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❰Epub❯ ❧ Dreamsnake Author Vonda N. McIntyre –

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10 thoughts on “Dreamsnake

  1. says:

    While this book gets docked a point or two for the cheesy 70s cover and the title, it deserves a place among the classics of the genre I first read the Nebula winning novella Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand, in middle school, but I never realized that McIntyre had expanded it to novel length It s a thoughtful adventure, a quest led by a mature and confident heroine, Snake I love her as a character she knows who she is, she is good at what she does, and she is comfortable in her own skin I also love that this book is not your typical post apocalyptic nightmare It takes place so long after a nuclear catastrophe that society has rebuilt itself, albeit in a very different form This lets McIntyre present us with a familiar but somewhat alien landscape, advanced and regressive technology, humans acting human but according to slightly different societal rules, all with lots of room to explore While there are a couple of elements that seem as dated as the cover, all in all I thought McIntyre did a beautiful job of expanding that original story into the larger tale told here.

  2. says:

    Look, I read a lot of science fiction Enough that I would mention it So I have a pretty high tolerance for silliness This book overwhelmed my tolerance and left me staggered by the sheer nonsense of it all.Welcome to a post apocalyptic future where isolated communities blunder about in moral turpitude waiting for an oddly naive young woman to come straighten them out with good sense and her trusty snakes You see, snakes are used as drug dispensers in the future, and the woman who s also named Snake is a healer, so she carries around a cobra and a rattler for medicinal purposes She s been entrusted by her teachers to walk the earth like that Caine dude They trained her in medicine and herpetology, but somehow neglected to mention that other people might have odd customs like not respecting other people s property, drug addiction or killing snakes Each of these come as a profound shock when she encounters them.Anyway, off goes our intrepid heroine She meets a series of people whose incredible obliviousness creates problems that she handily solves The fact that the problems are sometimes horrible is pretty well negated by their ridiculousness In one instance, I imagine the mayor of a town who was shocked and outraged by Snake s discovery of a rape victim saying to his trusted adviser after she leaves Say, whose idea was it anyway to have a brutal and overbearing unmarried man become the guardian for a disfigured girl on the verge of puberty In retrospect, that wasn t an obvious choice So okay, this is an empowerment fantasy and I can respect that, but it s so contrived that it becomes tedious There are numerous loose ends and holes in the book, but the book doesn t suffer for them because it seems perfectly obvious how they would all play out If anything, I m glad the author didn t bother to explain .

  3. says:

    The publisher says They called the healer Snake, and she bore the name proudly, for the medicine she distilled from the venom of the viper she carried with her was a potent cure and the soothing power of her other companion, the alien dreamsnake, banished fear But the primitive ignorance of those she served killed her dreamsnake and wrecked her career for dreamsnakes were dreadfully rare, and Center would not grant her another Snake s only hope was to find a new dreamsnake and on her quest, she was pursued by two implacable followers, one driven by love, one by fear and need.Me I enjoyed this short little tale of a healer trying to find her place in the world, making mistakes as we all do and struggling to find a way out of a bad situation Finding companionship, love and an adopted daughter A strong female main character, solving problems competently yet accepting help when it is offered A book which passes the Bechdel test with flying colours there is than one female character and they talk to each other about something besides men.My only complaint was that it was too short there were several interesting items which tickled my curiosity and made me wish that there was a sequel or that the original was a bit thicker, with detail For example, how did Earth get to this post apocalyptic state Who are the aliens who created the domes and brought the strange plants and dreamsnakes to Earth Have they stuck around or who exactly is in the intact city dome In a world where there are still so many books in which the female characters are stiff as cardboard or stereotypical caricatures , this book from the 1970s really shines as a book where I felt real affection for Snake She is a realistic woman, with emotions and dilemmas that I can relate to I must read of McIntyre s work.

