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Dreamsnake  By  cover art

Dreamsnake

By: Vonda N. McIntyre
Narrated by: Anna Fields
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Publisher's summary

A New York Times best seller and winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Dreamsnake is the haunting, critically acclaimed novel of an extraordinary woman and her dangerous quest to reclaim her healing powers.

When the healer Snake was summoned, she traveled the blasted landscape with her three serpents. From the venom of two of them, she distilled her medicines. But most valued of all was the alien dreamsnake, whose bite could ease the fear and pain of death.

When the dreamsnake is killed, Snake's powers as a healer are all but lost. Her only hope of finding another dreamsnake lies in a treacherous journey to the far-off Center City, where Snake will be pursued by two implacable followers: one driven mad by love, the other by fear and need.

©1978 Vonda N. McIntyre (P)1999 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

  • Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 1978

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 1979

"Anna Fields narrates with her usual mastery of the nuances of plot, mood, and character....Fields adds to the haunting sense of reality and possibility that underlies the events set forth." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Dreamsnake

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sets the Mark for Fantasy Excellence

I read this book in the early '80's, shortly after the author received the Hugo and Nebula awards. I remembered this book over the years. When I saw it on Audible, I worried that perhaps it wasn't as wonderful as I thought. Maybe it was just the impression of a twenty something relieved to be reading something besides a textbook.
This book held up magnificently over the years. I now remember why it impressed me so much. The characters and scenes are vivid. Ethical themes are not preached; they are communicated in the plot, where choosing right is often hard. McIntyre's best talent, though, is the introduction of new ideas with foreshadowing. This gives me the chance to ponder the mysteries of the story as it unfolds. It's really a gift to the reader because you're constantly thinking and wondering about say,domes, that barely get mentioned, but become more interesting throughout the book.
The soft science makes this a fantasy. The hints of other world technology gives it an SF flavor. It is a great ride!

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Chick Book

Very imaginative and enjoyable enough, but written from a more emotional prespective that would seem to be geared more toward women. I'm not motivated to read other books by this author.

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6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Cringy bedroom scene but amazing ending

This book's last few hours are really good, giving a great exploration of the strange and alien. Well written. Good ending. Polygamy and polyandry make for cool elements throughout since societies in the book act differently from ours, and the reasoning makes sense since people live in small, isolated communities.

Casual sex with strangers is definitely a thing in this book, sort of like offering a guest a cup of bedtime tea, and that didn't impress me, but the sex scene isn't erotic/detailed; if you wish to skip it, the following scene or two fill in most of what you need to know for everything to make sense; the only thing you'll miss is that while the main character is intimate with one man, she's wishing it was with another, whom she'd actually felt a connection with. Conversely, this book handles issues of abuse and loving those whom others have thrown away beautifully! It has a wonderful "found family," too.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun, unknown classic

This is a fun story set in a post-apocalyptical time. The characters are engaging and interesting. There is a lot of "free love" in the book, which kind of upstages the really outstanding plot and dramatic idea, which involves alien snakes, long journeys and ultimate danger. The performer was quite good, but the sound quality was very strange. The narration was loud, but the dialogue was very quiet, which is really frustrating in a car. In the end, it's a good book, though.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A longtime favorite

Dreamsnake has been a favorite novel of mine for decades. I was delighted to find the narration is excellent with well defined characterizations and pacing. This audio book is a real treat for an old fan and an invitation to younger readers to discover a great sci-fi author.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good old fashioned story with grate narrator

I bought this book because i heard the first chapter for free in audible channels, and was thrilled to know the outcome.
It was a sheer success, the story is classic.
One more thing, I read some warnings about the narration, but trust me, she is wonderful!

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Probably good for when it was written.

I think this was written in the late 70's and I'm sure it was quite good for it's time. By today's standard I found it average.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Will there be more

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the characters and glimpses of the world that they inhabited. I hope that there will be more stories set on this world. There is a lot of people variety from desert nomads to space ports and signs of a massive planet disaster. The civilizations that each developed are only glimpsed at. I hope that there will be more to come about this world.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Average

Not a bad story; however, I don't feel that it is Hugo or Nebula quality.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enhh 🤷‍♂️

Definitely some quality world building, but I struggled to see it in the scifi vein. Honestly, it could’ve been a western. I was pretty bored 3/4 of the way through, as cowboy books aren’t my thing, and for me it really did have that feel…but the last quarter was interesting and considerably better, conceptually speaking. The narrator did a great job throughout!

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