Glory Season Library Binding – Oct 1999
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|Library Binding, Oct 1999||
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From Publishers Weekly
Moving into territory heretofore eschewed by male SF writers, Brin ( Earth ) here presents a world settled by radical feminist separatists, where through genetic engineering most reproduction occurs parthenogenetically, yielding clones of the mothers. On Stratos, skill-specialized clone clans dominate society. Genetic engineering could not entirely eliminate the male role, however, and Stratos's founders were aware of the value of "variant," or sexually reproduced, offspring to generate new combinations of genes, skills and attributes. The heroine, Maia, is such a "var," and the novel traces her traditional banishment (with her twin, Leie) from the clan to seek out her own niche (vars dream of being successful enough to found their own clone clan). Maia's plans soon fall apart; separated from her sister and believing her dead, she runs afoul of smugglers and ends up allied with the strange male Visitor, an emissary from the vast Human Phylum of worlds, whose arrival has triggered political struggles all over Stratos. Should they renew communication with the other human worlds, or would that contaminate their social and biological experiment? Brin's handling of this material is cool and rational. While he criticizes some of the weaknesses of Stratos life, he also makes as good a case for its viability and benefits as might any feminist. An inconclusive ending and some slow pacing mar this otherwise provocative and intriguing new perspective on gender issues.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
As a "var," or uncloned female, Maia faces a life on the fringe of the stratified, female clone-based society of Stratos unless she can earn the right to found a dynasty of clones or find some way to change the static world in which she lives. Brin's canny sensitivity about the complexities of human nature transcends gender barriers in a novel that is not so much about "women's issues" as the necessity for change and variability. As in Earth ( LJ 4/15/90), the author demonstrates his ability to empathize with all his characters. This complex and gripping tale belongs in most libraries.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
GLORY SEASON is both a tale of high adventure and a thoughtful, mature exploration of where technology and idealism can take us. I'm highly critical of writing style -- especially in SF/Fantasy novels, which can be quite poor -- but the writing here is so smoothly and effortlessly crafted that I never had to think about it. Through 764 pages, it kept me glued to my seat and begging for more, trying to unravel the mysteries before Maia (the smart, stubborn heroine of the tale) could get captured or knocked out or thrown overboard again, and wake up to another piece of the puzzle.
This is good stuff: immediate escape reading that leaves you with something to think about. It's not a combination I come across often, or at least not put together so well with seamless writing, fascinating plot, and a strong human interest. Read some good SciFi for a change.
Science fiction is not about the future, but about the present, and Brin likes to push buttons on 20th century issues with his books. in Earth, he tackled environmentalism, in the Uplift books, he allegorically ponders racial diversity and tolerance. In Glory Season, Brin has written a dependable, if heavy-handed adventure, imagining a future feminism in a matriarchal world of mostly cloned women, but there's a lot more going on here than some tables-are-turned male-bashing.
Taking a cue from noir detective novels, the author has Maia, a good-hearted and bright young woman who finds herself at the lowest rungs of society, gradually unraveling a twisted plot, complete with double-crosses, unlikely allies, and even an exotic "homme fatale"(?) from outer space. And what private dick story would be complete without the protagonist getting conked on the head repeatedly?
Brin's prose is serviceable, and he loves to pepper the action with extrapolated future words, corrupted from familiar English in a way that's just too precious sometimes. Also bordering on too-cute is the unquenchable optimism. Maia takes on loss, grief, kidnapping, beating, betrayal, torture, imprisonment, shipwreck, starvation, prostitutes, drug dealers, guerillas, pirates, all with Dickensian pluck and resourcefulness.
Despite the silliness, though, Glory Season really has some Points to Ponder, some hardcore anthropological and evolutionary speculation, and lots of geeky humor (for example, in every Brin book, at least one character has to put on a fake Scottish accent at least once, no matter how unlikely, and Glory Season is no exception). Fans of traditional sci-fi adventure will appreciate it.
This is an intriguing and intelligent book set in a world where women dominate life in great families of female clones and where men are the lesser species. Both species are ruled by sexual urges, but at different times of the year, Summer for men and Winter for women. The result is a stagnant population level.
We follow two sisters who are of low status because they are Summer babies, not clones, who travel together to pretend they are clone sisters. They run into a man from "normal" humankind who has come to bring this planet back into the human collective and is imprisoned by the great families who do not want their stable society disrupted.
This is a great adventure story told against the backdrop of a rich history on a planet that is moving slowly away from technology in a reverse development towards an agrarian existence. The great families of clone sisters are the equivalent of medieval feudal families who kept Europe in stagnant thrall for so long in the middle ages.
This book is in some ways like 1984 by George Orwell, where the great families take the role of big brother to keep things stable, but in a feminine, non agressive way.
The book is littered with sub plots, each rich and full in its own way, a drug running scam, a war with an extraterrestrial species, the story of setting up the planet and the genetic enhancements required to adapt humans to it, the travels of the sisters and the game of life played by the sailors.
The worst thing about this book is that it ever ends. This is a world you want to stay in because it is so full and interesting.
This book has some lovely bits in it. For example, the part about Maia finding the truth of her and Leie's names was such a cruel blow and was incredibly well-written as well as furthering the book in an important manner by allowing Maia to begin cutting the strings binding her to the childish dream she and Leie shared.
I felt cheated with the ending, however, and wondered if he simply needed to finish it in a hurry. That ending seemed to pat, too easy, dealing death too conveniently, to be the result of careful planning and strategy. The person who died didn't have to, shouldn't have. The conflict and tension between that character and Maia should have been worked out another way.
_Glory Season_ left me wishing and hoping i'll stumble across another of Brin's books, unread and unknown to me, soon. Maybe he's finishing another one now ..
Most recent customer reviews
It's a very well written book, and the main character and her society is believable. Aside from the ending, the only real problem I had with it was that none of the other... Read morePublished on May 30 2003 by Anne with an e
This is a book that I adored until the final let's call it 20 pages or so. The culture of this matriarchal world was painted in an intelligent way without resorting to some form of... Read morePublished on March 24 2003 by Christian Williams
This is really more of an adventure book in a Sci-Fi setting. Lots of action, some parts dragged a little bit, but overall it's an enjoyable read. Read morePublished on March 6 2002 by R. Cusolito
he's got a great ability to play with scientific concepts in an understandable way. Loved the inclusion of the game of Life - not your typical Parker Bros. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2001 by N. Austin
This is not up to Brin's usual (excellent) standard. Very, very tediuos and gets boring fast. Hands off and go read "Earth" or "Infinity's Shore" instead.Published on May 31 2001
Glory Season is perhaps David Brin's best work to date (Nov-2000). Lyrical, principled, thought provoking, and even well-plotted, Brin--always a political author--obliquely... Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2000 by Amazon Customer
Brin is an excellent author but I think he missed it on this one. Glory Season held my attention well enough that I was able to stick with it until the lame ending but I'll be more... Read morePublished on April 21 2000 by Kent Kelley
A REALLY peculiar idea: Brin postulates a pro-feminist world which has found a middle way between rule of women and rule of men. Read morePublished on March 29 2000 by Wizard's Apprentice