Thursday, August 22, 2013

Where no dolphin has gone before

Startide Rising
by David Brin

Startide Rising takes place on a spaceship crewed by dolphins.

Perhaps some additional background is needed. After humanity’s first encounter with aliens, humans acquired the science of uplift which allows animals to be elevated to full sentience. Dolphins were the second life-form uplifted by humans, after chimpanzees. The Streaker is the first dolphin spaceship, and it is filled with water as you would imagine but also contains an air ring which houses a small group of humans and one chimpanzee who assist the dolphin crew.

After accidentally discovering an ancient derelict space fleet, the crew of the Streaker find themselves on the run from a host of alien species. The aliens believe that the dolphins have uncovered the remains of the progenitors, the semi-legendary race of aliens who are believed to have begun the uplift process billions of years ago and seeded intelligent life across several galaxies.

David Brin is a great storyteller with a gift for extrapolating consequences from wild premises. There is not a lot of character development here, but like many Science Fiction novels this book is about big concepts and is plot driven rather than character driven. Startide Rising swept the major Science Fiction awards in 1984, winning the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards for Best Novel. Its sequel, The Uplift War, also swept the Science Fiction awards in 1987.

To request these books click the titles or cover above.

Review by Keith Davis

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