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 cons ...more
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
Some of the pacing in the latter third was a little off, and there were aspects of the story of the major antagonist that didn’t quite make sense, but overall I’m very glad to have spent time with this multi-award-winning classic.
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
I love the intimate nature of the book and the glimpses of a post-apocalyptic world influenced by off-worlders and some high-tech. It was an interesting approach. The main plot, which was not always clear (lose a Dreamsnake, work to get a new one and figure out how ...more
I have a few complaints, but this was an interesting and fast read. I enjoyed the char ...more
I was drawn in immediately to McIntyre's muted, intimate portrayal of characters inhabiting a far flung, post-apocalyptic world. The story is of Snake, a healer who has lost one of her prized serpents which she uses to help people, and her journey to continue to help anyone she can. McIntyre's compassion for her characters is evidently mirrored in Snake, Arevin, Melissa, and the world she has created -- even if the world and its inhabitants are far from perfect. I found myself truly carin ...more
This is a classic SF adventure/quest across the world, unknown to the reader with hints misunderstood by the narrator, which ought to end-up with finding the Grail. The protagonist is a woman-healer called Snake. She wonders across the world helping people with her three serpents: an albino cobra Mist, a rattle ...more
Here's my hopefully non spoilery responses:
I loved the world the most. It's a type of post apocalyptic one that I've never encountered, quite alien but also still retain most of the Earthy parts. I loved the technology, biotech, genetic engineering, everytime the book talks about tech my ears just pricked up.
As for the relationship among cha ...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
I liked a lot of things about this book, especially the worldbuilding and the different groups of people Snake encounters. I especially liked the sense of equality and respect running through (most of) those encounters. It feels like that is rare in novels with a post-apocalyptic setting.
But while I felt for some of the characters, the book never touched or moved me deeply, so it never reached the point that made me love this book unconditionally.
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 surf ...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
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 ...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
But it also felt off. Generally, it seemed too innocent for a harsh world. It lacked adversity and anyone was so quick to befriend each other that I won ...more
An interesting start trying to figure out who and what Snake is and then it morphs into a sort of traveling adventure story like Gulliver's Travels or The Wizard of Oz. In fact there is a fairly blatant homage to The Wizard of Oz in the middle of the book which I will let others find for themselves.
Snake is the kind of person I have tried ...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
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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.”