodo, the same thing could happen to Earth. They are quite capable of wiping out a species of several billion people as punishment for ecological crimes committed before the grandfathers of everyone currently alive was born.

Brilliantly imaginative, very well written, extremely exciting, the "Uplift" series is one of the best works of Science Fiction ever written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in the series, 17 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Startide Rising (Uplift) (Paperback)
Like the first Uplift book, this is rather slow to star off. The lack of human characters may make this book rather confusing at first but it quickly improves and, in my opinion, is the best book in the series.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - the key book in both trilogies, 19 Mar 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: Startide Rising (Uplift) (Paperback)
I think some reviewers have missed the point when they say that books in this trilogy (and the next one) are disjointed. I think Brin has seen that authors of double trilogies often end up telling convoluted stories across large periods of time and large areas of space. This usually results in an unsatisfactory mess with a bad conclusion that leaves you unsatisfied.
Brin instead concentrates each book on one situation in one place. Although the situation always has relevance to what went before its up to you to work out for yourself how the books relate. Thats what makes it enjoyable to read but it also allows each book to be read in isolation.
Enjoy the fact that there are different characters in the uplift books, thats what makes them so constantly interesting (in my opinion).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad Kindle formatting, 18 Nov 2013
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The book itself is excellent, but there are enough formatting errors and spelling mistakes in the Kindle version to be annoying. It looks as though it has been OCR'd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Stupendous read, 28 Aug 2012
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It's one of the best sci if books I have ever read. First read it in the 90s and could not put it down. Awesome book. The description of a galaxy full of crazy eaties fighting to get to a damaged earth ship at the bottom of an alien ocean is frankly outstanding. Read it now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Creative and imaginative Sci-Fi, 13 May 2012
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Great idea to write the novel from the perspective of a water based animal. Also, Brin tries to explore the different psychology of non-human species. It is a refreshing approach to Sci-Fi, which can sometimes be two dimensional, when authors fail to consider the 'soft', people related aspects and rely solely on technology. Very good in the way that it brings out the dangers in unrestricted genetic manipulation, and how egotistical behaviour by various individual characters causes unexpected results and consequences. I don't know how I never managed to come across Brin before, but I will buy another of his books. Clearly, this book is one of a series and it hints at mysteries and parallel story lines which will come out in other books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars short review, 1 May 2012
This review is from: Startide Rising (Uplift) (Paperback)
One of the best books i've ever read and a great start (2nd one in the series really) to the uplift war/saga. its so good, you will read the rest if you start with this one.
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Startide Rising (Uplift)
Startide Rising (Uplift) by David Brin (Paperback - 1 Feb 1996)
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