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"Why I like C.J. Cherryh's books"



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>Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 12:14:35 -0800
>From: rcrowley@zso.dec.com (Rebecca Leann Smit Crowley)
>Subject: cherryhlist
I haven't been reading the Net long enough to have encountered much of this reaction to Cherryh (which is in no way to suggest that it doesn't occur!), nor have I read as much Cherryh as some on this list have -- I started with the Chanur series, and have been slowly working my way through the rest of her sf, but I haven't got to _Downbelow Station_ or _40,000 in Gehenna_. If I were to describe why I like Cherryh, it would probably be for a combination of three reasons: I like the characterization (especially the relatively high proportion of strong females, something I miss in a lot of sf), I like the tension and suspense generated by putting volatile characters in volatile situations and having the outcome depend on how conflicts of loyalty work out, and I like some of the philosophical stuff she plays with on occasion (most notably _Wave Without a Shore_).

(...)
				Rebecca


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>Date: 14 Dec 1992 07:18:34 +1100
>From: DAVIS@licr.dn.mu.oz.au
>Subject: Re: C. J. Cherryh List
(...)

I have always felt that her strength was in her science fiction, where she writes good, gritty, believable and engrossing work. I also enjoy her fantasy, but in my opinion her science fiction is certainly her strength. Interestingly, though, I once heard Stephen Donaldson say that Cherryh was his favourite author and a strong influence on him. That was in fact the first time I heard her name.

She has also managed to avoid the problem so many science fiction writers fall into: she has created a future history which is believable and internally consistent, in which different societies have evolved logically according to economic and sociological pressures. Other authors with future histories seem to find themselves struggling, particularly as they grow older. Witness Asimov, whose initial books in the Foundation series were fascinating and portrayed an Empire which was believable. When he fell into the trap of trying to tie *all* of his stories into the one future history, the whole thing fell into a heap. Heinlein was one of the earlier authors to write in an internally consistent future history; his had the problem of being very difficult to believe, however much one may or may not have enjoyed his stories (which is *not* the subject of this post!)
Ian Davis                             DAVIS@licr.dn.mu.oz.au


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>Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1993 11:44:44 EDT
>From: davis@licre.ludwig.edu.au
>Subject: cherryhlist
(...)

The Chanur series was the first Cherryh I ever read. It was an overwhelming experience in many senses of the word. I enjoyed it immensely, but it was not until I had read some Union/Alliance books that I began to understand some of the subtleties; I think there is still much that I am missing. I am continually amazed by the depth of insight expressed in this list, so I decided to go back and reread the series. The plan was to finish this in time for my birthday when I expect to get a copy of _Chanur's Legacy_, now in paperback in Australia!!

On rereading the books (I have just started _Homecoming_), I was struck time and again by how much I had missed/forgotten on the first reading. There is so much depth in this book, and Cherryh's handling of politics (*alien* politics at that) is so adept, that I find I have to reread passages over again even now to try to understand. It all makes much more sense now. On my first reading, for example, there was no way I could have understood exactly what was meant by the three human "Compacts."
Ian Davis                                    davis@licre.ludwig.edu.au


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>Date: Mon, 20 Sep 93 13:39:01 -0400
>From: "Nancy Silberstein" <silbersteinn@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
>Subject: Cherryhlist/Gaming
(...)

Jo said that Cherryh rarely assumes the stance of "Author-all-knowing but instead leaves you to see things through the characters', often biased, views." I read that, and illumination broke. THAT'S another reason Cherryh so fascinates me. I enjoy the challenge of seeing events through the prism of a character's biases, experiences, and goals. Nifty.

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njs  20-SEP-1993 08:53 

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