The exception to this would be Alvin after their diving bell gets captured by an as-yet unidentified player. Still, those portions of the book were always shorter than the other perspectives, so I didn't get as attached to Alvin as I did to the other characters. One character that did surprise me was Asx. The traeki fascinate me. Brin is very talented at coming up with unique species that are not merely humanoid stand-ins, and the traeki are a great example.
Apparently they are the same as the Jophur, antagonists in previous books, but they are peaceful. Each individual traeki body is made up of "rings" that have different skill sets and traits; the rings together form a sort of group-mind that acts based upon consensus. So a single traeki can swap out rings and become a slightly different person in the process. Asx is the traeki sage, and his perspectives are little more than pithy ruminations upon the current action.
Yet even in such brevity, glimpses into the traeki mind was still cool. Even though Brin doesn't consistently deliver well-paced action or complex characterization, he does often succeed at that one fundamental aspect of science fiction, that necessity for "difference.
Still, it's fun, intriguing, and a great beginning to a new Uplift trilogy. Brin has managed to expand upon everything that makes the Uplift universe so unique and awesome. My only hope is that the series just gets better. View 1 comment. Feb 02, David B rated it really liked it.
Six sentient species live together secretly in hard-won harmony on the planet Jijo, which the almighty Galactics have decreed to be left unsettled. All goes well until their discovery by a starship crewed by humans with a mysterious purpose throws everything into chaos and uncertainty. David Brin is telling a big story here. The planet and the various alien cultures upon it are meticulously detailed and his concept of Uplift, whereby races achieve sentience and admittance to a heavily stratified Six sentient species live together secretly in hard-won harmony on the planet Jijo, which the almighty Galactics have decreed to be left unsettled.
The planet and the various alien cultures upon it are meticulously detailed and his concept of Uplift, whereby races achieve sentience and admittance to a heavily stratified galactic society through the patronage of more advanced races, remains one of the most brilliant concepts in science fiction.
However, be warned. This is not a stand-alone book. As Brin himself acknowledges in his afterword, his story just kept expanding in the telling until it could no longer be contained within a single volume. This book does not even attempt to provide a temporary conclusion but rather leaves all of the various plot strands waving in thin air. Therefore, I do recommend this book, but only if you are prepared to go on and read the next two in the trilogy as well. May 16, Bunny Blake rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy-scifi. I read the first three Uplift novels back when they were fairly new, and since then they've been one of my favorite brainy space opera series.
Recently I marathoned through the initial trilogy again and was pleased to discover there were three more books in the series since then. The Uplift books are a great mix of adventure, world-building, and scientific speculation, and the alien races portrayed in these books are especially great. Once I'd gotten through the first few chapters, however, I found it hard to put down and a thoroughly enjoying bit of storytelling. Apr 17, prcardi rated it liked it Shelves: pg , evolution , fantasy , hugo-finalist , series , other-world , science-fiction.
Those are the made-up names, places, races, adjectives or other terms that appear in the Prelude and Part I called "Parts" instead of chapters. Additionally, there are the words with more obvious meanings but also having specific connotations for Brin's worldbuilding: rings, sage, Commons, pentapod, children of exile, Scroll of Exile, sneakership, gloss, the Slope, the Midden, throat sac, humanmimicker, the Big North-side Avalanche, red shells, greys, blues, mudflats, leg-mouths, lava pools, Great Peace, the Big Quest, gloss, burnish, Gathering Festival, dross, the Line, The Day, sky-gods, heretic, eyestalks, heresy, cranial tympanum, and the Rift.
This all comes in the first 19 pages. Thereafter it slows down, but those first two parts were difficult. Remember, too, that this is addition to all the Uplift terminology carried over from the original trilogy. The opening of Brightness Reef, then, gives a lot of new material in a short amount of space, and you must be able to distinguish between many of the terms to understand the conversations and action.
