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The Snow Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #1)
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Monthly Read: Themed > March 2016: SF Mistressworks: The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

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message 1: by mark, personal space invader (last edited Mar 03, 2016 02:32AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
This month's theme was the list of SF Mistressworks and the book chosen was The Snow Queen.

The Snow Queen won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1981 and was also nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel. It is based on the fairy-tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.

If you'd like to know more about SF Mistressworks, check out this excellent blog:
https://sfmistressworks.wordpress.com/
and this invaluable list:
https://worldswithoutend.com/lists_sf...


message 2: by mark, personal space invader (new) - rated it 2 stars

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
I'm really excited to read this one! I've owned a copy for so many years but for some reason have never gotten around to reading it, despite hearing nearly unanimous praise about it. It looks really rich and compelling. Great choice, SFA members!


message 3: by Viv (new) - rated it 3 stars

Viv JM I have a copy of this and hope to get to it this month (probably towards the end of the month though) - I'm looking forward to it too!


message 4: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
I read it just a couple months ago, so I will be jumping in!


message 5: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 70 comments I just got a copy from the library so will be starting soon.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments I read this in February, after it was picked to discuss in March. It is a long book that did not need to be so long. I thought it was pretty good but not great. I found myself skimming at times. The actual reading of it was clumsy -- fat mass market paperback with small print, making it a challenge to read while eating when the lights are turned down! I did not know before reading that it was the first of a 4-book series. Unlike with Red Mars, I did not enjoy it enough to be tempted to immediately get the next book in the series! I'll be interested in what others felt about the world building and the characters.


Jennifer | 40 comments Got my copy. I read this as a teen and loved it.


message 8: by mark, personal space invader (new) - rated it 2 stars

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
I started it last night and am loving it so far. the world being built is really rich and intriguing.


message 9: by Viv (new) - rated it 3 stars

Viv JM I'm about a fifth of the way through. It is pretty slow reading, but I am really enjoying the world building and the tech vs faith vibe.


message 10: by mark, personal space invader (new) - rated it 2 stars

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
I'm about a third of the way in. love the world and universe being built. very intrigued about the Old Empire and the sibyls. the only think that irks me is fairly petty: some of these character's names are really terrible!


Jennifer | 40 comments I am almost to the 1/2 way point. I am glad everyone seems to find it slow, but not in a bad way. When I read this as a teen, obviously I was clueless about what I was reading, because I don't remember most of what is happening. It is truly quite complex. And I agree Mark, some of the names suck.


message 12: by Mary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Catelli | 418 comments On re-read, I find some of the coincidences a bit remarkable.


Jennifer | 40 comments Mary wrote: "On re-read, I find some of the coincidences a bit remarkable."

It is...fantasy/sci-fi after all. ;)


MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 74 comments I'm towards the end of it. I actually thought the names were sort of cool.

I'm not a big fan of the whole star crossed lovers main plot but even though it's slow I haven't been tempted to put it down.


message 15: by Mary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Catelli | 418 comments Once you've decided to retell "The Snow Queen" as SF, you're pretty much stuck with the lovers.


Jennifer | 40 comments MadProfessah wrote: "I'm towards the end of it. I actually thought the names were sort of cool.

I'm not a big fan of the whole star crossed lovers main plot but even though it's slow I haven't been tempted to put it ..."


What kind of a name is ALV (or who ever she was) ? Regardless, I am almost 1/2 way through. I do like the whole sybil thing.


Charles | 26 comments I know I'm going to suffer the slings and arrows of the fantasy crowd, but I will admit to preferring science fiction. Ouch! However, The Snow Queen knocked my socks off! It led me to read Joan Vinge's Catspaw, Psion, and put four more of her books on my bookshelves.


message 18: by Kirsten (new) - added it

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Charles wrote: "I know I'm going to suffer the slings and arrows of the fantasy crowd, but I will admit to preferring science fiction. Ouch! However, The Snow Queen knocked my socks off! It led me to..."

I prefer science fiction too.

I just started The Snow Queen last night as my interlibrary loan finally arrived.

Whoever commented on the small print sure hit the nail on the head. That's going to make it slow going.


message 19: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
Although I enjoyed this, I found some the characters of the two young lovers extremely annoying!


message 20: by Jennifer (last edited Mar 25, 2016 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer | 40 comments Maggie wrote: "Although I enjoyed this, I found some the characters of the two young lovers extremely annoying!"

Didn't you want to bash them in the head....
I finished. I got more out of it this time, I understood more than when I was teen, despite the whole....(view spoiler) It was a good read. I plan on reading the others.


Robert | 45 comments Can't resist commenting on this Jennifer. I enjoyed Snow Queen- and actually always intrigued by how well books age, versus other scifi that do not at all. Felt Snow Queen aged well. SQ was written 1980 - I was intrigued at the positive attitudes towards the "merry-begots" - feels like a 1970s thing?
BUT... while I enjoyed the ending, it felt like and I was ready for the completion. It did not end with me caring about how things would move forward - will debate whether will read the next ?? 3 ??


