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Brightness Reef (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1996

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Brightness Reef (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 1) + Infinity's Shore (The Uplift Trilogy, Book 2) + Heaven's Reach (The Second Uplift Trilogy #3)
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Editorial Reviews Review

Millennia ago the Five Galaxies decreed the planet Jijo off limits. But in the last thousand years six races have begun resettling Jijo, embracing a pre-industrial life to hide their existence from the Galactics. Overcoming their differences, the Six have built a society based on mutual tolerance for one another and respect for the planet they live on. But that has all changed with an event the Six have feared for hundreds of years: the arrival of an outside ship. Author David Brin has returned to his popular Uplift universe in this, the first book of a new trilogy. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

While defying a galactic prohibition on settling the planet Jijo, six alien races-squatters on a forbidden world-have developed a common civilization. Although they are united by the respect they have for themselves and for their home, they fear the day their presence is discovered. This continuation of the popular "Uplift" saga (Startide Rising, Bantam, 1983) employs multiple viewpoints to set the stage for an inevitable confrontation between a resourceful group of survivors and the mysterious galactic keepers who drive them from their hard-won home. Brin's flair for spinning a good yarn comes to the fore in this compelling and thought-provoking series opener. Most libraries will want this for their sf collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Uplift (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553573306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553573305
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Brin is a scientist, public speaker and world-known author. His 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.

David's latest novel - Existence - is set forty years ahead, in a near future when human survival seems to teeter along not just on one tightrope, but dozens, with as many hopeful trends and breakthroughs as dangers... a world we already see ahead. Only one day an astronaut snares a small, crystalline object from space. It appears to contain a message, even visitors within. Peeling back layer after layer of motives and secrets may offer opportunities, or deadly peril.

David's non-fiction book -- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? -- deals with secrecy in the modern world. It won the Freedom of Speech Award from the American Library Association.

A 1998 movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based on his post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. Brin's 1989 ecological thriller - Earth - foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends such as the World Wide Web. David's novel Kiln People has been called a book of ideas disguised as a fast-moving and fun noir detective story, set in a future when new technology enables people to physically be in more than two places at once. A hardcover graphic novel The Life Eaters explored alternate outcomes to WWII, winning nominations and high praise.

David's science fictional Uplift Universe explores a future when humans genetically engineer higher animals like dolphins to become equal members of our civilization. These include the award-winning Startide Rising, The Uplift War, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore and Heaven's Reach. He also recently tied up the loose ends left behind by the late Isaac Asimov: Foundation's Triumph brings to a grand finale Asimov's famed Foundation Universe.

Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction and philanthropy.

As a public speaker, Brin shares unique insights -- serious and humorous -- about ways that changing technology may affect our future lives. He appears frequently on TV, including several episodes of "The Universe" and History Channel's "Life After People." He also was a regular cast member on "The ArciTECHS."

Brin's scientific work covers an eclectic range of topics, from astronautics, astronomy, and optics to alternative dispute resolution and the role of neoteny in human evolution. His Ph.D in Physics from UCSD - 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. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Space Institute. His technical patents directly confront some of the faults of old-fashioned screen-based interaction, aiming to improve the way human beings converse online.

Brin lives in San Diego County with his wife and three children.

You can follow David Brin:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By David A. Lessnau on November 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Currently, there are six books in Brin's Uplift saga. It's kind of hard to categorize these books as elements of a series, though. The first three books in the saga, "Sundiver," "Startide Rising," and "The Uplift War," are not really a trilogy or a series in the normal sense. Instead, "Sundiver" relates to the rest of the saga as Tolkien's "The Hobbit" relates to his "Lord of the Rings:" it sets the stage for all the rest of the books in the saga. "Startide Rising" and "The Uplift War" describe completely different plotlines originating from the same event far distant, time wise and space wise, from "Sundiver". In a pinch, you could read these books in any order and not really miss anything. They describe different points in time and space of the same Universe. Of course, the best order is the one listed, above.

