No I did not go and see some old human friends no. I revisited my old friends called books. Specific books with specific friends.
At various times in my life I have been a ferocious reader. I would read anything that came onto my path and learned along the way where and what I like in books. As reading is such an intrinsic part of my current work, and life is busy, full with other enjoyable things my appetite for books has taken a knock back, but is revisited on a regular basis.
In my twenties I discovered David Brin. He is a scientist himself and he has a great style of writing I think. It is science fiction with a human factor and to boot he is not afraid to write about strong woman. What is not to love. The books I loved the most are the uplift trilogies. ( a list with links can be found at the end of the post) Maybe because they remind me a little of the Star Trek series in that humanity in the future will get it right and will become more appreciative to what they have instead of destroying the joint with war etc.
I decided to re-read it as at work I was in a period with lots of (train)travel, which allows for great reading time. I did read a large chunck when delayed from Lithuania. I always prefer to read at least an hour at a time, it allows me to fully imerse myself in the story. To be in it so to speak. And that is something, because of the complexities, that is needed in these books.
I also liked it because it relates to struggle, to meeting new sapient beings and being accepted or not. It shows variety, skill and wonder. It shows the need of curiosity and finding a path. Yet it never lets go of the SF aspect. It is still space, technological and sometimes plain weird (which I love).
Why revisiting them then? Well the uplift universe kept running through my mind and I kept thinking that by being so focussed on the outcome that I had missed some of the good things. I remembered enjoying parts so much and wanted to see if I still did. And I did. The funny thing was that the order of things in my mind was quite different from my memory, but it was all there. And as I suspected there was more than what I remembered.
My imagination running wild the first time, was even running wilder this time. I saw more of the layers that are intertwined. I saw more clearly the beauty of trinary (Dolphin language) and the underlying need to find and follow your own path. It has humour, it has suspense and it has love. Strong characters often only loosely connected, but connected as a network none the less. My favourite characters; it is a struggle but I adore Athaclena as she grows up in the third book and Gillian who performs an awesome role she never wanted. Kaa too has a lovelyness and joy about him that makes me want to befriend him.
To appreciate these books there is no need to be an SF fan (but it does help). The psychology can be translated fairly easily to this one world. The patterns are recognisable. The books are worth a read (or two) and I may end up reading them again as David Brin has said he may revisit the uplift universe in the future. If he does I am going with him on that visit and that is a promise.
There are two short stories on this universe as well. They can be found on his website