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Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga #2)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  24,297 Ratings  ·  449 Reviews
Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback, 458 pages
Published September 1st 1983 by Bantam Spectra
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Daniel Bratell It works standalone. The characters are new and the spoilers on the first book are minimal. The only part of Sundiver that you would really miss is…moreIt works standalone. The characters are new and the spoilers on the first book are minimal. The only part of Sundiver that you would really miss is the background on the universe and the political system but it's pretty much reiterated anyway.(less)

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A good way to illustrate the utter failure of the Star Wars prequels on just about every level of storytelling imaginable is to ask someone to describe the characters without talking about their jobs or their costumes. [Come on, try it: Queen Amidala. Oh, she looks like a Kabuki... wait, no. She's the queen... I'm sorry. Um, her hair. She's... normal?] The characters in Startide Rising suffer in much the same fashion. Aside from the fact that they are of different species, not much differentiate ...more

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became

I just couldn't get into this enough to merit me reading over a hundred pages more to get to the conclusion. I have no problem using different points of view to tell a story, ala GRRM, but if the characters aren't in any way engaging and have no personalities to speak of, it just becomes a jarring and disconnected experience. This is the second Uplift novel I read, the first being Sundiver, and while I love the concept and the universe of Uplift, concept alone is not enough to keep my interest f
Jul 25, 2007 Christopher rated it did not like it
Undoubtedly one of the stupidest books I've ever read. I'm not sure what's worst, the talking dolphins who can smile, the chimpanzee planetologist who smokes a pipe (I think), the horribly written dialog, the fact that the aliens are more believable characters than the humans, or the fact that somebody thought it would be a great idea to use dolphins to run starships since, as we know, such a large percentage of planets have water on them that obviously we want aquatic creatures who can go out a ...more
3.5 stars. A science fiction classic that doesn't quite live up to the title of masterpiece. The concept of "uplifting" and the manner in which David Brin incorporates it into the universe he has created in these novels is brilliant and definitely worth checking out. Writing is just okay. Still, great world-building, fascinating aliens and a pretty good plot. Not Brin's best but worth reading, Recommended!!

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1984)
Winner: Nebula Award for Best Scie
Aug 14, 2011 Apatt rated it really liked it
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 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 develope ...more
When someone who doesn't like science fiction explains why, the most common reasons are:

1. The plots are incomprehensible or boring
2. There ideas were too fantastic to relate to
3. The characters aren't interesting

And if we're talking about Startide Rising...they are completely right. This is the kind of book I would recommend if I wanted to cement a non-SF-reader's dislike of the genre. It's disappointing because the premise in the Uplift Saga is solid. There's an interesting universe here that
Nov 21, 2011 Gendou rated it did not like it
Dolphins in space, wielding psychic powers, hide from a diverse gang of aliens on a watery planet.
They uncover some unlikely mysteries, and fight some bad guys.
I did like the Tandoo "acceptor" race, they were pretty awesome.
Aside from the two pages dedicated to the acceptors, the book is shit.
It should really be classified as fantasy, because science only serves as a vocabulary reference pool.
The only clever moment in the book was when the dolphins vented their on-board water out the airlock, wh
Jan 03, 2017 Kogiopsis rated it it was ok
After 2014’s SFWA ‘censorship’ kerfuffle, I hadn’t planned on reading any David Brin… but that wasn’t something I remembered when this book showed up at the library used bookstore, and I’m weak for the idea of sentient dolphins in sci fi, so… here I am.

The big ideas of this book were what intrigued me: the concept of uplift, the mystery of the Progenitors who uplifted the first other species, and the question of what the planet Kithrup had to do with anything. The problem is that, while all thos
Very engaging sequel to Sundiver, although it takes place 200 years in the future from that book and some of the threads that I would have liked to see pursued got dropped in the process. Oh well, this was still an excellent book {and better than the first one IMO). The dolphin crew of the star ship makes for interesting technology and the crew themselves makes for a lot of Machiavellian drama, as we explore the perils of fooling about with the genetics of another species. I wonder if, as Brin s ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Chloe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This is a book that could only have come from that special chunk of weirdness that we collectively call the 1980s. Only in this era was there the necessary mixture of Utopian dreams, crystal-wearing self help-addicted Gaia worshipers, and rampant amphetamine abuse to make a story about genetically uplifted dolphins piloting spaceships through the galaxy sound like a good idea. Mind you, this is the same decade that brought us Spock swimming with humpback whales in an attempt to preserve life on ...more
I haven't read the first book Sundiver in Brin's Uplift Saga, but this novel seems to work pretty fine as a standalone novel.
It is one of the rare books to win three awards - Hugo, Nebula, and Locus - in a year. Back in the 80s, I've read huge amounts of books, but missed this one. I'm very happy to have filled this gap now, since I liked this planet opera very much.

