Tuesday, November 15, 2005

41. Sundiver by David Brin

Sundiver book pictureI'm trying to get a few popular science fiction novels read and this was the first of the Uplift series that seems pretty popular. For some reason, which may have had to do with the physical binding of the book more than anything else, it took me a while to get into Sundiver.

It's an interesting concept. Its all about aliens and posits a universe where all sentient beings were brought into sentience (or uplifted") by another sentient species. There are complex codes of social dependency based on who uplifted whom and everyone is searching for the species that first uplifted the others (the Progenitors) now lost in the mists of time. The humans are an anomaly because they appear to have uplifted themselves, though the dogma of the other species claims that they were uplifted and then abandond.

Sundiver is about a human-sponsored trip to the sun and the politics and intrigue that takes place on the ship.

The universe is pretty interesting and the politics around uplift are quite rich and well thought out. The sci-fi stuff is pretty wild too. Theres lots of flying around in the sun's atmosphere and cool descriptions thereof.

The main character was really interesting as well, because he had a split personality, which he kept under control with extreme mental discipline. His "Hyde" personality was also the ass-kicking one, so he would release it every now and then when he needed to be a badass. Pretty cool concept.

Unfortunately, other than the main guy, the characters were very difficult to get a handle on. They didn't behave consistently and their dialogue seemed to jump all over the place. It was sort of supposed to be like that, because it turns out their minds were being messed with. Also, the big mystery that was going on in the first part of the book seemed so obvious, It was unbelievable that nobody was aware that something weird was going on.

Cool concept and a well-developed universe, but it just didn't grab me enough to want to continue on in the series.

1 comment:

Jason L said...

I purchased the first 3 of this series and on ebay and got screwed on my first delinquent transaction.

Sounds like I didn't miss much.