Read the first few chapters online, or scroll down to purchase BRIGHTNESS REEF.
"It's how creativity works. Especially in humans. For every good idea, ten thousand idiotic ones must first be posed, sifted, tried out, and discarded. A mind that's afraid to toy with the ridiculous will never come up with the brilliantly original." — Brightness Reef
The first book in the Uplift Trilogy, Brightness Reef, chronicles life on the planet Jijo, where a million years ago the advanced Buyur civilization held sway. Then the Buyur abandoned the world, leaving it to rest and restore its ecological balance. Now the vast civilization of the Five Galaxies uses patrols, guardian machines, and sanctions of law to prevent resettlement until the planet is once more ready for civilized life.
But over the centuries it has been resettled. Groups of sapient beings, fleeing persecution or neglect, have ignored the laws and evaded the patrols, landing in secret. After years of warfare and mistrust, a new society has evolved on forbidden Jijo, based on tolerance and respect among its six intelligent races: the mysterious hoon, the crablike qheuens, the centaurlike urs, the wheel-borne g'Kek, the multiple-personality-bearing graeki, and last of all to land on Jijo, humans from Earth, bringing with them a new technology allowing civilization to blossom in the wilderness. They all now live in hiding under canopies of camouflage, in dread of Judgment Day, when the Five Galaxies discover their illegal colony.
Then the unthinkable happens. A strange starship arrives in Jijo's skies, landing near the settlers' holiest place. The passengers' appearance is familiar, their manners friendly. But do they bring long-feared judgment, or something far worse? Are they willing to destroy the six races of Jijo to cover their crimes?
As secrets, plots, and schemes unfold, life on Jijo enters a time of great peril. A scientist will find his most cherished beliefs put to the test. A young girl will flee a brutal outlaw tribe, drawing on her deepest reserves of courage and cunning. One woman will search for hope amid the chaos of language. And a group of exuberant youngsters from four races, bent on having the adventure of their lives, will discover wonders beyond all imagination.
The uplift series of novels and short stories is set in a future universe in which no species can reach sentience without being "uplifted" (genetically brought to sapience) by a patron race, which then "owns" the uplifted species for 100,000 years. But the greatest mystery of all remains unsolved: who uplifted humankind? Earth has no known link to the Progenitors — and that terrifies client and patron species alike. Should its inhabitants be allowed to exist?
Amazon.co.uk UK: audiobook
Is Existence: an uplift "prequel"? In many ways, yes. David Brin's bold newest novel explores the ultimate question: Billions of planets may be ripe for life, even intelligence. So where is Everybody?
An illustrated companion to the series, Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide To David Brin's Uplift Universe, is a fun tour of the many alien races in the Uplift Universe.
Learn more about all of Brin's novels and books here.
These three stories are set in the uplift universe. Learn more about all of Brin's shorter fiction here.
Brightness Reef has been translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Spanish. Here are some of the covers of the foreign and foreign-language publications.
Brightness Reef takes us to a new galaxy, where humans and other galactic outlaws struggle to find their place in the galactic civilization. The planet Jijo has been set off limits for colonization, but refugees escaping persecution have founded colonies in secret. When a starship crashes on Jijo, bringing a mysterious visitor, their fragile society is threatened.
A comprehensive (if unofficial) time-line and breakdown of Brightness Reef (along with the rest of the Uplift Trilogy) has been created by archivist Alberto Monteiro, who also explains the calendar units and many other interesting facts about planet Jijo.
"I think this set-up is one of the most original and interesting SF ideas of recent times, in particular with regard to establishing a (somewhat) believable Multi-Race Galactic society."
"Brin is a fantastic author, who has created a dense, complex futureverse with generally amusing alien races and uplifted Earth races, who amuse even during the most dramatic events. The crux of the story is how does mankind carve out an autonomous existence in the face of alien races with much more advanced technology? Who assists them and what odds do they overcome to succeed?"
"While the narrative does not so much conclude as simply stop in midstream, it describes a universe that's immensely appealing, leaving readers hungry for more of this exciting, epic adventure."
"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."
"A captivating read ... Brightness Reef leaves you looking forward to more. It's a worthy addition to what promises to be a great science fiction series."
"Brin is a skillful storyteller ... There is more than enoug action to keep the book exciting, and like all good serials, the first volume ends with a bang."
"Brin has shown beyond doubt that he is a master of plot and character and incident, of sheer storytelling, while he is also thoughtfule enough to satisfy anyone's craving for meat on those literary bones. Don't miss this one, folks, or the next."
"Boils with plots and subplots."
David Brin's science fiction 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. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More
Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More
Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More
David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More
Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More
Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More
Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More
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reviews and recommendations
"The fiction of David Brin is informed by a central recurring theme as well, in his case the operation of various kinds of evolution: organic and synthetic, directed and undirected, fast and slow. This interest in dynamic change feeds into his vision of SF as an essentially optimistic form: not because he believes in 'progress' but because he believes in the ability of humankind to improve its condition."
"Like E E "Doc" Smith before him, Brin gives joy and imparts a Sense of Wonder; but he also thinks about the near world."
"David Brin has created some of the greatest classics of recent science fiction."
"I would consider Existence to be a triumphant, epic Science Fiction novel on many levels. It stayed with me after I set it aside for the day, continues to simmer in my mind now that I've finished reading it, and has opened up a gateway to Brin's novels I'd wanted to enter for a while. Brin achieved an excellent gestalt of character, big ideas, and narrative energy."
— Rob H. Bedford, SFFWorld.com