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Extended Audio Sample A Door into Ocean Audiobook, by Joan Slonczewski Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (703 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joan Slonczewski Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2008 ISBN: 9781455191727
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The Sharers of Shora are a nation of women on a distant moon in the far future. They are pacifists, they are highly advanced in biological sciences, and they reproduce by parthenogenesis—because there are no males. Conflict erupts when a militaristic neighboring civilization sends an army to develop their ocean world.

A groundbreaking work both of feminist science fiction and of world-building, hard science fiction, A Door into Ocean is the novel that solidified Joan Slonczewski’s reputation as an important science fiction writer. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “By the time the conflict…has moved to center stage, you not only know the antagonists intimately, you care passionately about the outcome…The story deals with the efforts of decent people on both sides to see beyond their culture-bound definitions of humanity.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A dreamy, poetic book…very much in the spirit of Dune or Le Guin’s works. It’s tough to build a world, particularly if you try to get the science correct. Author Slonczewski accomplishes that difficult feat and manages a gripping plot into the bargain. Maybe Le Guin has competition.”

    San Francisco Examiner

  • “One of the best new science fiction novels of the last several years.”

    VOYA

  • “An intriguing ocean world…[The] schematic political framework is enlivened by the full-blooded characters who negotiate between the two cultures. Science Fiction Book Club selection.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Slonczewski creates an all-female, nonviolent culture that reaches beyond feminism to a new definition of human nature. This novel is highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cicely | 2/17/2014

    " Somewhat heavy-handed exploration of a feminist utopia. My favorite quote: "Spinel soon came to suspect that most of his clients would find their own answers, if any, in whatever he had to say. What they actually craved was someone to listen, if only for a moment. It amazed him to realize how many people led parched lives, thirsting for the faintest drop of empathy. For himself or anyone else to fill all that need was as hopeless as filling an ocean." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri Fresonke Harper | 2/16/2014

    " Interesting culture work based on lifeforms that live in the ocean and not. Good tech reason for how they live. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia | 2/14/2014

    " My favourite kinda sci-fi, baby! Water, women, DNA, RNA, libraries and more... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karin | 1/19/2014

    " While slow to start, I was really impressed with how much I cared about what was happening by the second "part" of the book and I cared right up until the very last paragraph. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 1/19/2014

    " An epic world spanning eco-feminist book of self discovery and conquest. Ultimately, the main thing that bothered me about it was the pacing. Some scenes were just not needed or focused on a character who we never saw again. Also, about halfway through the novel (2/3 the way through part 3) it seemed like the end to a book and then it immediately started anew. The first half we follow our off worlder protagonists through their journies of self discovery. The second we watch as a war is wages on the non violent sharers. I do recommend this for readers who enjoy science fiction and feminist literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenni | 1/17/2014

    " Good old The Women's Press sf list. Nary a title on its small but perfectly formed list is a misfire. Re-read this book for the first time in quite a while: could hardly put it down. Love the world-building and the social construction, as good as classic le Guin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 11/14/2013

    " A sci-fi story about queer aquatic socialists with advanced bio-tech? Sign me up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank Taranto | 10/23/2013

    " A very good story about the interaction between a feminist water world and a patriarchal aggressive land world. I found the writing excellent and really enjoyed the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 9/30/2013

    " Really wonderful eco-feminist science fiction. Influenced by Dune and Ursula LeGuin, Slonczewski creates an amazing water planet filled with a very complex ecosystem and culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 jagle | 9/3/2013

    " One of my favourite ever books - changed my view of looking at the way I lived my life - not hard to guess I read this at uni! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darla | 6/5/2013

    " Another Fem Sci fi book. Not my favorite, but worth the read, tougher writing style than the others. Good stuff, I even read #2. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alice Martin | 7/17/2012

    " Not my cup of tea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 2/10/2012

    " Another book to add to my all-time favorite feminist sci-fi. I've read this book many times and it always stands up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mirrordance | 2/4/2012

    " Decisamente molto particolare, ma nell'insieme non mi e' piaciuto. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason Case | 9/11/2011

    " Not enough action for my taste "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wyrmia | 2/15/2011

    " I really wanted to like this book because it involves a planet full of naked women. I found it so cheesy and the characters so shallow, though, that I had to force myself to read it--I didn't enjoy it at all. I don't get what people see in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 9/16/2010

    " I've always been a sucker for environmental feminist sci-fi, and this fits the bill nicely. This was a favorite of mine when I was a teenager, and I recently found it in a used bookstore and re-read it. I enjoy Slonczewski's writing wherever I find it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 3/15/2010

    " Not enough action for my taste "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank | 10/5/2009

    " A very good story about the interaction between a feminist water world and a patriarchal aggressive land world. I found the writing excellent and really enjoyed the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 9/30/2009

    " This was a really interesting work of feminist science fiction. Shora is an all-female planet, entirely peaceful. When they are invaded by a warlike neighboring world, can they find a solution without compromising their own pacifism? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darla | 6/9/2009

    " Another Fem Sci fi book. Not my favorite, but worth the read, tougher writing style than the others. Good stuff, I even read #2. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trixie | 3/28/2009

    " Fluid, gender-bending sci-fi fantasy that's beautiful, provocative, engrossing, and richly detailed. One of my favorite books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olivia | 12/9/2008

    " My favourite kinda sci-fi, baby! Water, women, DNA, RNA, libraries and more... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 dejamo | 5/31/2008

    " Well written, well considered, well worth reading. Oddly enough, the female-centric slant was unnecessary and a little detracting from what I took away with me. But only a little. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 5/18/2008

    " Another book to add to my all-time favorite feminist sci-fi. I've read this book many times and it always stands up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri | 4/22/2008

    " Interesting culture work based on lifeforms that live in the ocean and not. Good tech reason for how they live. "

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About the Author
Author Joan Slonczewski

Joan Slonczewski lives in Gambier, Ohio, and teaches biology and science fiction courses at Kenyon College.

About the Narrator

Rosalyn Landor has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.