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Glory Season

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  2,838 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Hugo and Nebula award-winning author David Brin is one of the most eloquent, imaginative voices in science fiction.Now he returns with a new novel rich in texture, universal in theme, monumental in scope--pushing the genre to new heights.

Young Maia is fast approaching a turning point in her life.As a half-caste var, she must leave the clan home of her privileged half siste
Paperback, 772 pages
Published May 1st 1994 by Spectra (first published 1993)
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Jul 11, 2012 Zach rated it it was ok
Zach stood at his desk to write his review of David Brin's interminably boring science fiction novel, Glory Season.

I'd better start off by mentioning how tedious it was to listen to the main character's thoughts in every other paragraph, Zach thought to himself. That way, the people reading this review will understand my frustration with having the author spell out every tiny nuance of the main character's motivation in tiresome detail, as if internal monologue were the only way to accomplish th
Ben Babcock
Perhaps the best science fiction book I've ever read that so elegantly reverses our contemporary notions of gender. Not so great as a novel, unfortunately.

In Glory Season, David Brin depicts a world with an intensely matriarchal society. The majority of the population of Stratos consists of female clones, "sparked" in winter by male sperm, but genetic copies of their mothers. Men and "variant" girls are born in summer. Designed this way the founders of Stratos, this society is supposedly pastora
Aug 26, 2010 Tim rated it liked it
Interesting. This is a weird brand of fiction that explores an idea far better than it tells a story. Unfortunately, that doesn't become clear until about 2/3 of the way in.

Glory Season makes for a good anthropological/sociological what-if book, and uses a coming-of-age story as the narrative adhesive.

This book is heavily flawed in terms of what it is trying to do as a book, but if you can bring yourself to appreciate the underlying ambition, it ends up a pretty decent read.
This is just the sort of SF I like - intelligent without being too difficult to follow, great plots without being cheesy and some excellent characters.

The story follows Maia, a 'variant' born by fatherhood, rather than the cloning that is the norm on planet Stratos. When forced to leave her childhood home, with her twin, Leie, they plan on becoming rich, finding their niche and creating a clone family of their own. But when tradegy strikes, Maia finds herself drawn into a political and radical c
Oct 13, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When I read this book in Australia I remember it being really good. So I've bought it and intend to re-read it.

And Fred Gambino is SO NICE!!! he sent me hi res scans of both covers he did. Isn't that Super Sweet?

Joe Martin
Dec 25, 2011 Joe Martin rated it it was amazing

The best science fiction is, at its heart, speculative fiction. These books start with a single big idea—a single question—and develop it. The great books take that idea and develop it superbly. Glory Season is a great book. It starts with a single idea: what if humans could clone themselves when times are good and revert to sexual reproduction when times are bad and genetic diversity is at a premium?

David Brin explains how his idea developed, from that single root.

The idea of cloning has been

Jennifer Sigman
Jul 27, 2010 Jennifer Sigman rated it it was ok
The ending is quite disjointed. It's like he was starting a new thought, then just stopped, practically mid-sentence.
Andy Love
May 20, 2012 Andy Love rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. Brin created a world (Stratos) that is very different from our own - a world where most of the population is women, and the dominant mode of reproduction is self-cloning, but makes that world come alive by showing how human choices determine how cultures develop from these biological facts. The book starts with the mainstream culture in which large clone families root themselves in occupational niches, while variant girls (non-clones) are sent out as 15-year-olds t ...more
Jul 14, 2010 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: science_fiction
Great world building, and the author is deft and unveiling information in a way that is both page-turning and believeable.

The story didn't quite live up to the excitement I felt reading the first half, and I felt that the ending was a little flat. All in all, a good vacation read.
Jul 21, 2011 Jill rated it it was ok
Should have been great. As it was, I couldn't finish it. Nothing happened for 342 pages.
Aug 23, 2016 kazerniel rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
3.5 stars

I have to say I enjoyed reading this novel the 2nd time more than the 1st. The first reading experience was too marred by the disappointment over the ending (or lack of it), and also by all power being ripped away from the protagonist again and again over the book. The 2nd time I knew what to expect, so I could enjoy the nuance and world-building more.
Speaking of world-building, it's clearly the driving force behind the whole book. The author really takes the concept of parthenogenesis
Apr 25, 2014 Gemma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, thought provoking and well established anthropological read, Glory Season presents the coming-of-age tale of the var, Maia. Vars, or variants, are summer children born of a mother and father, and are essentially second class citizens. The winter clones are daughters whose 'fathers' are only used to 'spark' gestation (males being required only to spark the development of the placenta), resulting in clone daughters identical to their mothers. The winter clones belong to family clan ...more
S. W.
Jun 02, 2013 S. W. rated it really liked it
As a big fan of the Uplift series, I had a lot of expectations for Glory Season. After having checked it out from my local library a few times, and never having gotten to even the second chapter, I was glad when on my final check out I got through the whole thing in a weekend!

