Daughters of a Coral Dawn

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Without Steve Trevor. There is much laughter and crying. There is interpretive dancing. Everything is easy and nothing bad ever happens. The last twenty pages are essentially a long uninteresting lovemaking scene. The End. Why do lesbian love interests always seem to be cartoon or weaker versions of male stereotypes? This book is essentially a lesbian romance novel and a pretty patronizing one at that. If only I wasn't the kind of guy who has to finish everything he starts.

But I'm putting my foot down! I will not be reading the sequels! Feb 03, Avory rated it really liked it Shelves: contemporary-lit , fantasy , fiction-queer.

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I'm in love with the concept, and though occasionally the writing can slump a little, for the most part it keeps moving. To be honest, it's just so freaking novel - a huge extended family of women descended from a long-lived alien builds a spaceship and colonizes a planet. It sounds hokey, but it's just so lovely.

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This is the kind of fantasy novel you read when you just need to get away and live on a cloud for a while. Oh yeah, and everyone's a lesbian. By the way. Sep 21, Dee rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Connoisseurs of queer fiction and also of science fiction. This book is great, fun, lesbian science fiction.

A classic of queer literature, I should say. The following books in the trilogy, Daughters of an Amber Noon and Daughters of an Emerald dusk, are fun too but they were written years after Coral Dawn and while more polished, they lack some of the raw feminist energy of the first book. This was probably my fifth reading of this book. With age mine , I find the book less exceptional in some ways and yet just as wonderful as during the first reading. It could have been better written, I suppose, maybe.

But at the time it was written, it was extraordinarily amazing and such a tremendous, positive influence for lesbians. We ARE all extraordinarily gifted and beautiful! It's a great yarn and was so important a reminder to lesbians of our strengths and beauty. This is a classic.

Katherine V. Forrest

May 29, Vasha7 rated it it was ok. I fear I can't agree with the enthusiasm of the person who recommended this to me. In discussing my reservations about the book, I will skip over certain purely scientific problems such as egregious misunderstandings of basic biology , which do matter to a book that purports to be science fiction, but are really peripheral to its main concerns. The book is concerned with the description of a utopia, and therefore, in order to have anything interesting to say, must have some notion of the social, I fear I can't agree with the enthusiasm of the person who recommended this to me.


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The book is concerned with the description of a utopia, and therefore, in order to have anything interesting to say, must have some notion of the social, economic, and ecological interactions that go into the makeup of a community. Yet there is very little sign that the author has thought much about the way that real people interact with each other.

Her blithe passing over of all real problems is purely unbelievable! To take one example, in describing education, she says that teachers are not really needed in the perfect society -- "Instruction is easy, mostly electronic". And I'm saying to myself : No way, no how. Learning is complicated, children need interaction with teachers who work with their individual strengths and identify where they need additional help But after all, the children in this story are all, to a girl, hyper-intelligent, focused, superhumanly perfect : And that is the indication of where "Daughters of a Coral Dawn" truly goes wrong, right from the first page.

The characters are not human. They are supposedly hybrids with an alien species. And they are all more intelligent, more socially attuned, more morally developed, etc. So when the author decided to people her utopia with these paragons, she instantly lost the possibility of discussing how humans, with all their flaws, could behave in new circumstances. And how is the reader supposed to identify with the characters, or imagine herself in the story? You might say that Materna sounds like a nice place to live, but how could you actually live there?

It is not worthwhile discussing how such a society could work without being willing to engage with the complexities of human nature. And it is frankly wildly improbable that Laurel, the only supposedly purely human character, could fit in there. The author even squandered her one chance to create a character that the reader could relate to by making Laurel accept her new circumstances too easily.

I give the book some credit for sweetly romantic relationships, but even that is undermined by sketchy characterizations and pedestrian writing. I am not inclined to award consolation prizes for books with good intentions that fail as badly as this one does, so two stars is the most I can give it. Feb 27, Sam rated it did not like it Shelves: feminist-quiltbag-fiction.

