"Startide Rising is one of the books that I remember most fondly, out of all I have read, and rereading it thirty years later proved just as enjoyable as the first time. I remain amazed at how many different characters and subplots Brin juggles without a misstep, and the way he keeps the tension and suspense high throughout." — Alan Brown, Tor.com
Read the first 11 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase STARTIDE RISING.
"All your better deeds
in water writ ..."
— Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher
The Terran exploration vessel Streaker, crewed by 150 uplifted dolphins, 7 humans, and one uplifted chimpazee, discovers a derelict fleet of spaceships — each the size of a small moon. They appear to belong to the Progenitors, the fabled First Race who seeded wisdom throughout the stars.
Bearing one of the most important discoveries in galactic history, Streaker crashes on the uncharted world of Kithrup. Above, in space, armadas of alien races desperate to possess the knowledge of the Progenitors clash in a titanic struggle to claim the right to capture the prize. Below, Streaker's crew battles armed rebellion and a hostile planet to safeguard her secret — the fate of the Progenitors.
The second book in the Uplift series, Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, Book 2), was WINNER: 1983 Nebula, Hugo, and LOCUS Awards for Best Novel.
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?
indiebound.org US: paperback
Powell's US: paperback
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.
Startide Rising has been translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Here are some of the covers of the foreign and foreign-language publications.
Here's a fan-created fun trivia quiz designed around Startide Rising. What's your score?
"One hell of a novel ...Startide Rising has what SF readers want these days: intelligence, action and an epic scale."
"Startide Rising is an extraordinary achievment, a book so full of fascinating ideas that they would not have crowded each other at twice its considerable length."
"Brin's imagination in this novel is amazing and his rigorous scientific discipline allows for very believable postulations of technology the characters use and humanity's place in the greater galactic civilization."
"... Brin leaves the reader thinking, 'What a great story. Tell me another!' Startide Rising is Brin's best work, worthy of every award it has received. Read it, and you will be delighted and satisfied. But be warned: you will then want to read everything else he has written."
"Guys, this is why I read Science Fiction. I'm a sucker for a big, thick novel with big ideas and cool galaxy spanning concepts. This book had it in spades. It's not an easy read, and it's certainly not for everyone, but it really hit all the right notes for me. It's why I consider it an Elitist Classic."
"The idea of Uplift, in which intelligence is not evolved but handed down from a patron species to a client species by genetic engineering, is nothing less than brilliant: it's a concept that introduces a galactic society that is diverse, believable, and, as we come to realize, fraught with danger for us human outsiders, and one that dramatizes heady philosophical questions about the universe."
"An intense ride of a book — the battle overhead, the intense interpersonal conflicts down on the planet. Brin once again brings the weird alien mysteries that I love — what exactly are the drill trees and metal mounds? He still hasn't answered 'did humanity have a patron?' and added the new one of 'who is Herbie and what is up with the derelict fleet?'"
"One of the outstanding SF novels of recent years."
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."
"Existence is a book that makes you think deeply about both the future and life's most important issues. I found it fascinating and I could not put it down."
"David Brin excels at the essential craft of the page turning, which is to devise an elegantly knotted plot that yields a richly variegated succession of high-impact adventures undergone by an array of believably heroic characters."
"Brin deftly explores the issues of identity, privacy and work in a world where everyone is supported with a living wage and has ready access to duplication technology. The book features the author's usual style, with a lighter touch and punnish humor abounding amid the hard SF speculation. The duplication of the 'ditective' makes for a challenging twist on the standard private eye narrative, allowing Morris to simultaneously lead the reader through three separate (and interacting) plot lines."