Was it the g'Kek that was blue with four legs or was that a hoon? Or is this thing wheeling around the g'Kek? When hoonish is an adjective am I supposed to remember riverfolk or galloping plainsmen? I prefer my worldbuilding to proceed with a bit more finesse. In fairness, Brin does offer clues and descriptors alongside the proper names to help the reader distinguish between all the new terms.
Still, this start proved more work than fun. I forewarn the reader that the ending, too, requires some forbearance, in that there is no ending. The first three of the Uplift saga were independent works with their own self-contained plot with some sort of settlement. This is a to-be-continued ending that leaves the reader without a resolution. Even trilogies which contain a single, overarching plot can and have managed to find reasonable ending places. Brin appears to have stopped when his publisher said, Enough! Other than the beginning and the ending, this was Brin's best Uplift book.
Discounting the slogging start and the abrupt finish, there are still a good pages in a middle full of quality worldbuilding, believable characters, and creative perspectives. I remain awed by the concept of uplift and the galactic politics Brin has built around it. He moves in a nice direction here, emphasizing the high regard and long-term planning that goes into saving species potentially sentient, even when that sentience is eons into the future.
This was also Brin's most ambitious effort yet at perspectives and mediums. Not only are there a plethora of alien vantage points but we get snippets of recorded lore and published history interjected amidst the 28 parts. The writing exhibited a real self-awareness as one of our protagonists discussed literary writing styles and the best ways to relate his story, and there was some intriguing philosophical ideas on linguistics.
This did come off more as Brin defending himself by saying he was aware of literary devices and systems of thought. He himself struggled make good use of or delve deep into these matters. Nevertheless, the experience was better for their inclusion. The author did make some poor choices with the twists and turns, putting me in a place throughout most of the book where I felt that the choices and reasoning of the actors did not make sense. Brin's twists give some needed coherence, but where he was thinking that he was solving puzzles, to me it seemed like he was finally remedying errors.
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How the glavers did it is left unclear, and Brin provides no scientific explanation for thinking it possible. Far into the book, he offers a tentative explanation with a debate between Sara and Dedinger. Sara begins: science is about slowly improving your models of the world. It's future oriented. Your children will know more than you do, so the truth you already have can never be called 'perfect. In that case, argument and uncertainty will only confuse your flock.
This was a turning point for me in the book because it was so very bad. This doesn't make sense in terms of the world Brin has created: even if humans followed the Sacred Scrolls fully, burned all books, and used only handmade tools, they would either a die out or b progress differently or more slowly. Those zealots that Dedinger was leading, after burning all their books, would over the course of generations still develop better hooks for fishing or better needles for sewing.
There is no other mechanism by which to explain or expect any of these races to lose sentience. In attempting to use religion and tradition as that mechanism, Brin swaps out scientific justifications for socio-political statements. For an author so intent on worldbuilding and science, this was a huge hole left by his casually interjecting his humanism and empiricism. Brin deals with this whole de-evolution principle differently later in the book when he gives nearly every race an alternate reason for fleeing to Jijo.
So humans, g'Kek, Urs, and traeki, at the very least, were motivated by goals other than losing their sentience. It was as if Brin were waving away the prior three-fifths of the book and the justifications for the races being there and the source of the disagreements between the heretics and the zealots. I wanted to take seriously this idea of de-evolution.
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Brin's glib rationale and his search for interesting twists, however, undermined the concept despite it being central to understanding his world for most of the book hide spoiler ] It is impressing to think of the author beginning with a blank page before him and resulting with something so wildly creative.
It is difficult to imagine how he got from point A to point Z, but we readers are the beneficiaries. I would have called this his best Uplift book had it been finished. View all 7 comments. Sep 24, fromcouchtomoon rated it liked it. Lots of good talking points in this return to Brin's Uplift universe: interrogating ideas of humanity and sapience, cultural imperialism, and feminist commentary. But it's just so damn long and unwieldy! Nov 26, S. I've read most of David Brin's Uplift Universe, but I actually started with this particular series, and despite it being the final trilogy, I can say with confidence that it's a mighty fine place to start.
