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Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga #2)

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  25,142 Ratings  ·  485 Reviews
The tenth anniversary edition of Brin's Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel. The Terran exploration vessel Streaker has crashed on 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 a hostile planet to safeguard her secret -- the fate of the Progenitors.
Paperback, UK Edition, 462 pages
Published August 1985 by Bantam Books (first published September 1983)
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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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Community Reviews

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Brad
I've been reading this book over the decades and I can still honestly say that it's both timely and timeless in its ideas, its story, and its characters. That's even taking into account that most SF eventually dates itself or becomes a humorous example of just how much we all eventually learn.

This one doesn't suffer at all. Since the eighties this still remains a mind-blowing and fantastic space opera of the kind I still have yet compare anything else as favorably. Even among Brin's other Uplift
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j
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
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
Guillermo

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
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Christopher
Jul 25, 2007 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
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
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Apatt
Aug 13, 2011 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
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
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Gendou
Oct 19, 2011 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
...more
Benjamin Thomas
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
If you’re looking for interesting, thought-provoking, hard science fiction, you could certainly do worse than this second novel in the “Uplift Trilogy”. Even though it is the second book in a trilogy, it takes place more than 200 years after the events of book one (Sundiver) and has no connected story threads or characters so can easily be read without having first read book one. In fact, I recommend doing just that as I believe this novel is a much better introduction to this future universe.

Th
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Kogiopsis
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
...more
Chloe
Jul 14, 2009 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
Tam G
3.5

Dolphiiiins iiiinnnnn Spaaaaaaaaace.

Really that's almost everything you need to know.

The Good: The visual of dolphins piloting starships and riding around with robotic tool-hands. Dolphin language like Haiku. A whole rigid universal hierarchy. Genetic manipulation. Intense complex world-building.

The No-so-good: Like all things we love the Good has a flip side which annoys us. Probably too long for what it is. Too many characters sometimes doing the same things. Little plots that seem to go
...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
Buzz H.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, space-opera
This is David Brin's finest space opera, and I recommend it. I find Mr. Brin's writing uneven, novel to novel. Startide Rising, though, is excellent.
Denis
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A.C. Clarke had "uplifted" type animals in some of his novels and stories, "Fountains of Paradise", "3001 (A Space Odyssy)", but this series by David Brin, is more akin to Hal Clement's "Mesklin's" series. Many strange alien invented by the author, who speak colloquial American English, "Change to 33 1/3, I can't follow that jabber!" an alien knows about record players? Really? "Have you any plans for lunch'" says an uplifted dolphin, "I still have some of that canned octopus left..." I would ha ...more
Andreas
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
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Mark
Nov 23, 2009 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
...more
Liutauras Elkimavičius
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
Bryan
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
...more
Valerie
Aug 04, 2009 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
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Robert
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Toma
Feb 25, 2009 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
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angela
Jul 21, 2011 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
...more
Mark
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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....
prcardi
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
...more
Chris Russell
I liked it. Good sci-fi. 1983.
This book had been sitting on my shelf for a number of years since I plucked it from a library sale. Funny thing is I avoided reading it because I didn't like the cover art. It looked very fantasy. I'm not a big fantasy fan. The joke is on me because it is not fantasy but good hard SF.
Part of Brin's Uplift universe, this book won a Hugo, Nebula and Locus award.
Very good writing. Excellent story. I won't ruin it for you.
The short chapters, each one like a crisp vo
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David B
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A starship crewed by dolphins chances upon a discovery that could have enormous repercussions throughout known space, causing it to become the object of a hunt by a number of more powerful races. The ship crashes on a water world and struggles for survival as the "Galactics" battle overhead for the right of capture.

I was not so impressed with "Sundiver," the first book in the Uplift series. I'm so glad that I didn't stop there. "Startide Rising" is an exceptional read. David Brin has a unique ta
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Susan
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read for a local book club, but one that holds up very well with the passage of time. On the surface, it's great space opera, but there is so much more. The book asks big questions about the evolution of sentience, the nature of language, and meddling with genetics, and tosses them together with concepts like probability drives and psi bombs - great stuff. I promised myself yet again to read the rest of the books set in this universe.
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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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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...

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)
  • Aficionado

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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
“Blatant idiocies had been tried by early men and women--foolishness that would never have been considered by species aware of the laws of nature. Desperate superstitions had bred during the savage centuries. Styles of government, intrigues, philosophies were tested with abandon. It was almost as if Orphan Earth had been a planetary laboratory, upon which a series of senseless and bizarre experiments were tried. Illogical and shameful as they seemed in retrospect, those experiences enriched modern Man. Few races had made so many mistakes in so short a time, or tried so many tentative solutions to hopeless problems.” 1 likes
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