This post is by Liz Bourke from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content
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It took news of Vonda McIntyre’s death to spur me to read Dreamsnake, which had been sitting on my shelf above two years before I cracked it open. I deeply regret that, because it means I’m far too late to be able to write her a fan email telling her how much I appreciated this novel.
Dreamsnake was first published in 1978. It still feels contemporary, which is not something that can be said for most books nearly a decade older than me. It sets itself in a future where civilisation has collapsed and re-arisen from the ashes of a nuclear conflagration (the particularly nuclear vision of its civilisation-reducing apocalypse is perhaps the only thing that might be said to have dated), and its main protagonist, Snake, is a young travelling healer whose major tools and partners in her craft are a set of snakes, genetically modified to produce ...