C.J. Cherryh: Foreigner



Spoilers for the general storylineI really liked the first two books or sections of this novel First the arrival in the planetary system then a fast forward of a few generations to the planetary settlers and first contact with the indigenous population of their chosen planet the atevi I enjoyed the setting in space and the glimpse at societal differences between the umans onboard of the ship Down below I Simple Wicca had fun reading from the POV of an atevi andis Protect Your Purity human counterpart was an interesting character as wellUnfortunately with the beginning of the main storyline my enjoyment took a nosedive Another jump to severalundred years later Humans and atevi Theatre Histories have been at war and resolved it byumans living secluded on an island Bren our main character lives among the atevi as the sole uman a diplomat and interpreter of the sometimes incomprehensible language and cultural concepts of the atevi The atevi don t know friendship trust don t comprehend the idea of borders and separate nations Instead there is loyalty betrayal complicated relationships with other factions sanctioned assassinations and people with delicate sensibilitiesThe culture of the atevi reminded me of feudal Japan and made me want to re read Shogun by James ClavellCould ave been fantastic but isn t explored as much as I would Yobo have liked Instead we are shown this world through the limited view of Bren who is a whiny little shite that obsesses endlessly about inconseuential things like gettingis mail and being perpetually worried but never does anything By the The Last Runaway halfway point of the book I was annoyed bored and skimming On top of Bren being a boring character the writing was repetitive and progressed glacially slow I like my stories plot driven endless navel gazing over the same points and ideas for pages after pagesolds little interest for me Also much of the story Sanctuary (The New World Series, happened in the off Bren spent most ofis time sitting around agonizing over one thing or another There was very little doing Except for the last 50 pages or so when we got a little actionThe other characters were even shallower than Bren Not much character development Little umourThe last 20 pages were not bad I just wish the rest of the book ad been that lively Mostly it dragged I was bored I did not connect to any of the characters the story was pretty bloodless Nonetheless I am actually interested to find out what Lion Boy Trilogy (Books 1, 2 and 3) ((Book 1), Lion Boy (Books 1, 2 and 3) ((Book 1), Lion Boy: The Chase (Book 2) and Lion Boy: The Truth (Book 3)) happens next Maybe I will get the next book at some point Considering that there are about a million seuels after this book I think it is safe to say that this first book is set up One canope that there will be plot development in the next installments Foreigner is one of the most in depth uncompromising examinations of the way cultures interact in science fiction Rereading it after all this time and with the added benefit of Data Interpretation Questions And Case Histories having read some of the later books in the series I discovered a whole new level of complexity that s probably almost impossible to appreciate on a first reading complexity on almost every level from Bren s personal life and the subtle interactions of the atevi characters on the micro level to the incredible socio political depth on the macro levelRead the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality This year 2016 CJ Cherryh was given the SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award something I think she was long overdue for Iadn t read a Cherryh book for uite a while so I thought it was very appropriate to read one now and while I ve read this one before a long time ago I never continued with the series due to availability issues where I lived at the timeEn route to build a new space station as key outpost for Inside the Hornets Head human expansion the Phoenix suffers an accident during it s faster than light travel and ending up completely lost in space The ship emerges in a binary solar system withuge radiation azards After refueling at great cost the Phoenix eventually limps it s way to a G class starFrom there a station is built orbiting the inhabited planetCut to generations later and there is a push for station personnel to make a landing on the planet and contact with the aliens mainly to get out from under the thumb of the descendents of the Phoenix crew A landing is made and so is first contact with the alien Atevi gold eyed black skinned umanoids with a deeply strange cultureCut to many generations later The space station is derelict and the Phoenix Sexy Reversed Fairy Tales has left There is now a population of over 4 millionumans living on the planet of the Atevi but isolated to an island and relations between the Oh. My. Gods. (Oh. My. Gods., humans and the Atevi are very complicated largely steming from a treaty between the two species after a war precipitated by extreme misunderstanding between the two culturesIn the current day there s auman position the paidhi or interpreter but the position is far than just a linguistic one The role of Bren Cameron newly appointed paidhi is to interpret the differences between the species something that seems to be an impossible task given the vast gulf between them that Cherryh writes so brilliantly Bren s part of the story starts with an assassination attempt on Phoebe’s Fair Valentine (Oh. My. Gods., him That s nothing unusual in Atevi