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Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide to David Brin's Uplift Universeby David Brin
Synopses & Reviews
Almost three centuries after human-alien contact, we are now used to seeing members of some Galactic sapient race strolling the streets of an Earth city, often accompanied by a duenna-robot for protection on a primitive world.
Only in Reserve Areas can humans, neo-Chimps, and neo-Dolphins escape frequent reminders that the universe has arrived and is here to stay. Basic Galactography and Sapientology are taught in schools. It takes a stretch of imagination to recall what it was like so long ago, when we thought ourselves alone in the cosmos.
Back in the early 22nd century, many decades before contact, the Solar Confederation approved construction of several antimatter-driven starships for the purpose of exploring nearby star systems. Early vessels of the unmanned Hawking class plunged beyond the orbit of Pluto, then the cometary Oort Cloud in the late 2100s. Later, the first human-crewed vessels--Isaac Newton and Jane Chen--departed, bound for the Tau Ceti and Alpha Centauri systems. Even allowing for relativistic effects, these missions involved long periods of hibernation for the crew, who never expected to see home again.
Leaders of Earth had prepared contingency plans for encountering other life-forms, but the first seven expeditions found only ruined worlds in the Geminga Starfield, the local zone surrounding our solar system. Soon, this region came to be known as The Ash, for its disheartening array of burned-out planetary ecosystems. Civilization had once swarmed across this sector, it seemed, but those former occupants left behind only deserts and desolation. Now our part of the universe was empty and humankind seemed to be alone.
Who could tell how far The Ash extended? For all we knew, it might stretch to the limits of the Galaxy. Perhaps this was the reason we had been alone for so long?
Thus it came as a shock when the Earth ship Vesarius had a sudden chance meeting with the Tymbrimi vessel Cuthmar. No one had envisioned encountering a civilization as vast and complex as that of the Galactics--so incredibly ancient, so fearsomely intricate and dangerous, spanning not one but five galaxies Beyond the narrow moat of The Ash, there dwelled a bewildering range of beings whose powers seemed nearly godlike.
Our predicament was made worse by the fact that Terrans were the first wolfling clan discovered in several million years.
As the most primitive starfaring race seen in eons, we had reason for worry How well we recalled the fate of indigenous peoples back in the 16th and 17th centuries, who suffered when they were overwhelmed by European technology. The disaster at NuDawn only reinforced our fears about what seemed to lie in store for Terran civilization.
Two lucky strokes saved us from immediate and dire consequences.
Our first break came at the very moment of contact, because we ran into the Tymbrimi before any other race. Though often quirky or irksome, the Tymbrimi have proved helpful friends. Their advice proved crucial on many occasions.
The other piece of good fortune had roots in the very nature of Galactic culture. Vastly older than we could have imagined, the loose Civilization of Five Galaxies is founded on a single unifying principle, that of Uplift. Under this ancient tradition, older species continually adopt younger, promising races that have not yet reached full sapiency, r
A richly illustrated compendium of information about the complex worlds captured in Brin's Nebula and Hugo Award-winning novels about the Uplift universe, depicting the various alien races that populate the series, including the reptilian Soro, the avian Gubru, and the mysterious Kanten. Original.
The award-winning Uplift novels comprise one of the greatest achievements in science fiction history. Dramatic, thought-provoking, and inventive, these books describe a fully realized world rich in character, detail, and ideas. Now Uplift
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