Dolphins in space, wielding psychic powers, hide from a diverse gang of aliens on a watery planet.They uncover some unlikely mysteries, and fight some bad guys.I did like the Tandoo acceptor race, they were pretty awesome.Aside from the two pages dedicated to the acceptors, the book is shit.It should really be classified as fantasy, because science only serves as a vocabulary reference pool.The only clever moment in the book was when the dolphins vented their on board water out the airlock, which acted as a relativistic weapon against pursuant space craft.That one, at least, got a golf clap out of me.The characters are dolphins, for Christ s sake, so it s kind of hard to relate to them.The whole space dolphins thing was tolerable in the first book, when it was a novelty, but in this book, it made for several skimmed chapters on my part.Since very little of the overarching plot was revealed, I consider this installment a giant tease, and hate Brin for wasting my time, yet again. I just couldn t get into this enough to merit me reading over a hundred pagesto get to the conclusion I have no problem using different points of view to tell a story, ala GRRM, but if the characters aren t in any way engaging and have no personalities to speak of, it just becomes a jarring and disconnected experience This is the second Uplift novel I read, the first being Sundiver, and while I love the concept and the universe of Uplift, concept alone is not enough to keep my interest for 300 pages.Sadly, I really do want to know what happens to the crew of the Streaker What happens to the injured Captain Do they get off that planet and escape the nefarious aliens fighting over them What exactly does that ghost fleet mean to the galaxy, and what s up with that weird alien corpse they found I ll just have to head over to Wikipedia for a plot summary.Unfortunately, Mr Brin is full of great ideas but is bereft of the ability to execute them into a truly engaging experience. David Brin S Uplift Novels Are Among The Most Thrilling And Extraordinary Science Fiction Ever Written Sundiver, Startide Rising,and The Uplift War A New York Times Bestseller Together Make Up One Of The Most Beloved Sagas Of All Time Brin S Tales Are Set In A Future Universe In Which No Species Can Reach Sentience Without Being Uplifted By A Patron Race But The Greatest Mystery Of All Remains Unsolved Who Uplifted Humankind The Terran Exploration Vessel Streaker Has Crashed In The Uncharted Water World Of Kithrup, Bearing One Of The Most Important Discoveries In Galactic History Below, A Handful Of Her Human And Dolphin Crew Battles Armed Rebellion And A Hostile Planet To Safeguard Her Secret The Fate Of The Progenitors, The Fabled First Race Who Seeded Wisdom Throughout The Stars Christmas 2010 I realised that I had got stuck in a rut I was re reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works Something had to be done.On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci Fi award That s 35 books, 6 of which I d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became a father As such these stories became imprinted on my memory as the soundtrack to the happiest period in my life so far.New book YeahGood YeahWhat s it about Space dolphinsWhat, like dolphins swimming in space Don t be silly Dolphins flying spaceships filled with water.Oh Sounds cool.I know Sometimes it s easy to make me happyStartide Risingis the second book in David Brin s Uplift Saga The first,Sundiver , is nothing to write home about, but this one was a runaway critical success taking the Locus, Hugo and Nebula awards in 1984 the year I was born The Uplift concept offers a superb backstory and a galactic framework with a huge amount of potential see Sundiver review I m not sure Brin takes full dramatic advantage of what he s created can you imagine the Uplift universe in the hands of Peter Hamilton or Dan Simmons but what Brin does create is a tremendously enjoyable adventure if you re not too cynical.Mankind has uplifted chimps and dolphins to sentience The Streaker is an exploration ship, crewed and captained for the first time, primarily with dolphins They discover something big coincidence time, shhh ancient, valuable and powerful Word gets out and suddenly every bug eyed alien wants a piece of Streaker They run, hide and crash on a water world While they try to repair and escape, the different ET factions scrap it out in orbit for the right to capture Captain Flipper and his arcane treasure It s a bit sci fi light , but golly gee it made me smile The writing isn t amazing, but the characters are likeable, the action fast paced and gripping, the scenario imaginative and the book skips along in quick, tasty little chapters.Brin does use a lot of perspectives, both within the crew and between the various hostiles in orbit some people may find this off putting but it wasn t a problem for me I loved the little snapshots of the different alien ships I loved the different dolphin crewmembers I wasn t half as fond of the human crew been there, done that give medolphinsStartide Risingis my favourite book of The Uplift Saga it s probably a 3.5 affectionately rounded up to a 4 but definitely worth checking out Just keep your expectations in check this is a fun book, but not a brilliantly written book. I like this book well enough but I feel like I should like itthan I do, it has everything a good sf novel should have Vastly imaginative, epic, some humor and good characters Unfortunately I have a problem with the structure of this book, the cast of characters is too big and the author switches character POV too frequently This type of structure reminds me of George R R Martin s A Song of Ice and Fire books, except that the GRRM books are longer and the characters are better developed Also most of the chapters are short and some are super short like a single paragraph The way it is done here is quite disorienting for me, every time he does it I become a little detached from the story because I have to keep a tally of who is who and doing what While reading the first few chapters I thought that characterization was going to be a problem with this book because I didn t get the feel of any of them As I read on however I began to realize that the characterization is actually quite good, the problem is that there are just so many important characters and it takes time to attune to any of them The large number of plot stands and the short chapters make the novel seem fragmented With all that said I love the concept of the Uplift universe and can not help but plan to readHopefully the structure of other volumes is not so fragmented. Undoubtedly one of the stupidest books I ve ever read I m not sure what s worst, the talking dolphins who can smile, the chimpanzee planetologist who smokes a pipe I think , the horribly written