GLORY SEASON description and bonus information
HOW CAN A VAR ACHIEVE SUCCESS?
"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
In Glory Season (NOMINEE: 1994 Hugo award for best novel), 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 Stratoin's carefully maintained perfect society.
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"Brin's handling of this material is cool and rational. While he criticizes some of the weaknesses of Stratos life, he also makes as good a case for its viability and benefits as might any feminist." -- Publishers Weekly
"The colonists of Stratos are genetically modified so that both genders have "rutting" seasons, much like other mammals. However, these seasons are offset from each other, so that whenever one side is interested, the other could care less. This causes procreation to be much more a matter of barter and economics than love, impulse, etc. Also, the women are capable of conceiving normally or of bearing a child that is a clone of themselves.
"From these premises, Brin builds a fascinating culture -- one that is conservative and enduring.
"Set against this backdrop is a familiar storyline, of a smart young innocent setting out on her own, witnessing things that were meant to remain secret, and getting swept up in the midst of intrigue and adventure. Given the low tech level of Stratos, the story often feels like a standard adventure set in pre-industrial times. However, the depth of the setting, and the differences in attitude and philosophy of the characters, keeps the whole thing feeling novel and interesting." -- Amazon.com customer review
"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." -- Goodreads community review