The Uplift War by David Brin

Published: 1987

Genre: science fiction

Length: 638 pages

Setting: the planet Garth, far future, soon after the events of Startide Rising

Interest: It’s the third and final book in the Uplift Saga I’m rereading this summer.

Summary: The Gubru have decided to make a play on gaining status by taking over the human colony world Garth. The Gubru are a bird-like alien race that build consensus between three aspects of society (military, priesthood, and bureaucracy). The colony knows the Gubru are coming and make plans to oppose the invaders. Unfortunately, the Gubru upset those plans when they use hostage gas to bring in all the humans to a central location. The resident chims are left to fend for themselves and develop a guerrilla insurgency with only the Tymbrimi ambassador’s daughter and the Planetary Chief’s son to help. They also need to hide evidence of illegal uplift work on gorillas. The chims are able to cause enough difficulties to cause dissension among the Gubru and slow their consolidation plans. The Gubru decide to sponsor an Uplift ceremony for chimpanzees to get something out of the invasion. The gorillas hijack the ceremony and the Tymbrimi are able to make an ally out of the Kandu.

Final thoughts: Another highly enjoyable book. Even without the dolphins, this book had a very lighthearted tone. I’m sure it had a lot to do with the Tymbrimi, who will go out of their way to engineer a great prank. Even the chims (and especially Fiben) tended to find the amusing in the situation. We got chapters from many different points of view, so I could see what was happening on various locations of Garth. Once again, we focus on the local problems, with just hints that this is part of a bigger issue. We never do find out the significance of the Streaker’s discovery.

I was impressed with Brin’s ability to make me empathize with the Gubru. They were the invaders and attacking an Earth colony, but I felt sorry for them when they couldn’t come to consensus and one of the Suzerains were killed. If it would have lived, the three Suzerains would have come up with a unique policy to deal with the Earth colony. Therefore, it was better for Garth and humanity that the alien died, but I still felt for the mating triad. I’m also impressed with Brin’s ability to differentiate the different alien races just in their speech patterns.

Title comes from: The Galactic battle going on over the potential return of the Progenitors and an Uplift ceremony on Garth.

Reading challenges fulfilled: #51 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge and a U in my Read the Alphabet Title challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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