Infinity's Shore Hardcover – Nov 1 1996
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This second volume in David Brin's new Uplift trilogy is an epic tale that artfully combines dozens of unique characters and their individual stories. The planet Jijo, which has been settled by six separate races despite a decree that it remain barren for a million years, is about to change. The exploration ship Streaker, on the run since discovering the secrets of a two-billion-year-old derelict fleet, has arrived with virtually the entire universe in pursuit. Overnight the peaceful, technologically backwards Jijoan society erupts into civil war, creating a chaotic tapestry of grief, sorrow, joy, love and, ultimately, hope.
From Publishers Weekly
The Uplift War-a deep-future conflict that spans both galaxies and centuries-continues in this rich middle volume (after Brightness Reef) of Brin's second Uplift trilogy. On the planet Jijo, the painfully developed cooperation among six sapient races (humans included) is rapidly crumbling under the impact of contact from space. The visitors include the dolphin crew of the ship Streaker and the Rothen, the race who may have "uplifted" to intelligence most of the races of Jijo, except the humans, who because of their unique status are in greater peril than ever. The ensuing tale is well paced, immensely complex, highly literate-and a daunting read, particularly for those new to the series. On full display here is Brin's extraordinary capacity to handle a wide-ranging narrative and to create convincingly complex alien races that not only differ from humanity but also variegate internally. By novel's end, Jijo is irremediably altered, its status as a world of refugees from the political chicanery of the Five Galaxies likely gone forever. Once again, Brin has created a successful mix of social speculation and hard SF that puts him in the honorable company of such authors as Charles Sheffield and Gregory Benford. Undeniably, this is demanding SF; but just as undeniably, it is superior SF as well. (Dec.) FYI: Two Uplift novels have won major SF awards: Startide Rising, the 1983 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and The Uplift War, the 1988 Hugo for Best Novel.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
This novel suffers from the same problem as most middle works in a trilogy: having neither a true beginning nor a true ending, it exists as nothing but middle that goes on and on, often seeming quite meandering. Only when the final novel has been read is it possible to judge just how essential are the plot elements included here. That said, this series remains immensely enjoyable. It is always fun to see a talented author create a richly detailed world and then turn it upside down, letting the chips fall where they may. The story takes a while to get going, as Brin spends about the first seventy pages having characters do little more than contemplate the events of the first novel. I benefited from this since it had been quite a while since I had read the previous installment, but it seems like that could have been tightened up a bit.
I look forward to reading the next book and hope that Brin chooses to revisit this universe some day. (How about the lost adventures of the Streaker? Quite a few significant events have happened off stage.)
It isn't just the variety of races, each well explored in personality and physical traits. It isn't just the sheer number of plot threads that makes this a brilliant series. And it is not just the vision of such a universe. It is the way Brin combines all the serried elements together with such consummate literary skill. His prose is excellent and lapses into the poetic. The uplift saga has to be one of the greatest achievements in science fiction writing, and deserves recognition from mainstream literary critics.
In this volume Brin reintroduces us to the remainder of the Streaker crew who fled Kithrup in Startide Rising (book 2) while continuing to develop the characters of the sooner races on Jijo. And he demonstrates what makes a Jophur of a Traeki. I can say no more without giving away plot elements. Read it!
After 3 months, however, I'm barely halfway through the second book in the series. As usual in Brin's recent publications, he goes into exhausting detail, with numerous characters, and it's very difficult to keep track of (or even care about) many of them. Yet he periodically glosses over major events with so little information that we're left completely clueless about what, if anything, happened.
The stories wind up being disjointed to the extent that it's not easy to get "hooked" - these books are definitely not of the "can't put down" variety. Reading them becomes a chore... until something else happens and you get interested again for a while.
As in previous (non-Uplift) books, I find myself tempted to skip over some characters' viewpoints. Chances are, there are a few that could have been eliminated entirely without major harm to the story - trouble is, you never know which they are, and the one you skip sometimes turns out to be crucial.
Basically, Brin and his editors need to learn to cut down his works - this gets worse with every book he publishes. Cut out some of the extraneous details. Make the books more gripping and less of a chore.... the basic story line is fascinating and I really want to find out what Streaker has found, and what happens to them - otherwise, frankly, I'd give up right now. Rich as the tale is turning out to be, if your readers can't finish it, you've lost the point entirely.
Most recent customer reviews
This is really the fifth volume in the Uplift Saga. It neatly packages all the important themes from the previous works; ready to be blown open in what promises to be an exciting... Read morePublished on May 20 2003 by Michael J. Lane
What had been an excellent series from a great author has degenerated into the conventional anti-white philia that permeates literature in America now. Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2002
This review applies to David Brin's new Uplift trilogy as a whole.
I loved Brin's other Uplift books but the new Uplift trilogy is a long-winded dud. Read more
Despite my reviews' title, I did like this book. However, I liked its predecessor Brightness Reef better, and Startide Rising better yet. Read morePublished on July 31 2000 by Gregg Strohmeier
This is Book #2 of a trilogy. The first was Brightness Reef, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In Infinity's Shore I didn't feel the characters' personalities were explored as deeply as... Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2000
the premise is excellent, a group of galactic refugees stranded on an isolated planet and forced to put aside philosiphical and physical differences and form a society. Read morePublished on April 21 1999
The book continues on the excitment he build up to in book 1. You will want to rush out and get book 3 ASAP!!Published on Feb. 12 1999
Brin finally reveals what is going on and a lot of background that helps make the story more interesting. This book definitely doesn't stand alone though. Read morePublished on Dec 18 1998
Brin finally reveals what is going on and a lot of background that helps make the story more interesting. This book definitely doesn't stand alone though. Read morePublished on Dec 4 1998