Just finished reading David Brin's "Brightness Reef." Still not sure what the title was about. Kind of hate trilogies.
Brightness Reef began my planting charges in my cerebellum, detonating them from a distance of astral units, and scattering my brain like so much chaff on the wind. Brin's sense of what-science-fiction-can-be is enormous and amazingly interesting.
It appears, however, he lacks the ability to give me the satisfaction I desire when it comes to stories-that-have-beginnings-middles-and-endings--very possibly on account of the fact that Brightness Reef is the first of a trilogy.
Brightness Reef is like the ladies at the grocery story who give you a little cup of wine, or a little mini-quiche, or a small piece of cake. You have to buy the rest of the product to get... satisfaction. On one of the last pages of the book, one of the main characters thinks: "We've been through so much, only to come right back where we started." My thoughts exactly. Brightness Reef is not a story; it is David Brin explaining to you that he has a great idea for a story.
Still, I'm not turned off of Brin-as-author. I'll never read the rest of the Uplift Trilogy, because I can't be bothered to invest time in the second tome which only might be worth reading (i.e., be-in-possession-of-a-conclusion). Nonetheless, sooner or later I hope to read one of his self-contained tales.
So, my friends, read some David Brin. Just don't... read Brightness Reef.
P.S. Which reminds me, how is the SF community so perverted that this book won both Nebula and Hugo awards? 1995 must have been a bad year...