A vast, epic reworking of the fairy tale, Vinge's Hugo winning novel follows the fortunes of Moon and Sparks, cousins friends lovers, rustic inhabitants of Tiamat, a world with a centuries long winter-summer cycle and a culture whipsawed between them, with the Winters ruling during the ice-bound dark times when the world is cut off from the interstellar Hegemony and its trade. Arienrhod, the current Winter Queen, plans to extend her reign by a subversion of tradition, seeding the Summers with her own clone embryos so the next Winter Queen after summer will be her own genetic self. But nothing ever goes as planned and Moon, the clone heir, resists her intended destiny. In so doing, though, she places Sparks in peril at the hands of the Snow Queen.
The new 35th anniversary edition of this beautifully imagined and artfully realized story is available now, reminding us how good science fiction can be and how deep its roots go in literature. -Mark's January Staff Pick, 2015
This reissue of a modern classic of science fiction, the Hugo and Locus Award-winning and Nebula-nominated The Snow Queen, marks the first time the book has been reprinted in fifteen years.
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. Their only chance at surviving the change is 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. Interstellar politics, a millennia-long secret conspiracy, and a civilization whose hidden machineries might still control the fate of worlds all form the background to this spectacular hard science fiction novel from Joan D. Vinge.