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Vonda N. McIntyre (1948–2019)

Författare till Dreamsnake

66+ verk 12,682 medlemmar 241 recensioner 19 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Vonda Neel McIntyre was born in Louisville, Kentucky on August 28, 1948. She received a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Washington in 1970 and studied genetics there as a postgraduate until ending her studies in 1971. In 1973, her short story, Of Mist, Grass, and Sand, won a visa mer Nebula Award for best novelette. Her novel, Dreamsnake, won a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award in 1978. She wrote five Star Trek novels including The Entropy Effect and Enterprise: The First Adventure. Her other novels included Curve of the World and The Moon and the Sun, which won a Nebula Award in 1997. She died from pancreatic cancer on April 1, 2019 at the age of 70. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: Photo by Beth Gwinn


Verk av Vonda N. McIntyre

Dreamsnake (1978) 1,842 exemplar
The Crystal Star (1994) 1,759 exemplar
Enterprise: The First Adventure (1986) 1,195 exemplar
The Entropy Effect (1981) 910 exemplar
The Moon and the Sun (1997) 812 exemplar
Starfarers (1989) 597 exemplar
The Exile Waiting (1975) 459 exemplar
Transition (1991) 379 exemplar
Superluminal (1983) 311 exemplar
Metaphase (1992) 283 exemplar
Fireflood and Other Stories (1979) 280 exemplar
Barbary (1986) 246 exemplar
Nautilus (1994) 204 exemplar
Nebula Awards Showcase 2004 (2004) — Redaktör — 77 exemplar
The Starfarers Quartet (1993) 56 exemplar
Aurora: Beyond Equality (1976) — Redaktör — 50 exemplar
Duty, Honor, Redemption (2004) 42 exemplar
The Bride (1656) 37 exemplar
Star Trek - die Anfänge (2002) — Bidragsgivare — 16 exemplar
Screwtop [short fiction] (1976) 15 exemplar
Little Faces (2005) 12 exemplar
Aztecs [novella] (1977) 7 exemplar
Wings [short story] (1973) 6 exemplar
Elfleda [short story] (1981) 4 exemplar
Little Sisters (2015) 4 exemplar
Fireflood [novelette] (1979) 4 exemplar
Spectra (1972) 3 exemplar
Looking for Satan [novella] (1981) 3 exemplar
The Broken Dome [novelette] (1978) 2 exemplar
Mispring 2 exemplar
Only at Night [short story] (1971) 2 exemplar
Outcasts three stories (2012) 2 exemplar
Recourse, Inc. [short story] (1974) 2 exemplar
Diamond Craters 1 exemplar
Steelcollar Worker 1 exemplar
Loue soit l'exil (1975) 1 exemplar
ENTERPRISE 2 CST (1986) 1 exemplar
Loué soit l'exil (1980) 1 exemplar
Flyers (2013) 1 exemplar
Fireflood 1 exemplar

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Allmänna fakta



Found: A healer who uses snake venom i Name that Book (juli 2021)
Vonda N. McIntyre 1948-2019 i Science Fiction Fans (april 2019)


This is the kind of book, that in the wrong hands could have been a very boring and uninteresting read. Writing about Versailles and court life is hard to make interesting. I feel like if you are not entirely familiar with the historical context and the intricacies of court politics that some interactions might not read very well, but if you are familiar, the balancing act of emotionally affecting character work with real history is incredibly impressive. This book follows the exploits of a naive girl, Marie-Josephe, who comes to the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV to visit her brother, Yves from the French colony of Martinique. Yves is a Jesuit Priest, who has captured a mermaid for the Sun King. Why does the Sun King want or need a mermaid? He is dying, and he thinks eating the mermaid will be the key to gaining immortality. Everyone assumes that the mermaid is an unthinking beast, but Marie-Josephe realizes that her brother has committed a grave mistake, that the mermaid can understand and talk to her with song. One of the things I think is kind of clever in this book is the idea of cages within cages. The Sun King famously kept the aristocracy under his thumb using the trappings of Versailles, just as the mermaid cannot escape its cage, just as many other characters including Marie-Josephe are trying to escape their respective cages.… (mer)
kittyfoyle | 30 andra recensioner | Nov 27, 2023 |
A collection of the author's shorter fiction, including the story which became chapter one of her novel, Dreamsnake, which I have previously reviewed. Quite a few of the stories involve the misuse of genetically altered humans or in one case, dolphins, by humans for often negative ends. A couple are about a winged species and the relationship of a younger and older individual. Most involve relationships sometimes across what amounts to a species barrier.

The best, apart from 'Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand', the Dreamsnake story, is the final story 'Aztecs' about the sacrifice which people who want to become pilots of interstellar craft - the ones who are able to stay awake during transit when even the ordinary crew have to go into stasis or die - sometimes have to make.

