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The Ice Schooner (Sailing to Utopia #1)

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  581 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Ice odyssey. The world lay frozen under a thousand feet of ice - and only in the Eight Cities of the Matto Grosso did men still live, hunting the wary ice whales for meat and oil, following the creed of the Ice Mother which foretold the end of all life in ultimate cold.
But legend told of a city far to the north - fabled New York - whose towers rose above the ice, whose cry
Mass Market Paperback, 267 pages
Published October 1978 by Dell Books (first published 1969)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 31, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I considered for a bit here and was sort of stuck between a 3 and a 4. Could I have gone with a 3.5 I would have. I'll go with the round up and make it a 4...barely. It's a pretty good read.

I am, on the whole, "sometimes" a Michael Moorcock fan. (but there are some of his books I intensely dislike.) This is a slightly (repeat, slightly) unusual fantasy novel. The story isn't all that unusual...but the characters are. There is some resemblance to Moby Dick here (I've read others say that this is
Robert Beveridge
Michael Moorcock, The Ice Schooner (Berkley, 1966)

Michael Moorcock is a singularly prolific writer; the number of novels and short stories that has flowed from the man's pen is almost unforgivable. Over the course of the last twenty years, I've read roughly a hundred of Moorcock's novels, maybe half again the same number of short stories. So when I say that The Ice Schooner may be Moorcock's finest hour, take it with as much salt as necessary, given that I've read such a small amount of his outp
Sep 10, 2009 Evan rated it liked it
A five-star three-star book, if you know what I mean. In the classic tradition of the fun, competently written 70,000 word SF&F novel.

Moorcock probably wrote this in a week or less, and it's still tons of fun to read.
Feb 05, 2017 Jacob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 star story, 1 star ending. This is a book that could have been more deeply developed, both from a character standpoint and a plot standpoint. Loved the futuristic world that was created in the midst of a new ice age, where humans still cling to life in communities on the ice sheets. With a dim knowledge of the past height of humanity, they adapt and use old technology to their ways, often with an incomplete understanding of how it works. Moorcock really brings this new land and its traditions ...more
Simon Mcleish
Jan 09, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in December 2001.

Although made part of the general repackaging of Moorcock's fantasy output around the Eternal Champion theme, The Ice Schooner is not really that closely linked to the other novels. Having a hero and a quest is not really enough; there are few novels in the genre by any author which would share these common elements.

The much revised novel is set in a future Ice Age, so severe that oceans of ice cover almost the entire surface of the Earth. On
Nov 08, 2013 Randy rated it liked it
A bit tough to rate this book. Moorcock is one of those writers who can write a book in three days. He can grab a basic concept and sprint with it to the end. I suspect this is one of those books. I like it mostly because of the atmosphere he invokes: of living in a world of perpetual ice and cold. The plot is thin (follow the map to the weird city, fall in love with the bad guy's wife), the ending is a throwaway, and the protagonist can't really be identified as an Eternal Champion. Again, it w ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Traummachine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tale of a world in the middle of an ice age was engaging, different, and classic Moorcock. The peoples of the glacier had known nothing but ice and winter for so long that their religions and creation myths were based around it. They trade with other cities and hunt land whales on great ships fitted with skates.

Our hero is a ship's captain who recently divorced himself from his city and sets out on a suicide mission on foot across the glacier. He meets a dying man far from the nearest city,
Aug 17, 2014 Invernomuto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a fantastic travel!
An epic story set in an ice age somewhere in the near future, with big throwbacks to classic literature like Moby Dick and the classical great tales of navigators and sea adventures.
The world building is top notch, without giving too much info on how the old technology is gone we just see what's left of our civilization and it's all done so naturally that the atmosphere is really evocative.
Everything from the tough lifestyle and attitude of the main characters to the new
Guy Robinson
Feb 06, 2011 Guy Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-pulp
The chance to read a previously unknown Micheal Moorcock is a rare treat and especially those that fall outside of the Eternal Champion series, as these tend to be the tenderest of morsels.

This one tells a tale of a heroic, haunted ice ship captain from the time he wanders off onto the ice to consider his fate to his commitment to a quest beyond the bounds of his known world.

A good story, creaking evocatively with the sails of a forgotten era mixed with religious themes that foreshadow later wor
Zantaeus Glom
Jul 18, 2013 Zantaeus Glom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic ripping yarn by the venerable fantasy scrivener Michael Moorcock. I have always had a penchant for bleak, apocalyptic narratives with Bleak apocalyptic protagonists and 'Ice Schooner' is an exemplar, with an especially glacial tale, told through the steely eyes of a truly lost soul; a gnarled sea captain who has lost both is captaincy, ship, and will to live, yet finds himself the skipper of a majestic Ice Schooner, whose epic exodus to the mythic, ice-swaddled city of New York proves ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Derek rated it liked it
It contained some powerful imagery: the frozen city of New York, half-buried in the ice, its tall towers emerging and standing tall over the ice plain, and a world slowly succumbing to the Ice Mother.

