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Glory Season

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Hugo and Nebula award-winning author David Brin is one of the most eloquent, imaginative voices in science fiction.  Now he returns with a new novel rich in texture, universal in theme, monumental in scope--pushing the genre to new heights.

Young Maia is fast approaching a turning point in her life.  As a half-caste var, she must leave the clan home of her privileged half sisters and seek her fortune in the world.  With her twin sister, Leie, she searches the docks of Port Sanger for an apprenticeship aboard the vessels that sail the trade routes of the Stratoin oceans.

On her far-reaching, perilous journey of discovery, Maia will endure hardship and hunger, imprisonment and loneliness, bloody battles with pirates and separation from her twin.  And along the way, she will meet a traveler who has come an unimaginable distance--and who threatens the delicate balance of the Stratoins' carefully maintained, perfect society....

Both exciting and insightful, Glory Season is a major novel, a transcendent saga of the human spirit.

772 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1993

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About the author

David Brin

320 books3,074 followers
David Brin is a scientist, speaker, and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Existence, his latest novel, offers an unusual scenario for first contact. His ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends such as the World Wide Web. A movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based on his post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. Startide Rising won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel. The Uplift War also won the Hugo Award.

His non-fiction book -- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? -- deals with secrecy in the modern world. It won the Freedom of Speech Prize from the American Library Association.

Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI, nanotechnology, and philanthropy.

David appears frequently on TV, including "The Universe" and on the History Channel's "Life After People."

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 145 reviews
Profile Image for Zach.
251 reviews95 followers
July 11, 2012
Zach stood at his desk to write his review of David Brin's interminably boring science fiction novel, Glory Season.

I'd better start off by mentioning how tedious it was to listen to the main character's thoughts in every other paragraph, Zach thought to himself. That way, the people reading this review will understand my frustration with having the author spell out every tiny nuance of the main character's motivation in tiresome detail, as if internal monologue were the only way to accomplish this feat in writing.

Zach raised his arms to the keyboard, feeling the muscles in his shoulders, back, and neck tense up. He laid the heels of his palms on the ergonomic padding and placed his fingertips on the keys of the home row, preparing to type his review. It really bothered me how often the exact condition of all the protagonist's main muscle groups was described right in the middle of an ostensible action sequence, he thought. I wonder how I can best get across what an obstacle this was to my enjoyment of the novel. Just as he began to type, he experienced a flashback for the purposes of character development and world building.

It's pretty inconvenient to my readers to continually break up the narrative with all this back-story exposition. But how else can I establish setting and character? Zach was swept back in his mind to weeks earlier, when he was reading David Brin's interminably boring science fiction novel, Glory Season, and thinking about the premise of a woman-dominated agrarian civilization. I would have thought this would be so much juicier, but it's incredibly dry and bland. Ethan of Athos did a much better job of exploring the converse scenario, a world composed solely of men, and did so despite being shorter and spending much less time on the unusual planet. And unlike Glory Season, it actually challenged gender stereotypes, rather than just snidely reversing some and tacitly endorsing others.

Just then, Zach's aching calf muscles, fatigued from his long stand at his desk, spasmed painfully, dumping him to the carpet. His head brushed the desk on the way to the ground, knocking him unconscious.

Zach came to an indeterminate amount of time later, his lapse into senselessness hopefully having created some dramatic tension. He stood warily to resume writing his review. Why does the main character get knocked out so often? he wondered. It's like two thirds of the plot movements occur while she's dead to the world. Want to talk about gender stereotypes? How about female hypo-agency? How about a "heroine" who is shuttled like a pawn from scene to scene, unconscious as often as not, with no understanding of what's going on or what her goal is?

Zach again placed his hands on the keyboard to begin writing. Suddenly, he was overcome by another flashback memory. He decided to explore it fully, unconcerned what this would do to the pacing or readability of his book review. He thought back to his computer science education, and learning about cellular automata.