culture where assassination is an accepted and licensed way to deal with disputes but it is unusual for the paidhi becauseis position is primarily a diplomatic one and attempted assassination is a pretty fundamental breakdown of diplomacy From there Bren is clearly being carefully managed by The Ground beneath her Feet his Atevi companions and seems to be explicitly being isolated from communications and information culminating inim being shipped off to a country estatemedieval fortress There Killer Pancake / The Cereal Murders he findsimself being Lo Que la Reina Quiere (Sexys Cuentos de Hadas Al Revés nº 1) hosted by the fierce grandmother of the leader of the faction of the Atevi theumans William Gibson have allied with and still very much under the threat of assassinationIn my opinion this story illustrates much of what makes Cherryh s writing so great An intense view on Bren focusing onis feelings doubts and thought processes while being explicitly out of the loop on what s really going on He s also almost completely lacking an internal model for Nancy Drake howis companions are making decisions regarding Bandbox him andis welfare and much of th It s somehow proved impossible for me to get into this book There is nothing appealing about either characters or setting to draw me in and there is something about the writing and the sentence structure paragraphs usually consist of a single sentence even the longest ones that completely puts me off I thus simply feel like I m looking at words rather than reading But as I ve eard good things about the series I might try again at some point in the future I blame Michael Whelan who made attractive cover art The cover art is displaying black tall warrior class alien The cover is too tempting for me than I bought it without much thinking The cover as if promised military space opera But the first book is like planetary adventure than space operaThis novel as good opening but after that the story is dragging with unmemorable ending I don t remember the ending and I don t really care And there are a lot of plotsuestions unresolvedThen I found out that this book is the first of a pretty long series around 20 years in the making between book 1 and book 15 Maybe that s why the ending is not so satisfying but that s my opinionMaybe I Kicking It (Alex Craft, have wrong expectation that resulted in 2 star rating I expected a single novel story not a beginning of a long series Hereuman beings Homeport had to remember that the universe was far wider than their little nest of stars that in the universe at large silence was always than the noisiest shout of life Humans explored and intruded against it and built their stations and lived their lives a biological contamination of the infinite a local and temporary condition CJ Cherryh is one of science fiction s most important women writerser name is often mentioned alongside Ursula K le Guin Octavia Butler Anne McCaffrey and other female sf legends She was named Grand Master by the SFWA in 2016 for Sapphamire (Dragons of Dragonose her contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy The only snag is my previous reading ofer books did not go well I gave up on Cyteen after 50 pages or so I finished The Pride of Chanur but it was a struggle Still I persisted because she is apparently one of the greats and I am a connoisseur of great sci fi I don t want to miss out on an author of real significance in the genre Foreigner is possibly my make or break book where Ms Cherryh. The first book in CJ Cherryh's eponymous series Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash land on a planet inhabited by a ostile

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Is concerned if this works out it would be my gateway to er long running series If not we will Breaking Down (The Garage, have to go our separate ways This book immediately grabbed my attention with the prologue where a spaceship called Phoenix comes out ofyperspace to find that they ave arrived at an unplanned and unknown location The crew as no idea of what caused this navigation error and worse still where they are or ow they can get ome Lost in space like that classic 60s sci fi tv show I was settling in to find out Passionate Kisses Boxed Set how they get out of this jam when in the next chapter the timeline jumps 100 years Some of the crewave taken the Phoenix to explore the galaxy they found themselves in while others land on a nearby occupied planet in the Destiny and Power hope of finding a newome and to make first contact with the native sentient race called the Atevi The depiction of first contact is uite gripping I love first contact stories but then the narrative does something very unexpected in the next chapter the timeline jumps another 150 years Now the My Rocky Romance Diary (Diaries of Kelly Ann, human colonistsave established a colony on an island with permission from the relatively primitive Atevi aliens in exchange for our technology At this point we are introduced to the series protagonist Bren Cameron who is the interpreter for The Café Book humanity and lives among the Atevi in one of their cities As soon ase appears in the narrative Lord John And The Brotherhood Of The Blade (Lord John Grey, he findsimself a target for assassination with no idea of who may be behind the attempt and why He is the lone uman among millions of aliens who do not ave a word for friend like or trust Nail biting adventure convoluted political intrigue ensuesI love strange inscrutable sci fi aliens like the Ariekei from China Mi ville s Embassytown