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The Uplift War

(The Uplift Saga #3)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  25,801 ratings  ·  393 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 g ...more
Paperback, 638 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Spectra Books (first published April 1987)
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Jamie Rich Yes. You don't need to read Sundiver to read this book. But also yes, you should read Startide Rising to read this book. Mind you, Startide Rising and…moreYes. You don't need to read Sundiver to read this book. But also yes, you should read Startide Rising to read this book. Mind you, Startide Rising and this book are in the same universe, the Uplift War happens just after the second book, but that book can bring depth (if you've read the 2nd book, this is a pun) to some of the plot. So it really isn't a prerequisite, but adds a lot to his book. And it's also a good read. Sundiver, I thought, was an ok novel, but I was unmoved even at the end. Startide Rsing, on the other hand, does bring you in, and it's a great ride.(less)

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brin-david
And here we, no wrong sorry, here come the chimpanzees.

There are so many Sci-Fi ideas including apes, like the Planet of the apes' franchise, cartoon characters and many evil experiments.

One of the less widespread ideas is reverse engineering, the downgrading, or, appropriate to the terminology of the novels, downlifting, of humans to make hybrids. Instead of improving gorillas, chimps, orangutans, bonobos and naked mole rats to make them more human, the humans get monkeyed and not the monkey
Dirk Grobbelaar
Let’s get one thing straight. The Uplift War is not military science fiction. There is a war, yes, and there are some appropriately war-like moments, but the emphasis is, once again, on the ‘Uplift’ and not on the ‘War’. Arguably, one the greatest strengths of The Uplift War and its predecessors, is the alien element. Brin certainly went the whole hog when he was designing and imagining his Galactics. This is where these books shine. Each alien race has its own culture and corresponding cultural ...more
Megan Baxter
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Galactic civilization is balanced on a knife's edge. Power is gained by becoming patrons, gaining client races, uplifting them to sentience and starfaring, and having them as more or less indentured servants over hundreds of thousands of years. But then humans came on the scenes, "wolflings," who apparently bootstrapped themselves up into sentience, a feat thought to be impossible.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You

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 beca
Rachel (Kalanadi)
80's dudebro SF. (Seriously. The male human hero transforms into Tarzan.)

Good for what it is, but not to my taste. I don't want to nitpick something that just isn't for me, but it felt a little ridiculous and contrived in places, and rather naive or superficial about the problematic issues raised. But on the whole - just OK.

I would like to forget about the chimpanzee striptease scene though.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, 2fiction, 1audio
I've heard many good things about this trilogy & author, but I found Sundiver awful the couple of times I tried it. I never finished the brick or even penetrated too far, but it's been a long time since I last tried. In review, one of my GR friends wrote that the books & writing got better. Someone else wrote this one stood alone well, so I'm planning on only reading book 3 of a trilogy.

I think this was a good choice. The author relates enough about the world & first books (I guess) that I don'
Kara Babcock
David Brin's Uplift Trilogy has not been the easiest series for me to read. I enjoyed Sundiver as a mystery set within a much larger universe. Brin left me hungry for more, but Startide Rising left me bitter and disappointed. What had started with so much potential seemed encumbered by flawed storylines and a myriad of unwanted characters. Hence, I was doubtful of The Uplift War's ability to mollify me.

While certainly superior to Startide Rising, The Uplift War lacks the central protagon
Maybe 4.25 stars? Not exactly as good as Startide Rising, but close. There was a lot to love about this book but also a little to be annoyed about.

Plot was fun, although sloooow at times. Fiben's adventures were the best part, for me. Fiben was an absolutely fantastic character (I think Brin has said that he's his favourite character from all his books). The chims overall were great, although I think I still prefer the fins from Startide Rising. The exploration of neo-chimpanzee culture was fasc
Nicholas Whyte

One of Brin's novels of the future universe where humanity has become part of a galactic culture of species Uplifting each other from pre-sapience to civilisation, homo sapiens being unique in that we achieved that status without external intervention.

The book is fun in a lot of ways - smart humans and chimps, and their allies, manage to overcome the prejudices and wishful thinking of the more nasty aliens. The most sympathetic male characters get to hav
David Brin writes entertaining aliens! The Gooksyu-Gubru clan made me see space chickens in my mind and I just loved them. They remain neuter (and white) until they are allowed to form a triad (and run a project), at the end of which they gain both gender & colour. Then the bird at the top of the pecking order becomes a queen and the other two become her princes. So, a lot is riding on the outcome of their “crusade” against Earthling humans and neo-chimpanzees.

The galactic manoeuvring in this se
4.0 stars. The continuation of the Uplift Saga began in the superb Startide Rising. Amazing world-building (rather universe building), a superb plot and peopled by fascinating characters and races. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1988)
Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1988)
Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1988)
Nominee: Prometheus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1988)
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: galaxy-spanning
I found this book was not nearly as page-turning as Startide Rising, and overlong to boot.
Cristian Tomescu
May 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF at 43%.
I really really tried to like this book enough to finish it, but I just couldn't.
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit. I'm a little relieved to be done with this series. Wherever I would walk while reading either this book or its predecessor, Startide Rising, people would inevitably look at the cover, glance away quickly, then slowly look back, eyes questioning. "Is that...?" "Yes," I would answer, "those are chimpanzees. Yes, they're in space. No, I am not reading this on a dare." At the end of the day, regardless of how many awards this series has won (oodles), or how detailed and complex the ...more
Aug 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sciencefiction
These Uplift novels are getting better. This time I cared a lot more about the characters, and the writing seemed much smoother and less annoying. The author managed to go more than two or three pages sometimes between changes of viewpoint character, and the action was more streamlined and less choppy.

