Literature: Dreamsnake

Dreamsnake is a 1978 Science-Fiction novel written by Vonda N. McIntyre; winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

Snake is a traveling healer, using the chemically-altered venom of her pet vipers to treat various ills in a somewhat undefined postapocalyptic setting. And early in the story, a well-meaning but paranoid and misinformed individual kills the titular animal... which just so happens to be both important to her job and incredibly rare. As the only alternative is to come back to her teachers and almost certainly end her healer's career, Snake decides to try to find out something which no one had been able to discover: the natural source of dreamsnakes. During her travel she is forced to make difficult ethical decisions, which subtly introduce an element of An Aesop and comment on some problems brought to light in The '70s.

Dreamsnake contains examples of: