Astrophysicist David Brin, whose voice is one of the most engrossing
in the speculative fiction genre, finishes off his second Uplift trilogy
with Heaven's Reach. Both Uplift trilogies have been odes
to human "Wolfling" ingenuity (the first trilogy won him both Nebula and
Hugo awards), and Brin caps the
series in a manner fitting the Uplift spirit.
The planet Jijo, in a system declared fallow (off limits to colonization)
by the Galactic Migration Institute, has in fact long been home to pockets
of six fugitive races. These widely different groups of sapients, including
humans, have developed a workable "sooner" colony where they live and work
hiding from the denizens of the rest of the known universe. Their existence
on Jijo is primitive and peaceful; their colonist ancestors destroyed
their technologies by sinking them in the recycling waters of the Great
Midden. Hidden and complacent, they've lived for centuries on this
little backwater planet, undisturbed.
Undisturbed, that is, until the Earthship Streaker, crewed
almost entirely by Uplifted dolphins and on the run with a cargo of ancient
artifacts that could trigger a multi-galactic war, lands on Jijo. The
upstart sapients of Earth, extremely junior members of the Civilization
of the Five Galaxies, have inadvertently stumbled across the secrets of
the Progenitors, a near-mythical race some believe to be the first bringers
of sapience to the galaxies. Now, fleeing other races who would use these
secrets to achieve singular dominance in the Five Galaxies, humans and their
own client races of neo-chimpanzees and neo-dolphins have stumbled across
the small multi-racial population of Jijo, a population that is criminal
in the minds of the Migration Institute.
Jijo becomes the field of battle for Streaker's final,
desperate maneuvers against Earth's enemies and against more ancient
enemies of the Six Races on Jijo. As a prophesied apocalypse begins its
explosive, deadly cycle, the only things standing between Earth's and
Jijo's annihilations are the upstarts' Wolfling abilities to think outside of the
Civilization's box and the secrets carried along with a small band of
Jijoan sooners along for the ride, adolescent adventurers from Six Races
whose presence will make all the difference in the universe to Jijo, the
Streaker, and Earth.
David Brin takes his readers on another breathless and harrowing ride
through the Uplift universe. A brilliant author whose science and style
are perfect matches, both believable and gripping, Brin has written
masterfully yet again of races and individuals, histories and prophecies
that will give readers suspenseful chills and send desperate hearts racing.