I loved the character of the ambassador's daughter Athaclena, and how she ended up leading the resistance forces. I liked her species, I liked their intuitive psi sense, the artistic glyphs they br
Mayank Agarwal
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Best book till now of the Uplift series, the story telling and the characters development were much better.The alien races present in the book were great. Did enjoy the many undercurrent regarding the diplomacy and warfare of the Galactic's. ...more
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Second time reading this with 20 years. This time only after reading two first books. And yes, No3 is the best - most hilarious and well structured - a lot of interesting ideas and fun
Bart Everson
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: octavia-sf
I would never recommend The Uplift War to my friends who are skeptical about science fiction. It has too many conventions peculiar to the genre. There are aliens of many races, psychic powers, galactic empires, robots, ray guns and spaceships that travel faster than light. It's all a bit much in a single book if you've never read science fiction before.

Furthermore, this is not an easy read. The pages are peppered with made-up alien words like lurrunanu and tu'fluk. There's also a sprinkling of o
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-series
Shares a universe with the other books of the series, could stand alone. Describes life in an occupied land (world), and is somewhat better than the previous book. Still suffers from clunky descriptions and poor passages at times.

In its favor are stronger characters, especially Fiben. He and others are fully 3D, a welcome change from the previous book. Some of the clever technology used for tracking or attacking are also neat. Chief among the downsides are the pace - this book is slow. Took me a
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: digital, space, sf, audio
I know this is a well known series, but somehow it did not resonate with me. As much as I like dolphins and the idea of potential ascensions of various species and races, the whole constellation of characterization here failed dearly to get any traction {quite a down-lift for me}.
Benjamin Thomas
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The year 2489 C.E. (Common Era) finds the avian species Gubru planning to invade the small out-of-the-way planet of Garth, a green, jungle-like planet nearly wrecked in an ecological holocaust millennia earlier. Humans and their uplifted neo-chimpanzee clients have worked hard to restore the planet to a livable state, but now find their world under occupation by the hostile Gubru. With most of the humans imprisoned, it falls to a band of chimps, a single free human and the Tymbrimi ambassador an ...more
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I’ve enjoyed all six of David Brin’s uplift novels but, in some ways, I wish I had read The Uplift War first instead of last. Sundiver, the first novel, was bit of a snooze for me and seemed disconnected from the rest of the series in time and space. I can disregard that one. The Uplift War is the second novel, and this is where the political landscape of the Five Galaxies is laid out. All of sentient life follows the protocol of Uplift established by the Progenitors, the semi-mythological origi ...more
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The third book in the Uplift trilogy but as with the other books you can just read each book as a stand-alone. Where the second book focuses on human/neo-dolphin interaction, this one is about humans and neo-chimpanzees, neo-chimpanzees being the other earth species humans 'uplifted'.

I like Brin's style, it's easy reading and I enjoyed it quite a bit more than a lot of the serious sci-fi that is out there. I'm wondering if I should focus more on sci-fi written 20+ years ago.

The Uplift trilogy
Mar 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Although the ideas about environmentalism and uplifted species are powerful and the universe that Brin creates is interesting, this book, like the previous two in the series, fails to deliver on its promise. Brin repeatedly raises huge questions about the universe, evolution, sentience, and ethics, and he repeatedly defers them in favor of a more limited plot structure (in the first book, he tells a mystery story; in the second book, he tells an adventure story; and in this book, he tells a stor ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, audio
3.5 stars....

I went back and forth with this one. I didn't read the first two stories in this saga. It isn't necessary to do so, but I think reading them would give more perspective to the story with the dolphins. I did not enjoy the story, but I did enjoy some of the story elements. The concept of one race "uplifting" another to being sentience was intriguing. I also enjoyed the light injection of humor at regular intervals, especially the prankster, Uthacaling.

I struggled with one notable aspe
Austin Wright
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I am going through the Legendary era of "1980's Hard SciFi". This is completely out of my comfort zone, as the 1950's in my favorite decade of SciFi literature, and I do not consider myself technical enough to be fully able to appreciate Hard-Scifi. I had to consult the Wiki several times to understand the nuances and overall-direction the novel was taking me.

Three-stars. This book was more a retelling of Startide Rising. The Gubru were my favorite characters. And this was a very memorable read,
Seth Heasley
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I've done it! I've managed to enjoy one of the Uplift books. Maybe it was because I did audio, but I learned my lesson from slogging through Startide Rising in print. But also this is just a better book as far as I can tell, with the characters better defined, and far fewer haiku. (And no dolphins.)

May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
It's great fun to see some genuine world-building and an attempt at differently thinking alien species. However, the far-flung nature is somewhat belied by constant references to 20th century culture such as Jane Goodall and the three stooges. It also would be a much better book if it were 100-150 pages shorter.
Nonetheless one that anyone interested in the breadth of SF should probably pick up.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've always wondered what would happen if The Muppets were to visit the Planet of the Apes......NOT. Yet, In Uplift Wars, that's exactly what you get. A race of space-faring overgrown chickens attacks a planet populated by upright, talking, super intelligent apes and their human counterparts. The only things missing are Pigs in Space, and the Amazing Gonzo. While I admit there were parts that were highly entertaining, I mostly found this novel tedious, ridiculous and annoying. I'm being generous ...more
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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

Other books in the series

The Uplift Saga (6 books)
  • Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, #1)
  • Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, #2)
  • Brightness Reef (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #1)
  • Infinity's Shore (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #2)
  • Heaven's Reach (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #3)

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