David Brin’s Uplift Universe is a space opera spanning 5 galaxies and billions of years of history. The story David tells is one of political and personal intrigues set in the near future. The epic centers on humans and their two Uplifted client races: neo-Chimps and neo-Dolphins. Upon contact with the galactic civilizations the human clan and their clients are a source of trouble from the start…
It’s been 12 million years since the last “wolfling” race was found… that’s a race that has developed on its own. The universe into which humans have been flung is full of alien races – all with one underlying goal: Uplift. Billions of years ago the Progenetors established a social rule whereby galactic status is measured by how many new races (Client races) a clan race has Uplifted from pre-sapient to full sapient status. A clan’s prestige grows with the number of clients it uplifts; especially as these clients become Patron races of their own. There is also the benefit of having the Uplifted client race pay servitude to their Patron clan for 100,000 years or more – and not all patron races play fair!
Humans are a problem – not only do they have no patrons but just before contact they began to Uplift two client races, Chimps and Dolphins, without approval. This has thrust them into the middle of Galactic society and angered many of the more powerful Patron races who think that they should take Earth under their own Patronage – or destroy them.
The Uplift Universe is rich in history, alien species and technologies. It is equally rich in political intrigues, struggles and warfare. You can draw inspiration from any part of the Uplift Universe. The challenge is to focus on human interactions with aliens. This includes humans, neo-Chimps, neo-dolphins and Garthlings (neo-Gorillas).
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