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Sundiver Paperback – 18 Jan 1996

3.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Paperback, 18 Jan 1996
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; paperback / softback edition (18 Jan. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857233700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857233704
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.7 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 326,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The Uplift books are as compulsive reading as anything ever published in the genre. (John Clute, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION)

His best stories surge forward with tremendous energy, each one avid to find some extrapolated consequence of its premise which will startle and challenge the reader. (INTERZONE)

About the Author

David Brin is the Hugo and Nebula award winning author of 12 books, possesses a doctorate in astrophysics and has served as a consultant for NASA. He lives in California.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sundiver is the best book I've read in the last 10 years.
If the premise of the book is at all interesting, I recommend trying the book.
This is my favourite book in recent memory because of the individual quality and interplay of many factors.
First, David Brin creates a very interesting story with entertaining and plausible twists.
Second, the universe David Brin creates is a complex, dense, and consistent society that is intriguing even for well read SF readers, yet this context does not supercede or overwhelm the story.
Third, Brin manages to to develop likeable (and detestable), full and rounded characters unlike almost all SF writers.

Fourth, the book effectively can be read as commentary on scientific development and cultural evolution, which is interesting in its content and expertly expressed in the detailed exposition. (I must admit I generally care nothing for this stuff, bur Brin does it so well, I became intered in it for this series. Also, this side of things only interested me after I had fully enjoyed what a great story it is with great characters in such a weird universe)
Fifth, the interplay of the above as well as Brin's creative approach give the book an overall richness and depth that is reminiscent of the best works of Tolstoy, Doestoyevsky, and Solzhenitsyn.
So far, I have only read the first three books in the series, since the books are so good that I want to space them out for as long as possible though I'm always very eager to read the next book.
I hope you enjoy these books as well. They are a very fun read.
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Format: Paperback
Two billion years ago, the Progenitors commenced the process of 'uplift': genetically engineering the more intelligent animals of many scores of worlds to sentience and intelligence. They in turn uplifted other races, and then others, in an unbroken chain that would eventually span aeons and no less than five galaxies. Each 'Patron' race would receive 100,000 years of indentured servitude from their client races before the clients would be allowed to uplift species of their own and become Patrons themselves. The Progenitors are long gone, as are many of the races they sired, but the process of uplift goes on. When a race is discovered in a tiny corner of one galaxy which has no Patrons and claims to have evolved naturally without outside intervention, it sends shockwaves through galactic society.

The Solar system, 2246. Humanity has narrowly avoided being given to another Patron race to 'complete' their 'long-abandoned' uplifting. At the time they were discovered, humanity had already uplifted chimpanzees and dolphins to sentience, and were able to claim Patron status for themselves, to the fury of many, far older races. When a scientific mission is launched from Mercury to investigate lifeforms discovered living in the Sun's upper layers, several other alien races are furious with humanity's temerity: the Galactic Library states that life cannot exist in the atmosphere of stars, so their claims are clearly lies intended to bolster their own status. Jacob Demwa, an expert in uplift, is called in to help clarify the situation, but he finds several human and alien factions battling to control the information about the discovery for their own ends, and some of them may be willing to kill to achieve their ends.
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Format: Paperback
The Uplift series kicks off with Sun Diver which introduces Brin's Uplift universe. Uplift refers to a process where a patron race nurtures intelligence in another race to help it reach sentience. In return, the uplifted race must serve the patrons for some considerable time before it's allowed independence and participation in patronage. Mankind, only recently "discovered" by the alien races, seems to be lacking a patron, without which sentience is deemed unachievable. The "natural" development of the human intellect is considered by some races as heresy, whereas others step to defend humans and sponsor their entry into the federation. Sun Diver deals with the intrigues surrounding this situation, which is complicated even further by the existing uplift process of dolphins and chimps, that humans initiated before any alien contact. The plot centers on human expedition into the Sun's corona, where signs of possible sentient life have been found, thus adding another twist in the tail. The expedition was made possible by rapid adoption of alien technology, and indeed, there are alien observers on board of Sun Diver, the probe that becomes the stage on which the tensions between the races are given its release.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Given that David Brin usually excels at describing new/future worlds and characters, this whole thing is one dimensional. Badly drawn characters and plot lines predictable outcomes. Not his best work.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up Sundiver on impulse after hearing that David Brin's Uplift Saga was a good one to read. I subsequently found out that although this is an Uplift book, it's the first and is separated from the main story. I wasn't too bothered about this as I could see whether I enjoyed this one before going on to the rest of the books. However, I was also told that this wasn't as good as the two sequels that garnered much praise. Because of this I put off reading Sundiver for a while, but suddenly had this urge to pick it up. I'm glad I did...

The central concept in Sundiver is an interesting and clever one: all intelligent races in the galaxy have been uplifted to sentience by a parent race, although humanity is the exception to this as it appears they haven't. What they have done though is uplift two of Earth's other animals to sentience, the Dolphin and Chimpanzee, and in doing so have become a parent race themselves. With this done before they were discovered by the other races of the galaxy, humanity have been given a status that some within the galactic society believe they are not worthy of.

This is the backdrop to Sundiver and introduces the universe well, but it also shows that not everyone lives in total harmony. The universe throws up some interesting things - the galactic library that has details of all technologies and discoveries that all races share; the arrangement given to races regarding the planets they live on; the whole arrangement between parent and client races after they have been uplifted. I could go on a long time, but suffice to say that this is a setting that very much appealed to me and gave a great seansawunda.

I've detoured a little here and gone into more detail about the setting than I have about the story.
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