Genre: science fiction
Length: 460 pages
Setting: mostly the planet Kithrup, 100 years or so after the events of Sundiver
Interest: It’s the second book in the Uplift Saga that I’m rereading this year
Summary: The Streaker, a dolphin-human crewed spaceship, is being chased by several fanatical species of aliens after finding a Derelict Fleet millions of years old. The ship and its crew have taken refuge on the water world Kithrup. They’re hiding underwater, trying to repair their ship and figure out how to escape the Galactics waiting for them beyond the planet. Luckily, the Galactics are currently too busy fighting over who gets to capture the Earthlings to bother them yet. While the ship is being repaired, the scientists in the crew get a chance to study the planet. They discover a presentient race of aborigines and the original alien race deeded the planet (they’re hiding under the crust of the planet). The stress of the situation causes a lot of problems with the dolphin crew, but the ship and most of its crew is able to escape in the end.
Final thoughts: I enjoyed this book even more than Sundiver, probably because the Uplifted species we’re focusing on are the dolphins. I forgot how much I love dolphins. There’s some great character development in this story and not much technobabble. The crew are put in a very stressful situation, and some of the dolphins rise to the occasion and some sink. It doesn’t help that the resident Uplift scientist has seeded the crew with several of his dolphin “projects” that are a bit outside the Uplift norms. Turns out those rules of which genes to include were there for a reason. We know there’s a bigger story going on around the crew – the Galactics are all fighting over the possibility that the Streaker found a progenitor fleet – but that bigger story goes on in the background of how will this crew work together to get off the planet and escape the fighting. The humans escape because they are able to think outside the box and work with their client species, not dominate them like so many of the aliens.
Title comes from: The dolphin’s native language involved poetry. The title comes from one of the last poems in the book.
Reading challenges fulfilled: #46 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge
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