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Summary

The imperious Winter colonists have ruled the planet Tiamat for 150 years, deriving wealth from the slaughter of the sea mers. But soon the galactic stargate will close, isolating Tiamat, and the 150-year reign of the Summer primitives will begin. All is not lost if Arienrhod, the ageless, corrupt Snow Queen, can destroy destiny with an act of genocide. Arienrhod is not without competition as Moon, a young Summer-tribe sibyl, and the nemesis of the Snow Queen, battles to break a conspiracy that spans space.

©1980 Joan D. Vinge (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1981

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nancy
  • 31-07-12

A magnificent performance of an old favorite

What about Ellen Archer’s performance did you like?

Fantastic performance - the characters truly came alive!

Any additional comments?

I was thrilled to find this old favorite amongst Audible's new releases, and Ellen Archer's performance truly did it justice. I am very much hoping to see World's End and The Summer Queen follow it up!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Mitchell
  • 30-07-12

Excellent performance of a sci-fi classic

Very pleased with this performance of a much loved book. The narrator did a superb job matching voice to character. Also, kept the complex tale moving forward between the various locales and character groups.

I very much hope that Audible.com will take on Joan Vinge's other works such as the Summer Queen and the Cat/Psion series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Lena K Schroeder
  • 26-08-17

excellent reader, good at accents

This book is probably more enjoyable if you are not familiar with the Hans Christian Anderson tale. I wasn't, and thought the world building and plot were fantastic. great reader. The ending got a little too flowery and drawn out, but by then I was well invested.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • r00fus
  • 25-06-16

phenomenal.

was amazed how long ago it was written. has definitely not lost its touch unlike many other sci-fi books of its age.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DarthVal
  • 12-10-15

A masterful mix of fantasy and scifi

The writing and world building of this story is magical in tone as well as nature. It has the same feel of wonder that a child might have experiences Alice's adventures for the first time. Yet, the story itself is certainly not child's play, but rather a complex and mature drama set within a world that is both immersive fantasy and scifi.

As with any well crafted tale, in The Snow Queen it is often tough to distinguish hero from villain. In this story, as in real life, things are just not that cut and dried. There are characters with noble intentions who have become corrupted by the ideal of any means to justify to end. Other characters might start with a strong moral compass and flounder when faced with difficult circumstances. The result is that as a reader, one might love each character a little, but then hate them just a bit, too.

Then there are the politics. Vinge is quite masterful in her layer upon layer of intrigue. There is the primary culture clash between Winter and Summer, which plays its own metaphor for so many things; cycles of change, old versus new, technology versus faith, class conflict, and finally recreation through rebirth. At the same time, there is the influence of the off-worlders which contributes to the same concepts and adds even more.

This is an outstanding read and I look forward to exploring the world future through the other books in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David S. Mathew
  • 28-05-16

Star Wars meets Hans Christian Anderson

A true Sci-fi classic, given a terrific performance. The basic plot focuses on a hero with mysterious powers on a journey to defeat a malevolent space emperor, so Star Wars comparisons are inevitable. Still, published in an era where pulp sci-fi novels were short, morally simplistic, and largely targeted at young boys Joan D. Vinge did something very ahead of it's time. Not one to be missed.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mamaof4
  • 12-12-17

great book

I liked this book. Several spots were predictable but it was overall great. It has the depth and feel of dune meets Hans Christensen; the snow queen is a jewel.

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  • 30 year Sci Fi Reader
  • 10-05-16

good read

it was a good story once it started to make sense. It was definitely dated. It Was Written In 1980 and it had that feel about it. But it was good.

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  • Meikie
  • 07-04-16

Adult fairy tale

Great story, had read it before years ago but had completely forgotten it... It was like reading it for the first time! The narrator was fabulous, I loved her voices for the characters - amazing... I was saying to my daughter that if it had been written nowadays it would have had a couple of sequels. This is my first time to listen to a book and I found it odd at first, but ended up loving it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-02-15

One of my favorite stories made richer!

I first read & loved The Snow Queen over 20 years ago. Vinge's characters are so real in their brokenness. Hearing this story narrated has added another dimension to an all time favorite. I wish the sequel was available on Audible.