I prefer series, so I'm hoping this book becomes the first publication of many. The ending was certainly open ended enough for a follow up sequel or several.

The idea of a modified parthenogenesis is not a novel one, but i
Black Beard
Nov 02, 2014 Black Beard rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I read a whopping 42 pages of Glory Season before I decided I'd had enough. I found the prose terrible and the worldbuilding convoluted yet corny, the characterization of the twins somewhat cliche, and the matriarchal world poorly constructed.

Women's fear of violence from men wouldn't be any stronger than fear of violence from other women in a matriarchal world, and there definitely wouldn't be butt-pinching and leers. Violence against women and sexual harassment stem from a patriarchal societ
anday androo
Dec 06, 2013 anday androo rated it it was amazing
Just recalled this book from the dark depths as I finished another sci-fi, Calculating God.

This book set the tone for me of what I now consider good sci-fi. No space battles, no inter-species trysts, just a good speculative romp through the possible future of humanity, gender, cloning, class society, determinism, and the search for meaning.

I remember finishing it in the wee hours, on a school-night I'm sure, and beginning to read it again immediately, cover to cover.

I can't recall exactly when I
May 07, 2008 Anja rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sci-fi readers
I have really enjoyed David Brin as a writer. I liked this book a lot. Unlike some sci-fi books it was based in reality, or it used to be, this book is set far in the future. It gives reasoning and theories as to why this book is taking place, why the world exist, why there is trouble, things that most sci-fi books don't explain but make it easier to read.

Maia and Leie are twins, meaning they had a father and a mother, they are summer children. They are less important on Stratos than their pee
May 30, 2012 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. The main character has spunk and the ability to push through even when the deck was sacked against her she pressed on. I became more and more intrigued as the plot progressed and our little var matured enough to realize that friends may not necessarily be the ones you think they are.

Loved the concept of a matriarchal society where the clones are dominant. The vars, or natural offspring, provide variation but are sent out into the world to make it on their own after they reac
Aug 09, 2015 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent idea for a novel and exciting to read a lot of the time. At least three characters you really care about. The theory behind this story is awesome, and even plausible. Like a lot of sci-fi, too much world information is thrown at you before you've been drawn into the story enough to want that much detail. The world-building/world-explaining never ends. It's a rich place, but could have done with fewer groups and less social detail for a one-off story. The main character was a little too ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Tomislav rated it it was amazing
This was nominated for, but did not win the James Tiptree Award, which resulted in some controversy at the time. Brin has publicly stated that he felt that the decision was unfair. Ursula LeGuin's written comments as a part of the review committee, start off with negative generalizations about male writers, so there may be some truth to Brin's position. However, it is also true that while the characters of Glory Season display some altered gender behavior, they also have characteristics that are ...more
Mar 05, 2013 Ben rated it liked it
The second time reading this, I expected to enjoy it more than I had the first time. I remembered it as being a very enjoyable read, and was looking forward to taking my time with it this time around. It was definitely a pleasure to explore Brin's vision of a planet of female clones, how such a society would function and the role of men, and the situation of the variant women.

Brin paints a very interesting world; one which we can picture as being quite real and well explored. The story is inter
Aug 13, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
A favorite author, and I was certainly looking forward to a good, solid SF novel after plowing through several...lesser...books.

So even clocking in at over 700 pages, this proved to be a relatively easy read, interesting enough plot and characters, and a satisfying story overall.

However! All the hints and peeks at long-past history of the planet, of the people who settled it, and all the goings-ons elsewhere in the cosmos, past and present, seemed like much more interesting stories!

I wanted to r
Feb 13, 2013 Nicole rated it liked it
The world is extremely well-developed and you can tell that an enormous amount of thought went into every detail.

That said, I wish Brin had held back on the description a bit as I found the endless descriptive pages (Life or the colored light wall come to mind) to be a little tedious.

The main character also gets knocked unconscious an awful lot. To the point where I felt like he had her get hit in the head every time a scene change was needed.

