Cover of first edition (paperback)
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Media type||Print (Paperback & Hardback)|
|Pages||462 pp (first edition, paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-553-23495-1 (first edition, paperback)|
|LC Class||CPB Box no. 2914 vol. 13|
|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. It was revised by the author in 1993 to correct errors and omissions from the original edition.
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 science fiction novels such as Dune, Neuromancer, Ringworld and Ender's Game. Startide Rising also won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 1984.
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.
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, sabotage equipment, leading to Captain Creideiki becoming brain damaged, although she later recovers somewhat. 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 weapons set to fire when any ship approaches and his radio disabled. Takkata-Jim unintentionally 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 (not to be confused with the actual Anglic family of languages containing modern English, its ancestors, and its close relatives like Scots), 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.
A screenplay, written by Trevor Sands and based on the book, was in development at Mace Neufeld Productions. Its title is also Startide Rising. However, according to Trevor Sands, the option expired and the screenplay has been tabled.
- Chinese: 星潮汹涌, 1998; 星潮闪电, 2001
- Bulgarian: "Звездна вълна се надига" ("A star wave is rising"), 1994.
- Danish: "Stjerneflod" ("Star Tide"), 1988.
- Finnish: "Tähtisumu täyttyy" ("Nebula fills up"), 1987.
- French: "Marée stellaire" ("Stellar tide"), 1998, 2001.
- German: "Sternenflut" ("Star Tide"), 1985, 1993, 2000.
- Italian: "Le maree di Kithrup" ("The Tides of Kithrup"), 1985.
- Korean: "시간의 강" ("시간여행 SF 걸작선"), 1995.
- Polish: "Gwiezdny przypływ" ("Star Tide"), 1997.
- Russian: "Звёздный прилив" ("Star Tide"), 1995, 1998, 2002.
- Serbia: "Подизање звездане плиме" ("Startide Rising"), 1988.
- Spanish: "Marea estelar" ("Star Tide"), 1986.
- Swedish: "Vid stjärnhavets strand" ("On the beach of the sea of stars"), 1990.
- Hungarian: "Csillagdagály" ("Star Tide"), 1996
- Hebrew: "גאות הכוכב" ("Star Tide"), 1999
- Akeakamai – the real-life dolphin from Louis Herman's animal language research, after whom a neo-dolphin member of the Streaker's crew is named.
- Cetacean intelligence
- Startide Rising at Worlds Without End
|The Uplift series|
|Sundiver (1980) | Startide Rising (1983) | The Uplift War (1987)|
|Uplift Storm trilogy|
|Brightness Reef (1995) | Infinity's Shore (1996) | Heaven's Reach (1998)|