To this day these three books remain my favorite Brin novels. Not only is David Brin an absolute master of Hard Science Fiction, his work is a good antidote to the pile of young-adult-inspired-barely-feasible-dystopias that are currently flooding the market and trying to coattail on the success I've read most of David Brin's Uplift Universe, but I actually started with this particular series, and despite it being the final trilogy, I can say with confidence that it's a mighty fine place to start. Not only is David Brin an absolute master of Hard Science Fiction, his work is a good antidote to the pile of young-adult-inspired-barely-feasible-dystopias that are currently flooding the market and trying to coattail on the success of the Hunger Games.
If you like Hard Sci-Fi chances are you already know what that genre means, and Brin has it down. Most science fictions falls into one of two traps when creating alien species.
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They either make the aliens just a green version of humans e. Star Trek , or they make the aliens mortal enemies that are incapable of any common ground or saving feature, hell-bent on destroying all of humanity, thus necessitating their complete and totally satisfying destruction. Brin actually imagines complicated, nuanced, foreign, not-even-slightly-human aliens. And the wackier his ideas the more you will find them to be rooted in solid science.
Aliens that evolved with wheels and an axle? Sounds unreal, but he based the idea on a currently existing bacteria. Nuanced pretty much sums up Brin's approach. Politics, culture, character development While Brin creates characters you can root for, the people of his novels do not always live up to your expectations, and you will not be allowed to myopically focus on only one "hero" or "heroine" David Brin is an author that asks more of his readers than many science fiction and fantasy authors do today, and certainly more than Hollywood does.
He asks you to care about more than one person, more than one "side", more than one culture, to relate to more than one protagonist. These days I feel like with so many people picking simplified issues and drawing battle lines, writers like David Brin that promote Big Pictures with complicated problems are a much needed contrast. Read up and enjoy. View 2 comments. Aug 11, Bria rated it really liked it. A high four. Some of my favorite things were things that I appreciated in thought more than enjoyed as I read it, but that may be my harshest critique. I sometimes complain that science fiction is so concentrated upon its jawsome ideas that it forgets to also be literature, but the sort of self-aware literary technique in the secondary story line seemed a bit out of place sandwiched between the more conventional sections.
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Perhaps if the whole book had been written that way it would have worked, A high four. Perhaps if the whole book had been written that way it would have worked, but I'm not sure how I feel about the two styles being slapped together. It gradually forced itself into my mind the effect of designing your life and societal goals so as to leave nothing behind and devolve. Having such a goal akin to sacred seems the only way to have it happen, and yet it still strikes me as unsatisfying and difficult to maintain.
The need for progress, for impact, for something important to result, if not from one individually, then from one's collective group seems a strong urge to me. Of course, maybe it would not be the same for other species, or other cultures, but it has pushed me into pondering why or how it could matter. I frequently run into this problem - why progress?
What progress? And so to have an explicitly anti-progress goal draws out these unsupported and potentially meaningless drives for meaning. One could make arguments that to aim to let everything erode over time is the only consistent one - and yet it seems infeasible to expect everybody in a society to be comfortable maintaining it, however sacred a mission it may be. Somehow, we want to at least strive to create something, and to know with certainty that it will be destroyed without any legacy whatsoever is a hard thing to face, even if to think otherwise is delusional.
Jul 18, Eric rated it it was ok Recommends it for: people who want human interest stories about non-humans. Shelves: sci-fi. Spoiler alert: There are no bright reefs in here. Brin has taken two words that he likes, put them together, and named his story that. He then filled up pages with multiple threads of a tale that I'm not all that interested in. This book is at least 3x longer than it needs to be. I can summarize: 1 There are various aliens who have come into illegal exile together for various reasons. Their motivations are slowly revealed.
