David Brin's SUNDIVER

SUNDIVER description and bonus information


"'When man's diversity keeps throwing up individuals who don't fit into the conditioned pattern of the society, what do you suppose Huxley's state does with them?'
    "Nielsen frowned, wondering where this was leading. 'In a hivelike state? I'd guess that the deviants were eliminated, killed.'
    "Jacob raised a finger. 'No, not quite. The way Huxley presents it, this state has wisdom, of sorts. The leaders are aware that they've set up a rigid system that might fall before some unexpected threat. They realize that the deviants represent a control, a reserve to fall back on in times of trouble, when the race would need all its resources.'" -- Sundiver

In Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, Book 1), the first book in the Uplift series (and my first published novel!), I introduce a future universe in which no species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of a patron -- except perhaps mankind. Did some mysterious race begin the uplift of humanity aeons ago? And if so, why did they abandon us? Under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in our history, a journey into the boiling inferno of the sun... to seek our destiny in the cosmic order of life.

Exclusive on this site: Read sample chapters from Sundiver.


"David Brin writes science fiction the way it should be written--with imagination, heroic characters, and the triumph of all that is good in the human spirit. 'Sundiver' is a prime example of how good Brin's books can be." -- Amazon.com customer review

"The central concept in Sundiver is an interesting and clever one: all intelligent races in the galaxy have been uplifted to sentience by a parent race, although humanity is the exception to this as it appears they haven't. What they have done though is uplift two of Earth's other animals to sentience, the Dolphin and Chimpanzee, and in doing so have become a parent race themselves. With this done before they were discovered by the other races of the galaxy, humanity have been given a status that some within the galactic society believe they are not worthy of." -- Walker of Worlds review

"... I dig it because I'm into books on animal intelligence, transhuman SF, etc... and it's a great spin on the evolution/creation debate. Sundiver is actually a murder mystery... complete with a 'parlor reveal' scene. There also is an interesting political argument about psychological profiling, surveillance and citizenship (if we can prove some people are biologically/psychological sociopath/violent/whatever... what do we do about it, if we can't fix them?)" -- Goodreads community review

Uplifting novels

The Uplift Trilogy (Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, and Heaven's Reach) continues the stirring saga that began with Sundiver, Startide Rising, and The Uplift War. The entire series is available in paperback and ebook.

I also released a 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.

I've posted here short stories based in the Uplift universe. "Aficionado," "Shoresteading," and "The Shelter of Tradition" are now part of my newest novel, Existence (on sale now!). This story details the very beginnings of Earth's Uplift Project. The other, "Temptation," first appeared in Robert Silverberg's anthology Far Horizons and features the adventures of a female dolphin on the faraway world, Jijo, who must escape from two of her own kind and then penetrate a deeply dangerous ancient secret.

See also a page dedicated to the Uplift universe.


Here are a collection of covers for Sundiver from its foreign and foreign-language publications.