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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1985

3.4 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Uplift Saga Series

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$7.71 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Uplift books are as compulsive reading as anything ever published in the genre. John Clute, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION His best stories surge forward with tremendous energy, each one avid to find some extrapolated consequence of its premise which will startle and challenge the reader. INTERZONE --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Brin has degrees in astronomy and applied physics but has been a full-time science fiction writer for many years. He has won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for both The Uplift War and Startide Rising, which also won the Nebula Award. He has also won the Hugo Award for short story. His novel The Postman was recently made into a feature film starring Kevin Costner. He lives near San Diego, California, with his wife and children.
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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: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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