Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Snow Queen new cover The Snow Queen (1980)
Winner - 1981 Hugo Award for Best Novel

Dell paperback
cover art by Michael Whelan
 536 pages (left)

Questar science fiction paperback
cover art by Leo & Diane Dillon
469 pages (right)
Snow Queen old cover

From the back cover of the Dell paperback
     Arienrhod. As beautiful as she was ancient, she ruled Tiamat, a world linked only by the Stargate to the galaxy spanning Empire. But soon the Stargate would close, the offworlders and their high technology would be banished. Winter's rule would give way to Summer's. Arienrhod's reign -- and her artificially prolonged life -- would end.
     Moon. The Queen's secret clone, the key to her survival. Raised by the semi civilized Summer folk, she grew up ignorant of her heritage, yet irresistibly drawn to fulfill her defy the reign over the win the body and soul of the one man fated to love them both.

Read for group discussion on October 8, 1997

Amy's short summary   Joan D. Vinge - The Snow Queen

Snow Queen is set on the planet Tiamat, in the city of Carbuncle, at the end of the 150 year long rule of the technology friendly Winters, when all offworlders must leave.  The Change is coming when the backwards Summers will rule.

The story revolves around a girl, Moon Dawntreader Summer, who is the secret clone of the corrupt Snow Queen Arienrhod.  Using the Water of Life, the Queen has prolonged her life, and she hopes to use Moon to survive even longer.  But Moon is resourceful, she's a Sybil and not without allies, such as police inspector BZ Gundhalinu.  Caught between Moon and Arienrhod is Sparks, a young man who loves them both.

How we each rated this book
Dan 7 Amy 9 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri - Barb 10
Aaron 9 Cynthia 7
Lars - Jackie 8

Our book group has also read the following books by Joan D. Vinge:
-- Catspaw  in March 2004

World's End Summer Queen Other books in the Snow Queen series:

World's End (1984)
An adventure of BZ Gundhalinu
The Summer Queen (1991)
A return to Tiamat, world of the Snow Queen

Tangled Up in Blue (2000)
A stand alone novel in the Snow Queen universe
cover art by Leo and Diane Dillion cover art by Michael Whelan  

Joan D. Vinge (1948-     ) is a US writer of novels, film tie-in novels, and short fiction. She has a degree in anthropology from San Diego State University.

1978 Hugo Award for Best Novelette "Eyes of Amber"
1981 Hugo Award for Best Novel The Snow Queen

Her first novel was The Outcasts of Heaven's Belt (1978).

The Snow Queen series includes The Snow Queen (1980), World's End (1984), and The Summer Queen (1991). Tangled Up in Blue (2000) is a stand alone novel set on Tiamat, in the Snow Queen universe.

The Cat series, about a half-human orphan with psi powers includes, Psion (1982), Catspaw (1988) and Dreamfall (1996).

She spent much of the mid 1980's writing film tie-in books, there are about 10 of them, including the best-selling juvenile Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: The Storybook (1983).

Her short fiction is collected in Fireship (1978), Eyes of Amber and Other Stories (1979), and Phoenix in the Ashes (1985).

Vinge's The Random House Book of Greek Myths (1999), illustrated by Oren Sherman, tells new versions of ancient stories.

Our book club's page for Catspaw by Joan D. Vinge
Joan D. Vinge - author's personal website
Reading Group Guide The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
DragonCon 1999 - The Snow Queen - Best Fantasy Costume
The 11th Hour - review of The Snow Queen - book review of Tangled Up in Blue
SF Site Review - Tangled Up in Blue

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This page was last updated October 27, 2008