Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, Book 2)

by David Brin

Paperback, 1984



Call number




Spectra (1984), Paperback


Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML: "The Uplift books are as compulsive reading as anything ever published in the genre.". HTML: David Brin's Uplift novels are among the most thrilling and extraordinary science fiction ever written. Sundiver, Startide Rising, and The Uplift War--a New York Times bestseller--together make up one of the most beloved sagas of all time. Brin's tales are set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being "uplifted" by a patron race. 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 one of the most important discoveries in galactic history. Below, a handful of her human and dolphin crew battles armed rebellion and a hostile planet to safeguard her secret--the fate of the Progenitors, the fabled First Race who seeded wisdom throughout the stars. From the Paperback edition..… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member TadAD
By far the best book of this series, Startide Rising can be read independently if you choose.
LibraryThing member anandrajan
Hey! A book sublime
Dolphins talking in Haiku rhyme
LibraryThing member juliapequlia
I enjoyed this story somewhat, but I don't feel compelled to read any sequels. I admired the creatvity of the author in creating many non-humanoid alien races, and also in the treatment of the "uplifted" dolphins and chimp. It is a good read for the intrigue and psychology of a crew stranded and
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beseiged on an alien world.
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LibraryThing member clong
I enjoyed Startide Rising. It follows the adventures of a crew of humans, "neo-dolphins," and a "neo-chimp" as they explore a planet, repair their damaged ship, and try to figure out how to escape from the much more powerful galactic fleets that are battling it out overhead for the right to capture
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them and the big galactic secret they accidentally stumbled upon. At its best, it is pure space opera, entertaining and suspenseful. I enjoyed the neo-dolphin characters, who struggle to integrate a dreamy, instinctual way of looking at things with the practical, logical though process of man (frequently the characters end up speaking in haiku). I thought that the aborigines were poorly developed, and that the human characters were generally less compelling that the dolphins. And I guess that I am skeptical about the general structure of the uplift universe (which Brin has gone on to develop in other books). Nevertheless, this is an entertaining read and well worth your time.
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LibraryThing member Gkarlives
One of my favorite Sci-Fi books. You are just plopped into the middle of this immense saga without warning. The sheer array of aliens is boggling and each one has a totally different motivation. The shifting alliances, vast battles, and human drama just drew me in and would not let me go. The crew
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of the Streeker trying to survive on cunning against odds a Vegas card shark would never even consider.
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LibraryThing member skystyler
aka Dolphins in Space.

Sounds stupid but this book is a cracker. Dont waste your time with the rest of the series. This one is the bomb.
LibraryThing member michaeleconomy
my friend lent me this and i had to put it down, I'm not sure why the author felt it necessary to reitterate the differences between bottlenose and steno dolphins every couple pages, but did not decide to endure the rest of the book to find out
LibraryThing member hilander
A complex story of selfish, galactic civilisations competing for status by "uplifting" promising species. Brin pieces together a wonderful array of self absorbed "clans" interacting and sabotaging eachother within conventions that make the United Nations genaral assemblies look like at tea party.
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Erik von Daniken lives again in the pages of this series, as the "wofling" humans try to slip the leases of greedy superpower races.
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LibraryThing member santhony
This dual Hugo/Nebula Award winning science fiction novel certainly takes the cake for originality. A spaceship captained and piloted by dolphins? The premise of this work is that sentient species are scattered throughout the galaxy, seeded by a mysterious group referred to as The Progenitors. As
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each species attains a certain level of “consciousness”, they are able to “uplift” other species to a level of sentience through genetic engineering, hence the dolphin and chimpanzee, which are “client” species, with humans their “patrons”. The political/social/military relationships between and among the different “patron” species and their “clients” are what make up the bulk of this novel.

This is actually the second novel in the Startide series, though I have been assured that it can be read independent of the original and has generated far more acclaim than the others. I never felt that I needed any more background information than was provided within the text of this book.

I can’t say that the writing was poor, or that the plot and characters were in any way deficient. However, I really never felt like I was pulled into the story. Others may disagree and reinforce the awards that this novel has earned, but I don’t rate it in the upper tier of science fiction novels I’ve read recently.
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LibraryThing member Isamoor

Well, this series got better. The first part of this book was rough, but then it smoothed out and got me to care.

Plot: Pretty darn good. I really liked the war backdrop in the cosmos. I actually cared about many of the characters. The villains were memorable.

