In all the universe, no species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of a patron — except perhaps mankind. Did some mysterious race begin the uplift of humanity aeons ago? And if so, why did they abandon us?
Under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in our history, a journey into the boiling inferno of the sun... to seek our destiny in the cosmic order of life.
An absolutely crackling sci-fi story. One of the rare novels which has the aliens being alien. No human-sized and -shaped creatures acting as thin allegories for human races.
It's always amusing seeing what writers from the 1980s predicted the future would look like. We get laser beams, retinal scans, and holography. But people don't have mobile phones and rely on landlines for calls! Important documents are printed off, and books have to be shipped across the solar system. They are charming anachronisms, and more than offset by the progressive gender politics and bonkers plot.
You may be familiar with this meme:
nasa employee: oh hey u guys are back early
astronaut: moon's haunted
nasa employee: what?
astronaut: *loading a pistol and getting back on the rocket-ship* moon's haunted
— dustin Couch (@Dustinkcouch) October 30, 2018
In Sundiver, one of the characters literally says "The Sun is haunted." And so, off on a merry jape we go! Spaceships! Aliens! Intrigue! Laser battles! Constitutional politics about library archiving practices and the rights of indentured servants. There is a lot going on, but it's written in an episodic way to keep everything zipping along.
There's half a dozen books in the series, and I'm going to enjoy spacing them out.
I think you're thinking of David Brin's uplift series?
— David R. MacIver (@DRMacIver) April 28, 2021