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Daughter of Elysium - An Elysium Cycle Novel Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix Pick (September 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604504447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604504446
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,815,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like its predecessor, A Door into Ocean , this thoughtful, well-crafted novel is set on the ocean world of Shora. Shora's original settlers, the Sharers, are peace-loving women who live in close harmony with nature. They now share their world with the 12 floating cities of Elysium, a society of nearly ageless humans who live surrounded by wealth and advanced technology. The Windclans, a family hailing from a pastoral, underpopulated world where children are highly prized and women revered, come to work in one Elysian city. But as they try to adapt to the Elysians' unfamiliar ways, family members find themselves caught up in the political intrigues among the Elysians, the Sharers and their friends and enemies on neighboring planets--culminating in a confrontation with a potentially lethal adversary from within Elysium itself. Slonczewski's settings and alien cultures are rich and detailed, her characters memorable and often extremely endearing. Even against such an intricate plot and exotic backgrounds, her depictions of relationships, especially family life, are touchingly real.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A fistful of cultural conflicts centered on the ocean-covered planet Shora, where a thousand years have passed since the actions described in Slonczewski's hardcover debut novel, A Door Into Ocean (1986). Sharing Shora with the raft-dwelling, all-female, genetic-whiz Sharers are the floating cities of Elysium; the Elysians, immortal but sterile, are the leading bankers of the scattered human colonies of the Fold. Hearing disquieting reports of nuclear missiles on Urulan, a planet of warlike barbarians, the Elysians have invited translator Raincloud of the volcanic planet Bronze Sky to visit the Elysian city Helicon, to research Urulan goings-on; Raincloud's doctor husband, Blackbear, will help with Elysian research into reproduction and longevity. Numerous long-standing problems eventually threaten the status quo: a new supreme ruler emerges on Urulan, whence Raincloud must journey to defuse a threatening situation; various Heliconian secret banking projects become public knowledge, and the Sharers show their disapproval in traditional, nonviolent protests; the ubiquitous machines of Helicon, having become sentient and self-willed, make a bid for independence; meanwhile, a volcanic eruption on Bronze Sky wipes out most of Blackbear's family. A marvelous array of cultures presented in astonishing depth: an enormously impressive achievement, despite Slonczewski's inability to dramatize events rather than simply report them. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Joan Lyn Slonczewski is a microbiologist at Kenyon College and a science fiction writer. She is the first since Fred Pohl to earn a second John Campbell award for best science fiction novel, "The Highest Frontier" (2012); her previous winner was "A Door into Ocean" (1987). "The Highest Frontier" invents a college in a space habitat financed by a tribal casino and protected from deadly ultraphytes by Homeworld Security. According to Alan Cheuse at NPR, her book invents "a worldwide communications system called Toy Box that makes the iPhone look like a Model-T Ford."

Slonczewski's classic "A Door into Ocean" depicts an ocean world run by genetic engineers who repel an interstellar invasion using nonviolent methods similar to Tahrir Square. In her book "Brain Plague," intelligent microbes invade human brains and establish microbial cities. She also authors with John W. Foster the leading microbiology textbook, Microbiology: An Evolving Science (W. W. Norton).

Author blog: ultraphyte.com

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Selanit on July 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Slonczewski does a fantastic job of creating different cultures in this novel. Many SF novels suffer from poorly thought out cultures; a particular problem is that of monoculture, when the various cultures presented in the book have only superficial differences. Ms. Slonczewski avoids that completely. There are, by my count, four main cultures in this book: the ageless Elysians, the Clickers from Bronze Sky, the Urulites, and the Sharers. There are also several other cultures which play a less important part in the book.
Each of these cultures is completely distinct from the others, with regard not only to manners, customs, and dress, but also some of their fundamental assumptions about how human society should be organized. The interplay between members of these cultures -- their conversations, arguments, and differing opinions -- bring to life a novel which might otherwise have been tedious. Excellent reading!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1996
Format: Paperback
For anyone who has read Joan Slonczewski's "A Door Into Ocean", finding another book by the same author is extremely exciting. The reader, however, is in for a few minor shocks if he/she actually reads this next book. First of all, don't expect a sequel to the sci-fi classic "A Door Into Ocean". Daughter of Elysium takes place long, long, LONG after "A Door Into Ocean". There is a whole new dimension added to the already complex Shora, as a civilization of beings which never grow old has settled on the ocean moon and is coexisting peacefully with the Shorans. If you're wanting more of the Shorans themselves, this book is only sometimes for you -- the text is interwoven with some "ancient" Shoran history, namely what happens after the end of "A Door Into Ocean". On the whole, both the history and the new plots are intriguing and well-written. It's the kind of book that you can't put down -- as much as for its own greatness as for that of the one which came before it. It's a must-read, but don't expect it to be QUITE as dazzling as "A Door Into Ocean"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on February 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Following a couple centuries after "A Door into Ocean", "Daughter of Elysium" revisits the planet Shora, home of the ocean-dwelling Sharers and the city-dwelling Elysians. Raincloud Windclan came to Elysium accompanied by her family to help avert a war. Her scientist husband was invited to assist in delving into the secrets of Elysians' longevity and in solving the Elysians' inability to bear children. The technologically superior Elysians live a pleasurable existence surrounded by their robot servants, who are slowly gaining sentience despite various precautions. In this epic sci fi tale, various threads entwine and produce a glorious and compelling exploration into compassion and humanity that fascinates as it entertains. Slonczewski deftly portrays the complex nuances of the bevy of characters, leading readers to explore their own human natures and giving us much to ponder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mel B. on February 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(UPDATE NOTED BELOW)
I loved this book in its print version, so much so that I needed to get a Kindle version. The story itself is gripping -- a struggle of foreigners on a world full of nearly immortal people. A tale of cultures, feminism, grown technology and growing sentience, as well as the differences between the poor and the rich, the ageless and the short-lived.

I'm actually writing this because the Kindle version has a serious formatting issue about a third of the way through -- everything starts underlining. It's detracting from my otherwise happy enjoyment of the story of Raincloud, Blackbear, their children and the world of Shora.

(This would be 5 stars except for formatting. The book itself should be 5 stars, and perhaps the formatting should be a 2)

UPDATE: The formatting is supposed to be fixed. I haven't had a chance to go back and re-read, but this puts the book back up into a 5 star for me.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1996
Format: Paperback
I think syoung summarizes the situation well. This book is not the equal of A Door Into Ocean, which is simply astonishing. However, it's better than 90f all the sf out there, and all the "mainstream" fiction, as well. I particularly admire the author's willingness to tackle the biggest issues, and her thoughtful consideration of them.
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By Jens H. Petersen on January 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great follow up to "A door into ocean" - great start of the Elysium universe! Quite another thing that the film . . .
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