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Literature / Highsong

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A science-fiction novelette that’s basically a love letter to Ecco the Dolphin and seaQuest DSV, with elements of Bug War thrown in.

Sia is a Risen, a genetically engineered, sapient (and psychic) dolphin created by Ninth Democracy. Her best friend is a human called Harp, the result of an illegal experiment that attempted to make a psychic human. Together they face the alien threat of the Viciss, an alien race that the Risen were created to fight.

Currently two books, with at least two more planned in the series.

Book One can be purchased here.

Book Two can be purchased here .


Examples of tropes:

  • Action Girl: Sia and Penna. Also Harp's adoptive mother, Cait Hess, when she discovers Harp as a child in a flashback.
  • After the End: Earth exists somewhere in the Ninth Democracy’s distant past, and previous Democracies were nearly wiped out by the Viciss before the creation of the Risen.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: Sort of. Levi the humpback whale has navigation equipment embedded in his skin.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Of a minor sort. Harp needs phenothiazine (a real-life antipsychotic) compounds distributed by his halo to dampen his psychic abilities.
  • Badass Normal: Zei in the second book, once he becomes a pilot and dons a pulse harness
  • Blessed with Suck: Harp is a blind polymath with eidetic memory, prone to uncontrollable psychic fits.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Sia is no exception. Trig's Highsong manifests as trigonometric and algorithmic sequences, which confuse the hell out of her. Harp, on the other hand, is delighted.
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  • Good Is Not Nice: The human militia in the second book don't treat Harp with kid gloves.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Sia gets quite a few with other cetacean species, but her friendship with her human companion Harp is the backbone of the series and its conflict.
  • Machine Worship: One of the Ptaal Risen cults has this attitude. The other hates it.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: The Risen, who were genetically engineered as Attack Animal}}s against the Viciss.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Kaimana militia, composed of the farmers and laborers left behind when the Ninth Democracy abandoned the planet.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The science ship Trellia, and the socorder and rebreather harnesses are a nod to seaQuest DSV. Also, Levi the humpback whale sings Longfellow and Poe.
    • The Azure and Ring cults may very well be a reference to the Crimson, Circle, and Mover sects from Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future. The Azure have the attitudes and hatred of humanity that the Movers did, while the Ring work the machines and revere humans the way the Circles did (one Ring dolphin's line clearly recalls the "circle of pain" quote from a Circle dolphin), and both have some influence from the Crimson.


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