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The Dazzle of Day
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The Dazzle of Day

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  215 ratings  ·  61 reviews
A New York Times Notable Book

The Dazzle of Day is a brilliant and widely celebrated mixture of mainstream literary fiction and hard SF. Molly Gloss turns her attention to the frontiers of the future, when the people of our over-polluted planet Earth voyage out to the stars to settle new worlds, to survive unknown and unpredictable hardships, and to make new human homes. Sp
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 15th 1998 by Tor Books (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 518)
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Lara Messersmith-Glavin
I have a special thing for Molly Gloss. Her books "Jump Off Creek" and "Outside the Gates" were both startling finds for me in high school. She even visited my English class once - an unusual bit of luck for a girl stranded in the smallest of small-town isolations - 19 people in my class, 17 of them boys. My English teacher took her and me out to lunch and she showed Gloss some of my writing. I was mortified, but she, at the very least, pretended to be impressed, inscribed a book for me, and urg ...more
Wealhtheow
Mar 23, 2013 Wealhtheow rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of introspective barely-sf about aging, God, etc
A loose, slow-paced novel about a small colony of Quakers who have finally arrived at a habital planet after 175 years in transit. Slowly but surely, they reach a consensus about whether to colonize the planet or stay aboard the colony ship that is all they've known for generations.

This book really frustrated me. It was so unfocused, and although all sorts of exciting things happen (crashlanding on a planet! a desperate rescue mission! a plague!) they all happen in the peripheral vision of the c
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Russ

First chapter knocks my socks off every time I read it. Like this group of Quakers, haven't we all wanted to push away from Earth and start again?

Interesting exploration into decision making and reliance on technology even while trying to escape a planet overrun by its effects.

An all time personal fave.
Christine
A short novel about a future human colony living on a starship in outer space, looking for a new world to inhabit. If the sci-fi theme puts you off, think again on this one. The colony is a group of Quakers and the sense of community, human struggle, philosophical discussions and truthful relationships are what makes this book shine. Deeply insightful without stilted propoganda or unaccessible techno-talk, Ms. Gloss takes us to some of the darkest regions of the soul and gives us the courage to ...more
Jamie
In some undisclosed future year a colony of Quakers decide to abandon the ravaged, depleted Earth, outfitting an “interstellar ark” and heading out in search of a new planet to colonize. 150 years later the descendents of those emigrants have arrived at a habitable, but inhospitable, planet, and must decide whether to settle there or venture forth in their aging spaceship in hopes of greener pastures elsewhere.

This has a great setting, a great title, and it’s well written, and yet I was disappoi
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Jeffrey Moll
There is a specific and positive tone within the language of The Dazzle of Day which gives it a different feeling than those felt towards the first set of novels. Adaptation within the community is the focus of the novel while it can be questioned that Survival of the Fittest would be a stronger argument. The Quakers escape the tragedy of the world because they are ‘worldly’ people which desire a place to expand humanity and survive. It is fitting that Quakers leave the earth and understand the ...more
Matthew
An infuriating piece of science fiction, this novel while well written, is odd and at times hard to read. I enjoyed the way that the chapters were set up, with beginning and ending chapters that present the past and the future, and a storyline that follows specific characters, in a very specific order. But I generally disliked the lack of detail that is absent, in regards to the ships and the other common science fiction elements. While I can see why Gloss did this, changing the focus to the cha ...more
Dana Stabenow
A Quaker version of the "if this goes on" science fiction story, told in three parts. Earth is poisoning itself and a Quaker community in what was western America builds a self-contained space colony and sets sail for Epsilon Eridani. Part two hundred forty-seven years later, they arrive at a planet that is cold and unfriendly but habitable, and they have to decide to land or to continue on and look for something better, and if they do decide to stay, how to live there. Part three is a couple of ...more
Jan Priddy
This is one of my all-time favorite reads. And unlike some reviewers, I actually have read the novel. Several times. I came to it initially skeptical. I was new to Molly Gloss and thought that I was mostly done with SF at the time it came out, but the book is a page-turner as well as a thoughtful revelation of humanity.

