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[PDF / Epub] ★ Brightness Reef By David Brin –

David Brin S Uplift Novels Sundiver, Hugo Award Winner The Uplift War, And Hugo And Nebula Winner Startide Rising Are Among The Most Thrilling And Extraordinary Science Fiction Tales Ever Written Now David Brin Returns To This Future Universe For A New Uplift Trilogy, Packed With Adventure, Passion And WitThe Planet Jijo Is Forbidden To Settlers, Its Ecology Protected By Guardians Of The Five Galaxies But Over The Centuries It Has Been Resettled, Populated By Refugees Of Six Intelligent Races Together They Have Woven A New Society In The Wilderness, Drawn Together By Their Fear Of Judgment Day, When The Five Galaxies Will Discover Their Illegal Colony Then A Strange Starship Arrives On Jijo Does It Bring The Long Dreaded Judgment, Or Worse A Band Of Criminals Willing To Destroy The Six Races Of Jijo In Order To Cover Their Own Crimes

10 thoughts on “Brightness Reef

  1. says:

    This happens to be one of those books that is both brilliant and lacking at the same time I will explain myself The novel is actually quite as daunting and impressive as Startide Rising and The Uplift War in it s way, but it s mainly because Brin doesn t ever stint on world building Ever He goes all out and develops tons of alien races, tons of characters, and a great many implications for the amazingly complex alien culture among the 16 galaxies Truly, I have nothing bad to say at all about the quality and depth of its development It s actually rather staggering Brin never rests on his laurels He finds new avenues to drill down into and I should say that there are VERY few authors who do it as deep or consistently as he does.So what s lacking Well that s a very complex creature, too My primary go to complaint is in the basic story, but it isn t because it s too simple or too complex Rather, it s because I was constantly wondering why I should care about some far distant fallow world where a bunch of alien refugees including humans had tossed all their technology into the drink in order to hopefully devolve genetically, culturally, and intellectually Why would they do it Because while they re political and cultural dissidents to the rest of the galactic society, they re also adherents to a weird quasi religious tenant that is diametrically opposed to Uplift in general They want to return to innocence Of course, not everyone believes Humans are a bit complex and have their own reasons to buck this trend with their books and their skepticism of the galactic culture that either doesn t want to be bothered to help the upstarts, but that s a sub plot I have no problem with the concept In fact, if this was any other novel by any other author, I d be touting it and the way it approaches the subject as honestly unique and fascinating So what s my problem with it I don t like book burning I m in love with books Of course, these guys take it all the way and sink their spaceships and all their tech, too, with a few human exceptions, but the core is the same.What we ve got is a novel about aliens and humans interacting in very complex ways with the ever present fear that the galactics will find them and punish them and their entire RACE for the crimes of despoiling a fallow planet that should have remained fallow and untouched by anyone for several billion years That s a steep punishment for a broken law Notice, too, that the galactic culture with its many, many, many species is an establishment that has been around for a very, very long time Nothing stays around that long without being a very robust system Mostly it relies on just out waiting problems Including dissidents who are thinking in terms of devolving themselves to pre sentience Too bad that plan goes to seed So what s my problem Too slow, maybe My expectations wanted resolution on a huge scale instead of what amounts to a tiny backwater and backward hamlet in the middle of nowhere Well that s my own damn problem, right The novel is still a damn sight better than the majority of alien society novels out there by any yardstick My problem is that I am judging it by his other brilliant Uplift novels instead of just focusing on what it does right And it does a lot of things very right.Of course, it s also book one of a trilogy that really needs to be read together if you want any sense of closure, too, so there s that And since I ve read these before and I know that the end is practically a full 180 degrees from where we start now I should have just kept faith from the start So I will I was of two minds about doing this re read, but now that I ve done this second read two decades after it was published, I m now somewhat amazed and chastened that I should have worried This is still a classic Brin.I just needed to manage my expectations.

