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A Door Into Ocean (Elysium Cycle) A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski
rating: 4 of 5 stars
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor. I didn't like some aspects of the narration -- she used different accents for different characters, and some of the accents were jarring to me in a science fiction book that is not about Earth.

The plot is a well worn one -- anarchist pacifist society meets patriarchal militarist society. (Note: to me "well worn plot" is not a criticism. I love to see what people do with our (sub)culture's modern legends.) The world building is excellent, at least the parts that are set on the moon Shora. The world of the patriarchal society is a little less detailed. Most of the characters are complex, interesting, and believable, although some of the secondary characters are a bit stereotypical.

It took me a while to get into this book, but by the end I was pretty impressed, and it feels like a story that will stay with me.
View all my Goodreads reviews.

Liz Henry's reviews on the Feminist SF blog are much more thorough than mine:


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
It's a well worn plot, for sure. But for me, what happens with language in A Door Into Ocean is very new and different and interesting.
Nov. 21st, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, the language use is fascinating. And to me "well worn plot" is not a criticism. I love to see what people do with our (sub)culture's modern legends. (I'm editing my review to add that.)
Nov. 21st, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
I liked the actual book. ;)
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
Thanks for your comment to my post in the buddhists community! (http://community.livejournal.com/buddhists/2520720.html) I decided to add you as a friend because you seem interesting and kind. :-) If you ever want to share any details of your shamanic journeys, know that I'd be very interested!
Nov. 22nd, 2008 08:07 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I added you back.

Here's something I wrote about shamanism:
Nov. 24th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
I've not read this book for about ten years, but I remember that I thought its characters were its strongest aspect. They changed and surprised you, and you saw clearly the limitations and prejudices even of those with which you sympathized.

As SF, even feminist SF goes, it's pretty good. I think she handles the collision of cultures quite well, especially the points where different philosophical, political and technological assumptions make communications difficult.
Nov. 24th, 2008 07:16 am (UTC)
In a couple of instances, I had trouble seeing the motivations behind certain changes in the characters and it seemed that they had changed because they writer wanted them to. But for the most part I agree with you about both points.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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