This is a utopian novel, in my opinion, about people trying to make a working and humane society. The characters are imperfect, sometimes old or young or frightened or cruel or g
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Sharlene
Molly Gloss has written an intriguing, quiet book that speaks volumes in The Dazzle of Day. This is a very international book. Escaping from a dying Earth, Quakers from various countries (they speak Esperanto!) have found themselves a home on board the Dusty Miller, a self-sustaining but ageing spaceship. A crew has been sent out to explore a frozen planet as a possible future home. Bjoro is among the crew, and the planet isn’t something he’s prepared for:

“He had thought in the filmcards he had
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Justin Howe
Basically if I start a book one day and finish it the next, it's going to get five stars from me.

Sure, this book's plot is oblique and the major conflicts are mostly domestic. Yeah, there's the looming question of whether or not the colonists will leave the generation ship and settle on their new world, but what kept me reading was whether or not Juko patches up things with her ex-husband, and the social intricacies of life aboard the ship.

Fans of Ursula K. LeGuin will enjoy.

Christy
This book took some effort on my part. It took me days to get through the first half because the pacing was slow and I couldn't help but feel that nothing was happening (even though things were demonstrably happening).

The second half of the book is also slowly paced and has a distant, sort of meditative quality to it that takes you away from what is happening and into the characters' descriptions of what is happening and their thoughts and feelings about it. At times, this works well, with some
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Shara
So while I'm glad to have read this book, I can't say I'd recommend it to too many people. If you like literary SF, character-focused (but not character-driven), and richly described novels, you may find this to your liking. But this isn't something to be read by people expecting a fast-paced adventure with lots of shiny technology. Nor do I find this book to be a worthy successor to LeGuin. Certainly, there are LeGuin-esque moments here, but even LeGuin has more focused and stronger plotted nov ...more
Angus-Michel
This is a fantastic book. It's about a group of Esperanto-speaking Quakers (yes, I know, but listen) who board a generation starship (yes, I know, but bear with me) and set off for a possible earthlike planet. The bulk of the story takes place when they're nearly at their destination, and it's a fascinating exploration of what the journey has done to them, with the ingredients from when they left Earth (their ancestors were a mixed group of Quakers from all over the planet, including Japan, Scan ...more
Silvio Curtis
The idea of this book is that a spacecraft full of Esperanto-speaking Quakers has made a two-century interstellar voyage to escape ecological catastrophe on Earth. The planet they arrive at is barely habitable, and they face the hard decision of how, or whether, to settle there. This could make an interesting story, but instead the book focuses on how all the characters go through various kinds of grief, resulting in a gloomy but uneventful plot that didn't interest me much. Still, the writing i ...more
Freeman Ng
Science fiction fans might find this book hard going at first because it spends so much time on the daily lives of the Quaker farmers aboard a multigenerational colony ship. For long stretches, it doesn't feel like a sci-fi novel at all, but when the sci-fi elements appear, they are well worth the extensive groundwork. There is a trek across a harsh planetary landscape, for example, that makes other sci-fi descriptions of harsh environments seem either pedestrian or cartoonish by comparison. (No ...more
Sarah
This book is full of implausible situations that would probably drive some readers nuts, especially those who like their sci-fi to be as realistic as possible. It's about a future in which the earth is dying, and a Quaker community that responds by building a huge spaceship and sending it off to colonize a new planet. So, yes: the notion that Quakers, of all people, would muster the financial resources and organizational efficiency to launch a mission like this is pretty laughable. (My money wou ...more
Robert Wood
I finished this book in about a day. I highly recommend it. You can see the influence of the work of Merril on the text, as well as Le Guin, but it is one of the more unique texts that I have read in a while. The text explores the lives of a number of participants on a long distance Quaker colonizing mission. It simultaneously develops a complex political system while giving a sense of interiority to the characters of the novel that you often don't find in other science fictional texts. At times ...more
Elmwoodblues
I am not fearful of bilingualism: the language I grew up with, English, gains much of its strength from its openness and sponge-like absorption of the best of all the other tongues.
I love sci-fi, especially in-depth looks at the out-play of some posited possibility.
I value the 'hype' around a book in my beloved sci-fi genre, as it indicates to me an introduction to 'the uninitiated'.
So why did I very nearly dislike, actively, reading 'The Dazzle of Day'? Plodding movement, sluggish characte
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Glenn
Science fictions and westerns have a lot in common. Gloss is comfortable writing about the frontier!
Robert Day
I like this book for several reasons:
- I've never read a book about Quakers in space before, so it was a refreshing change
- The vocabulary challenged me because there are lots of words interspersed in the story that I've never seen before
- the style is quite literary and I don't see much of that in science fiction, so another refreshing change
- The book has (tangentially) introduced me to Esperanto
- There are some lovely snippets of Walt Whitman at the start of every chapter and although I'
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Michael Woods
Probably not for your average sf fan, but I enjoyed it and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys well-crafted prose normally ascribed only to "serious literature." Molly Glass takes an insightful look at the effects long-term, deep space travel has on the occupants of a space vessel traveling from Earth to a distant star. Once they have arrived, the travelers must then work out the technical and emotional challenges of transitioning from a space-faring community that has been in transit for m ...more
Margaret Sankey
Another of my diverse science fiction readings--this is a multi-generational story set among a group of multi-ethnic Quakers with a starship who are at the end of a long voyage to settle a new planet, and the society that has developed from their technological parameters and Quaker meeting structures over the 175 years they've spent en route. Like Quakers, this is spare, introspective and requires the reader to filling the the silences.
Sarah Sammis
The Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss is is a generation ship saga written in the style of A Canticle for Leibowitz. It has three distinct parts: planning to leave, a death en route, and life on the new planet.