By the way, e Spoiler alert: There are no bright reefs in here. By the way, everyone thinks evolving into a sapient species is somehow magically impossible. But devolving from one is fine. Doing what, who knows. They're looking for the Streaker, though they won't tell you that. It's unclear why else they're here. You'd think that after pages this would be evident. I hated the fact that I read pages about a insignificant world only to have to read another pages to finish the story. Why does Brin focus on these backwater worlds with their unimportant inhabitants when he's got a huge universe out there to explore?
This is all quite unsatisfying. Mar 26, Darth rated it liked it. Not sure why i keep at theses Uplift books. I dont by the setup - I am not overwhelmed by any ideas in the story, the setting, the premise, etc They arent bad, they just dont do much for me. I find it hard to imagine people taking species responsibility over the course of thousands of years. It is hard to get most people who study a specific thing - to agree what happened years ago. So to think we or any like species would carry any guilt for thousands of years seems unlikely. For this part Not sure why i keep at theses Uplift books.
For this particular book I felt myself getting interested here and there, then the scene shifted and I lost interest. Often the characters didnt feel distinctly individual, so unless this one mentions its footstalks or rings or whatever it had, I didnt always know where it was right away after the scene shifted. I wont spoiler it, but the twist at the end wasnt surprising if you paid attention, even a bored guy on the treadmill saw it coming. Still, all my comments are harsher than I feel about it, it wasnt unreadable, it just doesnt spark my imagination like some other things I have read.
Sep 07, Tatiana rated it it was ok Shelves: sciencefiction. These are getting better, though the author still has some writing quirks that annoy me. These last three Uplift books are apparently all one long story. The first one, Brightness Reef, introduces us to the planet Jijo, and to the six erstwhile starfaring races that dwell there in exile illegally.
Some of the storylines and characters are quite captivating, like that of Rety and of the Stranger. Others like Alvin, Huck and friends, I wish to get through quickly and move on. He has learned to go These are getting better, though the author still has some writing quirks that annoy me.
He has learned to go longer between viewpoint character changes, sometimes as much as a chapter, which helps. And overall he's getting a bit better at storytelling. It's not as jumpy and awkward as it was in the earlier books. Again the book is packed with clever inventive details about all the different species and their technology and societies. The science is good, which really matters to me. I've started the next book now.
Tune in for the next review in a few days. Sep 04, Mercurybard rated it liked it Shelves: scifi. This was a hard one to muddle through--it wasn't until I realized that this trilogy is contemporary to the events of the Uplift Trilogy that I started to get interested.
Brin is experimenting with perspective--from the alien Asx to the Stranger who has lost all language when introducted to Alvin, the young hoon who tells his story in a first person journal style. Of course, since it's Brin, the intrigue is thick.
Gone are the weird time passage "burps" from earlier books. Everything seems to flow n This was a hard one to muddle through--it wasn't until I realized that this trilogy is contemporary to the events of the Uplift Trilogy that I started to get interested. Everything seems to flow naturally. The big questions: 1. Did humanity 'bootstrap' themselves to sentience? Who is Herbie and why does everybody want him?
What the FUCK is up with the noors? This is a good book. There was lucklily a picture at the end of the book and after looking at that I understood the shape and parts of the different types of aliens there. There is also an interesting idea of 'Patron' species. In other words a species that takes another fledgling group and begins to uplift them.
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Genetically changing them slowly as well as teaching them things to make them into the next star-faring specie This is a good book. Genetically changing them slowly as well as teaching them things to make them into the next star-faring species. Feb 25, Matt rated it really liked it. I used to be a voracious reader, and although I find that my reading time is now taken up by other communication methods iPad, Internet, etc.
I still enjoy reading a good book, or listening to audiobooks. So, I've gone back and started listening to one of my favorite series of books by David Brin called the Uplift Trilogy. It's really a long story set after the events of Startide Rising, which is the keystone book in his whole Uplift "universe. Humans, as we are wont to do, have already done so with dolphins and chimpanzees, which makes our race "patrons," much to the chagrin of the older races that consider us upstarts. Then, as we are also wont to do, we end up poking things we shouldn't and causing trouble. At any rate, there are several fascinating aspects to societal interactions, race development, recycling and most importantly, languages, that I just love to revisit.