These are pretty interesting for someone completely enamored with mathematics and puzzles, like I am, he thought, but I'm quite obviously abnormal in that regard. He watched the little black and white squares flicker on and off on his computer screen, as he sat in a dimly lit basement lab surrounded by pale, friendless virgins with poor hygiene. Most men would rather do anything else than play Conway's game of life -- even with my unusually abstract interests I find it only mildly engaging. There is absolutely no chance that this game would ever, ever, ever become the basis of a popular pastime.

Zach sighed deeply, and shook his head at Brin's indefensible choice to make Life the basis of male recreation in his world. And that's just one of so many problems with this book. How can I possibly convey everything that's wrong with it? Well, I had better get started and see where it gets me. He again rested his fingers on the home row, feeling the muscles ache in his back, forearms, and shoulders, resolved to begin writing.

Just then, Zach lost consciousness.
Profile Image for Kara Babcock.
1,923 reviews1,258 followers
April 12, 2009
Perhaps the best science fiction book I've ever read that so elegantly reverses our contemporary notions of gender. Not so great as a novel, unfortunately.

In Glory Season, David Brin depicts a world with an intensely matriarchal society. The majority of the population of Stratos consists of female clones, "sparked" in winter by male sperm, but genetic copies of their mothers. Men and "variant" girls are born in summer. Designed this way the founders of Stratos, this society is supposedly pastoral and stable, with the clones running the show and the "vars" (men and variant girls) struggling to fit in wherever they can.

Brin does a masterful job at creating Stratoin society and instilling it with values that are essentially the opposite of what we might consider "normal" in Western society. For example, in Stratoin society, men don't fight. Almost every man serves aboard a ship as a sailor until retiring; otherwise, they stay in "sanctuaries" during the summer, unless invited by a clan looking to produce some vars. As Glory Season is told from the limited omniscient perspective following a female var, we get a sense of the prejudices that pervade Stratoin culture. These stark differences from the way our society operates are only emphasized by the arrival of the "Outsider", Renna, an advanced scout from the multi-world Phylum.

For his world-building achievement with this book, Brin deserves much praise. It's not easy to construct such a logical, consistent society yet still remain within the bounds of scientific possibility and avoid descending into a lampoon of Amazon-like cultures. Glory Season is neither a cautionary tale about what matriarchy would be like, nor is it an encomium for matriarchal rule. Rather, as Brin explains in his afterword, it's a novel-length answer to "What if?". Any good science fiction story should begin by trying to answer that question.

I was much less impressed with the plot and characterization. Much of the plot was difficult to follow, and the parts I did follow I often found boring or repetitive--Brin had a tendency to render Maia, our stalwart protagonist, unconscious when he needed to end a chapter on a cliffhanger. For the first couple of blackouts, it was effective, but then it became old, even when he lampshades it later on.

I can't decide if I admire or am annoyed by Maia! On the one hand, she's a plucky protagonist, definitively individual in a culture where one strives to be the same as one's clone sisters. On the other hand, she is continually buffeted around among forces she can't control; even when she does reach out to try and seize the day, she's knocked down before she can truly succeed. The end of the book seems to imply that this is part of the story's theme, that Maia's adventure has finally allowed her to mature to the point where she can strike out as an individual and begin making her own way through life.

Unfortunately, there are too many loose threads to leave me satisfied. Maia's twin, Leie, (and this isn't a spoiler, because anyone who reads the book should realize two pages after Leie dies that she really isn't dead) reappears only to disappear about fifty pages later. It's a touching reunion, but one devoid of purpose save for a few plot points during the dry climax of the book. It kind of makes me feel like the end of The Matrix, where they just sort of walk off into the crowd of oblivious pod-happy people.

Brin aims for something lofty, but he overshoots and misses, at least in my opinion. Still, Glory Season is worth a read for its sociological value alone. And the story isn't too bad, just not great.
Profile Image for Denis.
Author 1 book19 followers
December 20, 2020
I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. First impression was that this was Brin attempting at writing an Ursula Le Guin novel. And did a good job of it. The story was complex on many levels - a little long, which was okay in this case, it wast very entertaining and addressed many social issues. Well worth a look.
Profile Image for prcardi.
538 reviews74 followers
November 11, 2018
Storyline: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
World: 4/5

