Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was worried that I might have thought this early SF dystopia might have not held up so well after nearly 40 years of a never ending stream of them, but considering that I recently watched some early Mad Max films, I'm all good. We have to place these things in their time.
After all, where else are you going to get a surprisingly deep character and women's study dystopian future that includes aliens, nearly Bene Gesserit healers, the depths of adoption and justice, and a woman who embodies the symbol of wisdom as Snake?
To be sure, the novel is mild in comparison with so many gritty Dystopians or even a grand portion of YAs, but it does have heart.
In analysis, I can give it higher props for being some of the very first SFs of the time to bring in some of the new growing trends of fantasy, being darker and unwilling to look away from cultural injustice or be willing to devolve into character caricature. Like I said, the characters are developed carefully and realistically.
The novel would never earn a Hugo these days, but we should never forget that those who start a trend that everyone later beats to death still began it. ;)
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