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Dreamsnake MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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About the Author
Vonda Neel McIntyre, US writer and geneticist, is one of the earliest successful graduates of the Clarion Science Fiction Writers' Workshop, which she attended in 1970. She began to publish science fiction with "Only at Night" in Clarion (1971 anthology), and gained prominence with "Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand" (1973) which won a Nebula for Best Novelette and served as the initial section of Dreamsnake (1978), which won both a Nebula and a Hugo award.
She has been on the New York Times bestseller list five times, most recently for her novel STAR WARS: The Crystal Star. She has penned stories for the Star Trek enterprise as well, both in paperback novels and films, contributing to Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. There are more than four million copies of her books in print. Ms. McIntyre lives in Seattle
Top customer reviews
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If I hadn’t checked the publication date, I could easily have believed Dreamsnake was a 21st Century novel. With very few exceptions, it holds up surprisingly well relative to the majority of its genre contemporaries. But what struck me most about reading this in 2017 is not necessarily how prescient it was in terms of gender and sexuality, but how quietly progressive it was. There’s a naturalness to it, a way of normalizing concepts that we STILL have not quite come to terms with -- three-person marriages, the fluidity of sexual preference, the ambiguity of gender, the concept of being consensually non-monogamous -- all of these things are treated in an almost offhand way in the world of Dreamsnake. We’re never given a big exposition dump or introductory essay to any of the ethics or customs of this world -- it’s all given to us as a matter of course, something that’s just a fact we have to accept. In fact, creative writing teachers could actually use this novel when trying to teach the old axiom of “show, don’t tell.” All of this stuff was quietly revolutionary then, and still is now, and we’re never beat over the head with any of it in any kind of proselytizing way. This is what human sexuality is, this is what happens when it’s left to evolve on its natural course, deal with it.
It’s a short book focused mainly on just three characters, but all three are fully realized people and never fall into being one dimensional stock sci-fi tropes. We only get to spend a relatively brief time with Snake, especially by genre standards, but by the time we reach the end of her story, we feel like we truly know her as a real live thinking feeling person. She’s the perfect lens for viewing this strange post apocalyptic landscape. We’re only shown a small part of this world, but what we do see feels real, like there’s a real history behind these people and places that makes sense. I feel that another author would have stretched this one compact story into a huge ten book series, but as much as I wish I could spend more time with these characters, I feel like it's much stronger for McIntyre’s show of restraint. Everything that’s here is here for a reason. There’s no filler, and the book moves through us cold and clear.
I found Dreamsnake through Ursula LeGuin’s essay, reprinted in her wonderful book Words Are My Matter, which introduced me to several other “lost classics” of the genre. And I’m so happy that I did. It’s a shame that this book is often overlooked while so many inferior titles by male authors have always remained in print, but I’m encouraged by the fact that a critical reassessment seems to be taking place at the moment. A new generation of readers are starting to discover it and give it the credit and praise that it deserves. Since reading it, I’ve been telling everyone I know to find a copy, whether they’re fans of sci-fi or not, and I hope anyone reading this review decides to give it a shot too.