I didn't really think that much of Glory Season. It was what I would have classified as a fun, light read, but it didn't seem very deep.
Mostly, I thought that Brin didn't really do that much with the placement of women as the leaders of society. There was the message that having only one gender being aloud to have power is a bad thing whether that gender is male or female. But that didn't even really get shown; I felt like that was more stated as an obviousness.
Now, I did read the essay (lecture?) by Brin at the end of my copy of the book where he said that the book wasn't supposed to be about gender issues at all but was about cloning and it's implications. I got the impression that he was saying he didn't really care about all of this subjection of a group vs. equality for all stuff and that having women in charge of society was just required in order for the cloning stuff that he was going to talk about to work out. Which is his choice as an author, but I was interested in both components of the book, and he just skipped talking about one.
Also, I didn't even think that he did that amazing a job dealing with the question of what does a society built on cloning look like? First off, he escaped a lot of the ethical questions that people are thinking about today with regards to cloning since they started cloning when it was required to keep their race alive. There was no societal struggle about how to deal with the fact that clones started appearing - at least that we saw.
I also didn't think that it was all that compelling to say that clones had pretty much all of the traits of their parent. Not just physical looks, but also temperament and personality. That doesn't seem at all believable since there is much of people's temper and personality that is due to their experiences rather than genes. Or at least, that's what I think. Maybe Brin doesn't agree....
I'm not sure how much of my disappointment, though, was that I didn't think that the book was very well written. I didn't enjoy the language and, rather, thought that it felt somewhat stilted at times.
On the flip side, I will say that there were some fun things in the book that I did enjoy. I thought that it was sort of cheesy at first that the game of life was such a big deal and people were playing it and all. It seemed like Brin was a tad obsessed with a simple concept. But after a bit I actually warmed up to the analogy between the random-seeming patterns in the game that have a higher structure and the patterns in real life, such as the rise and fall of clans of clones and such. It ended up working okay.
So, overall, I wouldn't tell someone not to read this book, but I wouldn't actually go out and recommend it either. Which plants it solidly in the '0' rating category.
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