Especially as it compares when its on the page verses spoken aloud in an audiobook. As part of a massive galactic culture, there are at least 7 galactic dialects that the characters use in the story, which is then added to the earthling languages of "anglic" and "trinary" which is dolphin language.
The author Brin has a lot of commentary about how one language is better for certain concepts compared to another, and how each race interacts with them to cross-communicate. Moreover, on the page he was forced to resort to pairing certain languages in specific ways, almost like a haiku for "Trinary" for instance. Ah, but when read aloud, it takes on a whole different feel. Some languages become a song, while others are stilted and specific.
My hat's off to voice over artist George K Wilson for his great job not only managing numerous styles of voices, but also the strange dialects that it entails. At any rate, if you read science fiction at all, I'd recommend this whole series. And, as a final side note, I'm sorry to say that I've personally had several interactions with the author David Brin Few things are more disappointing than really liking someone's creative efforts, and really wanting to feel a pleasant connection to the person that so inspired you But oh well.
May 16, Andrew Riley rated it it was amazing. The second Uplift trilogy, or the Jijoian Trilogy is set in a universe where species are raised to sentience by a Patron race, to whom they then owe one hundred thousand years of servitude as a thank you. Humanity, having already raised Chimps and Dolphins to sentience stumble out into the galaxy at large without a patron race, making them rare "wolflings" generally doomed for extinction lacking protection in what is often a dangerous and violent galactic society.
The majority of the trilogy is s The second Uplift trilogy, or the Jijoian Trilogy is set in a universe where species are raised to sentience by a Patron race, to whom they then owe one hundred thousand years of servitude as a thank you. The majority of the trilogy is set on a Sooner colony called Jijo, where half a dozen outcast races live together striving to return to "blessed presentience" avoiding larger galactic society.
The story follows this colony as the wider universe comes crashing in. I tremendously enjoyed these books, they're well written with a wide range of characters. The galactic society is startling different from most simple Utopian or "mankind stands alone" situations often found in fiction.
Groups centered on uplift clans or religious beliefs fight wars within the constraints of stability within the larger society. The differences between the collective cultures of the mixed races of Jijo and the interactions of the parent races out in the Five Galaxies form a large part of the subtext. Both the overarching plot and the development of each character is handled well and Brin doesn't leave minor loose ends dangling at the end of the tale.
He has left himself with a few hooks for another series if he wants it though. Jun 08, Manuel Barrera rated it it was amazing. An excellent primer on the future and present diversity of life from a scholar, physicist, and humanist. David Brin's "new" to me trilogy in the Uplift saga is smart in its depiction of sentient speciation in a universe likely to be much more diverse than we may believe at this moment.
However, the power of Brin's works lie in his illustrating the very human diversity, and our individual responses to it, that we encounter every day in this world. Our reactions of solidarity, of horror, of hatr An excellent primer on the future and present diversity of life from a scholar, physicist, and humanist.
Our reactions of solidarity, of horror, of hatred, and of humanism to each other and to all the current life on our planet are recognizable in this story of the "five galaxies", uplift of diverse species to sentience, and how each of us from our inherently conservatizing worldviews intersect with "difference".
It may seem a truism to say that the most surprising aspect of our reactions to "aliens" is how alien they seem compared to "us". Our ability to overcome our distrust and fears about how different others are and how we can become a unified people, planet, and eventually all sentients and non-sentients in our universe is the essential thrust of what Brin brings to his work.
