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First in the epic Uplift series. Good setting but weak plot.
on 2 March 1999
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.