this is the 88th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
Sundiver by David Brin © 1980, this edition: 3rd printing Nov. 1981, Bantam Books 1981 mass market paperback, science fiction, 1st in Uplift War series of 6 novels
It’s been a long time since I read anything by Brin, and this one in particular as it was the first book by him I tried. I liked it a lot and went on to read the rest of the initial trilogy, all that was written at that time. Brin has since added the second trilogy and has a new book, Existence soon to be published which is a prequel of sorts. (List at end of post)
Earth has had contact with The Elder Races, all of whom have been “uplifted” by some other race except The Old Ones, who began the uplift process long before they disappeared. The uplift processes is that of genetically progressing potentially or barely sentient species to full sentience, giving them as much of the technology they need to reach the stars and participate in the union. However the price for this uplifting by an older race is servitude for thousands of years.
Humans have managed to make it into space without any help from the older races, a very, very rare occurrence. Termed a wolfling race, there is always doubt that they really did it on their own and weren’t helped in some way by another race playing galactic politics. The union of Elder Races is highly suspicious of the Human race and does all it can to retard further progress, often denying them the access and benefits they should have as full members. Also, Humans had already begun the uplift process themselves by developing the intelligence of Dolphins, and having done this gives them – or should give them – additional status.
In Sundiver, The Humans are investigating a phenomena they have observed in the Sun’s corona, and it seems the elder races, while helping, are really creating obstacles.
The series is called the Uplift (or Uplift War) because it deals with Humanity’s fight to in fact gain the actual status they believe they deserve, and survive the galaxy-wide differences and politics. This may be the weakest of the three books, but it’s got some good characters and introduces the big picture quite well. I’ll be moving on to the second in the series very soon.
The Uplift novels: (the original trilogy)
Startide Rising (1983)
The Uplift War (1987)
The Uplift Storm Trilogy: (the second trilogy)
Brightness Reef (1995)
Infinity’s Shore (1996)
Heaven’s Reach (1998)
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The rest of the Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s blog Pattinaise