I don't know the title but I have the plot, and it is DEFINITELY not Startide Rising. It is a really old book pre-90s for sure, maybe even older.

The humans have created genetically engineered dolphins to fight off an alien threat, but this book takes place after that, after a while the humans and the super intelligent dolphins have a rift forming between them because there has been very little contact between the two species for years.

It is a stand alone book and not part of series. If you know anything then thank you for your answer.

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    What an interesting first question. If there are any other details you can think of, add them in an edit. I personally haven't a clue what book you're asking about, but the more information you can find, the more likely it is someone else here will recognise it. Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 7:03
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    Only books I know with a theme like that is the Uplift series by David Brin. Maybe he wrote a standalone book later in the same universe that deals with the scenario you have in mind? Might be worth looking up.
    – jwenting
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 7:48
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    “It is a really old book pre-90s for sure” — oi, manners young ’un. Quite a few of us are pre-90s as well. Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 11:46

2 Answers 2


Would it be "Dolphins of Pern" by Anne McCaffrey?


It's been a while since I read it, but I think it fits most of your memories. The dolphins can talk to humans using human speech, though I'm not sure if this was because they had been genetically modified, or because the dolphins were very intelligent. I think I remember the dolphins could safely eat Thread that had drowned, so that would cover an alien threat. They have been separated for long enough for knowledge of the dolphins to disappear from human memory and records, because humans left the Southern Continent. The dolphins are intelligent enough to tell when humans are sick or pregnant, and can help them using sonar. It was published in 1993 and is part of the Pern series.


Could it be Alan Dean Foster's Cachalot? publication date 1980.

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