Although there isn't a single character to carry the book through from start to finish, Gloss manages to still make it a very character driven book. Each section reads like a self contained novella, thematically tied together.

My favorite part was the first story. In it, an older woman is thinki
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Caroline
Beautifully written but hard to read. Not really science fiction other than it takes place on a “ship” escaping from a dead earth trying to find a new world. Story is about the interactions between the people whose whole lives have existed on this ship for over 200 years. Like her other ones better.
Grace
The Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss tells the story or a group of Quaker colonists venturing who leave a dying earth to begin again on a new world. I was drawn to this book by the idea of Quaker colonists and found this story to be a well written and thoughtful exploration of the ideas of family, home, relationships, and community. The author provides evocative descriptions that contrast the lush environment of the spaceship with the barren new world that the colonists find for themselves. The stor ...more
J.
When people talk about feminist science fiction, and how it should include the body, and focus on family and community connection, I had no idea how phenomenally boring that might be until I read this book.
Gloss only advances the plot tangentially, rumors and hearsay from other characters, never the one whose point of view is the narrative focus of the chapter. The sentences are long winded in a way that is stylish (if you're into Faulkner) and literary, but difficult to feel any excitement fro
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Jill
I had a hard time getting into this one, and all the esperanto thrown in didn't make it any easier. As soon as I got in the groove with one character, she'd switch and I'd have to really work to get back into the book. However, the last two chapters made it all worthwhile, especially the last chapter. It was so lyrical and evocative with the way she wove descriptions of the planet into the way it affected the culture and this character in particular. I loved that part.

I also got a kick out of le
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Michelle
A lovely novel. Ostensibly about the colonization of another world, it's really about the relationships between people, and focuses mainly on women of a certain age and how they relate to each other and to their spouses and children. Some good world-building and Quakerism thrown in as well.
Carol
Quakers in space! This is different from most space colonization stories: Instead of a technology of warp speeds, the science is directed toward creating a balanced, sustainable ecosystem in the artificial environment that is sailing over a period of several generations toward a new planet. And, instead of a militaristic style of hierarchy (like Capt Kirk), it is a diverse and egalitarian society run by committees, Quaker style. Although I didn't always accept the author's ideas of what it would ...more
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Molly Gloss is a fourth-generation Oregonian who lives in Portland.

Her novel The Jump-Off Creek was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction, and a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award. In 1996 Molly was a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award.

The Dazzle of Day was named a New York Times Notable Book and was awarded the PEN Center We
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More about Molly Gloss...
The Hearts of Horses The Jump-Off Creek Wild Life Falling from Horses: A Novel Outside the Gates

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