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March 2nd, 2012, 12:23 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
Question about Startide Rising/Uplift War
I am reading "Startide Rising" for the second time. I really do not remember reading it much the first time (>20 years ago) but thanks to my journal I see that my overall impression the first time around was good other than:
Spoiler:the central question of what Herbie is or whether he is a progenitor is never answered
I never read the uplift war because of fear that the above issue would still be the case. Can someone say, without ruining the whole story, whether this is answered in some satisfactory way?
March 2nd, 2012, 12:55 PM #2
The characters in Uplift War never learn what happens in Startide Rising. They know nothing about Herbie.
Maybe the later books say something more about it but I started Brightness Reef but found it boring so never finished.
March 5th, 2012, 01:22 AM #3
Sundiver is an introduction to the entire uplift universe, set hundreds of years in the past, after mankind first meets aliens.
Startide Rising you've read, and shows us the crew of the Streaker fleeing across the galaxy to escape a grab from powerful races and factions who want to know the location of the ancient fleet of vessels found in the void.
The Uplift War is about what these races and factions start doing to mankind when Streaker refuses to deliver itself into their hands, from the perspective of a besieged human colony.
The true reveal about everything in the series besides the nature of the fleet is found in the next trilogy, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, and Heaven's Reach. At first glance it appears to have no link with Startide Rising, but is a direct continuation of it. The first half of Brightness Reef reads like Tom Sawyer...intentionally, then turns like Startide Rising; I at least did not find it boring. The secrets revealed in the last book are awe-inspiring. Truly the nature of the fleet is nothing compared to what we learn. And even if the fleet's nature is not revealed (or spelled-out, I should say) the characters still learn enough of the incredible hidden truths of Brin's universe for the reader to make up his mind about the nature and origins of the fleet. In the end it's no longer about "Is the fleet Progenitor?" but rather "What would a fleet be doing there, fo so many billions of years, that we never heard about its existence, that the ship designs are not in the Galactic Library, and how can I figure this out for myself now that I know what I know?" The final answers are in Heaven's Reach.
Don't stop reading.
Oh, and in the second trilogy we discover that the last race to inhabit Jijo (the trilogy's main setting) had a sense of humor, a rare thing among the galaxies, and you never find out in the books what was their last punch, their last joke, for it is hinted they had one. You learn that secret in the short story Temptation. Be warned though that this particular reveal - compared to the previous one - is not cosmic and awe-inspiring at all but rather tongue-in-cheek...as the Jijoans wanted it!
Last edited by Pennarin; March 5th, 2012 at 01:25 AM.
March 5th, 2012, 07:23 PM #4
Yeah, we find a bit more out about Herbie by the end of the first six books (of which Startide Rising is the second and The Uplift War the third), but I wouldn't say a vast amount more.
Brin has been promising to return to the setting for years. With his first novel in a decade out this year, hopefully this will mark his return to regular fiction releases and we'll get a more definitive conclusion to the series in the next few years. It wouldn't be the end of the world if it finished the way it is, but a few more answers would be nice.
March 6th, 2012, 04:11 PM #5
The secrets of the universe, so to speak, have been revealed by the end of the sixth book and there are big changes to the galactic civilization. Still, it would be nice to see how Earthclan fares post-change, and Brin could always make a big deal of Herbie and the derelict fleet if he so wished. After all we don't even know if the fabled Progenitors even existed as a unique race, a philosophical alliance of races, or whatever idea you might imagine. Are they still around? And no one actually studied the derelect fleet further than what was described in Startide Rising.
There is definite potential for including Herbie and the fleet - and the Progenitors - in a next book.
March 7th, 2012, 01:18 PM #6