A Door Into Ocean (Elysium Cycle)
I want to preface the rest of my review by saying I am deeply feminist. In fact, feminist science fiction is my most beloved literary subgenre. I am well-versed in the canon of women SF/fantasy writers. And yet... I cannot like this book. I wanted to, and instead ended up throwing it across the room at several points in my reading. The plot is offensively gender-reductive. Slonczewski equates femininity with every positive attribute possessed by any of...more
Sharers are the only inhabiter's on the Ocean Moon planet or Shora. There are the lesser sharers like clickflies and starworms...more
Sexual content: Significant
Ace/Genderqueer characters: Yes (Human and Alien)
Rating: PG-13/R for violence, torture, brief sexuality and rape
Writing style: 3/5
Likable characters: 4/5
Travelers from the ocean moon of Shora, Sharers Merwen and Usha must judge whether the Valans who have invaded their home are human in any sense they can know. Spinel the stonecutter's son follows them back, a "malefreak" among an all-female species. In the midst of the rising...more
What follows isn't really a spoiler, but it is part of the story: When I first read DOOR INTO OCEAN in college, my classmates were saying "A whole planetful of purple lesbians? Really." But the purple color of the Shorans' skins derives from a microbe living in their bodies that s...more
Don't get me wrong the book had it's merits. Maybe some allusion to the Vietnam war. An interesting take on a galactic empire. Some glances of intergalactic intrigue and espionage. An inter...more
The setup is good: a planet of women who live in a tribal egalitarian society, with life sciences way beyond our own, is threatened by an imperialist power that wants to exploit their planet's resources (and is threatened by their difference).
But that's where it ends. The Sharers are really hung up on teaching non-violence to their would-be conquerers. The lack of imagination here is kind of offensive, not t...more
Joan Slonczewski's "A Door Into Ocean" is definitely a masterpiece of science fiction literature, comparable to the best ever written from the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin, Samuel Delany, and Bruce Sterling, to name but a few of our finest American writers of science fiction. In this astonishing, thoughtful novel published originally back in 1986, whose universal themes of environmental awareness and relationships between...more
I will give the author credit for trying to make the fish ladies complex and not gratuitously superior. The personal (which is political, natch) stories are d...more
The plot is a well worn one -- anarchist pacifist society meets patriarchal militarist society. The world building is excellent, at least the parts that are set on the moon Shora. The world of the patriarchal society is a little less detailed. Most of the characters are complex,...more
"A Door into Ocean" is the novel upon which the author's reputation as an important SF writer principally rests. A ground-breaking work both of feminist SF and of world-building hard SF, it concerns the Sharers of Shora, a nation of women on a distant moon in the far future who are pacifists, highly advanced in biological sciences, and who reproduce by parthenogenesis--there are no males--and tells of the conflicts that erupt when a neighboring civilization decides to develop their ocean
Like most novels using this theme, *A Door into Ocean* focuses on the contrast between two cultures, with representative characters engaged in the process of discovery and conflict. The Sharers of Shora are a woman-only culture that have engineered their genes, environment, and culture into...more
The author's bio says that she is a biology professor, and this is pretty obvious from the writing. Anything to do with science is really well thought out, and some of the concepts are very interesting. However, the plot and more importantly the dialogue...more
Perhaps, this is not as "critical" as a review shou...more
The world Ms. Slonczewski created was...more
In the end I did love the way everything was woven into the story. It reminded me of some of the books by Ursula LeGruin, where the world she describes is so much different from ours it takes a while to establish the world and its surroundings. It reminded a bit of "The Disposs...more
femminismo di maniera a parte, questo libro -pur non essendo IL capolavoro che ti cambia la vita- lascia comunque qualcosa.
un'ecologia che per molti versi non ha nulla da invidiare a quella di Dune, per esempio. o degli spunti interessanti sul linguaggio e l'interculturalita'.
le "spartienti", l'"ammutolimento", l'"autonome" sono concetti che rimangono dentro e, a distanza d...more
Pros: Excellent concept, great science, interesting aliens (that call themselves human; I liked that it reinforced the idea that despite differences we are all human), and a good approach to a non-violent society. Lots of beautiful world building.
Cons: The characters were very flat and unengaging, there...more