This is my ninth David Brin book (granted, six of them were Uplift books), and this is the best of them all. This was really a much different writer than the author of the Sundiver, the Postman, or Earth. Those all had a barely-controlled chaos that become a completely-uncontrolled chaos by the end. Glory Season was a measured adventure tale that devoted a lot of time to worldbuilding. Rather than the environmental themes Brin built his early career on, he turns more to socio-political ideas and some tinkering with biological possibilities. Much of the story depends on a role-reversal, and those can get fairly predictable once the reader figures out what is going on. Brin put in some turns and opened up the story to much bigger themes and pictures to keep this 772-page tome moving forward, though. This is a clear science-fiction fantasy work, dependent on futuristic technology for setting the possibilities and constraints but implementing the tools of fantasy to develop the cultural and social mores of a new kind of people. The adventure tale held some problem-solving resolutions that were a little too convenient to be fully satisfying and drew from the young-adult genre a few too many times. Some of the worldbuilding was excessively developed, but if one is a true fantasy fan then they'll derive some enjoyment seeing Brin put all his pieces together, however slow those pieces fall into place. Overall it was an enjoyable mix of science, fantasy, and adventure. I've liked a lot of Brin books right up to the end, where he ruins everything trying to astound the reader with even more!. That he wrote a good book for the first four-fifths and managed not to ruin it at the end, makes this one all the more remarkable.
Profile Image for Andria Potter.
Author 2 books52 followers
February 25, 2022
I tried. I really really tried but while I love the cover this just isn't working for me. I might try again in the future but I wasn't clicking with this at all. It's not bad. I'm just not in a science fiction mood right now. A solid 3 ⭐
Profile Image for Tim.
22 reviews2 followers
August 26, 2010
Interesting. This is a weird brand of fiction that explores an idea far better than it tells a story. Unfortunately, that doesn't become clear until about 2/3 of the way in.

Glory Season makes for a good anthropological/sociological what-if book, and uses a coming-of-age story as the narrative adhesive.

This book is heavily flawed in terms of what it is trying to do as a book, but if you can bring yourself to appreciate the underlying ambition, it ends up a pretty decent read.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,584 reviews90 followers
March 9, 2018

When I read this book in Australia I remember it being really good. So I've bought it and intend to re-read it.

And Fred Gambino is SO NICE!!! he sent me hi res scans of both covers he did. Isn't that Super Sweet?

Profile Image for Dark-Draco.
2,127 reviews40 followers
April 15, 2013
This is just the sort of SF I like - intelligent without being too difficult to follow, great plots without being cheesy and some excellent characters.

The story follows Maia, a 'variant' born by fatherhood, rather than the cloning that is the norm on planet Stratos. When forced to leave her childhood home, with her twin, Leie, they plan on becoming rich, finding their niche and creating a clone family of their own. But when tradegy strikes, Maia finds herself drawn into a political and radical conspiracy. What first seems like a simple drug trafficking problem, soon encompases an alien visitor, secret basis and the corruption of so much of the planet's history. Maia, using her ability to see patterns in everything, finds herself one of the keys to solving the whole thing.

This is such a brilliant world to set a story, different in so many ways to other books with its kind of setting. The characters are immediately likeable and Maia is a very gutsy girl!! I didn't like the ending that much, but only because I like happy ones, and was left with a big craving to return to this world for future stories. Unfortuatley, it doesn't look as if the author has thought to flesh it out into a series.

So, overall, one of the best books I have ever read - firmly one of my favourites.
Profile Image for David.
Author 4 books30 followers
October 19, 2020
I'm 240 pages in and DNF-ing this one out of boredom.

Statoin is a colony founded by feminists who have bioengineered humans to give women the upper hand in their society. This was accomplished by dampening the sex drive in men such that they were only sexually active during summer and enabling a form of parthenogenesis in women during winter. It isn't true parthenogenesis as sperm were still required to initiate embryo development though no genetic material was transferred. Sexual reproduction in summer led to typical offspring as one would expect on Earth, but winter reproduction led to clones. But since the sex drive of men in winter was very low, women needed to coax men into having sex. Thus it forced both sexes to work together in good faith if either side wished to get what they wanted.

