Amph The Worlds of CJ Cherryh

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by ShrunkenJedi, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4
    NYcitygurl, I know that when I look it up, it lists Rusalka and the two others I mentioned in my last post as being "The Russian Novels". And the title of the second is the name of a character in Rusalka. BUt I would not be able to tell you if Rusalka could be a stand alone book until I finish it. I am just a little over halfway through with it now
  2. Cliodna_ben_Lhee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2003
    star 4
    I finished Rusalka awhile back. It does stand alone on its own. I haven't started Chernevog yet. I read one of my Neil Gaiman books (Stardust) first.

    This past weekend, I got to meet C.J. at a small Sci-fi/Fantasy literary convention called Foolscap. She was the writing GoH there. The con was a small and intimate one, so there were many opportunities to get up close and personal with the Guests of Honor. She is an immensely interesting person whose life experiences give her a vault full of anectodotes to share, and she shares them with an innate sense of humor that I found endearing.

    Before I left for the convention, I had a stack of her books I was going to bring for her to autograph for me but I forgot them in my rush to get out the door and on my way, so while at the con, I went to the dealers room to look for something by her that I could purchase that I would want to read. I came across a book in the Foreigner series, so I bought it and two of the others. I just started on Foreigner.
  3. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Oh, very cool! Wish I could've been there.
  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Cool.

    I just finished "Forge of Heaven" in the last few days. Anyone else read it?
  5. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Yep, I borrowed that series from my library a while ago... that was when I was trying to read more of her stuff.
  6. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
    star 8
  7. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    I liked it... (had to refresh my memory by reading a review over, but that's alright...). I liked the interaction between Procyon and Marak, and I liked Procyon's sister a lot-- very cool. Like Cyteen, she uses a lot of biotechnology in this book, which I like-- I think it makes for a very believable on the one hand and relevant (on the other) future.
  8. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I also found the implications of biotechnology to be interesting.

    My favorite character dynamics in the books were the musings on relationships between immortals (I haven't read Hammerfall, or anything, so this is all the more exposure I have to it) and the Brazis/Reaux interactions.

    I guess I found the whole Ardeth thing to be the hardest part of the whole book for me to accept. The degree to which social capital was supposed to be valued was something of a stretch for me. I mean, I don't know. . .I just found it kind of odd.
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
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  10. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Thanks for the unlocking!

    I was wondering if anyone else here has gotten to her most recent books, Conspirator (latest in the Foreigner verse), and the sequel to Cyteen, Regenesis. As usual, the adventures of our good Paidhi Bren Cameron keep me on my toes (and wanting more, especially as it's only the first book in the latest three-book series), and I enjoyed hearing about the maneuverings of the Warricks and Ariane Emory, although I didn't think it was as mind-blowingly great as the first one. Hard, since that's the one which first inspired me to seek out all her other stuff. :p
  11. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    Through the years, I have now and then read one of her novels and I tend to be left with mixed feelings after reading them.

    It's the kind of "lived in" quality of her novels that I like, the often rundown worlds that feel "real", like places in OT, but what annoys me is that her villains tend to be... well utterly villainous without any redeeming qualities and heroes often too unblemished, even those with difficult pasts. For example, in The Pride of Chanur which I just read, the entire Kif species have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. None. They are just plain evil.

    I have noticed the same with Cherryh's human villains; compared to the usually carely crafted worlds where the stories happen, the real villains have been often cliched caricatures. In The Pride of Chanur the line between good and evil is clear with the good species, the Hani, too: failure to stand up to the Kif as well as the heroes can only be redeemed by dying killing the Kif; there is one somewhat "gray" character, the main character's son, who is a kind of mini-threat, but he is not evil and is just following his culture's own rules.

    I would have preferred a little less certainty, less good vs evil; but of her novels that I have read, The Pride of Chanur is clearly the one which I would recommend for someone who wants to take a first look at her works: It has a rather simple (but not in a bad way) plot, it's an easy and engaging novel, which has no surprises for sci-fi fans and big, intelligent felines modelled after lions. :)
  12. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
    Interesting... like I said in the 'what book are you reading' thread, Pride of Chanur is one of the few I haven't read. 'No surprises for sci-fi fans'... I tend to view that as a negative, as thought-provoking is one of my main draws, but I understand my view isn't everyone's. :p Have you read Cyteen or the Foreigner books, Rogue? Those are probably my favorites and I would say the antagonists there are quite far from one-dimensional - they're *extremely* psychological books (to the point of the psychology being a main theme in them), and not just regarding the protagonists. I finally got my mom to read the Foreigner books, and she's not a sci-fi fan but is a big reader - she liked the plot and characterization, but thought she rambled on a lot and was rather chagrined, I think, to read as many of them as she did. They come in sets of threes, I was up front about that and I didn't push any on her after the first one, which is more self-contained anyway (There are ten of them now, she read nine).

    I would say, however, Cherryh definitely has a tendency to make her aliens rather too human and pattern them too much on existing societies, though, which can get in the way of believability sometimes.
  13. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    The plot really holds no surprises whatsoever, it's very easy book for a reader in that regard. From Cherryh's novels that I have read, it's also the only that I can imagine being turned into a film easily. And I didn't intend that "no surprises" as a negative, it's just a novel where basically a reader knowable in sci-fi will get what she or he expects from it.

    I read the two first Foreigner books, started but didn't finish the third novel. I did view them positively, though, it was not dislike but circumstances that stopped me from finishing the third one. Of the series' "villains" I don't really remember much; there was the native ruler's grandmother who possibly assassinated her own son before the first novel, but in the end as far as I read it, she was a kind of ambiguously "good" instead of a true villain. But it's close to ten years from when I read them, so my memories are hazy.

    I haven't read Cyteen.

    In Pride of Chanur the good aliens, Hani, can be said to be feline-shaped humans living in a society modelled on the dynamics of lion packs. So it's holds true there. The other alien species seem to be more based on few character traits in humans, one is evil and untrustworthy, another is cowardly etc. I can't say it particularly troubled me, as, like I wrote above, I too get what I expected from the novel (which is also the shortest one I have read from her).
  14. ShrunkenJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 5
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