dialog, the fact that the aliens arebelievable characters than the humans, or the fact that somebody thought it would be a great idea to use dolphins to run starships since, as we know, such a large percentage of planets have water on them that obviously we want aquatic creatures who can go out and swim as explorers in the obviously safe and un bacteriologically contaminated waters of said plentiful water worlds.And you thought the Postman was bad. When someone who doesn t like science fiction explains why, the most common reasons are 1 The plots are incomprehensible or boring2 There ideas were too fantastic to relate to3 The characters aren t interestingAnd if we re talking about Startide Risingthey are completely right This is the kind of book I would recommend if I wanted to cement a non SF reader s dislike of the genre It s disappointing because the premise in the Uplift Saga is solid There s an interesting universe here that was just hinted at in Sundiver and I was looking forward to Startide Rising But sadly, this book is mostly a mess Sometimes hard science fiction suffers from the author beingin love with the ideas than the story, and the reader is left with what is essentially gripping technical documentation Good SF weaves its fantastic ideas into the story, so you get drawn into the unusual world and believe in it I want to be able to say the book is a good book, not just a good science fiction book Didn t happen here, at all I m bailing about halfway through. 3.5 stars A science fiction classic that doesn t quite live up to the title of masterpiece The concept of uplifting and the manner in which David Brin incorporates it into the universe he has created in these novels is brilliant and definitely worth checking out Writing is just okay Still, great world building, fascinating aliens and a pretty good plot Not Brin s best but worth reading, Recommended Winner Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1984 Winner Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1984 Winner Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel 1984 Named to Locus All Time Poll for Best Science Fiction Novel 16 One of the most interesting ideas in this second part of the series is the evolution of language, the forming of its complex meaning and how culture defines how the habitat is perceived and described And dolphins rock Some thoughts about the evolution of language and different ways to communicate Humans adapted to many environments with special words, cults and worshipping standing out elements of nature Animals may develop similar attitudes and the difference between a conscious ant and a sensible reptile are immense.In the case of animals without organs of speech, mimic and gesture may develop to the complexity of a language in combination with the quick chameleon and octopus colour changes.Even that may not be necessary if state building insects developandcomplex hormone and smell controlling abilities that go so far to be used in conversations between intelligent individuals of a state.Take biology, any kind of communication process and just mix it with evolution, genetic engineering and a bit if technical integration and so many ways to babble trivia can be imagined.Tropes show how literature is conceived and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique A good way to illustrate the utter failure of the Star Wars prequels on just about every level of storytelling imaginable is to ask someone to describe the characters without talking about their jobs or their costumes Come on, try it Queen Amidala Oh, she looks like a Kabuki wait, no She s the queen I m sorry Um, her hair She s normal The characters in Startide Rising suffer in much the same fashion Aside from the fact that they are of different species, not much differentiates the crew members human, dolphin, scientist, dolphin scientist Chimpanzee This is an issue, considering the book is told in alternating point of view chapters from a dozen or so different characters of several species.You are probably confused already How can you write a book where some characters are dolphins and some characters are human and you can t really tell them apart Well, if David Brin is any kind of example, you write it rather poorly, and then you win every major genre award for it I should totally try Once again, I am being an ass This is one of those sci fi books, the ones where you remember why a lot of people hold their noses when they walk by the genre shelves in Barnes Noble note insert funny joke about fat unshowered nerds here later Comic Book Guy reference It has some really cool, intriguing ideas driving the narrative It also has a cyborg dolphin on the cover And it is really rough to read on a sentence by sentence level loaded with tiresome exposition, clumsy world building, absolutely atrocious dialogue, juvenile sexual content.So, then, I simultaneously really didn t like reading it and enjoyed the heck out of it The premise is certainly audacious in Galactic history, no race has ever achieved sentience and spaceflight without being uplifted by a patron race except for humans, who even managed to perform a few uplifts of their own, creating super intelligent dolphins to pilot their spaceships For some reason.Even though being a dolphin doesn t seem to change how a character thinks in comparison to a human, Brin still puts a lot of effort into developing their society Like everything else about this book, I am of two minds about this element I respect the lengths Brin goes to, and yet I find his choices incredibly silly and annoying For example, the dolphins have been genetically modified to speak English screw it, I don t care Anglic, but the language gives them pause, so they stutter So all their dialogue has extra consonants Which is still preferable to their native tongue, Trinany, which is, obviously, Flipper type screeches, which it turns out are actually, when translated, quite poetic and haiku like There are a bunch of humans who can speak Trinary too, and I am really glad they never made this into the movie that was planned in the 80s, because it would be evenridiculous if I had to see it rather than just roll my eyes as I read about it.One thing I did appreciate was the surprisingly limited scope of the story despite the length, the plot is this ship is damaged in a firefight, ship crashes on a waterworld thank goodness and must be repaired, and any escape must avoid the now warring factions of the various pursuers that are hanging out in orbit I liked it mostly because it resulted in a 100 page climactic action escape sequence that managed to be the most interesting part of the book I did not it because it also provided lots of pages for narrative dead ends and dolphin sex scenes, which aren t the selling point you might imagine At least, not for me.