  2. says:

    You cannot ask for a better premise than Uplift Of all the science fiction series I ve read, David Brin has something special here Uplift is than just panspermia, because Brin has taken the idea of aliens genetically engineering pre sapient life to full sapience and wrapped his own entire mythos around the concept As a result of Uplift, galactic civilization is a network of intricate social relationships defined and bound by literally millions of years of tradition Client races are beholden to their patrons for millennia, if not hundreds of millennia Entire species can be found culpable for the actions of a single group It s very different from what we know, which is not surprising in the Uplift series, humans are wolflings Either our patrons abandoned us long ago, or we developed sentience all by ourselves Either concept is scary for the rest of galactic civilization.So of course, the question is did someone Uplift humanity, and if so, who It frustrates me that Brin has been so remarkably tight lipped with that answer for the past three books Hence, I begin this second trilogy with the ardent hope that by the time I finish Heaven s Reach, something like an answer will have emerged And please, if you have finished this series and Brin doesn t provide such an answer, do not tell me I prefer to be disappointed on my own Jijo is a fallow world Settlement is not allowed Fugitives from five species have settled there and formed an ad hoc society, well aware of their crime, well aware that when a ship arrives, it spells the end Like the series premise of Uplift, Brightness Reef opens with high stakes, immediately establishing what these people fear and how it can all go wrong for them.So when it does, it s no surprise But that is where the lack of surprises ends, abruptly Brin continuously new twists, and unlike Startide Rising , it actually works well here For example, humanity s purported patron race, the Rothen, are first portrayed as somewhat god like uber humans Of course, they have a much sinister purpose that I won t reveal here, and after one of them is killed by some overzealous Jijoan defenders, we see that they have been deceptive even in their appearance This aspect of the plot, like most of the book, doesn t get explained fully, and that would be extremely frustrating if I didn t have Infinity s Shore on the shelf.The book ends quite abruptly too It starts slow, despite its high stakes, and then in the last hundred pages adopts an astounding alacrity as if it has just remembered it needs to wrap up loose ends until it doesn t This is one of those qualities which are greatly subjective it may bother you than it does me and it bothers me a little So fair warning.Aside from tantalizing hints, the question of human Uplift and the secret of the Streaker carries never gets addressed here not that I expected it to be Instead, where Brightness Reef excels is, as usual, its depiction of inter species relations wait, no, not those types of relations The history of these five fugitive groups, as communicated by their sacred scrolls, is one of intermittent conflict ending in a recent peace known as the Commons As each sneakship landed on Jijo, it took time for the new settlers to fit into the rhythm of society For some species, it was a matter of mutual distrust For some, it s simply because humans smell bad and ride horses Whatever the reason, the harmony we see at the beginning of Brightness Reef is young and, as we see as the story unfolds, very fragile.My favourite characters were Sara and Lark, and not just because I am human philic I liked Sara s plight, her role as an intermediary between the Stranger and the sages, her discomfort with the Path of Redemption promoted by the sacred scrolls That was something I didn t anticipate, the extent to which Brin juxtaposed the received wisdom of the Galactic Civilization s vast Library with the Jijoan settlers desire to lose knowledge and retreat to the bliss of pre sapient ignorance As a bibliophile and an intellectual, all this talk of burning books got under my skin As Sara watched the militant parts of her society express their desires to hasten along the Path of Redemption, I found myself wanting to shout, Nooo Save the books I guess this resonates with me because of the zeitgeist, especially when I think about America and American media The idea that there are people who are proud of their ignorance, and who wilfully seek to perpetuate the ignorance of others, astounds and, yes, offends me So I found the Path to Redemption chilling, scary, and not at all to my liking.Now, Lark was interesting because, like Sara, he is a bit of an outsider As a heretic, he supports a movement that wants to end the settlers habitation on Jijo by not reproducing This differs from the Path to Redemption, which advocates for actual return to pre sapience, as we see in the form of the dubiously unintelligent glavers Lark s views are interesting, especially in the context of our growing population on Earth Plus, through Lark we get to meet Ling, a starfaring human who believes or believed the Rothen are humanity s patrons At first, she approaches Lark and the other humans on Jijo as backward, ignorant Then they develop a mutual respect and, if I m not mistaken, not a little attraction between each other I m looking forward to seeing Ling resolve her crisis of faith, as well as Lark resolving his should they decide to get together and stay on Jijo.As far as the other subplots go Dwer and his interaction with Rety, Alvin and his companions diving, etc these were interesting, but I seldom found myself wondering, Gee, I wonder what Dwer is doing now There was never that sense of urgency to return to their perspective The exception to this would be Alvin after their diving bell gets captured by an as yet unidentified player Still, those portions of the book were always shorter than the other perspectives, so I didn t get as attached to Alvin as I did to the other characters.One character that did surprise me was Asx The traeki fascinate me Brin is very talented at coming up with unique species that are not merely humanoid stand ins, and the traeki are a great example Apparently they are the same as the Jophur, antagonists in previous books, but they are peaceful Each individual traeki body is made up of rings that have different skill sets and traits the rings together form a sort of group mind that acts based upon consensus So a single traeki can swap out rings and become a slightly different person in the process Asx is the traeki sage, and his perspectives are little than pithy ruminations upon the current action Yet even in such brevity, glimpses into the traeki mind was still cool Even though Brin doesn t consistently deliver well paced action or complex characterization, he does often succeed at that one fundamental aspect of science fiction, that necessity for difference Brightness Reef leaves you with questions maybe too many questions Still, it s fun, intriguing, and a great beginning to a new Uplift trilogy Brin has managed to expand upon everything that makes the Uplift universe so unique and awesome My only hope is that the series just gets better.My Reviews of the Uplift series The Uplift War Infinity s Shore