Moorcock plays with faith and purpose, here. How does one react when the bedrock of your identity, your faith, and your society is proven wrong, and the quest you were on is turned on its head? Konrad Arflane undergoes crisis of faith as his ship undergoes crisis, and the resolution of his quest is
Jay Daze
Apr 03, 2013 Jay Daze rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, fantasy, adventure, sea-lit
I enjoy pulpy Michael Moorcock. I think his skill of writing stories that remind me of Robert E. Howard is a significant part of his enduring charm. This is the start of a series rather than a stand-alone. I don't have a driving need to track down the rest of the books in the series but I did enjoy this one. This was more fun as a sea story (on ice) on its travels rather than the conclusion. Not to spoil the -- umm surprise -- but the resolution of one character was pretty under-cooked.
Aus dem Bücherregal meines Vaters, erstmals erschienen 1969, also genauso alt wie ich!

Interessante Prämisse, aber man merkt dem Buch sein (unser) Alter an, Charaktere, Plot und Pacing haben doch etwas deutlich antiquiertes. Trotz alledem lesenswert als Beispiel dystopischer SciFi Literatur der späten 60er Jahre.

Einzige bange Frage, die noch bleibt: bin ich genauso antiquiert wie dieses Büchlein?
Shannon Appelcline
Mar 04, 2014 Shannon Appelcline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An interesting novel by Moorcock; though it has some of the trappings of fantasy (or even science fantasy), it's really a nautical adventure and a morality play. The story is an enjoyable one mainly due to the depth of the characters and the insight into what they do when they face a world that is changing.
Brian Bennudriti
What saves this book is two things:
1. Michael Moorcock not droning on about his Eternal Champion idea, which honestly ruins everything he writes. This book has none of that and is a stand-alone.
2. A very interesting backdrop for the story - cities in ice crevices, sailing whalers on sleds, a future religion based on the 'ice mother'...pretty unique and worth the read.

May 17, 2016 4triplezed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Hard to not be impressed with someone that wrote some Hawkwind lyrics. The only Moorcock I ever read though. Recall thinking it was pretty good all those years ago. Never read anymore, just moved on I suppose.
Dec 30, 2015 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moorcock is a master at creating unique fantasy settings, with lots of little details that make it believable. A bunch of typical pulp/fantasy/sci-fi? tropes are at play in the plot, but it's still a fun for a short read.
Joe Stamber
Mar 22, 2011 Joe Stamber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-1980s
A fantasy novel set in a world of ice. MM again creates some incredible backdrops to set his story in, and this is a bit more straightforward than some of his fantasy novels. An enjoyable read, but not up there with his best.
Florin Pitea
May 12, 2013 Florin Pitea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it twice - the first time in Romanian, the second time in French. Will definitely read it in English as well. A fine work of science fantasy. Recommended. For a detailed review, please visit my blog:
K. Axel
Oct 19, 2008 K. Axel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Michael Moorcock fans
A surprising read, and a surprisingly good read!

I've had to store this one on both my sci-fi shelf and my fantasy shelf, because in many ways, it mixes the genres.

I bought this on the cover alone.
Jul 18, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
My favorite book by Moorcock. It really ignited my imagination. Great ideas and great carry through.
Robert Beatty
Nov 29, 2014 Robert Beatty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic old book that I read as a kid and loved. I re-read it recently and enjoyed it again. A hero's hero.
Oct 06, 2014 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
Loved this book, when I first read it. Not sure the five stars would hold up today.
Felipe Guerrero
Feb 08, 2014 Felipe Guerrero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy interesante el libro, se volvía muy aburrido a ratos, pero vale la pena mas que nada por el final. El final esta genial.

During the next ice age the schooner Ice Spirit sets sail to find the legendary city of New York. Plus two short stories set in the same world.

Tome Addiction
Classic Michael Moorcock fantasy.
Nate Marcel
Nate Marcel rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2012
Darren Atkinson
Darren Atkinson rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2015
Michael rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2010
Terry rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2013
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Michael John Moorcock is an English writer primarily of science fiction and fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels.
Moorcock has mentioned The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Apple Cart by George Bernard Shaw and The Constable of St. Nicholas by Edward Lester Arnold as the first three books which captured his imagination. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures in 1956,
More about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

Sailing to Utopia (3 books)
  • The Black Corridor
  • The Distant Suns

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