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Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1 | [David Brin]

Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1

For nearly a billion years, every known sentient species in the universe has been the result of genetic and cultural guidance - or "uplifting" - by a previously uplifted patron race. Then humans are discovered. Having already uplifted chimps and dolphins, humanity clearly qualifies as an intelligent species, but did they actually evolve their own intelligence, or did some mysterious patron race begin the process, then suddenly abandon Earth?
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Publisher's Summary

David Brin's Uplift novels are among the most thrilling, highly regarded works of contemporary science fiction. Beginning with Sundiver, Brin provides an intriguing exploration of humanity's future in the universe.

For nearly a billion years, every known sentient species in the universe has been the result of genetic and cultural guidance - or "uplifting" - by a previously uplifted patron race. Then humans are discovered. Having already uplifted chimps and dolphins, humanity clearly qualifies as an intelligent species, but did they actually evolve their own intelligence, or did some mysterious patron race begin the process, then suddenly abandon Earth? The answer to this mystery might be as close as our own sun, but it will take a daring dive into its fiery interior to know for sure.

Sundiver begins David Brin's thoughtful, exhilarating exploration of a future filled with an imaginative array of strange alien races, dazzling scientific achievements, and age-old enigmas.

©1980 David Brin; (P)2001 Recorded Books

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3.7 (444 )
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  •  
    Colin Detroit 06-10-13
    Colin Detroit 06-10-13 Member Since 2015

    Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I thought it was but good"

    Well let me first say that this wasn't what I expected it to be like, it was good contained some surprises and overall was worthy of reading.

    There are some things about this story that are a little unexplained or maybe poorly explained, you can understand whats happening but its not until the end that you really get what is going on and then there are more questions.

    So there are these "things" in the sun that people have seen when going into the surface of the sun doing observations for science. The Aliens don't understand this because there is a "galactic library" that holds everything one needs to know so there is no reason to do research like that anymore but being the suborn Humans we are we are doing it anyways - well things are seen in there that look to be sentient life and its the research vessel that goes into the sun to research these things and report back because the "galactic library" doesn't have anything on what they could be so some suspect that they have been lied to and the copy of the library that we humans have is not complete or maybe deliberately missing stuff

    If you know who Erich Von Daniken is and his book from 1986 called "Chariots of the Gods" and latter works you know about the "uplift theory" where by aliens have "uplifted" humans in the distant past that's why we cant find the so called "missing link" in the evolutionary tract and why we have jumped so far in such a short time, this is sorta the concept of the books back story.

    In this book we Humans have uplifted dolphins and chimps to full sentient as in able to think like a human can or at least at the same intellectual level which results in chimps and dolphins talking to humans and helping them do tasks like any other human would except for dolphins can do underwater stuff better - its a cool concept and according to the galactic library almost every single race was "uplifted" by another race leading all the way back to the start with some group of races that isn't explained completely , but humans don't seem to have a "up-lifter" which is a little strange to many aliens

    The Humans here think that maybe the beings in the sun could actually be the uplifters of humanity, and will the Aliens help them to understand it or maybe do something even worse?

    There isn't much about this book I didn't like other than it was missing some better explanations and maybe a nice pre-story for a chapter or so to get you into the world thats created but it was good, I am going on to the next book so check my reviews for that one to see if it is as good as this one was

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Yadkinville, NC, United States 08-02-10
    Allison Yadkinville, NC, United States 08-02-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Narration, Fun Story"

    I really liked how the narrator adopted a distinct voice for every character in the book. Since there were a lot of characters, it made it very easy to keep everyone straight.

    I think this book adapted well to audiobook because of the high amount of physical description and action. It was very easy to follow and enjoyable, even cut into 30 min segments (I listen to books on my daily commute). Don't expect this book to be a serious treatise on science or society, or you'll be disappointed. It's just an engaging mystery set in space with humans and aliens.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Tonganoxie, KS, USA 05-08-08
    Kevin Tonganoxie, KS, USA 05-08-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dated and rather dull"

    You can't get more 70's than this book. The premise is an outgrowth of the Chariots of the Gods. The main character practices self hypnosis, and it produces results. And the technology is what a 70's person would predict (the main character has to hunt down a phone at one point). Not that all of this is bad, per se. But it is a pretty boring read, to boot. I got to the point where the main character was going to reveal the killer (yes, it pretty much follows a murder mystery format) and realized I didn't care who did it or why, so I quit listening.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Lees Summit, MO, United States 03-30-11
    Bill Lees Summit, MO, United States 03-30-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bought all three listened to only this one"

    I bought the trilogy after the repeated recommendation of a friend. However, I only listened to the first when I realized I would not be listening to anymore. --

