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The Ice Schooner (Sailing to Utopia #1)

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  514 ratings  ·  22 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)
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
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
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.
Simon Mcleish
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
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
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,
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?
Guy Robinson
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
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
Shannon Appelcline
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.
Robert Beatty
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.
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
Felipe Guerrero
Muy interesante el libro, se volvía muy aburrido a ratos, pero vale la pena mas que nada por el final. El final esta genial.
Jay Daze
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.
Florin Pitea
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:
Joe Stamber
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.
K. Axel
May 15, 2010 K. Axel rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.

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.

My favorite book by Moorcock. It really ignited my imagination. Great ideas and great carry through.
Loved this book, when I first read it. Not sure the five stars would hold up today.
Beautiful as always.
Joannabanana marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2015
Lydia Erickson
Lydia Erickson marked it as to-read
Oct 24, 2015
Alan marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2015
Edward Richmond
Edward Richmond marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
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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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