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Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Series: Uplift Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (January 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553269828
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553269826
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,342 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:
Website: http://www.davidbrin.com/
Blog: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DavidBrin
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/cab801

Customer Reviews

I am reading his entire 6 book series associated with the Uplift trilogy.
MSH
David Brin is one of the very best hard science fiction writers who also is a just plain great wordsmith.
Always Already
This is where the story drags and the book seemed too long and drawn out.
David G. Phillips

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

132 of 142 people found the following review helpful By David A. Lessnau on November 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Garvoille on October 1, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've just finished Sundiver. A member of our local book club had selected Startide Rising. But I wanted to begin at the beginning. Now having read it, I thought I'd review it because, unlike many reviewers, I haven't read anything else by Brin to color my thinking.

This is a detective story. At first I thought this was going to be a hard SF novel. It's not. For most of the book, we follow the protagonist, Jacob Demwa, as he unravels the mystery is "who killed the intelligent chimp in the sunship" and other related riddles. So while we visit Mercury, the Sun, and an entire universe of Brin's imagined future, the plot rests on a couple of tentpole scenes where the protagonist solves the mystery and accuses the criminal. Brin seems to acknowledge the legacy of this device when he refers to one climactic scene as an "Agatha Christie" turn of events.

It's easy to imagine why Brin, at the beginning of a career, would choose such a device. A detective story is an incredibly sturdy workhorse. The detective story's author can introduce a variety of inventions along the detective's quest for clues. In this case, the inventions are a unique future history, galactic structure, alien races, and hard science fiction. And all these inventions are neatly worked into the mystery and its solving.

Unfortunately, this idea only succeeds if you've got an interesting mystery. As a reader, Brin never really courted me into curiosity or concern. Characters are flat. Events and clues work with the plot in oblique angles. We follow, for example, Jacob Demwa to Mercury and beyond but for a good chunk of the novel, no-one really tells him why he's been invited.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on October 1, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
Many cite "Startide Rising" as Brin's masterpiece. While "Startide" is a great book (Earth is actually my favorite book written by Brin), I do not think that Sundiver is a "weaker" effort. The two books are apples and oranges. One, "Sundiver," is essentially a mystery. The other, "Startide Rising," is more of an action-adventure book. I recommend them both. "Sundiver" really sets the context for "Startide" nicely.
"Sundiver" is a great mystery that kept me guessing until the end. It is filled with the kind of invention and personal treachery/heroics that make the Uplift series great. Brin has made a visionary world in his two great series.
I recommend this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is considered the first of Brin's first Uplift Trilogy, but it is really a stand-alone novel, set far apart in setting, plot, and style from _Startide Rising_ and the _Uplift War_. That said, it is in this book that Brin first introduces the readers to the universe that will be developed more fully in his later works-- and what a fascinating universe it is! Humans 'uplifting' dolphins and chimps to a sapience equal to our own, religious/intellectual/political conflict on earth between those who believe that humanity evolved and those who believe that an alien race uplifted us long ago only to abandon us, a vaguely unsettling futuristic social structure where humans are divided into full citizens with rights and 'probationers' without, and of course, a billion-year-old shared culture of galactic races into which earth's young, self-taught, human culture seems to have rudely and unpreparedly been thrust. It's great stuff... but the problem here is the story. What starts off as a kind of sci-fi quest to fly on a 'sunship' into the sun to see if the 'ghosts' that have been reported there might be the lost patron aliens who once uplifted humanity evolves into a murder/sabatoge mystery. That's fine by me, but the 'whodunnit' part of the mystery just doesn't work very well in my book. For the most part, it seems rather convoluted involving aspects of sci-fi physics and alien politics that the reader is not sufficiently introduced to in advance. Even worse is the fact that the entire novel is told from the perspective of a single protagonist-- except for one chapter early on-- in which the reader witnesses a conversation that...Read more ›
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