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Sundiver Audiobook

Sundiver: The Uplift Saga, Book 1

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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (666 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jean Carrieres 08-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Story!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes hard scifi, with credible aliens and strong plots. David Brin doesn't hold your hand or explain his jokes--he treats you as an intelligent reader, capable of figuring out by yourself the humor of a situation. A rare thing in SF.


    What other book might you compare Sundiver to and why?

    There are elements of Sundiver (and of the whold Uplift trilogy) that remind me of Asimov's Foundation series, in the sense that a "band of curious and investigative humans" are set against a backdrop of complacency and intellectual conformism. Otherwise, it's hard to compare Brin's books to anyone else's--few authors are as lucidly optimistic about the human race and its future.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The story is riveting and the premise intriguing: there's a spaceship, and it dives into the sun, which humans suspect is haunted. I may not have a specific favorite scene, but let's not kid around, here--this by itself is a fascinating and gripping premise.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Overall, while I may not have cried or laughed while listening to this, the whole "universe" and backdrop kept me interested from beginning to end. The whole status of the human race as (potentially) a self-evolved race (rather than being uplifted) is a very clever concept and made me feel oddly proud of my race and its achievements. This is something very rare in modern SF, where human-bashing is the norm. Brin stands against that and offers a refreshing view of ourselves.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jason 08-18-15
    jason 08-18-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Really slow start, but if you really like sf"

    Really slow start, but if you really like sf you will enjoy the ending 1/3rd of the book. Also the language is a bit dated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald G. Dennis MD 02-13-14
    Donald G. Dennis MD 02-13-14 Member Since 2014

    Walsfeo

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    "A bright light in science fiction"
    Would you listen to Sundiver again? Why?

    Once I've listened to the entire series I'll absolutely listen to this story again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    An excellent start to the Uplift series Sundiver gives the barest glimpse of galactic civilization and the uniqueness of Brin's perspective. These aliens are well worth exploring, but never judge them by your drives and desires.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andreas Henriksson Sweden 01-18-14
    Andreas Henriksson Sweden 01-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Lover of sci-fi and the occasional horror story. Philosophical inclinations. English is my second language.

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    "Vassalage through uplift: book for hard s/f fans"
    Any additional comments?

    I guess I'm too young to have read Brin when his Uplift books were first published. I discovered him through his much more recent Existence and wanted to check out his earlier work. I was not disappointed.

    While the premise of the story revolves around humans "lifting" animal species to sentience, this is a minor subplot of the book. The novel belongs to the hard sci-fi gene, with numerous alien spaces, new technologies, societies and ideas. The reader is early introduced to the concept that most species in the universe was "lifted" and that feudal-like hierarchies exist around the facts about who lifted whom.The ambiguous and controversial position of humanity in this hierarchy is the real kernel of the book and is the theme around which the intrigue revolves.

    The book will appeal to anyone who is into hard sci-fi, like me. While his recent Existence did remind me a bit of writer like Asimov, Sundiver is even closer to Asimov's style of writing and story development. Still, I would say Brin's characters are slightly more developed than the generic male superheroes in Asimov. Most of Brin's personae are actually quite interesting and believable, I particularly enjoy his depictions of alien individuals and their difficulties with human behavior.

    1980 is 34 years ago and while the novel's ideas and premises do not feel dated, some of the gendered interaction does. It strikes me how far contemporary sci-fi has come in depicting gender-equal societies, when a writer like Brin still struggled with this aspect in 1980. Helene deSilva is captain of a starship, but goes irrational and submissive when she falls for the protagonist, a male ubermensch who "couldn't be broken by anything". And when some aliens seem to lack gender, they are simply called "he", even though human authorities prefer to have women as space explorers. Oh, well...

    If you can ignore these gendered tell-tale signs of its age and if you like space opera/hard sci-fi, you will like Sundiver. I am looking forward to reading the other books in the Uplift saga and hope that they will approach the excellence I found in Existence. I would not say Sundiver reaches those heights, but it is an early work by the author and the book is still pretty darn good.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Bisson 10-03-12
    T. Bisson 10-03-12
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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
  •  
    Chuck Georgia 01-31-10
    Chuck Georgia 01-31-10 Listener Since 2009
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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 2016
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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.


    9 of 20 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.

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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.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 01-11-17
    Brian 01-11-17 Member Since 2013
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    "total waste of time for me. sorry"

    didnt finish. struggled to get half way. was a wate of mone th for me.
    presentation was ok. bu th half wag through still didnt have a grip on the plot. obviously not my ad ort of sci fi

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tavi 05-24-16
    Tavi 05-24-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Oh but the possibilities"

    I have read and listened to this story many times over the years and each time I do it seems so smart, original and new. So many interesting plots, sub-plots; characters are developed enough to keep you longer for more and more.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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