  3. says:

    I read the first three Uplift novels back when they were fairly new, and since then they ve been one of my favorite brainy space opera series Recently I marathoned through the initial trilogy again and was pleased to discover there were three books in the series since then.The Uplift books are a great mix of adventure, world building, and scientific speculation, and the alien races portrayed in these books are especially great Brightness Reef took me a little longer to get into compared to the earlier books because of its broad scope lots of storylines and characters to keep track of Once I d gotten through the first few chapters, however, I found it hard to put down and a thoroughly enjoying bit of storytelling.Anyone who is new to the Uplift world, I d recommend starting with one of the earlier books Sundiver, Startide Rising, and The Uplift War Brightness Reef is mostly a stand alone story, but there are a lot of details in this later trilogy that will be satisfying if you re familiar with what s come before.

  4. says:

    Six sentient species live together secretly in hard won harmony on the planet Jijo, which the almighty Galactics have decreed to be left unsettled All goes well until their discovery by a starship crewed by humans with a mysterious purpose throws everything into chaos and uncertainty.David Brin is telling a big story here The planet and the various alien cultures upon it are meticulously detailed and his concept of Uplift, whereby races achieve sentience and admittance to a heavily stratified galactic society through the patronage of advanced races, remains one of the most brilliant concepts in science fiction.However, be warned This is not a stand alone book As Brin himself acknowledges in his afterword, his story just kept expanding in the telling until it could no longer be contained within a single volume This book does not even attempt to provide a temporary conclusion but rather leaves all of the various plot strands waving in thin air Therefore, I do recommend this book, but only if you are prepared to go on and read the next two in the trilogy as well.

  5. says:

