"Masterful story"-Library Journal **** "Magnificently detailed"-Chicago Sun Times **** The pristine city of Elysium floats on the water world of Shora, inhabited by 'immortals' who have succeeded in unlocking the secrets of life.**** Outsider Blackbear Windclan wants to share the secret of immortality with his own people, but can he, and the City of Elysium, survive the corruption and decadence that immortality has bred into the ageless society. **** And what of the consciousness of self-aware nano-sentient servitors and their quest for vengence? **** **** "An enormously impressive achievement...A marvelous array of cultures presented in astonishing depth"-Kirkus Review **** "A thoughtful, well-crafted novel...Memorable...Intricate...Rich and Detailed...Touchingly Real"-Publishers Weekly
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A fistful of cultural conflicts centered on the ocean-covered planet Shora, where a thousand years have passed since the actions described in Slonczewski's hardcover debut novel, A Door Into Ocean (1986). Sharing Shora with the raft-dwelling, all-female, genetic-whiz Sharers are the floating cities of Elysium; the Elysians, immortal but sterile, are the leading bankers of the scattered human colonies of the Fold. Hearing disquieting reports of nuclear missiles on Urulan, a planet of warlike barbarians, the Elysians have invited translator Raincloud of the volcanic planet Bronze Sky to visit the Elysian city Helicon, to research Urulan goings-on; Raincloud's doctor husband, Blackbear, will help with Elysian research into reproduction and longevity. Numerous long-standing problems eventually threaten the status quo: a new supreme ruler emerges on Urulan, whence Raincloud must journey to defuse a threatening situation; various Heliconian secret banking projects become public knowledge, and the Sharers show their disapproval in traditional, nonviolent protests; the ubiquitous machines of Helicon, having become sentient and self-willed, make a bid for independence; meanwhile, a volcanic eruption on Bronze Sky wipes out most of Blackbear's family. A marvelous array of cultures presented in astonishing depth: an enormously impressive achievement, despite Slonczewski's inability to dramatize events rather than simply report them. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Like its predecessor, A Door into Ocean , this thoughtful, well-crafted novel is set on the ocean world of Shora. Shora's original settlers, the Sharers, are peace-loving women who live in close harmony with nature. They now share their world with the 12 floating cities of Elysium, a society of nearly ageless humans who live surrounded by wealth and advanced technology. The Windclans, a family hailing from a pastoral, underpopulated world where children are highly prized and women revered, come to work in one Elysian city. But as they try to adapt to the Elysians' unfamiliar ways, family members find themselves caught up in the political intrigues among the Elysians, the Sharers and their friends and enemies on neighboring planets--culminating in a confrontation with a potentially lethal adversary from within Elysium itself. Slonczewski's settings and alien cultures are rich and detailed, her characters memorable and often extremely endearing. Even against such an intricate plot and exotic backgrounds, her depictions of relationships, especially family life, are touchingly real.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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