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Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1
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Sundiver (Uplift Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

David Brin
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

No species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of a patron--except perhaps mankind. Did some mysterious race begin the uplift of humanity aeons ago? Circling the sun, under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in history--a journey into the boiling inferno of the sun.

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2800 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (July 21, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4A9K
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,822 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 143 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 1 of a Great Saga 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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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Detective Short Story Disguised as an SF Novel 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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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a worthy opening chapter 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A neat mix of genre writing February 15, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Sundiver" is a pretty clever book, overall, if only for the fact that it successfuly mixes elements of two different genres. While there are clearly elements of science fiction (that's what the book is marketed as), there's also a strong sense of a good old-fashioned murder mystery within these pages. And the conclusion depends upon the successful fusion of both types of writing... the solution to the "whodunit" is something nobody but a hardcore sci-fi audience would get.
In Brin's story, humanity has made contact with other races throughout the Universe, and found that they are a rare breed: a race which seemed to have developed on its own. Most of the other races they have met can credit their evolution to another race helping them along, a process known as Uplift. Humanity, however, is something of an oddity: an "orphaned" race whose origins are unknown. That doesn't stop them from taking part in Uplift, however. As we learn early on, the human race has undertaken the charge of Uplifting two other Earth races: dolphins and chimpanzees. In the course of the novel, the reader meets examples of both races which have been helped along by humans.
The story centers around a ship called "Sundiver." As its name suggests, the ship's main purpose is to explore the sun. Early on we learn that it has discovered a form of life living within Sol's chromosphere, something which also seems to be previously undocumented elsewhere in the Universe. The question of humanity's Patrons is raised, and many anicent alien races seem at least a little chagrined that this upstart race is discovering more than their collected knowledge can reveal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't ever buy this as an audio book!
This is a review of both book subject and its audio rendering.
I'll make this short and sweet. The book itself would be more entertaining with better editing. Read more
Published 1 day ago by WILLIAM F. BROWN
4.0 out of 5 stars As Expected...
The "White Man's Burden" continues.
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Uneven Plotting
The scify concept of Uplift is vague; this book illustrates it as interaction between patron species and client. No race has succeeded alone- with one glaring exception. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars ... awkward dialogue but 4 because it leads into a great series.
Probably closer to 3 stars cause of the awkward dialogue but 4 because it leads into a great series.
Published 28 days ago by Ray
4.0 out of 5 stars i like it and the solar science sounds quite convincing
i like it and the solar science sounds quite convincing, but still I like his "Existence" even better. I read it first and I wanted more...
Published 29 days ago by alexander a migdal
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting premise. Plot is well laid out with ...
Very interesting premise. Plot is well laid out with a lot of intrigue and an unexpected twist at the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eric Mannel
1.0 out of 5 stars Very weak
After struggling to get to 15% in Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, Book 1), I quit reading. Here's why.

First, no plot element is pulling me ahead to see what will happen. Read more
Published 1 month ago by William C. Mead
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Very wordy
Published 2 months ago by D. Kushner
2.0 out of 5 stars Typos and typos...
The story is fine, but what's bothering me lately is the lack of editing quality in Kindle Books. This is another book riddled with irritating typos.
Published 2 months ago by Heather
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Kindle edition; Awesome universe, but weak plot
I read a few David Brin books about 20 years ago and remembered enjoying them, so I picked up Sundiver to explore his universe again. Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. Delbosc
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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:

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