Setting Saturday: Uplift

David Brin is a pretty fascinating sci-fi author, and chances are that you've never heard of him. He wrote The Postman, which Kevin Costner adapted into a terrible film (read the book, it's a bleak post-apocalyptic story about people needing symbols). Aside from that brief fling with Hollywood, Brin's stories are just plain good. For a very prophetic novel, go read Earth and remind yourself with every page that it was written in 1989.

Brin, for his seeming lack of commercial success, did write about a universe fascinating enough to warrant an RPG treatment. It's called the Uplift Universe and it's really hard to explain. Imagine a universe where all sapient life was genetically engineered by another sapient species, all the way back to the mythic Progenitors, who bootstrapped themselves to sapience. That's how it works: Patron races bring client races into sentience.

Except. Humans don't have a patron race, they're wolflings, and they catch a lot of flak for it. Humans are also one of the few species willing to innovate and discover technology on their own instead of relying on the hand-me-down solutions and technologies of the Galactic Library. Oh yeah, before contact with Galactic society, humans were already engineering dolphins, chimps, gorillas, and dogs for sapience. So humans, in the Uplift Universe, make a massive splash in the stodgy and conservative Galactic society. Naturally, this breeds a lot of enemies.

Now add to this that humans end up uncovering some really ancient secrets that the religious fanatics among Galactic society really don't like. It means WAR.

Yeah, it's that kind of millennium for the good old human race.
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