  4. says:

    A very odd book by modern standards, but one that is strikingly of its era Manages to do some things very badly dialogue, most of the characterisation the central character is solid and likeable but a Mary Sue and not all that distinctive, while the supporting cast are mostly two or fewer dimensional and also somewhat MSish , a lot of the plot details , yet do others very well descriptive prose setting and its exploration, some of the emotional stuff Sort of like a less good Ursula Le Guin novel, really Slow, meandering social science fiction.Probably not selling it well It is really interesting in its setting, and in the way it gradually reveals the nature of the setting, and also in its overarching plot it doesn t have much of one, so what it does have is very free, and hence surprising Special mention should be made of the idea of a society that is in some ways backward than ours, but in other ways developed normally, primitive or post apocalyptic societies are just that, but McIntyre takes the interesting and probably realistic approach that some skills and technologies are able to survive even a general deterioriation in economic conditions, and maybe even may continue to progress.I think in the end I probably came away valuing it as an interesting demonstration of what can be done in SF than as a novel in its own right, which I guess is both a compliment and a criticism.My fuller review as usual is over here on my blog

  5. says:

    I was really pleasantly surprised by this 70s scifi and I have a rather antagonistic relationship, so I was hoping to read the late great McIntyre, pay my respects, and retreat to safer grounds But this was delightful I mean, yes, it was still 70s tastic, but in a fun way, not in a stabby way.CONTENT WARNING no actual spoilers, just a list of topics view spoiler animal cruelty, snakes obvs , rape, pedophilia, child abuse, medical procedures, mental illness, a sort of questionably consensual sex scene, torture, able ism, drug addiction, death of a loved one hide spoiler

  6. says:

    Dreamsnake is the extension of the award winning novelette Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand and is set at the same time and planet Earth as The Exile Waiting.It reads like a fantasy story like Tehanu for the first 50 pages before it becomes clear that it is a post nuclear SF setting It follows a young, female healer called Snake within her probationary year The eponymous Dreamsnakes are one of three kinds of snakes that healers in this setting use They are irreplacable, because they rarely reproduce, can t be cloned and a loss is therefore devastating for healers Now, Snake lost her dreamsnake, and this novel is about the quest to find replacement.On her quest, she falls in love, adopts a child, goes through lots of harshness She is presented in general as a strong woman, who commits errors but also learns from them It is very easy to identify with her Writing is often very emotional, it uses descriptive than action oriented scenes, is on the quiet side I found a very good interview at io9 McIntyre talks about how she came to the story a Clarion workshop word draw , her reaction about Arevin s non masculinity, the publishing situation in the 70s, the out of print problem of older book and bookviewcafe s answer to it She also talks about one of the side character s Merideth gender you might have noticed, that his her sex isn t revealed at all through pronouns etc.The interview deepened my impression that there are lots of interesting ideas pressed into this slim book Emotions, characterization, and setting are absolutely worthwhile your reading time, and it deserved the triple Hugo Nebula Locus awards.

  7. says:

    Vonda N McIntyre s Star Trek novel The Entropy Effect has been one of my favorite novels since I was a teenager I ve read it twice and have wanted to read it again for a long time I was luckily enough to have a conversation with her about it, Star Trek and writing in general on Twitter, just a couple of months before she passed away.I also promised her I d read other of her work and well, ms McIntyre, I finally did, and I loved it.She writes stories in a way that s rare today, where the surface plot is really a conduit for personal growth and understanding I can really only compare her to Ursula Le Guin This story of Snake, Melissa, and the other characters, is as much a literal, physical cross country journey as it is an inner journey She understands human behavior and motivations so well and handles really heavy subjects very delicately but without shying away or attaching shame to it Snake is an adult who respects and listens to a child as another equal human being, here are characters who make mistakes and learn, we even have queerness handled with ease and a normalsy that continues to amaze me existed so freely decades ago in speculative fiction, especially science fiction written by women It s even subtly present in her Star Trek novel, which is really all about Spock trying to change history to save Kirk s life I mean, fan fiction much And the ending Oh, so cheeky Well done I m only sad I won t be able to let her know I finally did read of her work but if she s watching somewhere, here s to you and to further exploring your work.

  8. says:

    Received to review via NetgalleyIt s been quite a while since I read this, and I remembered it fondly enough, so when it came up on Netgalley, I decided to request it and do a reread I only gave it three stars the first time, which surprised me when I looked it up and saw the raft of awards it got Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree nomination, National Book Award finalist I remembered it being quite like The Steerswoman in the narrative style, in the capable heroine I remembered that the background of the story including queer and polyamorous characters in a casual, natural way as well as plenty of capable women who knew what they were doing, who talked to each other about things other than men , who worked together.Happily, all of that is still there, especially Snake s care for others for Melissa, and also for Gabriel, for Arevin, for the people she treats as a healer Even for her snakes, though that s not so surprising given that her livelihood relies upon them And there are some quite lovely tender moments between Snake and the people she helps and becomes friends with.The background of the story is fascinating too, and I don t seem to have thought much about it before It s basically Earth, post apocalypse, but exactly what that apocalypse was and how the aliens might have been involved, or even how long ago it was, are all shrouded and mysterious And that background just lies behind the story, mostly not even used except in little bits like the solution to breeding dreamsnakes And there s the whole issue of the healers using snake venom, how and why they would have begun that, how it all works There s room for half a dozen other stories here, though the one we re told is a fairly straightforward redemption quest story.It s still not quite a five star read for me there s something rather detached about it, emotionally, despite the tender moments Sometimes the background feels a little too much like painted scenery But for the most part, it was enjoyable to revisit Dreamsnake, and worth the time.

  9. says:

    Quick and dirty reading notes and i relevant thoughts I read this novel a while ago, but I decided to go back and write a review, since is so little known And what a pity that is This is a very different kind of science fiction and I read that the author had trouble finding a publisher since most folks took it for fantasy In fact Dreamsnake reads like a classic western, and it s only the brief details mentions of genetic engineering, craters of atomic bombs, collapsed domes of alien spacecrafts, etc that set this novel in a extremely far post apocalyptic future The society presented ranges from the archaic tribal communities to a segregated super developed city the Center In between these, there are the healers, leaving outside the Center but versed in genetic engineering Over the last hundred of years, they altered the snakes such that, under catalytic drugs, the composition of their venom changes into useful drugs Without the snakes, the healers are crippled and can do little for the sick It is because of this that when the main character loses a very rare specimen, she finds herself at an impasse return home in disgrace, or try to convince the Center to give her a new one I read some reviews complaining that the novel has some scientifically obsolete facts I disagree the pure scientific details are so scarce, that I can hardly see how this book can ever become antiquated I know little about DNA modification, but everything that is described in Dreamsnake seemed at least possible Definitely much scientifically attainable than the inescapable but 100% unfeasible faster than light travel that abounds in nearly every space opera Yet no one complains about FTL travel, even if the only possible way to accomplish it is to induce the space time continuum itself to move faster than light and ride its wave, so to speak Or no one complains when very recent novels mention having targets in the effective range of a laser , or my personal favorite hitting a camouflaged target with a laser But I digress What I liked most about this book was that it has overall an upbeat vibe In fact unlike most novels which start from a relative high point and progress toward a low one, Dreamsnake begins at the nadir and advances toward apex.

  10. says:

    This book is classic seventies feminist sci fi It is also slow and meandering It explores some interesting social issues It is nothing special in my opinion, but it was a fun read I liked the main character Her name was Snake and she used.yep you guessed it snakes to heal people Scary snakes Cobras and rattlers and snakes that I personally do not want anywhere near me She was pretty tough and knew what she wanted She had a few annoying moments, but was mostly a pretty good lead character view spoiler I felt like at the very end it kind of dissolved into a cheesy romance novel, so that was annoying, but that was after it had some fun action scenes that were unexpected, considering the pace was meandering, camel crossing the desert slow There actually are no camels in this but you get the idea hide spoiler