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(Dreamships #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  495 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Dreamships is the story of a freelance space pilot and her crew, who are hired by a rich corporate owner to track down her crazy brother--who just may have created the first sentient Artificial Intelligence. Social texture and a tough, cyberpunk attitude make this an exceptionally intense read.
Paperback, 338 pages
Published July 15th 1993 by Tor Books (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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Adam O'Grady
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most realistic, absorbing sci-fi universes I have ever dived into so I've got to dedicate a bit to it:

What got me hooked most of all was how it manages to stay clear of one of the most common pitfalls of catapulting modern Western society forward a few thousand years and instead builds it's own rich cultures meshing in an underground city. There is a strong class system and racial tensions, there are ethical arguments surrounding burgeoning artificial intelligences contrasted
penny shima glanz
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
If one were to take a mash-up of my undergraduate degree (Computer Science:Artificial Intelligence, also Psycholinguistics wannabe) and crossed it with my graduate degree (Information & Archive Management) and mixed in my random interests you might come up with this book. I randomly picked it off the shelf at the used bookstore and am delighted to have found it. I enjoyed reading it and will look into Scott's other writings. ...more
Peter Tillman
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one kept me up until 3AM on first read, back in 1993. I just found a copy of an embarassingly-gushy fan letter to the author, which I certainly won't be sharing. But here's what I liked about Dreamships:

* The dense, lived-in feel of Persephone.
* Good, well-thought-out extrapolation - two prereqs (for me) for first-rank SF.
* A clean and twisty plotline.
* Nice touches of moral ambiguity.
* Quirky characters who rang true.
* Good slang, nice techtalk - karakuri, Bi'Jian, haya, glyphs, Dreampe
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
I should have read this book before "Dreaming Metal" (the sequel).
Some of the things I expected to become clear (that weren't so clear in the second book) did - for example, why so many people in the books are deaf (random mutation, small population), and the origin and exact stances of the many political groups. Other things were not really explained (why Red was in jail, anything having to do with his & Imre's very odd relationship.)
The main character here is Reverdy Jian, a starship pilot and
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I just love everything Melissa Scott writes
a hooded figure from your friendly neighbourhood dog park
not quite what I expected and one character death seemed like a letdown, but I loved the heroine and the setting was refreshingly different from anything else. Doesn't read like a book from the 90s, feels pretty modern! especially the casual bisexuality and stuff.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Though the book was a little hard to understand the surroundings first, the further into it you got, the more you learned about the world and sooner or later I didn't have that problem that I initially had. The story itself was fascinating and well written, but I had one serious problem that I didn't quite figure out until much farther in the book. At first it was that I didn't really like them. I mean it wasn't as if any were horribly awful or annoying, but none of them appealed to me. I also d ...more
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
DREAMSHIPS and DREAMING METAL by MELISSA SCOTT -- Two books written years apart, both examining the technology and social, legal, and moral implications of Artificial Intelligence in a futuristic space setting. ...more
Elaine taylor
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A good solid sci-fi book. I love this author whether she is writing techie sci-fi or space opera. Her examination of the schisms between various sectors of society is always enjoyable and feels like a good prediction of the future.
K.V. Johansen
A suspenseful story with a very well-rendered cultural and political setting, lots of drama and mystery. (Would have enjoyed a bit more development of the three main characters, though.) Definitely reading the sequel.
John Snead
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I think this is her best work - it's an exploration of politics, oppression, and a complex and fascinating look at artificial intelligence.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hooo goodness. I sure WANTED to like this book. I will say, it’s Cyber As Fuck, which is a point in its favor! It’s also about a woman character, people with disabilities and different races, and it made me want to eat the hell out of some delicious salty flavored noodles and ride super fast trains on space stations.

But... it was just so doggone disappointing! It’s REALLY descriptive. Like, a lot of description. And the describing of things. So much. With the more descriptions.