I urge anyone interested in freedom and democracy to read and reflect on the stories in this truly prescient Uplift universe. I cannot recommend David Brin's work more highly. Jan 10, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: scifi , fiction , hugo-award-nominees. Well done start to a new Uplift trilogy. I was wondering what was going to distinguish this one from the others which all seemed to be somewhat self-contained stories , and it turns out that these next three books all follow roughly the same story. One thing to be warned about, though, is that while this book seems mostly self-contained, it's probably worth reading the earlier Uplift books, particularly the latter two, Startide Rising and The Uplift War.
As for the composition, this is an en Well done start to a new Uplift trilogy. As for the composition, this is an ensemble book done right - there are a good number of characters, but not too many, and the story is paced well. I didn't even mind that the book is nearly pages long. In short, it's a stark contrast to The Dark Between the Stars which I read recently , which is a dramatic example of the common pitfalls of these ensemble books insane number of characters, terrible pacing, etc. Highly enjoyable read. David Brin is a champion world-builder of the first order and his entire Uplift series is one of the most unique and original SF ideas I've ever read.
Humanity's distinction in these books as a "wolfling" race that dared to engineer it's own evolution is provocative and casts Earth in the position of outsider and rebel both in galactic politics, living under a constant Sword of Damocles that could destroy life on Earth at any moment. The stories are tightly plotted and very intense and deal with David Brin is a champion world-builder of the first order and his entire Uplift series is one of the most unique and original SF ideas I've ever read.
The stories are tightly plotted and very intense and deal with real-world questions about wisdom and knowledge, the morality of genetic experimentation and just what it means to be human in the first place. Start at the beginning with Sundiver, but read them all! May 20, Durval Menezes rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Nobody.
Overall this book tells a story that could have been condensed down to two hundred pages and not lose much if anything, but takes almost seven hundred pages to do it. I liked the original Uplift trilogy very much, but I don't think I will be reading the other two books in this one. Usually I read a book this long in three weeks or less, but I thought this one would never end, and more than once thought about just giving up on it.
I'm really glad or maybe relieved is a better word to have finished it. Dec 29, Elar rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobooks. Lonely planet left for recuperation for next settlers is actually occupied by 6 different races of refugee aliens including humans. Every faction has secrets and ambitions, but till now they manage to live together in peace. After starship arrives everything changes.
And to mix it all up strange man who cannot speak and do not remember his past is rescued at sea. This book is intended as only part of trilogy as it leaves many questions unanswered, so be prepared and forewarned :. Dec 16, Amy rated it really liked it Shelves: science-fiction. The new Uplift trilogy continues the adventures of the crew of Streaker, though they don't figure much in the first volume. It takes place on the distant planet Jijo, where members of several different Galactic races including humans have colonized illegally.
These "sooners" live in constant fear of discovery by Galactic authorities. It's a great story but you keep wondering when the Streaker is going to make an appearance. Jul 24, Kirk Lowery rated it really liked it Shelves: scifi. Brin is an excellent writer, no matter that his cosmology and worldview is upwhacked. In particular, the Uplift series of books are especially inventive and entertaining. View all 5 comments.
May 13, Adam Whitehead rated it really liked it. The planet Jijo is home to representatives from six different races, each hiding from the Civilisation of the Five Galaxies for their own reasons. Most of their high technology has been abandoned, lest it lead pursuers to them, but at great cost peaceful coexistence between the six races has been achieved. At the time of the Gathering representatives from these races meet to discuss the future Fearing the worst, the people of Jijo The planet Jijo is home to representatives from six different races, each hiding from the Civilisation of the Five Galaxies for their own reasons.
Fearing the worst, the people of Jijo are faced with disturbing revelations from the outside universe and discover that their little backwater world is about to become very important indeed. Brightness Reef is the fourth novel in David Brin's Uplift Saga and the first in a closely-linked trilogy. Dark Wraith of Shannara Shannara Series. Possessing an awesome power he is Possessing an awesome power he is only beginning to understand, young Jair Ohmsford must summon the devastating yet darkly seductive magic of the wishsong on a fateful mission to save his View Product.
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