    Storyline 4 5Characters 3 5Writing Style 3 5World 5 5Asx, qheuens, traeki, khuta, Hph wayou, hoonish, Jijo, Zang, Izmuti, g Keks, glavers, the Great Buyur, Alvin, Mister Heinz, Guenn Volcano, Terminus Rock, Joe Dolenz, Mu phauwq, Yowg wayou, humicker, Huck, Becky, Pincer Tip, wrigglers, Ur ronn, urs, Uriel, Mount Guenn, urrish, uttergloss, Drake, Ur jushen, Holy Egg, er, hoon, Biblos, Aph awn, Ur Tanj, noor, Wuphon, mulc spiders, Uncle Lorben, Sixers, Ifni, gingourv trees, hoonlike, garu, umble, and humicking Those are the made up names, places, races, adjectives or other terms that appear in the Prelude and Part I called Parts instead of chapters Additionally, there are the words with obvious meanings but also having specific connotations for Brin s worldbuilding rings, sage, Commons, pentapod, children of exile, Scroll of Exile, sneakership, gloss, the Slope, the Midden, throat sac, humanmimicker, the Big North side Avalanche, red shells, greys, blues, mudflats, leg mouths, lava pools, Great Peace, the Big Quest, gloss, burnish, Gathering Festival, dross, the Line, The Day, sky gods, heretic, eyestalks, heresy, cranial tympanum, and the Rift This all comes in the first 19 pages Part II of XXVIII makes vocabulary additions at about the same rate Thereafter it slows down, but those first two parts were difficult Remember, too, that this is addition to all the Uplift terminology carried over from the original trilogy The opening of Brightness Reef, then, gives a lot of new material in a short amount of space, and you must be able to distinguish between many of the terms to understand the conversations and action Was it the g Kek that was blue with four legs or was that a hoon Or is this thing wheeling around the g Kek When hoonish is an adjective am I supposed to remember riverfolk or galloping plainsmen. I prefer my worldbuilding to proceed with a bit finesse In fairness, Brin does offer clues and descriptors alongside the proper names to help the reader distinguish between all the new terms Still, this start proved work than fun.I forewarn the reader that the ending, too, requires some forbearance, in that there is no ending The first three of the Uplift saga were independent works with their own self contained plot with some sort of settlement This is a to be continued ending that leaves the reader without a resolution Even trilogies which contain a single, overarching plot can and have managed to find reasonable ending places Brin appears to have stopped when his publisher said, Enough Other than the beginning and the ending, this was Brin s best Uplift book Discounting the slogging start and the abrupt finish, there are still a good 600 pages in a middle full of quality worldbuilding, believable characters, and creative perspectives I remain awed by the concept of uplift and the galactic politics Brin has built around it He moves in a nice direction here, emphasizing the high regard and long term planning that goes into saving species potentially sentient, even when that sentience is eons into the future This was also Brin s most ambitious effort yet at perspectives and mediums Not only are there a plethora of alien vantage points but we get snippets of recorded lore and published history interjected amidst the 28 parts The writing exhibited a real self awareness as one of our protagonists discussed literary writing styles and the best ways to relate his story, and there was some intriguing philosophical ideas on linguistics This did come off as Brin defending himself by saying he was aware of literary devices and systems of thought He himself struggled make good use of or delve deep into these matters Nevertheless, the experience was better for their inclusion The author did make some poor choices with the twists and turns, putting me in a place throughout most of the book where I felt that the choices and reasoning of the actors did not make sense Brin s twists give some needed coherence, but where he was thinking that he was solving puzzles, to me it seemed like he was finally remedying errors view spoiler The idea of de evolving simply doesn t make sense How the glavers did it is left unclear, and Brin provides no scientific explanation for thinking it possible Far into the book, he offers a tentative explanation with a debate between Sara and Dedinger Sara begins science is about slowly improving your models of the world It s future oriented Your children will know than you do, so the truth you already have can never be called perfect To which Dedinger replies But tradition and a firm creed are preferable if you re embarked on the narrow, sacred road downhill, to salvation In that case, argument and uncertainty will only confuse your flock.This was a turning point for me in the book because it was so very bad Tolerance and the openness to new ideas progressive evolution and tradition and creed regressive de evolution This doesn t make sense in terms of the world Brin has created even if humans followed the Sacred Scrolls fully, burned all books, and used only handmade tools, they would either a die out or b progress differently or slowly Those zealots that Dedinger was leading, after burning all their books, would over the course of generations still develop better hooks for fishing or better needles for sewing There is no other mechanism by which to explain or expect any of these races to lose sentience In attempting to use religion and tradition as that mechanism, Brin swaps out scientific justifications for socio political statements For an author so intent on worldbuilding and science, this was a huge hole left by his casually interjecting his humanism and empiricism Brin deals with this whole de evolution principle differently later in the book when he gives nearly every race an alternate reason for fleeing to Jijo So humans, g Kek, Urs, and traeki, at the very least, were motivated by goals other than losing their sentience It was as if Brin were waving away the prior three fifths of the book and the justifications for the races being there and the source of the disagreements between the heretics and the zealots I wanted to take seriously this idea of de evolution Brin s glib rationale and his search for interesting twists, however, undermined the concept despite it being central to understanding his world for most of the book hide spoiler

  6. says:

    I ve read most of David Brin s Uplift Universe, but I actually started with this particular series, and despite it being the final trilogy, I can say with confidence that it s a mighty fine place to start To this day these three books remain my favorite Brin novels.Not only is David Brin an absolute master of Hard Science Fiction, his work is a good antidote to the pile of young adult inspired barely feasible dystopias that are currently flooding the market and trying to coattail on the success of the Hunger Games If you like Hard Sci Fi chances are you already know what that genre means, and Brin has it down His strongest feature is his world building, coupled with a fantastic ability to fill the universe with a dazzling array of BELIEVABLE aliens Most science fictions falls into one of two traps when creating alien species They either make the aliens just a green version of humans e.g.Star Trek , or they make the aliens mortal enemies that are incapable of any common ground or saving feature, hell bent on destroying all of humanity, thus necessitating their complete and totally satisfying destruction Brin actually imagines complicated, nuanced, foreign, not even slightly human aliens And the wackier his ideas the you will find them to be rooted in solid science Aliens that evolved with wheels and an axle Sounds unreal, but he based the idea on a currently existing bacteria Nuanced pretty much sums up Brin s approach Politics, culture, character developmentif you re looking for a straight forward Good vs Evil story you really should look elsewhere While Brin creates characters you can root for, the people of his novels do not always live up to your expectations, and you will not be allowed to myopically focus on only one hero or heroine and that s a good thing David Brin is an author that asks of his readers than many science fiction and fantasy authors do today, and certainly than Hollywood does He asks you to care about than one person, than one side , than one culture, to relate to than one protagonist These days I feel like with so many people picking simplified issues and drawing battle lines, writers like David Brin that promote Big Pictures with complicated problems are a much needed contrast Read up and enjoy.

