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Daughter of Elysium (Elysium Cycle #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  282 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The pristine city of Elysium floats on the water world of Shora, inhabited by 'immortals' who have succeeded in unlocking the secrets of life.

Outsider Blackbear Windclan wants to share the secret of immortality with his own people, but can he, and the City of Elysium, survive the corruption and decadence that immortality has bred into the ageless society.

And what of the co
Paperback, 521 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by Avon Books (first published 1993)
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Generations after the Sharers refused to accept Valen control, there is a new struggle for freedom on Shora. Centuries ago, the Sharers allowed the Elysians to settle on their world and learn lifeshaping from them. The Elysians chose to exchange their own ability to bear children for near-immortality. Over the course of the book, they come into conflict with many different societies. Having more money than they could ever use, they grant huge assistance loans to the L'lii, who could never repay ...more
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, sf-f
"Daughter of Elysium", Joan Slonczewski's second book set in the same universe, is a somewhat overwhelming, but amazing exercise in world-building and idea-wrangling. While the huge cast of characters is sometimes overwhelming, and at times I found it difficult to care which of the wealthy and influential banker-politicians are which, the world Joan Slonczewski has created was wondrous enough to offset that problem. This is a book for everyone who likes struggling with difficult ideas and variou ...more
Feb 11, 2016 marked it as to-read
May come back to this, but it didn't grab me the way Door into Ocean did.
Not exactly a sequel, Daughter of Elysium is the second book in the Elysium cycle, following Door Into Ocean. Like Door, Daughter takes place on Shora, but many centuries later. Several new "races" of humans are introduced: the beautiful and long-lived but detached Elysians, to the Goddess-worshiping, family-centered, martial arts experts from Bronze Sky -- the Clickers, the impoverished & overcrowded L'liites, the testosterone-dominated Urulites, and the servos -- who aren't actually human, ...more
Elena Johansen
DNF @ pg 100. I can't believe the sheer amount of repetition of detail in this book. If I see someone adjusting their train or letting out their train or the trainsweeps folding a train one more time, I will go bonkers. I get that when you're worldbuilding entire alien cultures from scratch, these details are important, but this was heavy-handed.
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fab-14
This is a well-plotted, fast-moving science fiction novel that deals with gender roles, the nature of intelligence, matters of diplomacy among diverse settlements, and questions of tolerance. Yet in the end much of it is about the day-to-day struggle to raise children while living ordinary lives, and some of the moral questions child-bearing raises. I loved it!
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ward Bond
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing

"Masterful story"-Library Journal * "Magnificently detailed"-Chicago Sun Times The pristine city of Elysium floats on the water world of Shora, inhabited by 'immortals' who have succeeded in unlocking the secrets of life.* Outsider Blackbear Windclan wants to share the secret of immortality with his own people, but can he, and the City of Elysium, survive the corruption and decadence that immortality has bred into the ageless society. And what of the consciousness of self-aware nano-sentient

TammyJo Eckhart
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read "A Door Into Ocean" by Joan Slonczewski years and years ago and this novel set on the same planet has been on my wish list for a long time. I got it as a gift this Christmas so I was finally able to read it.

I'll need to reread the first book again but this second novel seems to be set at least a thousand years after the first, possible thousands of years later. The Sharers are still there but the novel focuses on newcomers Raincloud, her husband Blackbear, and their two children who have
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Jeff by: found it on the library's shelf
Shelves: science-fiction
Looking for a fine novel of world-building, in the vein of Herbert's Dune, and characters nuanced, new, yet familiar, like Niven's Known Space tales? Slonczewski offers up the five worlds of The Fold: Urulan, L'li, Bronze Sky, Valen,and Shora, all fascinating, all unique, all that remains of humanity after the destruction, long ago, of "Old Torr."

This is a story of cultural immersion, points of view slowly and subtly developed, and the fact that despite the trappings and traditions of societies
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Raincloud and her husband, Blackbear, leave their homeworld of Bronze Sky for the world of Shora - inhabited by Elysians and sharers. But the Elysians are very different to other people - they've mastered longevity at the cost of fertility. They live in a small society where children are raised in large creches by robots and studying at university can take decades.

I struggled with this book and read it in fits and starts. On the one hand, its contrasting societies are very interesting. Bronze Sk
Invadozer Misothorax Circular-thallus Popewaffensquat
If you haven't read Dune, skip it, read this.
This gal takes the best elements of Dune, stretches it
out to 500 pages and makes it a water planet with
immortality and overpopulation issues. She's a biologist too
so..there's a lot of fetus experiments going on in the book.
These immortals who live in danger proof bubbles on a
water planet is full of bored extravagant fops who walk
around with scampering robot cape carriers swinging
deals and flowing money. In Dune everyone wants the
spice for immortality,
Kirk Sluder
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Daughter of Elysium is an interesting novel set in the same universe as Door into Ocean and Brain Plague. The central characters, The Windclans, are credible as a family unit in a genre that tends to push family relationships to the margins. Much of the novel works on the contrast among the various cultures. The Windclans come from a matriarchal culture that values children. Through Raincloud's role as a translator, we're introduced to the nearly immortal people of Elysium, the feminist anarchy ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: http://phoenixpick.comaa
Although others praise this, i found it to be a negative that the story was terribly slow moving. What took most time were pages of description; enough so that one could create a movie from it with no other writing being done.

