EarthClan is the name of Humanity and their Clients (an animal or plant species being uplifted) in David Brin's Uplift Universe. They are named for their combined homeworld Earth.

Humans and ClientsEdit

In the books Humanity is an insignificant race, having no known Patrons (a species responsible for uplifting them) and having mostly primitive technology. Humans have two (confirmed) clients and are referred to formally as "a-Human ul-Chimpanzee ul-Dolphin". However in being Patrons, Humanity has unknowingly protected itself from being forced into becoming a client of an older race.


Chimpanzees are the first clients of Humans and are the most "complete" in that they are closest to full sapiency. They are Stage 2 clients but almost became Stage 3 when the Gubru invaded Garth.[1] Neo-Chimpanzees like music, specifically percussion. They are embarrassed by situations which remind them of their earlier status as "smart animals", especially about nudity, tree-climbing and above all losing their ability to speak when under stress.[2]


Dolphins are the second clients of Humans, and are some of the best pilots in the Five Galaxies because their aquatic origins give them excellent instincts for 3-D maneuvers. They are also important in planetary warfare because most Galactics are unaware of the strategic potential of the sea. Neo-Dolphins are Stage-2 Clients, and recently got their own Starship, Streaker (Streaker's discoveries later caused controversy among the oxygen-breathing sapient species). Neo-Dolphins are at a relatively early stage of Uplift, and this has several consequences which are important in the plots of the stories: the optimal genetic mix for Neo-Dolphins has not yet been determined, and some of the newer genetic mixes become dangerous to colleagues when under stress; there are significant differences between older and younger Neo-Dolphins, in particular older individuals find it more difficult to speak; and they have to struggle against tendencies to slip into atavistic behaviours such as the Whale Dream and rescue fever (which leads them to beach themselves).[2]


Neo-Gorillas were at a very early stage of Uplift when the Galactic Uplift Institute ordered humans to halt the process, because they were concerned that humans could not manage so many Uplift projects at the same time. Some humans secretly continued the project on the small colony-world of Garth. Neo-Gorillas have some understanding that they are being uplifted, and chose the Thennanin as their "patrons" at a ceremony on Garth. This is politically very important, as the conservative and conscientious Thennanin are a major military power and the Neo-Gorillas' choice converts the Thennanin from enemies to allies of EarthClan. After adoption by the Thennanin, the Neo-Gorillas are termed "Garthlings."[1]


Dogs have been mentioned as a possible client of Humanity in several books, but their final adoption has not been confirmed.


Kiqui are a pre-sapient amphibious species first discovered on the planet Kithrup by Streaker’s crew, who persuade them to be uplifted as clients of the humans. If this goes ahead, the Kiqui would become humanity's first extraterrestrial clients.


Unlike most other races, Humans and their clients regard creativity as very desirable - most other races take the view that everything useful has already been discovered, so it's more efficient to search the Galactic Library for whatever they need. EarthClan are also considered odd for using archaic technology in addition to the more advanced Galactic technology, or sometimes preferring primitive technologies that they understand to more advanced ones that they don't yet understand.[2]

Social behaviorEdit

Most Galactic "clans" are rather feudal and sometimes exploitative, and place strong emphasis on etiquette and especially on deferential behavior by members of "subordinate" races towards members of "superior" races. Hence they often regard the Earthclan's informal speech as insulting and the Human's egalitarian treatment of their Neo-Chimp and Neo-Dolphin clients as foolish.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brin, D. (1987). The Uplift War. Phantasia Press. ISBN 0-932-09644-1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Brin, D. (1983). Startide Rising. Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-23495-1
The Uplift series
Sundiver (1980) | Startide Rising (1983) | The Uplift War (1987)
Uplift Storm trilogy
Brightness Reef (1995) | Infinity's Shore (1996) | Heaven's Reach (1998)
Associated works
GURPS Uplift (1990) | Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide to David Brin's Uplift Universe (2002) | GURPS Uplift, Second Edition (2003)