I found the tone of the collection on the whole rather downbeat. On the whole a balancing out into a 3-star read.
… (mer)
kitsune_reader | 4 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2023 |
Set on the same post-apocalypse Earth as the author's novel Dreamsnake, this takes the reader inside the closed community of Center which was briefly encountered in that other novel (which I think was published after this one, but I've read them out of order). Center is the only technological society left on the planet and is the port of call for starships from the Sphere - the colonised worlds which have left Earth behind as a ruined backwater apart from traders who come to sell goods which cannot be obtained otherwise. Part of the story is told through the journal of a half Japanese young man who accompanies a dying navigator who wants to return to her home planet - he is sceptical that she could really have been born there, but with FTL (faster than light) travel, it is theoretically possible that she left Earth long ago. The rest concerns Mischa, a young thief who is also a kind of telepath - more like an empath really, as she senses the emotions of others.

Center is a dysfunctional society which features slavery and the deliberate maiming of children to turn them into beggars. The economy depends heavily on space travellers and also the caravaneers who travel over the desert to bring their goods in the season when the destructive sandstorms do not blow. It is run by hereditary families who control key aspects such as the nuclear power plant which provides the lighting etc - Center is a huge underground bunker, built into a cave system - and the trade with outsiders.

Mischa wants to leave Earth, taking her elder brother Chris who brought her up but is now a drug addict and depends on her to pay his tribute to their uncle. Their uncle forces Mischa to steal by using their sister Gemmie, a kind of destructive telepath who is able to 'call' in Mischa and Chris, and keep screaming until they have to give in. Because of Gemmie, it has been impossible to escape Center. When Mischa tries to appeal to the head of the family which deals with access to the space visitors, she is treated as a criminal and flogged. Then, during the sandstorm season, a ship lands - the one on which the space navigator and her young escort are passengers. Two beings, Subone and Subtwo, lead the raiders also onboard: they are the results of an experiment in which they were trained and linked mentally - now they are starting to grow apart in character, with Subone probably having murdered the experimenter.

The two sub "brothers" try to take over Center but soon discover the complexities of Center society and the need to keep the various families onboard. Subone takes to the decadence wholeheartedly whereas Subtwo is repelled by it although he becomes obsessed with the administrator of the space-dealing family: a slave whose only official name is Madame and whom he dreams of freeing. Meanwhile Mischa hopes to apply to the subs with more success, but falls foul of the growing split between them, Subone's violent nature, and Subtwo's reluctance to cut ties with him.

I first read this book years ago and enjoyed it, but I found it disappointing this time around. None of the characters seem well developed, perhaps because there are so many of them and it is quite a short book by modern standards. A big chunk is an extended chase sequence through the cave systems, which is not very interesting. Mischa is a bit of a Mary Sue character: when she is briefly given some education, she turns out to be a maths genius, for example. Certain things happen which are extremely convenient but remove conflict from the story; not what you would normally want in a novel. I didn't find the Center way of life particularly convincing. And I was hoping for an explanation of a puzzling sequence in Dreamsnake where the Center man who communicates with the characters in that story goes beserk when they mention that they want to clone Dreamsnakes as if there was a big backstory that was covered in this novel - but there is nothing about either cloning or any kind of snake, so his objection remains a mystery. So I can only really rate this at 2 stars.
… (mer)
kitsune_reader | 5 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2023 |
I first read the novella "Of Mist, And Grass, And Sand," on which Chapter 1 of this book is based, many years ago and enjoyed it, but have only just got round to reading the novel. So I was quite surprised to realise, once you get past that section, that the book is actually post-apocalyptic science fiction, although the opening could have belonged to a fantasy.

The lead character, Snake, is a healer on her one year probation following the completion of her training. She has gone off to the desert, where healers seldom go, to help the tribesfolk there, and been asked to heal a young boy dying of a tumour. Like all healers, she carries three snakes: a rattler, called Sand - which we later learn has been bioengineered to produce various vaccines in its venom that can be harvested and then used to immunise people, a white cobra called Mist, which can destroy tumours with its venom, and a dreamsnake, which can give hallucinogenic dreams to ease the passing of anyone the healer cannot help.

In the opening chapter, Snake underestimates the tribesfolk's fear of snakes, and her dreamsnake is killed. This is a disaster as she cannot now help the dying and feels she must return home to the healers. The dreamsnakes are rare, do not breed well and cannot be cloned - as we learn later in the book, the healers are able to perform genetic engineering, although they lack the kind of equipment which would let them examine the dreamsnakes more closely and perhaps solve the problem. For the dreamsnakes are not earth animals.

Over the course of the novel, Snake travels from one place to another, meeting different communities which each have their own ways of life, morals, and so on. One place is Center, an odd sealed-off community which preserves more advanced technology predating the nuclear war which evidently took place centuries before, and whose inhabitants are in contact with offworlders. There are people on other planets, as is mentioned from time to time, and some might be colonists from Earth, but there are also definitely aliens, as the dreamsnakes and certain flora and fauna Snake later discovers are all alien.