I love SciFi and hate giving one star reviews but this book is just bad. Really bad. Men are stupid brutes and wannabe rapists. Women are super-genius, godlike beauties, conveniently named after goddesses. Each with breasts described as fruit?! And they all live on a convenient coral pink clone of earth it even has 7 continents! Y I love SciFi and hate giving one star reviews but this book is just bad. How in the world does this pass for empowering feminist fiction?

View all 3 comments. Jul 20, Ashley rated it really liked it. I have read a few of Forrest's books before and like always the first few pages leave you a little dizzy but you catch on quick and fully enjoy the imaginative and enveloping story as it unfolds. Feb 26, Michaela rated it liked it.

Oversimplifies men and gender, but hey, every time the U. Fairly well-written compared to most lesbian fiction, and a bit tongue-in-cheek. Sep 14, pdxtravelers rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Women. Shelves: alltimefavorites. This book was Diane's, and was the first book she ever read aloud to me. I didn't know what to expect In the end, it was absolutely entralling.

What a novel concept!! Feb 28, Mats rated it it was amazing.


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  • Sweet lesbian Jesus this book is perfection and I don't even care how utopian it is I just don't care. I read less than half the book, but I'm almost embarrassed for not putting it away sooner. Jan 21, Julie rated it it was amazing Shelves: gender , f-f , science-fiction. This book is quite unlike anything I've read before.

    The basic premise is a race of women leaves Earth to start their own colony. But it's a society of women that you can't really recognize. I don't think it's anything anyone else could've ever imagined them as being. Certainly I couldn't have. And only because they're not entirely human can I buy into some aspects of them as people and as a society.

    And and and.. It's hard to write a review of Awesomeness. It's hard to write a review of something you really liked, especially when you have very little to compare it to. But at one point it turns the whole concept of 'male astronauts land on planet of women' on its head. Which is awesome. There's a timelessness about it too. In that as I was reading, I wasn't conscious of it being old. Then at one point I did think.. But it was , actually. But I would not have been surprised to find it written any time in the last 60 years, honestly. Because it's very gay.

    Or, more accurately, very lesbian.


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    Society of all women. Go figure. Anyway, it's like.. And now I need to track down the sequel. Dec 19, Lisa R.

    Daughters of a Coral Dawn by Katherine V Forrest - an infinity plus review

    Smith rated it it was amazing. I read this book so many years ago, must have been in the 80s. I loved it. It has everything and it had it first. Lesbian space travel, women couples having children a miracle of their science , establishing an all female colony on a far away planet, sexual tension between women - hey it was a new read to me at the time.

    I thought I had hit the jackpot. The book is well written, like mainstream books. Everybody should read this book to honor Ms. Forrest, a pioneer in Lesbian Science Fiction, an I read this book so many years ago, must have been in the 80s. Jan 07, Michelle Smith rated it really liked it.

    These 'aliens' in female form are more beautiful, intelligent and apparently more erotic than humans. They are from a planet called VernaIII. This is the tale of Mother and her descendants' struggle, to find a new home away from the men on Earth. Aside from the is a time-old tale of feminist suppression, racial oppression, and breaking free of those chains; there is a bit of lesbian fantasy, sci-fi and altruism.

    I enjoyed the boo "Mother" refers in to a character in this book of non-human origin. I enjoyed the book. Apr 08, Lilah rated it really liked it. There isn't much plot in this, it's more a walkthrough of what a fabulous artistic erotic utopia awaits if the patriarchy would just fuck off and get out of the way. It's idealized and very neatened of human flaw - at least on the women's side - but it read to me like the denizens of Wonder Woman's island home being a lot more overt with their sexuality.

    Charming and sensual and just pretty.

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    Jan 04, Lisa Ziccardi rated it really liked it. I really liked this book. It has a very slow start, but if you keep reading it, it is well worth the wait. I loved the women only world that the author created, the colors, the society structure, the ingenuity of women, the very structured and well functioning society that is only run by women. And the alien mother subplot is pretty clever too that makes the story work. A good read. Aug 08, Kat Fletcher rated it did not like it. I enjoyed Curious Wine and her detective fiction and I'm a science fiction fan and wanted to like this a great deal, but I just couldn't.

