"Never understate the voyage we're embarked on." — Glory Season

"Glory Season offers thrills, chills, political intrigue, and other good old scientifictional fun, along with yet another round in the battle of the sexes." — Locus

DAVID BRIN's Glory Season

Bantam Spectra, 1993

Read the first 2 chapters online, or scroll down to purchase GLORY SEASON.

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how can a var achieve success?

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 Stratoin's carefully maintained, perfect society.

Both exciting and insightful, Glory Season was NOMINATED: 1994 Hugo award for best novel, and NOMINATED: 1994 Locus SF award for best novel.

what can fantasy achieve?

"While I have the floor, here's a question that's been bothering me for some time. Why do so few writers of heroic or epic fantasy ever deal with the fundamental quandary of their novels ... that so many of them take place in cultures that are rigid, hierarchical, stratified, and in essence oppressive? What is so appealing about feudalism, that so many free citizens of an educated commonwealth like ours love reading about and picturing life under hereditary lords?

"Why should the deposed prince or princess in every clichéd tale be chosen to lead the quest against the Dark Lord? Why not elect a new leader by merit, instead of clinging to the inbred scions of a failed royal line? Why not ask the pompous, patronizing, "good" wizard for something useful, such as flush toilets, movable type, or electricity for every home in the kingdom? Given half a chance, the sons and daughters of peasants would rather not grow up to be servants. It seems bizarre for modern folk to pine for a way of life our ancestors rightfully fought desperately to escape." — David Brin

watch the book trailer for Glory Season

Watch the book trailer, featuring book cover artwork by Frank Gambino and Gary Ruddell.

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more about Glory Season

Glory Season's catalysts

"We would have every path laid open to women.... Were this done ... we would see crystallations more pure and of more various beauty. We believe the divine energy would pervade nature to a degree unknown in the history of former ages, and that no discordant collision, but a ravishing harmony in the spheres, would ensue." — Margaret Fuller

"This book began with a contemplation of lizards. Specifically, several secies from the American Southwest that reproduce parthenogenetically — mothers giving birth to daughter clones. Perfect copies of themselves.

"From there, I discovered aphids, tiny insects blessed with two modes of reproduction. During periods of plenty and stability, they self-clone, churning out multiple duplicates like little Xerox machines. But when the good times end, they quickly swing back to old-fashioned sexual mating, creating daughters and sons whose imperfect variety is nature's mortar of survival."

. . .

"These days, nothing is politically neutral. The lizards I referred to earlier have recently been cited in a thought-provoking, if inflammatory, radical feminist tract posing the question 'Who needs males, anyway?' Many times, over the ages, insurgent female philosophers have proposed independence through separation. Given the plight of countless women and children in the world, they can hardly be blamed. In fact, the name 'Perkinite' was taken from Charlotte Perkins Gilman, whose novel Herland is one of the best and pithiest separationist utopias ever penned. Her brand of sexual isolationism is far gentler than the extremist doctrine I depict, which shamefully misuses her name on planet Stratos." — David Brin

"It was after I started studying langur monkeys that it began to dawn on me how many sources of variation in female reproductive success there were. It brought the old paradigm into question. For so long it had been assumed that males were basically polygynous [many sexual partners] while females were monandrous [one sexual partner]. Watching langurs convinced me that this was not true. When I examined the wider literature I realized just how common polyandrous mating by females actually was across primates. Now we realize it’s not just primates, it’s across the animal kingdom." — Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

"Would self-cloning lead kinship lineages to imitate the social life of ants or bees, dwelling in 'hives' with like-gened sisters? This notion, too, has been explored before, often by cramming antlike behavior into bipedal bodies. On Stratos, the daughters of an ancient clan would exhibit solidarity and self-knowledge unimaginable to vars like ourselves, but that wouldn't necessarily make them automatons, or stop them being human." — David Brin

"life" as we know it

For those interested in the game of cellular automata (or "Life") Brin used to create Stratoin society, here are a few resources:

  • Martin Gardner, "Mathematical Games: The fantastic combinations of John Conway's new solitaire game 'life'"
  • Stanford University's Conway's Game of Life discussion and demonstration website
  • John Horton Conway's Princeton University biography

  • a brief intro to science fiction author DAVID BRIN

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    DAVID BRIN author


    David Brin's science fiction 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. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More

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    David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More

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    Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More

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