The plot seems p
Kat Heatherington
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
startlingly good. it gets off to a pretty slow start, but gains momentum and dynamic tension rapidly once the plot gets moving, and before you're halfway through, it's a can't-put-it-down page turner. Really interesting characters and sharp, smart science that makes you think. Definitely reccomend.

As a side note, I wasn't aware that Scott was a lesbian author until I picked this up, so the several LGBTQ main characters were a delightful surprise. Their queerness is in no way a focus of the stor
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018, own
Hired by a rich businesswoman to fly her ship to the planet Refuge to retrieve her crazy but brilliant brother, freelance pilot Jian and her crew inadvertenly become involved with what appears to be the first true AI ever created - a deeply controversial issue that lands them in the middle of rival factions, riots and potentially in the line of fire of those willing to kill to get their hands on it.

A thoughtful exploration of the AI theme in combination with excellent worldbuilding and diverse,
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
An excellent and complex world-build with deep intersectionalities of gender, labor, heritage, and ability. A quick ending with a hook to sequel "Dreaming Metal" left me missing Reverdy, Red, and Crazy Imre.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These two books should really be read in order. one can read them backwards, like I did. but you understand the second one better if you read this one first.

also I think the social issues in these books are surprisingly relevant now.
While it does trail a bit into being cumbersome in its character descriptions and world-building, Dreamships is incredibly engrossing. I haven’t read a book that made me want to stay up late in a long time.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is good science fiction with a great twisted ending!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a surprising find. Got it at a library book sale,didn't expect much. It's a "small" story, with few settings and characters, and a relatively short plot. But the author packs alot of descriptive detail into the story which really fills out the 'world' it takes place in. The characters are good, believable, and likeable in their own ways. I would definitely read another book by Melissa Scott, but it would be great if it was a little longer and the story had a bit bigger scope to it.
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, sci-fi
Conflict between AI and the serf (coolie) for recognition in the corporate world is the underlying theme of the book. Set in a world of caste conflicts, Jian Reverdy and Imre Vaughn, as starship pilots, undertake a mission to retrieve the creator of a super AI. It's engaging and offers a view of a future that is far from a utopia but an alternative that reminds of descriptions of Calcutta and Shang-Hai.
Mar 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
As always with Melissa Scott's work the world building is top-notch. The plot was also interesting. There is a but coming and that is the characters. I found all the main characters unlikeable and found it difficult to work up any interest in what became of them. A shame because, as I said, the world is fascinating and I would have really enjoyed exploring it with more congenial characters.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. Some very interesting unique elements fused with ideas from such authors as CJ Cherryh, William Gibson and others. Relationships played a part, but there was very little angsty romantic nonsense. I can't wait for the sequel.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I was going to, at the beginning. I liked the world and the characters. With the characters, there was a lot of backstory that was only hinted at, though, and it made me feel like I was missing something.
Elizabeth Creaghan
This book took so long to get to the plot that I nearly gave up on it. However, at about 40% it really picked up and I started to enjoy it. + points for the protagonist being a bi woman of colour controlling a space ship. :)
Bard Bloom
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Melissa Scott at her best is excellent. This isn't her best. It's approximately cyberpunk, and in most respects pretty generic cyberpunk, except that the protagonists are mostly gay (in a world where that is unremarkable.)


Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-n-liked
A scifi classic that is still good today, with possibilities of what our future may hold...
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
It was well written but I prefer more biology and less technology.
Oct 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: y2014
Enjoyable. I liked it.
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Goodreads Librari...: correct page count ISBN 9780812513028 1 13 Jan 31, 2018 06:28AM  

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Scott studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, and earned her PhD. in comparative history. She published her first novel in 1984, and has since written some two dozen science fiction and fantasy works, including three co-authored with her partner, Lisa A. Barnett.

Scott's work is known for the elaborate and well-constructed settings. While many of her protagonists are gay, lesbia

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Dreamships (2 books)
  • Dreaming Metal

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