Date: 2019-03-16 06:15 pm (UTC)
dsrtao: dsr as a LEGO minifig (Default)
From: [personal profile] dsrtao
If a Brin story is not complete in one volume, one must assume that whatever story it has in it will never be satisfactorily completed.

Perhaps other readers can learn from this.

Date: 2019-03-16 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kithrup
Strangely I have a soft spot in my heart for this one. Although I think The Uplift War is better.

Date: 2019-03-17 12:10 am (UTC)
lovelyangel: (Akari Ehh?!)
From: [personal profile] lovelyangel
"Strangely?" How could this be strange for someone with a username of kithrup? You're just being cheeky, right? 😆

Date: 2019-03-17 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kithrup
Very cheeky; I've used the name since the mid 80s for my domain name and (very occasional) consulting services :).

Date: 2019-03-16 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If the humans gave complete freedom to their created races, that might offend the more conservative Patrons enough to start a war. Even in the actual books I believe the humans pretend to have more control over the chimps and dolphins than they really do, in the presence of certain aliens.

Date: 2019-03-16 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
Given the fact that they were previously Uplifted themselves, the fact so many of the Patron races treat their creations horribly makes this setting almost a metaphor for the passing down of abusive behavior in families.

Date: 2019-03-16 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I eventually decided that the Patron-client relationship was based on the advisor-Phd candidate relationship - advisors get cheap labor from candidates, and reflected glory when those candidates go out and become successful researchers and advisors themselves - and candidates get status from the status of their advisors (I've heard people talk about the importance of their advisor's advisors, just as some clients in the Uplift universe talk about their patron's patrons. Note that the ultimate fate of a species that is successful is "retirement"

Date: 2019-03-17 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
Well, I don't know of any college professors which have brutally genetically re-engineered their students to make them better gofers and lab serfs, but that probably speaks more to lack of ability than inclinations. :)

Date: 2019-03-17 12:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The analogy would be "psychologically abuse their students to be better gofers and lab serfs" - and I'll bet that happens a lot.

V

Date: 2019-03-17 03:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I seem to recall that the humans pretended to have more control over the uplifted races as to not offend the sensibilities of the galactic community in the setting.

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-17 06:09 pm (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
The kin-group forced sterilization if a member of a client species ever attacks a human are absolutely in-text canon. No equality before the law.

The reproduction ranking for human client species is absolutely in-text canon; there's a specific parent-child separation which would not have occurred if the parent's initial ranking had been accurate, but which is not corrected when the ranking is updated.

Uplift is a hellish slave dystopia of a setting. It's presented by narrative voices who consider it righteous.

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-17 09:02 pm (UTC)
roseembolism: (getoutta)
From: [personal profile] roseembolism
When you really consider them, how many uplifted animal scenarios AREN'T hellish slave dystopias? Albedo perhaps, because the creators are conveniently dead, and maybe Schlock Mercenary.

In my WiP setting I had a past culture with rampant genetic engineering, that created the 20+ claves of sentient peoples. I did it at first so I could justify the setting, but after a while I started considering the actual ramifications of a society that believed in treating humans the way we treat breding dogs. That sort of thing had evil ramifications that echoed down millenia.

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-17 09:41 pm (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
Schlock Mercenary has a whole bunch of stuff going on; if we restrict it to the terrestrial uplift events, I don't think we have any history. ("Can enlist in a mercenary company of highly dubious general legality" doesn't tell us anything about the civil rights your species regularly expects to experience. And one of the virtues of the setting is that there is a fair bit of political diversity.)

Albedo may be a better example of funny-animal (these are humans given animal characteristics for narrative utility) than uplift, but it's been a long time.

It's hard to consider uplift ethical as an endeavor; it's "we're going to make you sophont by stages, so there's nigh-certainly going to be a period where you don't have any self-determination and should, and you're not going to get asked how you wanted to change or if you wanted to change".

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-18 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
'It's hard to consider uplift ethical as an endeavor; it's "we're going to make you sophont by stages, so there's nigh-certainly going to be a period where you don't have any self-determination and should, and you're not going to get asked how you wanted to change or if you wanted to change".'

So, like raising children then? :)

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-18 02:27 am (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
If you were forcibly customizing your kids through genetic engineering for your economic benefit, I would think so, yes.

Kids have the benefit -- not always realized, however statistically reliable -- of kin-group selection. An uplifted species wouldn't have that.

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-18 01:42 pm (UTC)
roseembolism: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roseembolism
Kids at least theoretically also have the ability as individuals to grow up and away from whatever manipulation parents do. And society tends to look down on parents that throw away their mistakes.

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-19 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
Joking, although kin selection, alas, has not prevented some pretty atrocious treatment and exploitation of children throughout history. (since the development of agriculture, being unpaid farm labor has, after all, just been the norm.)

Re: V

Date: 2019-03-18 01:39 pm (UTC)
roseembolism: (Default)
From: [personal profile] roseembolism
I was thinking about the elephant general from the Earth forces. Then again, that was about the section where I was starting to lose track of things. Of course the again didn't say much about past Earth cultures.

