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 nam ...more
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 ques ...more
Sort of like a less-good Ursula Le Gu ...more
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 repr ...more
It’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 th ...more
(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 sp ...more
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 charact ...more
So hard to review a book that I loved so much as a teenager, and still read through rose-coloured glasses. And again with the crossover - although this reads very much like high fantasy, and that's what you'd probably think it was from the blurb, it's really a far-future post-apocalyptic sci-fi.
It's also super-typical seventies feminist fiction (for both the good and the bad that brings).
Snake, the protagonist, is a healer, using a curious mixture of what at first glance seems like shamanistic...more
This reads like an Anne McCaffrey book, except with more restraint. It's melodramatic -- the girl's name is Snake! only three other healers have ever been given that name!! ...more
After all, where else are you going to get a surprisingly deep character and women's study dystopian future that includes aliens, nearly Bene Gesserit healers, the depths of adoption and justice, and a woman who embodies the s ...more
This novel has a strange format. There's no real main story arc, but rather many smaller stories of Snake traveling, healing, and having adventures. This didn't bother me at all, since I liked Snake and enjoyed her wandering. The other characters were enjoyable as well. Despite being a very old-school SF novel, it still felt fresh to me.
My first McIntyre, but I hope to read others!
Esta historia transcurre en un mundo postapocalíptico (presumo que la Tierra tras un desastre nuclear) del que se dan pocos detalles y en el que Serpiente, nuestra protagonista, tendrá que sobrevivir. Su oficio como sanadora depende de sus tres serpientes (Susurro, Sombra y Silencio), pero tras la pérdida de una de ellas deberá encontrar el modo de reemplazarla. El problema está en la escasez de serpientes del sueñ ...more
The relationship that develops between Snake and Melissa, the young girl she adopts, is deep a ...more
Has a piece of Tehanu insofar as key relationship in the story is female protagonist and adopted girl, who is a victim of a sexual offense.
Likewise has a piece of This Immortal, The Einstein Intersection, or A Canticle for Leibowitz to the extent that it is set in a nuclear wasteland, has some spacefarers or aliens, is contaminated by mutants, and follows a peregrinating protagonist. It’s ...more
I liked the world built up in glimpses, here: way post-apocalyptic event, a whole different sort of living... the hints o ...more
I really appreciated how little info-dump exposition there is in this book. Everything arises from characters interacting with one another, a seemingly off-hand description here and there with no particular fanfare. These seem like genuine thoughts and actions from people who LIVE in their world, with entire lives' ...more
Well, this was fun - in a slightly cheesy 1970s way :-)
Dreamsnake is set in a future post-apocalyptic landscape, but it reads more like fantasy. It was more hopeful and upbeat than most such tales, and I enjoyed that about it. I like snakes, and I liked that they were used in healing work in this story. And the key to breading the "dreamsnakes" was fascinating and delightful. I really couldn't buy the romance aspect of the story, though, it just felt too contrived.
I listen ...more
Snake is a middle-aged woman who travels across these farmlands as a healer. In addition to some familiar medicines, including disinfectant and aspirin, she uses snakes as part of her art, milking various venoms. But the most important is the Dreamsnake, ...more
This book is certainly not for herpetophobics (fear of snakes) but I thought the Healer profession as presented in this book was very interesting. In our own world, snake venom is used to create antivenom but the slight twist McIntyre puts on this is great. It would have been great to learn a bit more about the healers and their science, but I could tell that isn't the type of book ...more
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"I don't know," Smoke said. "But if you and Alex see her life as a tragedy, that's what it will be.”