What's The Name of That Book??? discussion

POSSIBLY SOLVED > Sci-Fi: Women in Charge, Men in 'harem'?

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message 1: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 513 comments I vaguely recall hearing about (i.e. in a discussion, book review, mention in an essay) a sci-fi/futuristic/utopia novel about a futuristic/alternative society in which women are in charge. Men are playthings/servants for women -- i.e. to do manual labor, serve women, provide sex, etc.

Does it sound familiar? I'm pretty sure it's not Lois McMaster Bujold's Ethan of Athos, which someone suggested (elsewhere); I looked at the description and I don't think that's quite it.

Thanks for any suggestions.

message 2: by Dawn (last edited Mar 14, 2011 11:34AM) (new)

Dawn | 221 comments The Shore of Women The Gate to Women's Country
and In the Mothers' Land by Elisabeth Vonarburg all come to mind, though the last not so much.

message 3: by LauraW (new)

LauraW (LauraLynnWalsh) | 350 comments The Door into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski.

message 4: by Carolyn (last edited Mar 14, 2011 02:01PM) (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 63 comments Definitely not Ethan of Athos - that is an entirely male society. Likewise A Door Into Ocean, which is an entirely female society.

The Gate to Women's Country is a very subtle gender divide, and most of the men live in a 'warrior culture' and believe that they are in charge, so I don't think that works. In The Shore of Women men live as wanderers in the wilderness and women live in walled cities, so there is no overt slavery in that one either.

I would check out If I Pay Thee Not In Gold or The Ruins of Isis or, much less likely, The Last Hawk.

message 5: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta | 89 comments Six Moon Dance by Sheri S. Tepper would be my guess.

message 6: by Daffodil (new)

Daffodil (Daffodil--RIPCranberry) | 122 comments A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer. Women are the warriors and men are protected. Families sell their rare male offspring to another family for females to share.

message 7: by Andrea (last edited Mar 14, 2011 03:13PM) (new)

Andrea (andreakhost) | 5 comments I suspect there's a few books which match that description. Amberlight by Sylvia Kelso, for instance. Told from the pov of a female 'House Head'. The (noble) men are kept in towers and focus on making themselves look good for the women, and being well-read and literate so the women can have stimulating conversations, rather like male geishas.

The prose is highly compact and lyrical.

message 8: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 221 comments A brother's price was an *excellent* one of these :)

As were the ones I mentioned :)

With The Gate to Women's Country, I was thinking more of the men who did live with the women for the scenario described.

message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (JessicaDayGeorge) | 134 comments Master of None is about a space merchant who ends up stranded on a planet run by women, and becomes part of a harem.

message 10: by Kris (new)

Kris | 211 comments Well there's the Sardonyx Net by Elizabeth A Lynn if you get in the mood for some sadism and drug abuse in your harem story


message 11: by James (new)

James wolfe (chefwolfeman) | 2 comments I agree that it could the the Ruins of Isis, The males in the book were Worker/Toy class at best with no rights.

message 12: by Jane (new)

Jane Doe | 29 comments Ritual of Proof by Dara Joy

message 13: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (crs1648) | 5 comments Could it be "The Gender Wars"by Thomas Stone?


A hundred years into the future, American society is controlled by women who have enslaved their male counterparts except for those few who have fled to the wilderness. Men are losing ground in the ensuing guerrilla war but who's to say what can happen when soldiers from opposite sides meet and fall in love.

message 14: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 513 comments Thanks for all the suggestions. There were enough of them that I felt it fair to move to "possibly solved."

message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 1383 comments Jenna wrote: "Thanks for all the suggestions. There were enough of them that I felt it fair to move to "possibly solved.""

Jenna, Until you've found the book or you're almost sure you have, free to move this back to UNSOLVED.

message 16: by Andy (new)

Andy Love | 1310 comments Might be "The Last Hawk" by Catherine Asaro.

message 17: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (tigerhearted) | 16 comments Could it have been The Ruins of Ambrai?

message 18: by Lobstergirl, sniffing Sharpies (new)

Lobstergirl | 17727 comments Mod
Jenna, are you ready to say which book above (if any) is your book?

message 19: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1700 comments Possibly Herland?

Is it possible it was a novella? "Houston, Do You Read?" by James Tiptree has this sort of plot. See this summary.

message 20: by Lobstergirl, sniffing Sharpies (new)

message 21: by Aerulan (new)

Aerulan | 656 comments Perhaps Glory Season by David Brin?
Set on a colonized world where women are able to biologically clone themselves (they naturally give birth to daughter-clones unless certain circumstances are met) and have large family groups of clone-sisters and most all the power, and men are sort of second class citizens who are needed to provide the "spark" of genetic material needed for the clone process and for less common standard pregnancies meant to provide periodic influxes of genetic diversity.

message 22: by ambyr (new)

ambyr | 30 comments Elizabeth Bear's Carnival also seems like a possibility.

message 23: by Holley (new)

Holley Kline | 1 comments Could be Gert Brantenberg's "Egalia's Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes"... I read this in my Women's Studies course years ago and loved the "satire" although it was sometimes hard to follow and required some additional thought and re-reading here and there.

message 25: by Mark (new)

Mark | 32 comments The Wicker Man by Robin Hardy, possibly?

message 26: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1700 comments Kris wrote: "Egalia's Daughters: A Satire of the Sexes by Gerd Brantenberg - Holley's suggestion"

I second that -- a really clever and fun book.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Ethan of Athos (other topics)
The Shore of Women (other topics)
The Gate to Women's Country (other topics)
If I Pay Thee Not in Gold (other topics)
A Door Into Ocean (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Sheri S. Tepper (other topics)
Sylvia Kelso (other topics)
Gerd Brantenberg (other topics)