The characters were varied, but hard to get to know and impossible for me to like. And the things that seemed to fascinate the author just didn't resonate with me. All in all it was a bad fit or me from the start, and the endless time spent on meaningless minutia was painf
Lucy Takeda
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I did make it to the end of this novel, but I felt there was quite a bit of trudgery on my part. I am used to " walking" in different worlds; years of Pern, Darkover, Asimov, Heinlein, David Weber. I did not find any of the characters completely compelling, or any of the concepts new. I got rather tired of reading the religious text, the Web. I found the main focus family that insisted on carrying their children constantly with their fixation on braids somewhat annoying. The only character I end ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I Loved this book!! The writing and character development was superb. I loved that the everyday child-rearing was done (mostly) by the Dad and that is was integrated into the whole plot line. Evan the small children had important parts to the story. I loved that real science( microbiology) was part of the story, also. But mostly I loved the two protagonists and how they related to each other and the society, so very different from their own, that they become a part of. I loved the contrast betwe ...more
David C. Mueller
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-misc-authors
A wonderful sequel to "A Door Into Ocean." Unlike the previous books that I have read by this author, "Daughter of Elysium" fully engaged me from the very start. The author describes a female dominated culture that still manages to honor men in a meaningful and appealing way. Of special interest in this book is the material directly relating to the main events and characters from "A Door Into Ocean." "Daughters of Elysium" is both a story about a particular family and the interaction between num ...more
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
More of a 2.5 stars book but I rounded up to a full liked it.

Joan seems to take forever to get to the point and even the climax is not action filled but there is a lot of interesting detail about this very unusual world. If you like action do not touch this book.

The climax feels abrupt. Do the sequels take off from here? The Sharers work their magic again and broker an implausibly clean solution.

This book is really about getting to the singularity where it stops. Still I liked it better than A
Aaron Bubnick
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that I accidentally came across that launched me into reading again. When I left high school, I just stopped reading. My favorite genre was Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. When I was deployed on a UN Mission this book was left on the table one night. Being bored, I grabbed it and couldn't stop. I have always remembered this book and was able to recently find it again because I did a Google search on "servo-squeak". I plan on reading the whole series and revisiting the book that got me ...more
Mel B.
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What is sentience? Being? Compassion? It certainly goes beyond the standard definition in this book. Even machined can have feelings and compassion and even hate.

Love the matriarchal societies -- both our main family as protagonists and the Sharers themselves, who probably can't be considered matriarchal because they don't have any men.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-finished, 2013
Maybe it's because this is a semi-sequel, and I haven't read the book that precedes this, but I just couldn't get into the novel. I slugged through 200 pages, and realised that I had almost no clue who anyone were, or what they were doing, because I couldn't pay attention while reading. I might try reading the first book, and then this one, at a later point. Right now I'll mark it as unfinished.
Liz Henry
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, feministsf
One of the most satisfyingly complicated feminist sf books! Many years later after Door Into Ocean. Colonial family comes to the rich planet.... showdown with the sharers. It's just brilliant! Lifeshaping, robots, interplanetary politics, resistance and revolution. Re-read for WisCon.
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very readable and engaging- I didn't even mind being stuck on the runway for de-icing I was so in the world of the book. Great issues about the ethics of genetic engineering, of oppression, and the line between life and non-life.
Sue Davis
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Not as good as Door into Ocean
Monika Fischer
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had a really hard time maintaining interest with this book. Family dynamics and raising children are heavy themes, which I found tedious and boring.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kind of hard to get through. One of those books you actually have to think about. Mix of sci-fi and fantasy plus some philosophy thrown in.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: quit
I liked A Door Into Ocean, but I just couldn't get in to this one.
Teresa Carrigan
Jul 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I read 10% of the book and gave up. I just could not make myself care about the characters.
Szilvia Narai
rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2016
rated it liked it
Apr 28, 2016
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Feminist Science ...: Daughter of Elysium by Joan Slonczewski (October 2014) 10 23 Nov 13, 2014 06:44PM  
  • Arkfall
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Joan Lyn Slonczewski is an American microbiologist at Kenyon College and a science fiction writer who explores biology and space travel. Her books have twice earned the John W. Campbell award for best science fiction novel: The Highest Frontier (2012) and A Door into Ocean (1987). With John W. Foster she coauthors the textbook, Microbiology: An Evolving Science (W. W. Norton).
More about Joan Slonczewski

Other Books in the Series

Elysium Cycle (4 books)
  • A Door Into Ocean
  • The Children Star
  • Brain Plague

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