Style: Definitely improving.
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Seemed to distance itself from classic SciFi and bring in some more character development. I grew to enjoy it.
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LibraryThing member DirtPriest
Quite a complex work about a mostly dolphin crewed starship that discovers an ancient derelict fleet on the fringes of the galaxy and has to evade several enemy fleets to protect their find. They hide on a water world (pretty convenient) and use some clever tactics to escape after a major space
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battle. This book sets up the rest of the Uplift series. The length was a bit much, but by the time the book was finished, I had really learned alot about the characters and their interactions with each other and with the few humans on the 'Streaker'. Hopefully the rest of the series is as involved and interesting as this one.
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LibraryThing member isabelx
* Creideiki leads us-
Is our master
* Yet we imagine-
Secret orders *

Tom sighed. There it was again, the suspicion that Earth would never let the first dolphin-commanded vessel go out without disguised human supervision. Naturally, most of the rumors centered around himself. It was bothersome,
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because Creideiki was an excellent captain. Also, it detracted from one of the purposes of the mission, to make a demonstration that would boost neo-fin self-confidence for a generation.

The first ship commanded and crewed by uplifted dolphins, has discovered an ancient fleet of derelict spaceships that may be linked to the Progenitors, and has crashed on an ocean-covered planet while attempting to evade the Galactics who are determined to discover the secret of its location. As the Galactics fight a space battle other above the planet, making and breaking alliances in their efforts to come out on top, surprising discoveries are taking place on the planet below, which has supposedly been uninhabited for millions of years.

It was easy to sympathise with the neo-dolphin crew, with their tendency to revert to atavistic behaviour when stressed, and often exhibiting a lack of confidence in their own abilities, and deferring to the few humans on board. There seems to be a bit of anti-scientist theme, as Dr Metz's tinkering with the make-up of the crew leads to disaster, and the neo-chimp planetologist Charles Dart is equally as arrogant, obsessive and self-absorbed.

"Startide Rising" is a much better story than the first book in the series, being both more exciting and more complex rather than a straight mystery story, but it's still a good idea to read "Sundiver" first, as it explains about uplift and man's status in the the galactic civilisation as a wolfling species without a patron. And it is their wolfling attitude, refusing to use any galactic technology that they are unable to understand, and using initiative rather the age old tactics documented in the Galactic Library, that gives the Streaker's crew the edge.
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LibraryThing member Hegemellman
Don't take my 3 star to mean that I don't recommend this book. It was wonderful, but ultimately something about it kept me from loving it. I am intrigued by the concept of uplifts, and found the story to be surprisingly engaging (it was clear at the beginning of the book that there wasn't much
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distance to go plot-wise, so I was surprised when most of the book was still more than stuffing).
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LibraryThing member leld
Love this book. Wonderful characters and the different plotlines are woven well.
LibraryThing member ricaustria
i give it 5 stars just because it is orders of magnitude better than sundiver which i gave 4 stars. a bit too long, but the science was interesting and kept me going. i thought the narrative could have benefited from a POV off world, rather than just imply there were battles raging "out there".
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would have made a great space opera!
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LibraryThing member veracite
A storyteller, not a writer. This one sparks the imagination. Pity about his recent paperweights and doorstops.

LibraryThing member stuart10er
Earthlings have raised chimps and dolphins to sapient status as they voyage to the stars. There are many other races however of patrons and clients - almost all are hostile to Earth. The earthlings discovers something of great value and the other races try to take it away from them. I enjoyed it
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and might read more in this series.
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LibraryThing member aarondesk
So much potential, so poor execution. I can understand why this book won a Hugo award. The idea of the uplift is really cool. But the story just fell so flat. Plot was too slow - just seemed to drag on and on. Plot had too many "huh?" moments- holes in plot that don't make sense. Too many
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characters - makes it really hard to keep track of everyone. Too many one-dimensional characters- only the bad guys seemed to have any personality; all the good guys seemed like cardboard clones. Not sure I'll read another David Brin if this is representative.
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LibraryThing member Clevermonkey
Galactic society consists of Patron species who "uplift" pre-sentients. Enter Humans, who claim to be an evolved intelligence - heresy! War ensues. This and sequel "Uplift War" are terrific and original, series went on far too long after that. Prequel "Sundiver" is a great adventure yarn.
LibraryThing member ScoLgo
My fourth Brin and the best so far.