It's certainly an intriguing premise with a host of potential storylines, but sadly, it goes to waste.

Brin spends way too much time delving into the main character's thoughts, going on and on for pages as she overthinks situations, dives into flashbacks, or over explains another aspect of her world. To get an idea of the writing style employed, check out Zach's review. By the time Brin gets back to the matter at hand, one could be forgiven for forgetting what was actually happening before the detour. The plot is barely a whisper. We're given hints that something sinister is going on with the world's sexual balance, but then we get pages worth of flashback or world building after which the protagonist moves on.

I'm a fan of Brin. I've read nine works of his and enjoyed all of them. His Uplift books are among my all-time favorites. But this one was a disappointment. I think if this book were about half its size (772 pages), it would be much better. Too much world building and navel gazing and not enough execution of the plot. If you're good with stories that take a really long time to get going, then maybe this one is for you.
Profile Image for Joe Martin.
363 reviews9 followers
December 26, 2011

The best science fiction is, at its heart, speculative fiction. These books start with a single big idea—a single question—and develop it. The great books take that idea and develop it superbly. Glory Season is a great book. It starts with a single idea: what if humans could clone themselves when times are good and revert to sexual reproduction when times are bad and genetic diversity is at a premium?

David Brin explains how his idea developed, from that single root.

The idea of cloning has been explored widely in fiction, but always in terms of medical technology involving complex machinery, a dilettante obsession for the very rich. This may serve a pampered, self-obsessed class for a while, but it’s hardly a process any species could rely on over the long haul, through bad times as well as good. Not a way of life, machine-assisted cloning is the biosocial counterpart of a hobby.

What if, instead, self-cloning were just another of the many startling capabilities of the human womb? An interesting premise. But then, only female humans have wombs, so a contemplation of cloning became a novel about drastically altered relations between the sexes. Most aspects to the society of planet Stratos arose out of this one idea.

David Brin relentlessly develops this big idea, to see exactly where it takes him. He follows it through the sciences, to see where it takes him: biology, sociology, psychology, and more. By pursuing this idea so relentlessly, he constructs a society that is very alien to our own (uncomfortably so, in cases) but yet is still very recognizable.

Glory Season is a tale of a largely static society, where women hold the upper hand. Men are kept around primarily for their ability to “spark” clone births. It’s a society largely dominated by extended clans of female clones. It’s a society where being unique is very uncomfortable and where “var” is a derisive slur.

But David Brin didn’t allow these big, well developed ideas to get in the way of telling a story. Glory Season is an adventure tale, a coming of age tale, and a tale of radicals seeking to remake society. It was both thought provoking and thoroughly entertaining. I highly recommend it.

Profile Image for Lectora brújula  .
881 reviews56 followers
October 25, 2022
La primera mitad se deja leer. La ambientación es un poco densa, me ha costado entrar en su mundo, no comparto la mitad de lo que leo y la historia es lenta aunque entretiene e intriga. La segunda mitad he abandonado su lectura, el libro se me estaba haciendo larguísimo, con giros totalmente predecibles y personajes que no me interesan.
Profile Image for Jen.
174 reviews12 followers
July 14, 2010
Great world building, and the author is deft and unveiling information in a way that is both page-turning and believeable.

The story didn't quite live up to the excitement I felt reading the first half, and I felt that the ending was a little flat. All in all, a good vacation read.
Profile Image for Althea Ann.
2,232 reviews1,016 followers
June 9, 2010
Entertaining, but not quite Ursula K. LeGuin (who also deals with similar experimental gender issues in lots of her work).
Profile Image for Paul.
1,119 reviews27 followers
September 13, 2018
This was some high-quality world-building from David Brin, with somewhat lower-quality storytelling. Brin had a lot of good ideas all spawning from the system of seasonal parthenogenetic reproduction he imposed on the planet. I liked how he contrived to have the planet reach a steady state, so that he could have a plausible mechanism for why introducing these biological differences so late in human evolution would have its natural evolutionary consequences.

