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Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga #2)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,641 Ratings  ·  427 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
ebook, 496 pages
Published July 21st 2010 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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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

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

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
Jul 25, 2007 Christopher rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 21, 2011 Gendou rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 14, 2011 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Feb 27, 2010 Mark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 08, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 22, 2011 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 25, 2009 Toma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Aylott
Feb 23, 2016 Chris Aylott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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....
Jan 07, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
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
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
Dec 15, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 31, 2009 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2009 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 22, 2010 SJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Magnus Nilsson
Oct 13, 2010 Magnus Nilsson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
James Brown
Feb 16, 2013 James Brown rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2008 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi
Shelves: fiction-sci-fi
The search continues. Through the fog of uplift travels the exploration ship, Streaker. Crewed by an unusual mammalian mix, Streaker is part of humankind's latest attempt to understand the roots of our exsitence.

What was uncorked in Sundiver is allowed to flow freely in its sequel. Still grasping at the deeper questions, Brin continues to keep the story tight, despite the absorbtion of new information. There are struggles aplenty as scientists and engineers (literally) tread water in unknown
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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 (7 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)

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“The propensity of Earthlings to get into trouble, and to learn thereby, was the reason my owners agreed to this mad venture – although no one expected such a chain of unusual calamities as befell this ship. Your talents were underrated.” 2 likes
“Even in dying, a Thennanin ship was reputed to be not worth putting out of its misery. In battle they were slow, unmaneuverable—and as hard to disable permanently as a cockroach.” 1 likes
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