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The Ice Schooner (Sailing to Utopia #1)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  622 Ratings  ·  29 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
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published January 1st 1977 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1969)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jesse Callaghan
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just as good as I remembered it. Simple and effective.
Feb 05, 2017 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 rated it liked it
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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,
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good adventure/exploration novel. Simply drawn but solid characters (manly hero with a weakness for a woman Konrad Arflane, cowardly rival Janek Ulsenn, taciturn and mysterious whaling officer Urquart, outgoing and mysterious passenger Manfred Rorsefne), a good daring quest (a trip to legendary New York, court of the Ice Mother, the last wish of a dying old man), and lots of danger (thin ice, crevasses, volcanoes, barbarians, a mutinous crew).

I liked the ice world flavour, the lost techno
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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