David Brin's best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. His award-winning novels and short stories explore vividly speculative ideas through a hard-science lens. His nonfiction book, The Transparent Society, won the American Library Association's Freedom of Speech Award for exploring 21st Century concerns about security, secrecy, accountability and privacy.

Will humans raise other species to sapience? Explore the science behind UPLIFT.

what else is UPLIFT?

Island of Dr Moreau original cover detail

other models for Uplift

The idea of augmenting the intelligence of humans and other species is a favorite among science fiction writers and filmmakers. Here are just a few examples:

  • Mass Effect Trilogy (game)
  • Race For The Galaxy (game)
  • Brain Wave, by Poul Anderson
  • Planet of the Apes (book), by Pierre Boulle
  • Planet Of The Apes (1968) (film), starring Charlton Heston
  • Watchers, by Dean Koontz
  • Norstrilia, by Cordwainer Smith
  • Sirius (Odd John and Sirius combo), by Olaf Stapledon
  • Moreau Omnibus, by S. Andrew Swann
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H. G. Wells
  • #AmazonCommissionsEarned
    Dolphin Island cover detail

    famous fictional dolphins...

    Uplift isn't the only place where fictional dolphins swim. These clever underwater companions navigate film and television and books.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  • Dolphin Island, by Arthur C. Clarke
  • "Johnny Mnemonic," in Burning Chrome, by William Gibson
  • The Music of Dolphins, by Karen Hesse
  • "A Ring of Endless Night," in The Austin Family Chronicles, by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Dolphins of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey
  • Superluminal, by Vonda McIntyre
  • The Scar, by China Miéville
  • Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
  • #AmazonCommissionsEarned
    Star Songs of an Old Primate original cover detail

    ... popular primates too

    Orangs, chimps, and apes are a favorite foil for fiction. Though Brin wrote elsewhere about one giant, lovelorn ape, writers tend to prefer primates as tricksters. See these examples from fiction and screen.

  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel, by Karen Joy Fowler
  • Lucy, by Laurence Gonzales
  • The Woman and the Ape, by Peter Hoeg
  • Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, by Jim Ottaviani
  • Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn
  • Curious George (film), starring Will Ferrell
  • Star Songs of an Old Primate, by James Tiptree, Jr.
  • #AmazonCommissionsEarned

    blogging uplift

    Brin continues the discussion of the science & science fiction of uplift on his Contrary Brin blog

    read Intelligence, Uplift, and Our Place in a Big Cosmos

    how close are we to uplift?

    The science may be getting close. In "Intelligence, Uplift, and Our Place in a Big Cosmos" Brin looks at the current state of research dedicated boosting brain power.

    And in "Are animals intelligent ... enough?" Brin discusses the scientific discussion on whether (and which) animals are ready for uplift.

    read Will We Uplift Other Species to Sapience?

    what are the ethics of scientific uplift?

    But if the science and the species are ready, will we be allowed to uplift openly — publicly — or will the technology be driven underground? As Brin notes, "There are — at present — rules against doing such insertion experiments on higher creatures like apes. But when the prospect looms closer, can you doubt trials will begin?"

    read Amazing and Sometimes Deadly Animals

    what if we uplift a super-predator?

    Still more to think about: In "Amazing — and sometimes deadly — animals," Brin cautions we may not want to uplift another species that murders, noting "...among mammals in general just 0.3 percent of deaths are murders. For the common ancestor of primates, the rate is 2.3 percent. With 2 percent as a human baseline, we come across as both uncommonly peaceful for primates and uncommonly violent for mammals."

    uplifted clans

    other uplifting sites

  • See the entries from the Computer Graphic Society's CG Challenge: Illustrate Alien Relations in the Uplift Universe.
  • Trent Shipley's (moderated) fan site welcomes fan fiction & art
  • Fandom's Uplift wiki
  • Stuart Blandon's lists of Uplift information
  • Facebook page for Uplift
  • Scoop.It page for Uplift
  • HubPages Uplift information page
  • Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles discussions
  • ISFDB bibliography
  • a timeline of events for Brightness Reef
  • an analysis of the galactic languages in David Brin's uplift universe
  • eccos of adventures past

    David Brin wrote the storyline, scenario and opening sequence to the famous Dreamcast game (now ported to Playstation 2!)... Ecco The Dolphin: Defender of the Future (#AmazonCommissionsEarned). The scenario is special for its emphasis on an interesting science fictional back story. But the real excitement lies in Appaloosa Inc.'s vivid new 3-D worlds and rendering-on-the-fly technology. The underwater worlds of Ecco are truly wonderful to behold, and the game playing is outtasight. The wonderful old Dreamcast game has been re-issued as a downloadable for the Nintendo Wii. For a great (and impartial) review of Ecco the Dolphin, see the GameSpot review.

    GURPS Uplift

    This is the role-playing game based on David Brin's award-winning "Uplift" series! GURPS Uplift includes complete descriptions of the important alien races, maps and descriptions of the Terragens planets, and rules for creating — and Uplifting — new species. It is intended for use with the GURPS Basic Set, GURPS Compendium I, and GURPS Space. Also:

  • Stefan Jones's GURPS Uplift game book
  • Tales of the 5 Galaxies (GURPS Uplift character creation)
  • Language in Uplift (GURPS Uplift's language discussion)
  • GURPS Uplift miniatures
  • Stefan Jones's Roleplayer newsletter
  • tv tropes

    The website TV Tropes compiled a series of Uplift-inspired tropes, including: Alien Invasion, Assimilation Plot, Banana Peel, Batman Gambit, Bizarre Alien Biology, Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism, Evil Matriarch, Kill it With Water....

    Other tv trope pages:

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  • for Existence
  • swag for the client species

    Need a gift for your nerdy sci-fi friends? Underbrain Industries offers T-shirts, mugs and caps with logos from the Uplift Universe — like symbols of the Five Galaxies, dolphins & chimps posing for the Uplift Center, and the Terragens Marines patch. And the Eye-Q symbol for the Quantum Eye oracle computer in Existence! Got civilization? This will ensure that you do.

    a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

    To learn more, visit his books page, or see his "about me" page or detailed biography.

    DAVID BRIN author


    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

    shorter fiction

    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

    Contrary Brin blog

    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

    social media influencer

    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 scientist


    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

    transparency expert

    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

    speaker & consultant

    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 300 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings. Learn More

    future/tech advisor

    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

    Contacting BRIN

    All the Ways in the World to Reach David Brin

    an ornery, contrary BLOG, and other insightful wormholes!

    Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's incendiary posts on science, sci-fi and politics and its engaged, opinionated community poke at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate — and infuriate. See for yourself, and if you like — subscribe for more.

    Questions? Concerns? Email DAVID BRIN at mail@davidbrin.com


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    pages about DAVID BRIN

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  • pages about BRIN's science fiction

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  • all about Brin's uplift universe
  • a selection of book reviews
  • Brin's special-order books for sale
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  • Brin reviews sci fi films — including The Postman
  • a compilation of great sf books to read
  • recommended sf films
  • science fiction that teaches
  • BRIN's nonfiction explorations

  • privacy, security, accountability and transparency
  • designing and crafting our amazing 21st Century
  • predicting and projecting our near and far future
  • leading and following our politics and economy
  • keeping track of changes in science and technology
  • scanning our sky for habitable (inhabited?) worlds