The problem with the storytelling was that it meandered quite a bit, but it wasn't any sort of progressive revelation of some cool, over-arching plot, it was just sort of fits and starts of various revelations about what was causing the various troubles on Stratos. I think generally the approach people have taken when doing "meandering" books is to have someone who has some reason to explore the various aspects of society as your "guide", e.g. Zelazny's This Immortal . Most of this book actually seems to bypass the vast majority of Stratoan society.

The biggest problem with the storyline in my opinion, is that almost nothing seems to be wrapped up in the end, and in fact the book seems to come to a rather sudden end. I guess there wasn't much more story to tell, but I think an epilogue would have been nice.

I didn't much care for the game of life stuff that permeated the book. Cellular automata and a few other topics like the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis seems to be one of those topics that always triggers sci-fi authors to write some book shallowly "exploring the concept" that always leaves me rolling my eyes. In this case it was just a bit of a background reference - which is better than usual for this kind of topic, but even then I didn't really like it.

Overall, despite the minor quibbles, I quite liked the book, and I'd be interested to read more set in this universe (either on Stratos or possibly more about the peripatetics).

3.5 of 5 stars
Profile Image for Avani.
187 reviews13 followers
January 22, 2019
Future self: this is that book about gender separation that was done surprisingly well and there are no dolphins anywhere so it's 100% ok.
Profile Image for Tim.
521 reviews4 followers
February 8, 2020
An epoch of so many sci-fi ideas that came after...
16 reviews
October 21, 2021
Not really one for writing reviews, as I have very little interest in the academics of writing, and know next to nothing about style, plot development or character development. To me, it's all about the reading, how does it read? Does it keep you turning pages?
This book I found a little slow in the first chapter, but no so much that I lost interest. Then as it got going, it dragged my away with it . . .
Profile Image for Juan Raffo.
121 reviews2 followers
March 21, 2017
Se lee con facilidad, entretiene, historia de aventuras en un cultura exótica constituida por clanes de mujeres capaces de auto clonarse y donde los hombres son una minoría que aporta variedad genética.

Una adolescente no clon, una 'var', parte de su clan para hacer fortuna (en realidad es expulsada, que es lo que normalmente ocurre con las var) y se ve envuelta en una conspiración que involucra la llegada de un representante del resto de la humanidad despues de miles de años de aislamiento, la lucha entre facciones rivales que buscan mantener el status quo (o voltear el mundo de cabeza) pero con tanta mala suerte (o demasiada buena suerte) que por momentos se hace increíble que todo esto le ocurra a la misma persona (pero por supuesto, esto es lo que uno espera que le pase a estos personajes en este tipo de novelas).
Profile Image for Mitchell Friedman.
4,586 reviews171 followers
March 28, 2022
A re-read, though it has been a good long while. This review is skewed with the memory of liking this book in the past. This was a big book - lots of pages, lot of ideas. Perhaps too many ideas. Whether I appreciated it in the past before, I found Conway's Game of Life a distraction. Otherwise this was an adventure book as well as an idea book. This was a serious examination of a society built on cloning as well as gender segregation. It was interesting to also see how underplayed the act of sex separate from procreation was in this book. In the end the book kind of falls over of its own weight. I think of this as one of Brin's better endings - but mostly that's because it really just peters out. And non-endings is what Brin does best.
94 reviews1 follower
May 21, 2012
I enjoyed this book very much. Brin created a world (Stratos) that is very different from our own - a world where most of the population is women, and the dominant mode of reproduction is self-cloning, but makes that world come alive by showing how human choices determine how cultures develop from these biological facts. The book starts with the mainstream culture in which large clone families root themselves in occupational niches, while variant girls (non-clones) are sent out as 15-year-olds to find their own way in the world (with the ambition of finding their own niches and creating new clone families) and boys go to sea with their fathers' clans) - a culture which the main character (a var girl named) Leie accepts as normal, but the book expands Leie's viewpoint (and the readers) by showing

1) areas where the clone families attempt to diminish the number of vars and to a minimum,
2) micro-clone families that persist over generations going from one mother to one daughter
3) clone family ecologies with families finding niches in service of other families,
4) clone families that have the crippling flaw that they can't get along with each other, but enough raw talent that they can find individual niches

and we even hear of areas in which such heresies as nuclear families, and families that send out clone daughters but keep the vars exist.

