Startide Rising

Startide Rising

infobox Book |
name = Startide Rising
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover of first edition (paperback)
author = David Brin
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series = Uplift
genre = Science fiction novel
publisher = Bantam Books
release_date = 1983
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Paperback & Hardback)
pages = 462 pp (first edition, paperback)
isbn = ISBN 0-553-23495-1 (first edition, paperback)
preceded_by = Sundiver
followed_by = The Uplift War

"Startide Rising" is a 1983 science fiction novel by David Brin and the second book of six set in his Uplift Universe (preceded by "Sundiver" and followed by "The Uplift War"). It earned both Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel.

An early work by the now well-known author David Brin, it was extremely well reviewed when it was published, has remained popular, and served as the seed for three more novels which revolved around the crew of the Earthship "Streaker" (the Uplift Storm Trilogy). It joins the ranks of double-winners of both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel along with classic novels such as "Dune", "Neuromancer", "Ender's Game" and (more recently) "Paladin of Souls".

Parts of "Startide Rising" were published as "The Tides of Kithrup" in the May 1981 issue of "Analog". "The Tides of Kithrup" was an early title of the novel; uncorrected proofs of the novel that still bear that title have become collector's items.

Plot summary

In the year 2489 C.E. [] , Terran spaceship "Streaker" — crewed by 150 uplifted dolphins, seven humans, and one uplifted chimpanzee — discovers a derelict fleet of 50,000 spaceships the size of small moons in a shallow cluster. They appear to belong to the Progenitors, the legendary "first race" which uplifted the other species. The captain's gig is sent to investigate but is destroyed along with one of the derelict craft — killing 10 crew members. "Streaker" manages to recover some artifacts from the destroyed derelict and one well-preserved alien body. The crew of "Streaker" uses psi-cast to inform Earth of their discovery and to send a hologram of the alien.

When "Streaker" receives a reply, it is in code. Decrypted, it says only: “Go into hiding. Await Orders. Do not reply.” Attempting to comply, "Streaker" is ambushed at the Morgran transfer point and pursued by opposing fleets of fanatical alien races — all of them wanting the cluster co-ordinates, and all of them desperate to prevent their enemies from getting them.

The novel begins about one month [] after the discovery in the cluster as "Streaker" arrives on the planet Kithrup in an attempt to hide and make repairs. Almost immediately, the aliens begin to arrive — dashing "Streaker"'s hopes of hiding, but some time remains for repairs when the alien armadas begin fighting each other.

A Thennanin dreadnought is damaged during the fighting and crashes into the ocean near "Streaker"'s hiding place. The resultant tsunami strands several crew and causes several of the uplifted dolphins (called NeoFins) to panic and revert to an instinctual, pre-uplifted mental state. Some of the stranded crew encounter pre-sentient natives (called Kiqui).

Meanwhile, on "Streaker", several crew members secretly plan a mutiny and defection while the officers plan to salvage parts from the Thennanin wreck. "Streaker" cannot be moved for fear of detection and because of the ongoing repairs, and so the salvage team uses undersea transportation to get to the wreck. The salvage team discovers the wreck's hull is mostly undamaged, and the Terrans form a plan to hide "Streaker" inside the Thennanin dreadnought hull and make their escape. As a bonus, several crew members salvage the Thennanin dreadnought's micro-branch of the galactic library for comparison with the "Streaker"'s own copy, as Earth suspects their libraries have been sabotaged, with certain information redacted by the senior patron races.

The mutinous crew, led by Takkata-Jim, cripple Captain Creideiki. Before he can be caught, Takkata-Jim flees in a shuttle, but the shuttle has been sabotaged by the loyal crew, and he is sent into the middle of the battle over Kithrup with his puny guns set to fire when any ship approaches and his radio disabled. Takkata-Jim draws off the two largest remaining fleets.

In the confusion, "Streaker" almost escapes without incident hidden in the Thennanin hull, but is confronted by several ships belonging to the Brothers of the Night (Brethren). "Streaker" is saved when six Thennanin ships, saving one of their "own", drive off the Brethren. "Streaker" then flees to the transfer point, but before fleeing, sends a mocking transmission to the alien armadas.

The dolphins in the novel speak three languages: Primal, Trinary and Anglic. Primal and Trinary are represented as haiku-esque poems (two of the human characters quote Yosa Buson), while Anglic is a hypothetical English-derivative, rendered for the reader as standard English.

The book shifts point of view frequently from character to character, ranging from humans, to dolphins, to a number of the alien races which are trying to destroy, capture, or help the "Streaker". This allows the reader to get some idea of how the crew of the "Streaker" fits within the larger context of Galactic affairs. All of the alien races described in this book are further described and illustrated in the book "Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide to David Brin's Uplift Universe".

Film version

A screenplay, written by Trevor Sands and based on the book, is currently in development at Mace Neufeld Productions. [cite news |first=CHRIS |last=PETRIKIN |title= Neufeld buys 'Uplift Series'|url= |work= Variety |date= 1998-10-19|accessdate=2008-04-29 ] Its title is also "Startide Rising".

According to Trevor Sands, the option expired and the screenplay was tabled for the time being.


* Bulgarian: " _bg. Звездна вълна се надига", 1994.
* Finnish: " _fi. Tähtisumu täyttyy" ("Nebula fills up"), 1987.
* French: " _fr. Marée stellaire" ("Stellar tide"), 1998, 2001.
* German: " _de. Sternenflut" ("Star Tide"), 1985, 1993, 2000.
* Italian: " _it. Le maree di Kithrup" ("The Tides of Kithrup"), 1985.
* Polish: " _pl. Gwiezdny przypływ" ("Star Tide"), 1997.
* Russian: " _ru. Звёздный прилив" ("Star Tide"), 1995, 1998, 2002.
* Spanish: " _es. Marea estelar" ("Star Tide"), 1986.
* Swedish: " _sv. Vid stjärnhavets strand" ("On the beach of the sea of stars"), 1990.

See also

* Akeakamai A neo-dolphin member of the "Streaker"'s crew, named in honor of the real-life dolphin from Louis Herman's animal language research.
* Cetacean intelligence

External links

* [ Review] - #7 best SciFi novel of all time.


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