Jennifer | 40 comments Robert wrote: "Can't resist commenting on this Jennifer. I enjoyed Snow Queen- and actually always intrigued by how well books age, versus other scifi that do not at all. Felt Snow Queen aged well. SQ was written..."

I agree, it aged very well. And the technology in the book rings true even for now. I think that I read the The Summer Queen...but nothing stands out. But then I recently discovered this World's End and am going to read it. I thought some of the other characters in the book were far more interesting. (When I was a teen, I read whatever my mother had on her shelf, the true second book was not there)

I was a bit disappointed with the ending . Well...more some of the choices that were made. And I was very sad that we heard nothing about Pollux.


message 23: by mark, personal space invader (last edited Mar 27, 2016 12:28PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
my feelings about this book really turned around somewhere in the middle. the characters just really drove me up the wall. except for the intriguing Elsevier, everyone was so flat and static and uninteresting. the only dynamic character was Sparks, but his character change made little sense (except when viewed in context of the original fairy tale) and he was actually the most annoying yet boring character of all.

I appreciated the focus on women and the exploration of issues that women have to deal with. but when you have a female villain who comes across as excessively petty and immature (even though she's over a century in age!), and a lead character whose sole motivation is her bizarre love for her pathetic cousin (who also happens to be the most uninteresting character)... I don't know how successful that exploration is.

loved the universe, so intriguing. especially loved the sibyl Transfer concept. those two things were enough for me to enjoy the first part of this experience, and to not give it 1 star. but in the end the tedious characterization just made this such a fucking chore to get through, pardon the language.


LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments The cousins and lead characters were truly annoying. Many of the secondary characters were more interesting and intriguing. I cared so little for the main characters that I have no desire to read more in this series.


message 25: by Kirsten (new) - added it

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Am I the only one really enjoying this book?


message 26: by mark, personal space invader (new) - rated it 2 stars

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 1274 comments Mod
Charles is too!

and I did enjoy the first third.


MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 74 comments I thought it was fine but I don't need to read the sequel(s). I thought it was interestingly structured.


Jennifer | 40 comments Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated" wrote: "Am I the only one really enjoying this book?"

I am glad you are enjoying it. I agree with the other's in that the "minor" characters were more interesting than the main characters. I plan on reading the next two.


message 29: by Viv (new) - rated it 3 stars

Viv JM I'm about 100 pages from the end now and am enjoying aspects of it. I think the world building is superb & I especially like the concept of the sybils & the Transfer. I think the cast of supporting characters is great too. But yeah, the main characters - not so much! The cousins seem a bit bratty, and the Snow Queen is a bit too pantomime-villain to feel like a fully developed character.

I may continue with the series, I'll decide once I've finished the book.


Charles | 26 comments Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated" wrote: "Am I the only one really enjoying this book?"

I enjoyed it immensely. I think the world building was more than I expected--beautifully complex and detailed, and the pace was excellent --no mean feat in such a long novel. This novel made me look more deeply into the fantasy literary world.


message 31: by Kirsten (new) - added it

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Charles wrote: "Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated" wrote: "Am I the only one really enjoying this book?"

I enjoyed it immensely. I think the world building was more than I expected--beautifully complex and..."


I am so glad! I'm absolutely loving this and not understanding all the dislike of the book. Great world building, interesting characters, customs, machinations, etc. Am over halfway now and on tenterhooks.


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 302 comments I'm afraid this came in as a solid eh for me when I read it a while ago. I did go on to read the entire four book series and didn't see much improvement - I did find it amusing to go back and read my reviews though!


message 33: by Kirsten (new) - added it

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Just finished reading The Snow Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #1) by Joan D. Vinge The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge.

I absolutely loved this book!!! Did you hear that? I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Best book of the year so far!!!

So there! ;-P

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 34: by ScoLgo (new)

ScoLgo | 15 comments I just finished reading The Snow Queen and liked it well enough. I'm curious if anyone else here has read the subsequent books in the cycle? I have both The Summer Queen and World's End and am wondering which to pick up next? I understand that World's End is a sort of bridge between the two larger volumes but am wondering if I should read it before or after Summer Queen - or whether it matters?


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 302 comments I read all four of them, and liked them all about the same. There is a clear continuity of character and plot that occurs over the first three books, so yes, I would say it does matter and that you should read World's End before The Summer Queen.


message 36: by ScoLgo (new)

ScoLgo | 15 comments Alexa wrote: "I read all four of them, and liked them all about the same. There is a clear continuity of character and plot that occurs over the first three books, so yes, I would say it does matter and that you should read World's End before The Summer Queen...."

Great! Thank you for that, Alexa!


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