and the Heptapods in Ted Chiang s Story of Your Life Initially I found Cherryh s Atevi disappointingly Models Dont Eat Chocolate Cookies human they don t look all that strange and their cultureas many uman characteristics and facilitiesAn ateviHowever the Foreigner series as been described as anthropological science fiction in that it explores the theme of an outsider trying to understand the culture and lifestyle of an alien species by applying Shalias Diary (Shalias Diary, his own incompatible culture and experiences Indeed as I read on the Atevis begin to seem and alien Theyave no word for many of our abstract concepts friends etc and they Scruples Two have words which cannot be directly translated into English As for being inscrutable Bren certainly finds their action and motive completely baffling in spite of speaking their language The alienness of the Atevi is very subtle Brenas no trouble communicating with them on a superficial practical level but the nuances of both the What Janie Found (Janie Johnson, human and Atevi species are mostly nonsensical to each otherBren Cameron by the legendary Michael WhelanOnce Foreigner focuses on Bren Cameron the story becomes entirely concerned with political intrigues among the Atevi From this point there is nothing particularly sci fi about much of the story This is not a good development for me because I don t care much political fiction even with sci fi trappings To Cherryh s credit the book is never downright boring though it does plod along at times and the novel becomes very dialogue intensive and I began to lose interest somewhat Bren s expressions of self doubt confusion anger and fear also become rather repetitious He also comes across as rather ineffectual and weak for a protagonist By the time I finished the book I was interested in what willappen next in the inter species relations However I also felt ambivalent about reading any of this series The problem for me is that while CJ Cherryh is clearly very talented she seems to be interested in exploring themes that do not interest me alien political machinations especially Having said that the excellent Jo Walton reassured me that the series get better and better as it goes on 18 volumes now I think Hopefully there will be less emphasis on politics The character of Bren Cameron is also said to be much sophisticated in future volumes and I am interested in Carl Hiaasen Collection howe develops in the long run So I am still interested in the next volume Invader Foreigner 2 As for this volume I can recommend it with the above reservationsuotesThere wasn t a clear word for like It meant a preference for salad greens or iced drinks But love was worse The whole atevi Silver Tower / Strike Force / Shadow Command hardwiring was different the experts said so The dynamics of atevi relationships were different in ways no paidhi interpreterad ever figured out either possibly because paidhiin interpreters invariably tried to find words to fit into Explosive Acts human terms and then deceived themselves about the meanings in self defense when the atevi world grew too much for themImpossible to conceal their foreignness impossible to trust a species that couldn t translate friendship impossible to admit whatumans really wanted out of the agreement because atevi in general didn t that foreign word trust people foolish enough to land without a by your leave and possessing secrets they Shadowbridge (Shadowbridge, hadn t yet turned overNo matter that assassination was legal and accepted you didn t in atevi terms proceed without filing you didn t proceed without license and you didn t order wholesale bloodbaths You removed the minimal individual that would solve a problem Biichi gi the atevi called it Humans translated it finesse You couldn t go on giving atevi bits and pieces of tech without accelerating the randomness in the process meaning that atevi minds didn t work the same asuman minds and that atevi cultural bias was going to view certain technological advances differently than Academia de Rowan (A Tapeçaria humans did and atevi inventiveness was going to put and items together into their own inventions I wrote this 50 page short story what do you think Said CJ CherryhIt s great but can you stretch into a 20 volume series of 500 page books Because that s what we really need Said the Publisher Sure I can I just will start the first volume off by turning the one paragraph stay in mountain resort into 400 pages of repetitive introspection on the part of the main character And then I will turn the 2 page chase scene into 200 pages And we can go from there Said CJ CherryhThis book should really be retitled Much to do About NothingNow don t get me wrong CJ Cherryh is very talented She can do things like make the fourth book of A Song of Fire and Ice seem incredibly fast paced She can make drying paint seem like the most interesting thing to watch in the world Now very few authors can boast of such achievements it must take a lot ofard work and dedication to make so little take up so many pages I know if I ad that talent I would ave found English classes to be very easy in school She Two Reels And A Crank has a great ability to get ideas across too givenow many times things are repeated in the book even the most dense could not Queens Gambit (The Tudor Trilogy, help but get the point I would love to read the next book in the series but there is just so much that needs to be done first like reading anything else I can find anywhere else In fact given a choice between countingow many kernels of popcorn