In Startide Rising, the viewpoint shifts between a fairly large cast of characters. Good guys, bad guys, and many others in between. As a result, it takes a few chapters to get your bearings. Once things start to fall into place however, the story really gets
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The scenario: In the future, humanity, after 'uplifting' first chimpanzees and dolphins to sentient status, have joined a galaxy-wide community - but their status is tenuous at best. All other known alien cultures, at some time in their own history, have been 'uplifted' by another race, thereby forcing them into indentured servitude to their 'sponsors' for a minimum of 100,000 years. Humans, because they uplifted other species before being discovered by the galactic community at large, are immediately considered a sponsor race and can therefore not be forced to serve others. As a result, a lot of aliens are angry at and offended by humans.

Now, a Terran starship - crewed mostly by neo-dolphins, a few humans, and a self-centered neo-chimpanzee - has made a momentous discovery. With an armada of ET ships hot on their tail, they barely escape immediate capture and, with a damaged ship, are currently in hiding on a metal-rich oceanic planet somewhere at the edge of the galaxy. As the enemy closes in, things go from bad to worse as disagreeing factions threaten to tear the crew apart. But the planet itself is an enigma that holds secrets that may help - if only the crew can hold it together and unravel the mystery in time.

The many tendrils of this story are slowly and inexorably drawn together. Brin weaves a unique and masterful tale that fully deserves the awards and accolades it received.

Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member Phrim
David Brin's Startide Rising is pretty much everything you'd want from a space opera. The book features a variety of characters who at first appear to be on the same side, but in actuality, many of them are working toward their own ends. The plotting is fast-paced and features a good bit of action
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without moving so fast that the reader can't keep up. What I like most is the background wonder and awe that permeates the story, not only with the derelict fleet, but also with the mysteries present on Kithrup. I do wish the book had a little bit more of an epilogue, as I really wanted to know where many of the plots went in the long term, but I guess I'll just have to read the next book...
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LibraryThing member Phrim
David Brin's Startide Rising is pretty much everything you'd want from a space opera. The book features a variety of characters who at first appear to be on the same side, but in actuality, many of them are working toward their own ends. The plotting is fast-paced and features a good bit of action
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without moving so fast that the reader can't keep up. What I like most is the background wonder and awe that permeates the story, not only with the derelict fleet, but also with the mysteries present on Kithrup. I do wish the book had a little bit more of an epilogue, as I really wanted to know where many of the plots went in the long term, but I guess I'll just have to read the next book...
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LibraryThing member apatt
I like this book well enough but I feel like I should like it more than I do, it has everything a good sf novel should have. Vastly imaginative, epic, some humor and good characters. Unfortunately I have a problem with the structure of this book, the cast of characters is too big and the author
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switches character POV too frequently. This type of structure reminds me of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, except that the GRRM books are longer and the characters are better developed. Also most of the chapters are short and some are super-short (like a single paragraph). The way it is done here is quite disorienting for me, every time he does it I become a little detached from the story because I have to keep a tally of who is who and doing what.

While reading the first few chapters I thought that characterization was going to be a problem with this book because I didn't get the feel of any of them. As I read on however I began to realize that the characterization is actually quite good, the problem is that there are just so many important characters and it takes time to attune to any of them. The large number of plot stands and the short chapters make the novel seem fragmented.

With all that said I love the concept of the Uplift universe and can not help but plan to read more. Hopefully the structure of other volumes is not so fragmented.
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LibraryThing member dbsovereign
My favorite of Brin's Uplift books. The bizarre characters of different species all forced to live/work and try to survive together is fascinating.
LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
I don't really like Brin's style - everyone, without exception, is plotting and scheming. Some of them are plotting for the good of the group and some for their own advantage, but they're all plotting. It makes reading hard, when I dislike everyone I'm reading about (some more than others, but even
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the middie gets annoying). When things finally start to happen it drew me in at last - that's the final quarter or less of the book, though. Some interesting philosophy, as far as I understood it - but I'm with Gillian, that's too abstract for what's going on. Magic (that is, highly improbable) survival of (almost) all the good guys. I've read it, I'll read the third of the trilogy, but it's far from a favorite.
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Hugo Award (Nominee — Novel — 1984)
Nebula Award (Nominee — Novel — 1983)
Locus Award (Finalist — Science Fiction Novel — 1984)
Locus All-Time Best (Science Fiction Novel — 16 — 1998)


Original publication date


Physical description

480 p.; 6.91 inches


055327418X / 9780553274189
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