Unlike the first three books in the saga, the second three books DO form a series. The first of this trilogy, "Brightness Reef," picks up with yet another totally independent plotline and brand new characters. However, it does contain a central character who ties the first three books into this set. Unfortunately, Brin doesn't say, specifically, who that character is until the very end of the book. Even worse, the last time the character was used was so far back in the saga that it's hard to remember anything about him. The remaining two books, "Infinity's Shore" and "Heaven's Reach," continue sequentially from the first and form a tightly knit trilogy with no breaks in time.

None of these books is "happy" or "light reading." For the most part, they're all intense, heavily detailed and fully characterized books. "Sundiver" is the least "heavy" and most lacking in the realistic feel of the rest of the books.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brian on May 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is more of a review of the trilogy than of just this book. After all, why waste your time with the first book if you have no plans to finish the trilogy? This is especially true in this trilogy, in which the first book is probably the slowest and most difficult to get into.
The bottom line is that the trilogy does indeed continue, and in some ways, conclude, the Streaker saga. So if you have read Startide Rising and want to know wha'happened, it will be worth your while. (And it is a long while into the story before Streaker enters it.)
Book 1 (Brightness Reef) is easily the slowest book in the series as far as plot progression and setup. But Brin certainly has a lot to set up. He introduces an entirely new planet Jijo, on which six different beings (including "wolfling" humans, naturally) have landed illegally for reasons that are different for each species. They live together in uneasy peace, hiding from the rest of Galactic society, and have abandoned Galactic technology. All hell breaks loose when visitors arrive on the planet, and the Jijoans prepare for their day of reckoning. In Book 2 (Infinity's Shore) the ball finally gets rolling full-speed, and Book 3 (Heaven's Reach) provides many satisfying conclusions (and also leaves a lot up in the air).
PRAISE: As usual with Brin's work, the aliens are brilliantly conceived and realized. He uses the interspecies relationships very well, and provides much humor (especially with his villains). The story line, once set, moves right along seamlessly. I had trouble putting Book 2 and 3 down.
CRITICISM: The focus definitely shifts between books. Book 1 is set entirely on Jijo, and the focus is the fate of the Jijoans.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By WFK on August 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With "Brightness Reef" Brin starts another trilogy in his uplift universe. This time the first book is the best: the multi-species society on JiJo is introduced in a way that gets the reader hooked. The galactics who invade - including the "Streaker-" refugees are boring by comparison. Unfortunately they get much of the attention in the following two books. With the first uplift trilogy it was the other way round: the last book - "Uplift War"- was the best. With the new trilogy the two books following this are a disappointment. Best to stop reading the trilogy after having finished this one.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The following is a review of the entire Uplift Storm trilogy, not just Brightness Reef.
David Brin has turned out superior sci-fi in the past; Startide Rising was excellent and The Uplift War was not far behind. Unfortunately these three books do not quite measure up to those previous efforts. While frequently entertaining, they nevertheless suffer from significant faults.
The biggest problem with these books is that they are overlong and plodding. This "trilogy" needed a firm hand at the editor's desk. This story could have been told in a more satisfying way in probably about 60% of the total number of pages Brin used.
Brightness Reef starts us off with a new setting on Jijo and an entirely new cast of characters, which is OK except that Brin takes forever to develop the story and move things along. Consequently, the reader has a hard time feeling a connection with Jijo and the society that Brin paints for us there. Everytime it seems things are beginning to click, Brin goes off on another tangent and fails to bring any urgency to the story. Infinity's Shore delivers more of the same, with perhaps some marginal improvement due to the reappearance of some characters that will be familiar to readers of the prior Uplift books.
By the end of two books, I finally began to feel caught up in the story of Jijo and was looking forward to the concluding volume. So what does Brin do but give us a third book that spends zero time on Jijo. OK, he does still follow the principal characters from the first two books, but he spent an enormous amount of time in those books effectively making Jijo into a character, which he then essentially abandons. Even worse, he sets a frantic pace that despite all the havoc fails to impart much urgency or tension.
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