come in a bag and reading the next book I think I would start counting But when I finish doing everything else I can find to do I will read it Good job CJ Cherryh your writing is really something or is it a lot of nothing Third read 81816What can I say Until it gets to Bren I m not attached to the story much but the fact that so much of them comes back to aunt us in subseuent novels makes me want to pay attention But other than that once Bren is in the spotlight and we re in is The Camping Cookbook head I m there and this becomes one well respected and prolific science fiction author cum scifi anthropologist CJ Cherryh putser considerable gifts to work in this introductory volume to Absalom, Absalom! her elephantine mega series as she begins a sensitive new tradition fiction that is specifically geared to those unfortunate individuals whoave no experience in reading as well as to our fellows experiencing severe mental challenges i for one appreciate the effort and am appy to report that the writing in this novel makes every attempt to be as repetitious plodding and as glacially paced as possible in order to allow the novice andor challenged reader to fully grasp the ideas on display to that end each and every thought and concept and character bit is repeated extensively often repeatedly within the same page and upwards of a dozen times over the course of say two or three pages surely this bold strategy will only serve to support those first time readers in. Entient alien raceFrom its beginnings as a uman alien story of first contact the Foreigner series as become a true science fiction odyssey following a civilization

Their endeavors and can only elp those challenged by low memory capacity and extremely short term attention spans the reader can literally forget or skip entire passages and lo and behold exactly the same commentary will reappear again and again bravo Cherryh this is certainly a step in a brave new direction it is no wonder that this novel spawned so many seuelsi On Liberty have constructed a brief fantasia that illustrates this arresting techniue Bren was extremely worried about the assassination attempt and was uite annoyed thatis freedom of movement No Way Down had been compromised A worrisome Bren couldn t believee Pulled Thread Embroidery had to suffer an escort everywhere I really am awfully worried that I can t phoneome said Bren as e uffily realized that Absolutely on Music his ability to buy canned meat alone was no longer possible This really bothers me I can t even leave my apartment without an escort notes Bren ase paces The Ransom of Mercy Carter his apartment in frustration It was drivingim crazy with annoyance and worry that not only Gone for Good had an assassin tried to killim now Lallieva (Alice Allevi, he couldn t travel alone any He could not leaveis apartment alone After all an assassin ad just attempted to murder im An actual assassin Trying to murder British Society Since 1945 him It was all so worrisome And as if the assassination attempt wasn t enough nowe couldn t even leave is apartment unaccompanied This is really very annoying and I feel awfully compromised so much so that I am genuinely worried reflected Brenokay this novel gets an extra star for two opening chapters or books as Cherryh sees fit to call them that are well written and genuinely riveting and that ave nothing to do with the tedious narrative that follows Review contains fanart and images done by me Sci fiLet me tell you something about sci fi books they are scary No I m not talking about movies or TV series and yes Astronomy was one of my favorite subject in school But for some reason sci fi books are generally on a completely different level for meI Reiki And The Seven Chakras have ventured into sci fi territory before And occasionally I would find something comprehensible enough for my fairies and dragons obsessed brainBuuuut in most casesI would be completely clueless of what s going on AhemAnyways one day I stumbled upon CJCherryh s book Foreigner and it appeared to be everything I ever wanted from any sci fi OR fantasy book The synopsisinted at politics intrigues inter racial relationship adapting to new culture space stuff overall a potential for me to enjoy it as long as it wasn t too philosophical too military orientated or too techno terms Turning the Tide of Battle heavyTHE REVIEW yep finallyI was very cautious when I started Foreigner but as I kept going I found myself falling in love with the potential of the series Not only did itave great uniue and fully developed characters an original setting an intriguing new race with strange customs and behavior it was just addictive True the first book was rather strange I ll talk about it later but the possibilities were endless and I was curious to see where the characters will goSETTING AND RACES aka the prologueThe books starts with a uick recap of I Curse the River of Time how theumans whose ship was stranded in unknown space ended up on their new alien planet All you need to know is that the Humans were far technologically advanced than the planet s inhabitants the Atevi who were rather perplexed to see some pale short strange looking creatures obsessing over their flora and fauna and considering moving inThe initial amity between the newcomers and the locals didn t last for long and a few years and MANY misunderstandings later a war ensued between the two species Humans despite their superior weaponry Once I Was a Princess had no chance of winning against a race that specialized in warfare and assassination and outnumbered