Join the Orbit Newsletter

Sign up for updates about
your favorite authors, books, and more


Orbit Books

Welcome To Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE: A NOVEL Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

The first original novel set in the town of Night Vale.
Listen to a sample


The exhilarating fifth novel in James S. A. Corey’s New York Times bestselling Expanse space opera series.
Read a sample.

Talking whales? And David Brin on…MTV? Something’s up…

Is it just me, or is science fiction starting to get more of the attention it deserves? It’s great to see that even MTV are getting in on the action – by filming David Brin at WorldCon 2012.

The topic was: why haven’t more species on Earth naturally self-uplifted to full sentience? With dolphins and apes sharing a similar intelligence level, and with parrots, crows, sea lions . . . and even prairie dogs being not too far behind, is there some kind of sentience “glass ceiling” that prevents bright creatures breaking through? And, if so, how did humanity manage to break through it and progress so far?

Get More:
MTV Shows


The questions David Brin is asking are timely. Because a recent discovery suggests that perhaps certain animals have the ability to push their limits further…

Research shows that a beluga whale called NOC made vocalisations that sounded extremely close to human speech. What’s more – this wasn’t exactly easy for the whale involved. As an article explains further, it had to adjust its own vocal mechanics and inflate part of its blowhole (through which it usually breathes) to make these sounds.

Is this an example of a whale trying to reach out to us and meet us halfway? Could this open up possibilities for communication between different species?

And then that raises an even bigger question. Should it now be our duty and obligation to offer other “pre-sapient” species a helping hand? We do, after all, now seem to have the tools of science to be able to do so – as shown by this article on making monkeys smarter using brain implants. Or would that just be the ultimate form of arrogance?

These are among the questions being raised not just in the interview above, but also in David Brin’s classic and award-winning Uplift books, which are soon to be re-released in the omnibus editions UPLIFT (UK | ANZ) and EXILES (UK | ANZ). And he also portrays the beginnings of the uplift process in his latest book: EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ), released as a paperback this November.

EXISTENCE by the award-winning author of the Uplift novels, David Brin, a science fiction book featuring the beginnings of genetic uplift of animals by human beingsUPLIFT: an omnibus edition of the three science fiction novels SUNDIVER, STARTIDE RISING and THE UPLIFT WAR, by the award-winning author David Brin, and featuring genetic uplift of animals by human beingsEXILES: an omnibus edition of the three science fiction novels BRIGHTNESS REFF, INFINITY'S SHORE and HEAVEN'S REACH, by the award-winning author David Brin, and featuring genetic uplift of animals by human beings


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

RSS Feeds
Orbit on the Web

Please note that though we make every effort to ensure the suitability of links, Orbit cannot be held responsible for the content of external sites.