The watchword is "robust stability" - which Brin contrasts with both stasis, and with the constant upheaval that modern society has been experiencing for the last couple of centuries, and he uses Stratos to explore what a society that allows change but promotes conservation of successful ideas and methods might be like.

A very thought-provoking book.
Profile Image for Tomislav.
976 reviews69 followers
February 26, 2014
This was nominated for, but did not win the James Tiptree Award, which resulted in some controversy at the time. Brin has publicly stated that he felt that the decision was unfair. Ursula LeGuin's written comments as a part of the review committee, start off with negative generalizations about male writers, so there may be some truth to Brin's position. However, it is also true that while the characters of Glory Season display some altered gender behavior, they also have characteristics that are recognizably pre-feminist. If hybridization of gender roles disqualifies a work, then I think it does raise the question of what the actual qualifications are (or were at the time). I have read some Tiptree award winners for which a comparable filter has not been applied against works that fail to fully challenge male stereotypes. So perhaps it is actually a feminist science fiction award? Award or no, this book is however very worth reading.
614 reviews8 followers
December 8, 2017
Mostly about sex.

I would like to see more done with a universe where a world has broken off to create a system in which most reproduction is parthenogenetic. There was real potential here for commentary on the roles of men, women, etc. If only Margaret Atwood would cheer up a bit and tackle something like this - it would be amazing. But instead it was mind-numbingly boring. For over 700 pages. And it was mostly about sex. I don't even know how you do that.

Profile Image for Leslie.
2,666 reviews202 followers
June 19, 2020

2020 reread:
I really like this look at gender roles and the conflict between adaptability & stability. While the ending is realistic (given the world of Stratoin), it is somewhat depressing...
Profile Image for Jill Hohnstein.
Author 2 books7 followers
July 21, 2011
Should have been great. As it was, I couldn't finish it. Nothing happened for 342 pages.
Profile Image for Jules.
213 reviews
December 13, 2020
TL:DR: Save yourself many hours and read Left Hand of Darkness instead.
The book lost a star due to the author's whinging about feminism and comparing this brick to Margaret Atwood's Handmaiden's Tale.
The one thing I did appreciate is that Maia always seemed 15. From the 'i'm special', rigid thinking 'they have to prove themselves before I could think about trusting them again!' and a total lack of awareness about what's going on around her.

The rest of the book...? It was ridiculously long and I found my eyes drifting over pages of nothing. The book could've been cut in half without losing anything. The author tried to write a feminist novel but fails to think about how a society of women would organize themselves when they don't have to think about sex (which has an obsessive focus throughout the first 3/4s of the novel.) Would they organize themselves to reproduce the oppressive structures from 3000 years ago with a neoliberal/capitalistic economy? The author doesn't seem to understand that if you write something sexist and just flip the pronouns, it doesn't become subversive or feminist. It's still sexist because it doesn't exist in a vacuum.
The other troubling theme that wasn't explored, except through reactionary characters, was the forced contact with the hominid confederacy (or whatever) would result in their dominant culture reasserting power over Stratos No Matter What. Fr an anthropological stance, that's particularly troubling, because it reeks of colonialism 'now that you've been (re)discovered, we will set the terms of trade and contact.' Along with culture and gender, this is an area where Left Hand of Darkness thoughtfully explored what it means for a planet to give up some autonomy for trade benefits.

The questions and themes Brin thinks himself so clever for bringing up with this dense novel are handled with the care and grace of a sledgehammer. He doesn't seem to care about this thought experiment (or Maia, really. Apparently, Stratos doesn't have mental health care to help her process her trauma) other than it's a way to win an argument against feminists. I'm not sure what he thinks the argument is or how he thinks this won it...?

So in summary- Read Left Hand of Darkness (really the whole Hainish Cycle) by Ursula Le Guin instead.
Profile Image for Chris Aldridge.
484 reviews8 followers
March 22, 2022
Although perhaps a bit long winded for my taste I certainly enjoyed many aspects of the adventures described on this strange world. It’s basically a thought experiment about whether a different kind of society could produce a stable system. The authors answer is a resounding no, that humanity is intrinsically doomed to change from both internal and external pressures.
The story kind of petered out but the journey remains fascinating nonetheless.
Personally I can see no hope of a utopia for humanity without drastic population control, the technological risks keep accelerating exponentially. We are apparently collectively too dumb to deserve this garden of Eden we inherited from evolution.

