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A Door Into Ocean (Elysium Cycle) Paperback – October 13, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
''[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.
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Top Customer Reviews
To understand the Valans, two Sharers leave for Valedon with the hope of sharing learning with them: Usha the Inconsiderate and her lovesharer, Merwen the Imaptient, who believes deep down that Valans are humans, too, like the Sharers of Shora. For her to prove this, she must teach a Valan the ways of Shora, and after their ordeal on Valedon, they bring home with them a young stonecutter's son, Spinel.
As Spinel's learnsharing begins, the Patriarch, protector of Valedon, wants to bring Shora into its folds in order to make use of its valuable resources such as minerals and fish. His Envoy dispatches a military unit to move relations along, at first with kind words. When that goes nowhere, he resorts to terrorism, both ecological and physical. Undaunted, the Sharers, unaccustomed to useless killing, fight back with pacifism and intelligence, hoping to bring an end to this unwanted presence on their homeworld.
Slonczewski has created two very distinct and intriguing worlds, populated with very human-acting characters. One item I truly liked about this book is the interplay of the contrasting world views of the Sharers and the Valans don't think that the either is human: the Sharers consider Valans nothing more than children who need to learn in order to grow; the Valans think of Sharers as nothing more than catfish. Faced with a problem, one species uses patience and diplomacy, whereas the other immediately resorts to violence. And stuck in the middle is young Spinel, torn between his homeworld and his new-found family.
A fantastic novel full of rich characters and whose themes of environmentalism and activism ring true today. A definite page-turner!