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"In her ambitious second SF novel (after Still Forms on Foxfield) biology professor Slonczewski has created an intriguing ocean world with its own culture and biological adaptations. Particularly ingenious are the clickflies, insects that collectively serve as both a living computer and a communications network. But the book has problems with its rigid ideological structure. On one side is the planet Valedon, a patriarchal, capitalist, mechanistic and militaristic society. On the other is Valedon's watery moon Shora, an all-female society based on life sciences and the principle of sharing. It gets by without any government, shuns the mechanical and, knowing its limits, lives in harmony with nature. In the inevitable confrontation, Shora uses Gandhian techniques of passive resistance to thwart Valedon's troops. Fortunately, this schematic political framework is enlivened by the full-blooded characters who negotiate between the two cultures."
''By the time the conflict . . . has moved to center stage, you not only know the antagonists intimately, you care passionately about the outcome . . . The story deals with the efforts of decent people on both sides to see beyond their culture-bound definitions of humanity.'' --New York Times Book Review
''[A] dreamy, poetic book . . . very much in the spirit of Dune or Le Guin's works. It's tough to build a world, particularly if you try to get the science correct. Author Slonczewski accomplishes that difficult feat and manages a gripping plot into the bargain. Maybe Le Guin has competition.'' --San Francisco Examiner
An intriguing ocean world...[The] schematic political framework is enlivened by the full-blooded characters who negotiate between the two cultures. Science Fiction Book Club selection. --Publishers Weekly
''One of the best new science fiction novels of the last several years.'' --VOYA
''Slonczewski creates an all-female, nonviolent culture that reaches beyond feminism to a new definition of human nature. This novel is highly recommended.'' --Library Journal --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
It's been more than a decade that I read this book, but as I was sorting all my books, I realized I had not given Joan Slonczewski the credit she so deserves for writing wonderful... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Zoe
I was really drawn into this book, which a friend had lent me, because of the uniqueness of the ocean world and how well it was imagined. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jennifer Sinclair
It is such a boring book. I tried donating it to Goodwill and even they refused to take it. I now use it on flights when I am unable to sleep.Published 19 months ago by Wynn
A fully believable world, with nice, developed characters. The book could be shorter though, to tell the story as well.Published 22 months ago by Gert-Jan Lind
An amazing novel. The descriptive language was powerful; I actually felt like I was on Shora, with warm breezes and gentle rocking. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by Frosta
This is a book about lesbian Quaker anarchist communist pacifist mermaids from the Moon, and what happens when they're invaded by the Holy Roman Empire. Read morePublished on July 17, 2012 by MBL
I enjoyed this book, although (having read feminist sci-fi since the 70s) there were no surprises here. Read morePublished on June 7, 2012 by Barbara B.
I heard about this book at an eco-feminism talk, and my advisor who is male read it first and raved. Don't let the all-woman society scare you away. Read morePublished on July 21, 2009 by book traveler
This book details how a culture based on sharing interacts with a culture based on war. While reading, I never forgot the Lifeshapers of Shora could engineer a killing plague and... Read morePublished on July 29, 2008 by Judah