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Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga #2)

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  18,859 ratings  ·  337 reviews
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 great...more
Mass Market Paperback, 462 pages
Published March 1st 1984 by Spectra (first published 1983)
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Joel Bradshaw Just confirming: Daniel is spot-on. The first book gives you a little more insight into the universe/uplift politics/background, but that's all…moreJust confirming: Daniel is spot-on. The first book gives you a little more insight into the universe/uplift politics/background, but that's all reiterated plenty well enough in this one. The story is completely different and standalone.

That said, Sundiver was an excellent book as well, and I highly recommend it, but you can easily read it after this and not have any issues.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Joel
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
Christopher
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
Stephen
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...more
Guillermo Azuarte

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...more
Clouds

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
...more
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 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
Chloe
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
Mark
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...more
Gendou
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...more
Josh
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...more
Wanda
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
Angela
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...more
Toma
Feb 25, 2009 Toma rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Valerie
Aug 08, 2009 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Mark
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....
Rob
I've always thought that when we went into space we might bring some of our smarter co-inhabitants with us. I've never developed that idea any further than that, so I was excited and not jealous when I discovered that David Brin had already taken this idea out for a flight a long time ago. I began this book immediately and was not disappointed. Where I just thought nothing more than "dolphins in space", Brin fully develops this idea and crews his spaceship with a cast of believable dolphins (and...more
Nandor
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...more
Amy
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
Tim
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
Kevin
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
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 wh...more
Tatiana
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...more
SJ
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...more
Magnus Nilsson
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...more
James Brown
Feb 16, 2013 James Brown rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Flakeheads
I had wanted to read this book for some time (this was about 15 years ago). It had won awards, was an early entry in a popular series, and the author had some currency in Hollywood (sourcing The Postman). I found it for about seven bucks in a book exchange -- this particular place used to slip every book inside a soft plastic cover, to freshen up the cover and make it shine invitingly from the shelf.

Which is to say the story of the book in my imagination (as something I might like to read) and t...more
Erik
Revised down after finishing. Just simply an awful book. This is one I wanted to use for my science fiction and philosophy class. Certainly it has all the hallmarks, questions about species and civilizations and progress which could easily raise some deep issues, but they are just treated as teasers to involve you in a truly conventional plot. Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles raise many more philosophical points in just one short story. I don't want to condemn all space opera, but it is shaping...more
Peter Gardner

Fun book. Humanity is reaching for the stars, but the stars themselves are filled with aliens who are part of a billion year old galactic civilization. Contact with aliens has brought The Library, a vast repository of knowledge collected from all these species. Instead of taking all this new knowledge as gospel, humankind launches a mission to verify some of the information contained there in. The mission has another purpose, to try out a spacecraft crewed by a few humans, a chimp scientist, but...more
Trey
I'm still unsure about these books. I think if I could split this review I'd give the first half of this book 2 stars and the second half 4 stars. Since I just finished it (and still riding the high generated by the ending) I'll stick with 4 stars.

I told myself I was done with this series after the first book. Boredom and a lack of motivation to really read anything lead me here. I'm glad it did.

Like the first book, I found the first half dragged on a bit. I was a bit bored and a tad annoyed to...more
Nicholas Whyte
http://www.nicholaswhyte.info/sf/hn2.htm#start[return][return]Probably the best of Brin's Uplift sequence of books (though I have faithfully bought each of the others and only been slightly disappointed). A ship crewed by genetically modified dolphins and humans has discovered a secret that threatens to upset the balance of galactic politics; they are pursued by all manner of horrible non-human races.
Craig
This is probably the best volume in Brin's "Uplift" series. He does an excellent job of creating convincing alien characters and alien civilizations, mixing action and politics, and portraying an epic, galaxy-sweeping back drop to the vast, over-all story. One of my favorite observations is that the redoubtable Heinlein-esque male character is marooned out of the action while his girl friend has to go out and save the day.
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14078
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
More about David Brin...
The Postman The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3) Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, #1) Foundation's Triumph (Second Foundation Trilogy, #3) Brightness Reef (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #1)

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