    In the entire first half of the book (8 hours) there is only one action scene, there is no real significant character dialogue, and I wasn't invested in the characters. I fought myself to finish. --

    This book attempts to stress the Science in Science Fiction, but the science is so dated that it gave the story a shelf-life. This is not always the case with older scifi, but it is definitely what happened here, the story was too weak to support the setting, and the book was obviously written to express the setting. --

    The reader lacked any real emotion in his delivery, but does a good job making you aware who is talking with all but the female characters. The recording would have benefited from some editing. There are too many times I hear the reader make large swallows (I actually believe he was taking a drink) and other issues that made the production feel sloppy. --

    I reserve 1 star ratings for works that I cannot bring myself to finish, so this is the lowest rating I could give.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Toronto, ON, Canada 05-13-10
    David Toronto, ON, Canada 05-13-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Below average and disappointing"

    I purchased this recording based on having enjoyed reading Brin's book "Earth."(Yes people really did that once!) I found the plot of "Sundiver" weak, the characters thin and the narrative stilted. Sorry - I don't think it warrants the 3.5 stars that it appears to have. In all seriousness, if offered to a publisher now, it would probably not see the light of day.

    The performance by George Wilson is good, apart from a couple of amusing spoonerisms.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Bisson Pacifica, CA 10-03-12
    T. Bisson Pacifica, CA 10-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kind of Dull"
    Would you try another book from David Brin and/or George Wilson?

    Yes, I have read other books in the series and found them more interesting.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Brin again?

    Yes, but not based on this particular book/recording.


    What aspect of George Wilson’s performance would you have changed?

    I think Mr. Wilson has a good voice to listen to, however at the end of lines he would frequently stop and lick his lips or smack his tongue, it was very distracting.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Fatigue.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Fayetteville, GA, USA 01-31-10
    Charles Fayetteville, GA, USA 01-31-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good narration, Bad science"

    I enjoyed this audio book ok. The strength is the reading. Clear with good depiction of the voices, especially the aliens. The reading is also very clear. However, I can't get by the bad science represented in this novel. l was particularly bothered with Brins basing a major driving social force to von Danikens fabricated work which has little or no credibility. Having said that, the idea of uplifting are intriguing enough that I will listen to the next books but I expect better writing.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Woodland Hills, CA, United States 04-06-08
    Kenneth Woodland Hills, CA, United States 04-06-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please Don't Waste Your Time"

    If I recommended this audiobook to you, if anyone did, the customer review section of audible.com would suffer from a serious lack of credibility and respectability.
    Simply put: the story is bad. The author attempts to create a world which is a strange mixture of talking sea creatures, a man in a whale robot! Erasure of the US-Mexican border with no believable explanation of how or why it happened. Barber poles every 100 "feet" down road past Tijuana to the "ET zone" in Baja—the first of many to come in the world! It is very poorly, strangely read, with the ET voice characterizations attempted by the narrator spine chilling. Cartoon-like. Bad. Not listenable.
    Don't buy this.


    8 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant Loving Los Angeles, CA United States 05-18-08
    Grant Loving Los Angeles, CA United States 05-18-08 Member Since 2003

    Show me your paso doble.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "eh..."

    man... written in 1980. It is hard to listen to, just kinda goofy with the notion of what the future of science is. I mean "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" was written in 1968 and that was awesome. I could not force myself to pay attention to this book. It's just that it does not seem like its gonna pay off to listen to the full 10+ hours.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    plank 05-06-14
    plank 05-06-14
    ratings
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    "Galactic pride, and class warfare."
    Would you try another book from David Brin and/or George Wilson?

    Bad first, Good second.

    I have heard that the next two books are better. Sundiver is filled with great original thoughts, mediocre action, and seems mostly as a world-building book for the next two. I was unimpressed with its narrow plot, and character development. The plot tells you about the larger galaxy, but you feel isolated from it. There is little movement in the plot, you stay in each location for vast times with long repetitious descriptions. The main character is lackluster, he did cool things in the past, but he detracts from the story in that EVERYTHING he does in the present is described through the lens of his past.

    There are four or five large ideas that I really liked in this book. The overarching ideas are spot on, original. I have not heard any part of this story in any other medium. I will not go into detail, but I will say that the enjoyable aspects of this book are decidedly cerebral, not action based.


    Would you recommend Sundiver to your friends? Why or why not?

    Maybe. I will decide after listening to the next two books. If those two are good, then I would recommend it.


    What three words best describe George Wilson’s performance?

    Diverse, mimic, senatorial.


    Could you see Sundiver being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes. A movie. Would be a perfect followup for the move Sunshine.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth the time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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