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David Brin

David Brin is my favorite science fiction writer. The uplift universe is very vivid and original. And it has a positive spin in the areas of genetic research and using it for the benefit of mankind (and animals). This is uplifting after constantly hearing genetic engineering slammed in the media. I will be putting up my own reviews as I have time.
Uplift Novels

Sundiver cover - David BrinSundiver -

 

 

Startide Rising cover - David BrinStartide Rising - David Brin's tales are set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being "uplifted" by a patron race using genetic engineering. But the greatest mystery of all remains unsolved: who uplifted humankind? The Terran exploration vessel Streaker has crashed in the uncharted water world of Kithrup, bearing the discovery of ships which could date back to the days of the fabled progenitors that started the cycle of uplift so long ago. Images of these ships and their artifacts throw the five galaxies into turmoil, as fanatic religious sects fight for the possession of streaker and it's secrets to try to prove their version of the progenitors story.

Masterfully written, I still think this is the best Science Fiction book I have ever read. The influence of eastern culture and the "whale dream" flows naturally to create a reasonable "culture" that operates in the Dolphin community. The book also shows the good and bad side of the human intervention in the development of sapience in dolphins.

The Uplift War cover - David BrinThe Uplift War - Billions of years ago, an alien race known as the Progenitors began the genetically engineered techniques by which non-intelligent creatures are given intelligence by one of the higher races in the galaxy. Once "Uplifted," these creature must serve their patron race before they, in turn, can Uplift other races. Human intelligence, which developed by itself (and brought about the Uplifting of chimpanzees and dolphins), is an affront to the aliens who plan an attack, threatening a human experiment aimed at producing the next Uplift. Such is the premise of this novel, which won the 1988 Hugo Award. - Amazon.com

Brightness Reef cover - David BrinBrightness Reef - Millennia ago the Five Galaxies decreed the planet Jijo off limits. But in the last thousand years six races have begun resettling Jijo, embracing a pre-industrial life to hide their existence from the Galactics. Overcoming their differences, the Six have built a society based on mutual tolerance for one another and respect for the planet they live on. But that has all changed with an event the Six have feared for hundreds of years: the arrival of an outside ship. Author David Brin has returned to his popular Uplift universe in this, the first book of a new trilogy. - Amazon.com

Infinity's Shore cover - David BrinInfinity's Shore - This second volume in David Brin's new Uplift trilogy is an epic tale that artfully combines dozens of unique characters and their individual stories. The planet Jijo, which has been settled by six separate races despite a decree that it remain barren for a million years, is about to change. The exploration ship Streaker, on the run since discovering the secrets of a two-billion-year-old derelict fleet, has arrived with virtually the entire universe in pursuit. Overnight the peaceful, technologically backwards Jijoan society erupts into civil war, creating a chaotic tapestry of grief, sorrow, joy, love and, ultimately, hope. - Amazon.com
Heaven's Reach cover - David BrinHeaven's Reach - Heaven's Reach is the final volume of the Uplift trilogy, which begins in Brightness Reef and continues in Infinity's Shore. It chronicles the adventures of a handful of primitives from the planet Jijo who have left or been taken from their homes only to be swept into the intrigues of galactic politics. The novel also continues the story of the fugitive Earth starship Streaker, pursued across the galaxy for its precious cargo of ancient artifacts. Just when it looks like things can't get worse for Streaker, the foretold Time of Changes rocks the galaxy. Devastating "space quakes" shake every planet and star, and some of the particularly unscrupulous alien races attempt to use the disaster to further their bizarre goals. There's danger and excitement on almost every page (in contrast to much of the first two books in the series) and Brin finally delivers on many of the mysteries of the Five Galaxies. The Progenitors, the Hydrogen Breathers, Streaker's cargo--these and more are explained at last. Or are they? Each seemingly ultimate truth tends to dissolve a chapter later, revealing a new and more complex truth. New adventures and mysteries await. - Amazon.com

Contacting Aliens cover - David BrinContacting Aliens (An Illistrated Guide to David Brin's Uplift Universe) - A great book for someone who has read the entire series and wondered what a Soro or Tandu actually looks like! Reads like a manual for terragens agents, so it is actually an enjoyable read as well as being a handy reference!

Other Novels

The Postman cover - David BrinThe Postman - Gordon Krantz survived the Doomwar only to spend years crossing a post-apocalypse United States looking for something or someone he could believe in again. Ironically, when he's inadvertently forced to assume the made-up role of a "Restored United States" postal inspector, he becomes the very thing he's been seeking: a symbol of hope and rebirth for a desperate nation. Gordon goes through the motions of establishing a new postal route in the Pacific Northwest, uniting secluded towns and enclaves that are starved for communication with the rest of the world. And even though inside he feels like a fraud, eventually he will have to stand up for the new society he's helping to build or see it destroyed by fanatic survivalists. This classic reprint is not one of David Brin's best books, but the moving story he presents overcomes mediocre writing and contrived plots. - Amazon.com

Kiln People - Just about everyone's had a day when they've wished it were possible to send an alternate self to take care of unpleasant or tedious errands while the real self takes it easy. In Kiln People, David Brin's sci-fi-meets-noir novel, this wish has come true. In Brin's imagined future, folks are able to make inexpensive, disposable clay copies of themselves. These golems or "dittos" live for a single day to serve their creator, who can then choose whether or not to "inload" the memories of the ditto's brief life. But private investigator Albert Morris gets more than he, or his "ditective" copies, bargain for when he signs on to help solve the mysterious disappearance of Universal Kilns' co-founder Yasil Maharal--the father of dittotech.

Brin successfully interweaves plot lines as numerous as our hero's ditectives and doggedly sticks to the rules of his created dittotech while Morris's "realflesh" and clay manifestations slowly unravel the dangerous secret behind Maharal's disappearance. As Brin juggles his multiple protagonists and antagonists, he urges the reader to question notions of memory, individualism, and technology, and to answer the schizoid question "which 'you' is 'you?'" Brin's enjoyment is evident as he plays with his terracotta creations' existential angst and simultaneously deconstructs the familiar streetwise detective meme--complete with a multilayered ending. Overall, Kiln People is a fun read, with a good balance of hard science fiction and pop sensibility. - Amazon.com

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