Planet opera? It isn't really a space opera, because not much is happening in space - a couple of pages focus on alien races' sieg
Feb 27, 2010 Mark rated it did not like it
In reading my way through the Hugo Award winning novels, I've come across many books that I loved, and many more that were well worth reading. There have been a handful of disappointments, books that failed either to live up to their potential or to earn their accumulated praise. But I've enjoyed none of them less than Startide Rising.

This is a comprehensively unsuccessful work. Brin's failure here is not merely one of imagination, though the post-Star Wars universe of the Uplift books is decide
Liutauras Elkimavičius
Oct 27, 2016 Liutauras Elkimavičius rated it really liked it
Yra daug far far future knygų, kuriose ieškoma kaip baigsis žmonijai jei neįsisiautės koks rusų caras ar religiniai maniakai. Dauguma jų mato niūrią ir dažnai barbarišką žmogelių ateitį. Bet yra vienas žanras, kuris mato mus išplitusius galaktikoje, dalyvaujančius tapžvaigždiniuose karuose, mezgančius politines intrigas tarp skirtingų rasių. Ši Brin serija viena iš mano mėgiamiausių. Ne tokia detali kaip Dune, ne tokia supainiota kaip Warcraft 20k ir ne tokia technokratiška kaip Ender, ši kosmin ...more
Aug 08, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Valerie by: Leon Barrett
I am fascinated by the idea of aquatic pilots---I think that they would understand space differently because underneath is not a hard stop. All of the details about how a mixed aquatic and non-aquatic crew could live and function on the same ship were fascinating, I also really liked the communication difficulties.

I can't wait to read more books by Brin, this one gave me so much to think about.
Ben Babcock
At first, I couldn't decide if I liked Sundiver or this book better. The former has a superior mystery, and arguably a superior plot. Startide Rising, on the other hand, is more satisfying on the subject of "uplift" itself and better portrays the multitudinous horrors of Galactic society.

After considering my quandary further, I decided to throw in behind Sundiver. My fellow Goodreads reviewers seem split on this question, but the more I think about it, the more I'm certain. As much as I like w
Dec 17, 2015 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Initial bad prose and slow pace give way to a serviceable space operatic thriller. There's some irony in humanity being portrayed as having left racism behind when the author only mentions the skin colour of one human character. You guessed it - that person is black. This is subtle, unconscious and no doubt would mortify Brin if ever brought to his attention, but it illustrates that our biases are deep-rooted and often hard to identify in oneself. I say "human character" because there are a majo ...more
Feb 25, 2009 Toma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi
Only Brin book I've read in my native language. HC SciFi and entertainment at its best. Great story, deep enough characters for their purpose and most importantly for a SciFi, a vivid picture of an active universe with millions of years of history.

I love how the dolphins think and perceive the world around them through sonar pictures and their own language of clicks and whistles.

The other uplift books are good too, but the english used in them is REALLY difficult. To really get something out of
Jul 22, 2011 Angela rated it did not like it
Good Lord. Why did I hate this so much? Even I don't know. Talking dolphins; space opera; strange planets and a cool intergalactic hierarchy of "master" races "uplifting" their lessers. Ostensibly these are all good ideas. I guess I just hated that every character seemed to have one voice, and that voice was Obnoxious.

My Hugo-Nebula mission meets its first major challenge. But then, life's too short for asshole dolphins. I put the book down about 2/3 into it. If I want underwater spec fic, that
Mar 02, 2016 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Should you read this book? Yes.

Do you need to read the first book in the Uplift Trilogy, Sundiver? No, but it's also dope and I think you probably should because Brin is a genius.

Does it have biologically uplifted dolphins as a majority of the main characters? Yes.

Did it win both the Hugo and the Nebula awards when it came out? Yes.

Did it deserve to? ABSOLUTELY!

Mankind's place in a cosmos is fascinating in the Uplift Trilogy. So if you're in for a great science fiction book chock-full of big ide
Apr 17, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Think this is my favourite David Brin. Certainly the first I read (after the Analog serialisation.)

Spaceships and dolphins. Who'da thought it? Better than SeaQuest DSV....
Storyline: 4/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing Style: 2/5
World: 4/5

Everything that was wrong with the series first, Sundiver, is still present here, albeit diminished. Everything that was good with the predecessor is still here in Startide Rising, albeit amplified.

