“[A] dreamy, poetic book . . . very much in the spirit of Dune or Le Guin's works.”—San Francisco Examiner
"Slonczewski creates an all-female nonviolent culture that reaches beyond feminism to a new definition of human nature.”—Library Journal
Winning the John W. C... ampbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, A Door Into Ocean is a novel that uses Joan Slonczewski’s expertise in the field of biology to create a world—a race—that challenges our own concept of humanity in the most beautiful way.
When Spinal, a stonecutter’s son, leaves his trader planet to apprentice with Merwen, the Impatient One, on Shora, a moon completely covered in water, it takes some time for him to adjust to living amongst the inhabitants, known as Sharers, who live in harmony with each other and the ecology of their environment.
For while the inhabitants claim to be human, they are a race of women very alien in their appearance, with their purple-pigmented skin and webbed fingers. It is hard for any outsider to understand the unique spiritual and linguistic union they have with each other, and the various biological lifeforms on their planet.
But then Spinal meets Lystra, daughter of Merwen and Usha, and together they re-evaluate societal norms for both of their worlds, banding together to fight an occupying force that is not only attempting to colonize the planet for its resources, but corrupt its people—break them of their beliefs—in order to justify their actions; their purpose.
For what is it that makes us human? Or more importantly, more humane. Is it our form? The way we procreate? Or is it, perhaps, how we hold ourselves accountable, as individuals and a species.
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