them 1 to a few millions Eventually a peace treaty was signed by both races allowingumans to live on the island of Mospheira on a few conditions Humans would share technological information with the Atevi not too much at a time as to not cause disturbance among the orthodox of the race And NO Court the Night (Blood Bonds, human would be allowed on the Atevi continent except for one the Paidhi something like the ambassador of theuman population and most importantly the translator For full resolution go HereThe Mospherianswere than Greed, Seeds and Slavery happy to agree and finally enjoy a peaceful and boring existence Meanwhile theuman paidhi s role was to guarantee all demands are met and the peace treaty maintained A task not as easy as you might think you see the Atevi are very strange Assassination is legalized in fact the assassin s guild is one of the most respectable institution on the planet words such as friend love feelings are absent from their vocabulary and they are also EASILY offended by the weirdest things such as NUMBERS Numbers are sacred with the Atevi their sentences Demons, Deliverance, Discernment have toave felicitous fortunate numbers such as 37 and so on while 2 8etc are Baaaaad Eg if you suggest a pair of apples or your sentence Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki Summary Study Guide has the dreaded 8 words in it that would imply that you wish the Atevi you were speaking to bad luck or something worse Consideringow superstitious this race is it s very likely they would kill you on the spot That s why the Paidhi s role is essentially DIFFICULT AS HELLPLOT aka the actual storyAn assassination attempt is made on the life of the new young paidhi Bren Cameron Unlike Well Meet Again his predecessorse is far open minded and ambitious to build better relationship between the two races which could lead to major shifts in power in Atevi society Tabini aiji the leader of the biggest and most powerful association on the planet decides Bren is useful enough to be protected so e sends im away to If I Never See You Again (Jo Birmingham his grandmother s fortress deep into the continentTabini s grandmother Ilisidi is VERY traditional and strong minded person She despises theuman influence in the Atevi s way of life so Bren Firebird has to be extra careful one slip and the old lady would orderis assassination in an instant Why would Tabini send A Night on the Tiles him from one dangerous place to anotherAs time passes by Bren falls in love with the old fashion way of the Atevi but there s something troublingimHe feels like The House That Jesus Built he s being tested ande Elegies Elderberries (The Herbalist has no idea why He can t decide who is the enemy and whether any of the Atevi or the Humans for that matter meanim any good And what was the purpose of the assassination attempt anywaysMy opinion I just finished book 6 at the moment so this will be of a general rant without any spoilers but it will Tank Girl hopefully give you an idea of what the series is all about and whether it s worth investing your time What I liked 1 The Foreigner series is easily accessible for nonardcore sci fi fans You Miss Mackenzie heard me right there are no cryptic technical terms no existential philosophy to put you to sleep no military mumbo jumbo and so forth At least not to an excessive extent2 Characters are so well developed that sometimes I forget they re fictional Bren is likable and not that interesting at first but as the series progressese keeps changing and evolving His two guards Banichi and Jago are just as intriguing complex and sometimes even The Tao of Sex (Harlequin Blaze hilarious when they try to understanduman logic A new cast of character is added as you go and they re perfect in their imperfection just like real people3 World development It s uite good in the first book but it gets massively awesome by book 6 Can t say why or I ll spoil the series for you4 Atevi culture There are cases where their superstitions regarding numbers is completely impractical such as rooms that Jóias de Família have one main entrance and two emergency fire exits becauseaving 3 doors is luckier number than 2 But most importantly the Atevi are 90% uniue in their ways you can barely understand their logic at first They re When Elephants Weep huge and violent yet appear calm and collected they value interior design and clothing with delicate lace they re obsessed with etiuette and politeness and would gladly share a decorative cup of poisonous forumans tea with you It s just a great original culture with its own perks that enriches CJCherryh s world and I love it5 PLOT TWIIIIIISTS GOD there are some AMAZING mind blowing plot twists and especially massive ones towards the last 10% of EACH book A couple of times I could see the twist coming yet the way it was presented STILL managed to blow me awayWhat I dislikedDespite Foreigner being in my top 10 favorite series of all time there are still elements that do not agree with me and it s only fair that I share them as well1 First book is the weakest Yes many of us A Long Desire haveeard Rom the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable autho.

Currently resident in Spokane Washington CJ Cherryh has won four Hugos and is one of the best selling and most critically acclaimed authors in the science fiction and fantasy field She is the author of than forty novels Her hobbies include travel photography reef culture Mariners baseball and a late passion figure skating she intends to compete in the adult USFSA track She began