Her original intent to go home and tell the healers what happened to her dreamsnake is waylaid, first by a request to help someone who has had a serious accident, and then by the fulfilment of a promise to travel to Center and request that they help either with technology or new dreamsnakes. On the way, she stays a while at a town in the mountains where, despite things being fine on the surface, child abuse of various kinds is transpiring.

The story is slow and meandering and switches between two viewpoints, since Arevin, a man who is introduced in chapter 1, eventually travels to the healer community and subsequently goes in search of Snake. He and Snake had an instant attraction, but at the time he didn't feel he could abandon his responsibilities. There is good character development and scene setting throughout, though some of the situations are a bit odd. Presumably, the healer community is a utopia of sorts, because issues such as sexual abuse and drug addiction seem to take Snake totally by surprise as if she has never encountered them before. Since this is the first time she has left home, we must assume neither problem is known in her own community, though you would have expected the older healers to have warned her. She therefore tends to blunder into situations and be beset continually by problems, some of which are of her own making.

The post-apocalyptic background isn't entirely convincing, partly because it is never made clear how the aliens fit in. They have left domes behind which are too tough to get inside - except one in the final sequence which is 'broken', apparently by a superweapon - in which alien flora and perhaps fauna reside. It isn't clear what the community she comes upon at the end actually subsist on, or what their dreamsnakes eat for that matter. The story almost begs a sequel in which the healers go there with an armed escort to gather a lot more snakes for a proper gene pool than the few Snake manages to escape with.

Given the alien origin and rarity of the dreamsnakes, it isn't clear why they became so crucial to the healers, and why the notion of genetically engineering snakes to produce the various vaccines etc arose in the first place. And the geography is hard to envisage - certainly where the desert at the start is in relation to the healer community in the mountains, and where Center and the mountain town she stays at, and the later location in the mountains all fit in.

I like some aspects of the story, such as the mutual respect between sexual partners (with the exception of the abuser, of course) though the fact that people are taught to bio-control their fertility is a bit farfetched. The secondary protagonist, Arevin, is not allowed to detract from Snake's autonomy - she single-handedly deals with the punishing situation at the end of the book, and I liked the relationship between her and her adopted daughter. However, I found the whole "point" of Center confusing - I realise that the person she dealt with there freaked out when he saw her companion's burns, thinking they were genetic damage of some kind, but even before that, he had started ranting at Snake in a deranged and nonsensical manner as soon as she mentioned that the healers wanted to clone the snakes, as if cloning was a huge offence. There seems to be a massive backstory which is never disclosed and I found that a bit frustrating. I've since learned that another novel of McIntyre's, The Exile Waiting, is set in the same future so maybe some answers will be provided there, but have to judge the current novel on its own merits as it is not the first part of a trilogy, for example, and should stand on its own. So for me the book balances out at 3 stars only.
… (mer)
kitsune_reader | 56 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2023 |



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Diane Carey Contributor
Hans Maeter Translator
Herve Bennett Screenplay
Jack B. Sowards Screenplay
Ursula K. Le Guin Contributor
Megan Lindholm Contributor
Katherine MacLean Contributor
Michael Swanwick Contributor
Jack McDevitt Contributor
Frederik Pohl Contributor
Charles Stross Contributor
Robin Scott Wilson Contributor
Sharon Lee Contributor
Leslie What Contributor
James E. Gunn Contributor
Richard Chwedyk Contributor
Molly Gloss Contributor
Neil Gaiman Contributor
Edward Bryant Contributor
Carol Emshwiller Contributor
Adam-Troy Castro Contributor
Ted Chiang Contributor
Eileen Gunn Contributor
Jr. Tiptree, James Contributor
Craig Strete Contributor
Dave Skal Contributor
Raccoona Sheldon Contributor
Joanna Russ Contributor
P. J. Plauger Contributor
Marge Piercy Contributor
Terry J Erdmann Introduction
Horst Pukallus Translator
Michael Herring Cover artist
George Underwood Cover artist
Jean Pierre Targete Cover artist
Donald M. Hassler Introduction
Boris Vallejo Cover artist
Diana Falcón Translator
Oliviero Berni Cover artist
Anna Fields Narrator
Gary Halsey Cover artist
Richard Hescox Cover artist
Byron Taylor Illustrator
Joachim Körber Translator
Michael Embden Cover artist
Walter Brumm Translator
Chet Jezierski Cover artist
Loes Luxen Translator
Una McCormack Afterword
James Gunn Introduction
Jill Bauman Illustrator
Robert A. Maguire Cover artist
Dorian Vallejo Cover artist
J. Verheijdt Translator
Chris Achilleos Cover artist
Franz Wöllzenmüller Cover designer
Charles Shields Cover artist
Rainer Schmidt Translator
Schlück Cover artist
Peter Gudynas Cover artist
Maren Cover artist


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