What I loved was how you couldn't help but place yo
May 29, 2013 Terry rated it it was amazing
For some reason this book has stayed with me over the years and I have read it three times. It's just a convoluted story I keep remembering like a tune you can't get out of your head. I like this much more than the uplift novels, which seemed more for kids. I don't know. Maybe this one is for kids too. I probably couldn't tell as I have never properly reached adulthood according to those who know me best.

Maybe because it has sailing and pirates and secret islands and secret codes it reminds me o
Jul 25, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily by: Sarah Jean
This is a great book -- sometimes science fiction can be a little hard to get into, but this was a very readable, interesting book. It was easy to get pulled into this other world, which is set many years in the future. This world, Stratos, is a matriarchal society. Men exist on this world, but are strictly limited in their life & career paths.The author's afterword describes it so well: "...there is no scientific reasons to show males relegated to the sidelines of history, a peripheral soci ...more
Nov 27, 2012 Magda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the third time I've read this book, and now it doesn't seem all that great. (I do remember taking it from a boy in some high school class, borrowing it for one period and refusing to return it until I had finished it, but promising to return it within 24 hours ... with a tough class schedule (including classes and homework, etc.), I still managed, and I think that version had over 1000 pages.)

So there are several instances in this book wherein a character, thought to be dead (but no body
Martin Fossum
May 15, 2012 Martin Fossum rated it it was ok
A fair SF work based on the scientific premise where cloned women stand at the top of the human hierarchy. On a distant planet, of course, and with a yawnable narrative. I guess you'd call this "orthodox SF" because of its attention to following the science, but the story is a little flat. No blood is shed. The protagonist, a teenage woman, is constantly knocked unconscious when the action peaks. And her convalescences seem to be a convention to clear up the plot. A NICE story, this, but again, ...more
Oct 11, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
In a world created by rabid feminist(and i mean complete man haters) a young, unclone girl leaves with her sister to find there way in the world. I found the book wonderful, if a little over detailed at times. The world was fascinating even if I was constantly wondering if the author anti-feminist or very equalist( though this may in part be because i recently learned the Ender series' author was a homophobe). The story itself was excellent, had a good flow, with surprising moments. and good pu ...more
Jun 26, 2010 Josh rated it really liked it
An interesting science fiction novel about a matriarchal planet where the majority of births are clones of their mothers. These are births sparked in winter whereas births sparked in summer are the normal mixture of parents genes. The protaginist is one such summer birth and she struggles to make her place in a world set-up for and dominated by the clones. The adventure of the novel revolves around a visitor from another planet to this isolated world. The ideas in the book are top notch and the ...more
Chris Moriarty
May 01, 2011 Chris Moriarty rated it really liked it
Great, complex feminist SF from a guy. (Yes, guys can write feminist SF too.)
Highly readable, like all Brin's books, and this world and its conflicts are just so, so interesting. Fun book for math, computer science and automata fans too, since the culture of the world revolves partly around the game of Life. But it's so seamlessly woven into the storyline that most readers probably don't even realize they're getting a math lesson. If only all high school math teachers did as good a job of makin
Nov 06, 2016 Andrea rated it really liked it
I know most people couldn't stand the knocking out of the main character over and over, and yes it's a pretty lame plot device, but honestly I didn't mind that much, as I hadn't been expecting great literature when picking up a sci-fi paperback anyway... I happened to love the female-driven perspective and how Brin is able to completely immerse the reader in such a different and complicated world. One of my favorite sci-fi books, despite its drawbacks! I keep hoping he'll do a sequel that's bett ...more
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David Brin is a scientist, speaker, and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Existence, his latest novel, offers an unusual scenario for first contact. His ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends
More about David Brin...

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“While I have the floor, here's a question that's been bothering me for some time. Why do so few writers of heroic or epic fantasy ever deal with the fundamental quandary of their novels . . . that so many of them take place in cultures that are rigid, hierarchical, stratified, and in essence oppressive? What is so appealing about feudalism, that so many free citizens of an educated commonwealth like ours love reading about and picturing life under hereditary lords?

Why should the deposed prince or princess in every clichéd tale be chosen to lead the quest against the Dark Lord? Why not elect a new leader by merit, instead of clinging to the inbred scions of a failed royal line? Why not ask the pompous, patronizing, "good" wizard for something useful, such as flush toilets, movable type, or electricity for every home in the kingdom? Given half a chance, the sons and daughters of peasants would rather not grow up to be servants. It seems bizarre for modern folk to pine for a way of life our ancestors rightfully fought desperately to escape.”
“Cultural contamination that is directed outward is always seen as ‘enlightenment.” 6 likes
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