As I write this free range eggs are removed from shelves due to the bird flu, idiots wander about edinburgh enjoying mask freedom as c19 levels reach a peak of 1 in 12 infected. The forestry commission finally decides to consider more diversity after most Dutch elm and larches fall prey to disease - I know my dad as Assistant Director of the countryside commission for Scotland responsible for conservation argued with then 40 years ago that monocultures are economic at first but ultimately doomed. He was ignored by government as business interests run politics and they are too dumb to care about their own kids. Humanity is a monoculture twiddling it’s thumbs while waiting for a new plague.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Marthe Dangreux.
20 reviews
March 25, 2018
Je continue de compléter mes "David Brin". Je ne parlerai pas (encore) de Marée stellaire ou du Peuple d'argile que j'ai lu il y a déjà quelques temps mais de Saison de gloire.

On le sait, David Brin fait partie des auteurs qui à partir de quelques hypothèses de base, fabrique un univers en explorant toutes les conséquences de ses suppositions. Cette fois-ci il s'attaque au matriarcat et au clonage à partir de l'observation de... lézards femelles o_O

Sur Stratos, planète isolée des autres mondes humains, les fondatrices ont rendu vivante leur utopie d'un matriarcat pastoral basé sur le clonage. A partir de cette situation, David Brin tire un société étrange et attachante aux rôles inversés. Comme toujours il y a de l'aventure à l'américaine (un peu 80s). On pardonne quelques longueurs car le monde est fascinant (notamment les clans des matriarches clones, les hommes considérés comme une espèce à part et la trouvaille géniale des vars). David Brin a su utiliser les clones d'une manière unique (sans mauvais jeu de mots) et quitter une vision angoissante classique (parfois très réussie comme dans Reproduction interdite de Jean-Michel Truong). La postface est très intéressante à ce titre.

Bref je ne regrette pas et je vous le conseille :)
Profile Image for Jim Mann.
610 reviews2 followers
November 11, 2020
Lysos is a human colony, set up as a matriarchy. The rulers are clans of clones, all female. Males exist, but in far fewer numbers. And there are summer children -- calls vars -- who the result of male/female sexual reproduction, but the are second class citizens.

Maia and her twin sister Liei are vars who have reached the age of adulthood when they can set out on their own, in hopes of being successful and perhaps even starting their own clone clan. But they are separated, and Maia finds herself imprisoned, and then in contact with an alien ambassador who has been captured by one group of clones, rescued by another, and captured again.

This is very much an adventure novel, with captures and escapes, storms at sea, pirates, pitched battles, traps, puzzles to solve, and various plots and conspiracies behind what's going on. And the world and society building is very good and intriguing, particularly the role reversals (men are considered too emotional and with too little long term planning capacity to effectively take a major role in government.) It's all a lot of fun, and my only real complain is that 764 pages it was a bit too long and dragged in parts. Overall though, worth reading.
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460 reviews12 followers
January 13, 2021
I wanted to like this more because you can tell that it is incredibly well researched. The story posits a matriarchal society which evolved itself to remove male aggression, and for the most part almost all masculinity from the males in the society. At the same time it notes that mammalian life pretty much needs male produced DNA to get along... and it's very scientifically viable from one page to the next other than the whole intra-galactic space travel part.

That all said, this scientifically accurate story really plodded along for me. The social structures were all fine, with the clones and the rarer naturally selected variants and... zzzz ... then that gets broken up with a bit of action and then back to sleep. Brin actually mentions Huxley's A Brave New World in the afterward describing it as one of those rare books that describes a whole new societal makeup, but this isn't Huxley. Discovering the societal variations as I read was more like, "Oh I get it" rather than "WTF did I just read" as you'd see in Huxley.

I recommend this book for anyone who reads David Brin, but I wouldn't make it the top of my list by any stretch of the imagination.
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