Books David Brin and “The Uplift War” Instead of “Ender’s Game”
posted by July 29 at 16:30 PMon
Read David Brin instead.
Brin’s Uplift Universe is among the best of science fiction, with one of the richest premises.
In the Uplift universe an intergalactic civilization called the Five Galaxies, comprising a multitude of sentient races, has existed for billions of years. This civilization is perpetuated by the act of Uplift, in which a “patron” species genetically modifies a non-sapient “client” species until it is sapient. The client species is typically indentured to its patron species for 100,000 years. A patron species gains considerable status, and patrons and clients often unite into powerful clans. Patron status can be lost due to extermination, or gross crimes against the galactic civilization.
In the culture of the books evolution is assumed to exist, just not the evolution of sapient intelligence.
Humanity, having evolved sapience in a quiet backwater, is a freakish anomaly in the scheme. Without a patron, humanity’s very existence threatens the structure of the civilization. Therefore, humans do not have an easy go.
This is quality science fiction—less focused on technobabble and more on cultural interactions. The Uplift War is the finest in the series, and deserving of your attention.
As a bonus, David Brin is the closest I know to a Liberal Libertarian, with a blog filled with delightful missives like this:
— Another tedious reminder… I have long said don’t forget local races. Booting the paleocons out of a dozen statehouses will do as much for America as anything else could. Indeed, nothing else could more devastatingly show the GOP that they must re-invent themselves from the ground up. Find the nearest state assembly or senate or congressional race that is “competitive.” That is where a little volunteer time could make the biggest leverage-effect… and where you’ll have more personal fun… than just helping the national campaign. If there are no such local races, or you live in California or New York, where it doesn’t matter, then look farther afield. If just five Texas Assembly seats change hands, this year, that state will experience an earthquake-level flip, reversing the horrible deLay Gerrymandering. This will not only doubly punish the cheaters, but (I predict) cause the GOP to “discover virtue” and suddenly become the party that opposes gerrymandering! (If so… 2010, some of us may even start listening to conservatives again! But they’ll have a ways to go, to re-earn any trust.)