In Albedo the creators are long gone. It's worth noting the negative reactions people have to discovering the source of their existence.

Agreed completely about the unethical nature, and moreso. It it would be like looking at humans like dog breeds. In the best case it would be trying to enhance desirable characteristics in children (a dicey proposition, given the incredibly complicated ways in which DNA and proteins interact). In the worse case, it's "we need an intelligent species we don't need to treat like human."

Date: 2019-03-16 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If memory serves, I read a hardcover borrowed from the library. So that's a second data point.

Also, I seem to recall at least some of the questions did eventually get answered, although it required finishing the third book of the later trilogy that was in the same universe but did not originally appear related.

--
Nathan H.

Date: 2019-03-16 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I found the lack of answers more satisfying than the actual answers.

Date: 2019-03-17 10:07 am (UTC)
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
From: [personal profile] stoutfellow
Agreed. I found the second trilogy a major disappointment.

Earthclan?

Date: 2019-03-18 11:01 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Re hardcover from the library: Could you and James be thinking of Earthclan?

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?11815

--Raja

Date: 2019-03-16 09:01 pm (UTC)
jamoche: Prisoner's pennyfarthing bicycle: I am NaN (Default)
From: [personal profile] jamoche
"Those of us reading this when it first came out presumed that these would [be] answered in future volumes"

... well, that answers my question.

Date: 2019-03-17 04:37 am (UTC)
chrysostom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chrysostom
I'll be honest, the scab thing really bothers me.

Date: 2019-03-17 07:08 am (UTC)
estrevan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] estrevan
No mention of the sexual harassment subplot? It’s not a big element but it’s pretty gross in hindsight and a major reason I don’t re-read the book any more.

Date: 2019-03-17 08:44 pm (UTC)
chomiji: An image of a classic spiral galaxy (galaxy)
From: [personal profile] chomiji
Yeah, it is. Also, even when Brin thinks he's being egalitarian about his female characters, he still comes off as patronizing and smarmy. I haven't been able to re-read any of his stuff for years (perhaps even more than a decade) for this reason.

Date: 2019-03-17 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
There's a tendency for Brin's female characters to end up in highly embarrassing situations that comes up in several of the books, as I recall.

Date: 2019-03-22 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
1) Emphatically not a Brin fan. In fact, I probably won't read any of his stuff again. That's partly because of his RW behavior and partly because the last couple of books by him were just not very good.

2) Agree that Brin has issues related to gender, which are made worse by the fact that he sincerely thinks he's Truly Enlightened.

3) That said, the harassment subplot here is presented as (some) dolphins reverting to animal behavior. It's gross, but it makes sense in the context of the book, and I don't remember an impression of authorial lip-smacking.


Doug M.

Date: 2019-03-17 12:28 pm (UTC)
goljerp: Photo of the moon Callisto (Default)
From: [personal profile] goljerp
Minor nitpick: in addition to dolphins and humans, the crew has one (uplifted) chimp. Not that he's a token or anything. Um.

Date: 2019-03-17 04:13 pm (UTC)
jreynolds197: A dinosaur. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jreynolds197
Their token chimp is there in case they need advice on how to conduct guerilla war.

Date: 2019-03-17 04:32 pm (UTC)
carbonel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] carbonel
That pun actually gets used by the characters in The Uplift War.

Date: 2019-03-17 07:16 pm (UTC)
jreynolds197: A dinosaur. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jreynolds197
I should have known. When you can use the nationality / ethnicity (or in this case, species) of one of your colleagues as a 'clever' joke, you have privilege, and they do not.

Date: 2019-03-17 07:33 pm (UTC)
carbonel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] carbonel
It's a bit more nuanced than that, though of course it's the author setting it up.

The daughter of the Tymbrimi ambassador (and I'm amazed that I remember that species name after all these years) tells her companion (human, I think, but possibly chimpanzee) that she needs a word. She has a plan for staying hidden but fighting from the jungle, and she's sure there is an English (or System, or whatever) term for it. And her companion, who is a native speaker, figures out what word she means, and totally cracks up. I'm not sure the word is actually even mentioned.

Of the three Uplift books I've read, The Uplift War is my favorite, probably because it has a coherent plot that actually resolves. (I bailed early on the trilogy that followed, so I don't have a useful opinion on those.)

Date: 2019-03-17 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
In "The Uplift War" we learn that "chim" is the word used for male uplifted chimpanzees - and also for all chimpanzees. "Chimmie" is the word for specifically female chimpanzees.

Date: 2019-03-18 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That joke doesn't even make sense in context. Humans and ordinary chimpanzees are both equally closely related to gorillas. Genetically modified "chims" should be *less* closely related to gorillas than humans are. Basically the joke depends on the uplifters/patrons comparing their uplifted/clients to non-sapient animals.

Date: 2019-03-18 08:19 pm (UTC)
jbwoodford: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jbwoodford
IIRC, the humans are in the process of uplifting gorillas at that point, even though the Galactic Powers That Be have forbidden further uplift of Terrestrial species--the uplifted chimp and the daughter of the ambassador are planning to lead the gorillas into combat against the Eeeevil Aliens That Are Evil.

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