    It's separatist utopianism hasn't held up well and the science fiction aspects come across as what people who don't read science fiction think science fiction is like. Jun 17, Nilchance rated it it was amazing. Erotic, lyrical, and crack-addled. The point is more the sociology rather than the engineering; the characters are awesomely flawed. Body positive. The only major negative is the author's view of men, who are all beasts or dictators or rapists, but the book still raises an interesting point: would women feel safer without the company of men?

    Would women actually BE safer there? As the world has been getting crazier and crazier, I've been dreaming about skipping this planet, and that's why I've been thinking of Daughters of a Coral Dawn. It didn't disappoint this time either!

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    Thank you Katherine V. Aug 21, Danya rated it it was amazing. I have loved this book since I was a young woman. It was one of the first lesbian fiction I read and it was so cool and not just because it was the first time I saw my name used in a book! Jul 27, Marissa rated it liked it. Bonus points for being a lesbian classic - and in that sense, of course, a lot of this comes with a grain of salt. Uncharted territory at the time, but in a modern context it does under-deliver. I can see, however, how it earned it's standing and in that regard I have to give kudos where it's due.

    When I was finally able to start reading it, maybe my expectations were warped. It's good, but not amazing, and in my opinion Katherine pales in comparison to someone like Ursula K. Le Guin. The last quarter of the novel feels even for science fiction heavily unrealistic. It is very hastily concluded. It's cheesy, and not even in a so-bad-it's-good 80's cheesy. Pacing, tension and character development goes out the window and the ending undermines the entire premise of the rest of the novel, for what I feel was the attempt to make a bridge for the sequel Daughters of an Amber Noon, which I will NOT be reading.

    It doesn't help that the novel's sex scenes are also all crammed into the last quarter of the book, and I don't think I've ever read so many consecutive euphemisms for cunnilingus and finger-banging in my life. Are you having sex or shopping at a plant nursery, because I can't tell. For someone who is detailed enough to carry the weight of describing space travel, microbiology, astrophysics, and much more in intimate detail, and then loose the bravado so fast at the "climax" moment pun intended , really cheapened it for me.

    Product of the times, I know, I know Still glad I read it. Shelves: beauty-standards , bullying , human-colonies , violence , feminist-sci-fi , aliens , children-die , dealing-with-death , science-fiction , inner-strength. This book gets a bad rap from just about everyone. True, it is pure feminist, lesbian fantasy; a group of feminist lesbians escape the patriarchal Earth to build their own society on a distant, uncharted planet where they live in harmony with nature But there's another aspect to this story that I'm not sure everyone sees.

    Unless you come from a small group, I'm not sure it would even make any sense. There is survival among those who are This book gets a bad rap from just about everyone. There is survival among those who are not like you, and there is the desire to LIVE among one's own kind without constantly taking derogatory remarks from the alien majority and hiding what and who you are. I once left the U. The women of this book decide that to simply exist on patriarchal Earth is no longer sufficient; they want their own world, a place and a culture to be uniquely theirs and not judged by a majority who do not understand them.

    If you can get past the silliness in the first few chapters, the book is actually exciting and interesting. I'm giving it four stars mainly because I really enjoyed most of it; I can't give it five stars because it is not exactly a great work of science-fiction. Oh, and if you DO like it? Don't read the sequels! Apr 20, Linda rated it really liked it. I found this to be a very unusual book.

    You followed the story through excerpts from various diaries and journals. It is about a future where 4ooo women, a large portion of the brightest minds on Earth, leave the planet becuase the they are regarded as third class citizens by the repressive male population. Advanced Search Find a Library. Your list has reached the maximum number of items. Please create a new list with a new name; move some items to a new or existing list; or delete some items. Your request to send this item has been completed. APA 6th ed. Note: Citations are based on reference standards.

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