There's still a problem with a) too much going on, b) too many far-future, new-fangled contraptions and abilities, c) cartoon-like creatures, and d) difficulty making all the components fit.

Some of the ideas here (many carried over from the fir
Jul 31, 2009 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I won't recant my love for "Sundiver", but upon rereading Brin's Uplift books I must admit that it has weaknesses that mark it as a first novel. It is perhaps a too-conventional detective story, right down to the parlor scene where our hero reveals the nature of the plot's going-on to the whole cast (were Brin a lesser writer, he might've unleashed upon us a slew of new "Jacob Demwa mysteries" in which our pseudo schizo sleuth foils more acts of sabotage, frauds, and the like. Fortunately this h ...more
Mar 22, 2010 SJ rated it it was amazing
WOW. What a book! I reviewed the first one in the series recently and found that it left me somewhat cold. Book one of the 'saga' was smart and moved along, but felt flat to me in the area of character development. Startide Rising, on the other hand, had character development up the wazoo. Yes, I said wazoo. Get over it.

The story line it a bit farfetched, even for Sci-Fi. The universe is filled with aliens who are all competing with one another to Uplift pre-sentient beings to full sentience thr
Chris Aylott
Feb 23, 2016 Chris Aylott rated it really liked it
Saw this on the shelf and picked it up because I hadn't read it in this century yet. That's fixed now, so how does the book hold up?

Well, it's still a great book. Completely deserving of its awards. The setting is compelling, the characters are cool, and it has all the wahoo space opera action you could ask for. In most ways is still one of my few five-star books, except...

Yikes. The Dennie plotline has not aged well at all. The sexual harassment went over my head when I was a kid. But predatory
Apr 11, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
When a book starts with a glossary of characters and terms you know you're in for a challenge to keep track of everybody. This second book in the uplift saga is much like the first in that it starts slowly but builds to an exciting conclusion. Although this book is ostensibly a sequel to Sundiver, it has very little to do with the story. It is set in the same universe, and two of the characters refer in passing to characters and occurrences in the previous story, but other than that it stands on ...more
Aug 31, 2009 Tatiana rated it it was ok
Shelves: sciencefiction
I'm finding Startide Rising to be fairly slow going, too. The story is interesting, and I care what happens, but the writing, while better than that in Sundiver, is still choppy and unprofessional. He changes viewpoint character, no kidding, every two or three pages for significant chunks of the book. That is really annoying to me.

Now the plan they've worked out for hiding the ship, escaping, or signaling Earth, evading capture, or whatever, is something all the characters know but he's not tel
Dec 15, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
This was the first "grown-up" science fiction book that my dad ever gave me (well, lent really). I tried to read it but couldn't finish it. I was in elementary school at the time. Later, in high school, I got my own copy and read it during a summer break. It's a fascinating setting: the Galaxy filled with vast and powerful space-faring civilizations (clans) who practice "uplift," the raising of species to sentience through genetic manipulation and directed breeding. It has been this way for bill ...more
Fernando Dávila
Para disfrutar esta lectura tuve que deshacerme de un prejuicio enorme: delfines astronautas. Si, una vez superado este detalle se engancha uno con la historia. Los personajes son bien variados incluyendo varias clases de delfines, un chimpancé científico, humanos (entre ellos una pareja con algunas modificaciones tecno genéticas), y varias razas extraterrestres.

esta es la segunda novela de la serie La elevación de los pupilos, aunque se puede leer independiente pues los primeros capítulos dan u
Magnus Nilsson
Oct 13, 2010 Magnus Nilsson rated it it was amazing
The scenery of Startide Rising is a galaxy-spanning civilization, where for two billion years species of sophonts, Patrons, have "uplifted" non-sentient beings as Clients, who in turn become Patrons, with their own Clients.
Two hundred years ago, humans turned up on this scene, as a unique species of sophonts who apparently had uplifted themselves.

The book centers on the efforts of the crew on the survey ship Streaker, whose dolphins, men and chimp attempt to evade the fleets of alien fanatics w
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct the page count of this version. 2 12 Mar 16, 2016 11:55AM  
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David Brin is a scientist, speaker, and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Existence, his latest novel, offers an unusual scenario for first contact. His ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends
More about David Brin...

Other Books in the Series

The Uplift Saga (8 books)
  • Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, #1)
  • The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3)
  • Tomorrow Happens
  • Brightness Reef (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #1)
  • Infinity's Shore (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #2)
  • Heaven's Reach (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #3)
  • Aficianado

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