  7. says:

    A high four Some of my favorite things were things that I appreciated in thought than enjoyed as I read it, but that may be my harshest critique I sometimes complain that science fiction is so concentrated upon its jawsome ideas that it forgets to also be literature, but the sort of self aware literary technique in the secondary story line seemed a bit out of place sandwiched between the conventional sections Perhaps if the whole book had been written that way it would have worked, but I m not sure how I feel about the two styles being slapped together It gradually forced itself into my mind the effect of designing your life and societal goals so as to leave nothing behind and devolve Having such a goal akin to sacred seems the only way to have it happen, and yet it still strikes me as unsatisfying and difficult to maintain The need for progress, for impact, for something important to result, if not from one individually, then from one s collective group seems a strong urge to me Of course, maybe it would not be the same for other species, or other cultures, but it has pushed me into pondering why or how it could matter I frequently run into this problem why progress What progress And so to have an explicitly anti progress goal draws out these unsupported and potentially meaningless drives for meaning One could make arguments that to aim to let everything erode over time is the only consistent one and yet it seems infeasible to expect everybody in a society to be comfortable maintaining it, however sacred a mission it may be Somehow, we want to at least strive to create something, and to know with certainty that it will be destroyed without any legacy whatsoever is a hard thing to face, even if to think otherwise is delusional.

  8. says:

    Despliegue abrumador pero no totalmente necesario G nero Ciencia Ficci n.Lo que nos cuenta Tras un breve preludio de lo que parecen los ltimos instantes de alguien en una zona pantanosa, conoceremos al joven estudiante Hph wayuo al que le gusta que le llamen Alvin de la raza hoon, que disfruta leyendo historias cl sicas terr colas y que nos hablar de sus amigos, Huck la g Kek, Pinz n el qheuen rojo y Ur ronn la ur, una pandilla con representaci n de cuatro de las razas presentes en el planeta alguna de ellas tratando de no llamar la atenci n Y es que al planeta Jijo, supuestamente aislado y cuya colonizaci n est prohibida para favorecer su recuperaci n ecol gica y ambiental, han ido llegando individuos de diferentes razas por distintas razones, y adem s han logrado convivir en paz aunque les tom cierto tiempo y guerras hacerlo y con respeto entre ellos Dentro de la serie La Elevaci n de los Pupilos, cuarto libro de la serie ambientado en esa l nea argumental y primer libro de su segunda trilog a Quiere saber m s de este libro, sin spoilers Visite

  9. says:

    Lots of good talking points in this return to Brin s Uplift universe interrogating ideas of humanity and sapience, cultural imperialism, and feminist commentary But it s just so damn long and unwieldy

  10. says:

    Spoiler alert There are no bright reefs in here Brin has taken two words that he likes, put them together, and named his story that He then filled up 650 pages with multiple threads of a tale that I m not all that interested in This book is at least 3x longer than it needs to be I can summarize 1 There are various aliens who have come into illegal exile together for various reasons Their motivations are slowly revealed.2 Their plan is to devolve into pre sentient lifeforms By the way, everyone thinks evolving into a sapient species is somehow magically impossible But devolving from one is fine OK.3 The Steaker s underwater Doing what, who knows.4 There are other aliens that come They re looking for the Streaker, though they won t tell you that It s unclear why else they re here You d think that after 650 pages this would be evident.Ugh I hated the fact that I read 650 pages about a insignificant world only to have to read another 1000 pages to finish the story Why does Brin focus on these backwater worlds with their unimportant inhabitants when he s got a huge universe out there to explore This is all quite unsatisfying.