Thursday, April 03, 2008

David Brin on Uplifting Animals

French site ActuSF interviewed David Brin, and he talked a bit about increasing the intelligence of non-human animals:
ActuSF : You made also animals endowed with "conscience" as dolphins and chimpanzees. Do you think that one day science will go that far ?
David Brin : Yes, I do. But will we make them slaves, as shown by Pierre Boule or HG Wells ? Or will we try to make them citizens, as in my Elevation Universe ? First we must be the ones with a conscience !

ActuSF : How not to make too much anthropomorphism with these animals or ET ?
David Brin : You must study the research and talk to experts who work with these animals, in order to make sure this "essence" remains !

ActuSF : Is it possible to make them behave in a manner truly different and without taking humans as a point of comparison ?
David Brin : You can never do this perfectly, so I have my characters discuss this ! Some of them worry : "Am I becoming too human ?"
While he doesn't have a new novel set in the Uplift Universe currently in the works, he points interested readers to his 1998 novella "Temptation", which you can read for free at As he describes the story:
Completists eager for more in the Uplift Universe may be interested in reading the novella "Temptation," which appeared in Robert Silverberg's anthology Far Horizons: All New Tales from the Greatest Worlds of Science Fiction. This work features the adventures of a female dolphin on the faraway world, Jijo, who must escape from two of her own kind and then penetrate a deeply dangerous ancient secret. This novella will be a core element of the next Uplift novel... when I get around to it (!)... and answers several unresolved riddles left over from Heaven's Reach.
His most recent novel is Sky Horizon, the first in a series of "Colony High" novels.

(via SF Signal; Image: "Dolphin Encounter" by Just Taken Pics on flickr)
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