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Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh
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1,529528,126 (4.06)211
The Hugo Award-winning SF saga is now available in one complete trade paperback edition, containing Cyteen: The Betrayal, The Rebirth and The Vindication. "A psychological novel, a murder mystery and an examination of power on a grand scale, encompassing light years and outsize lifetimes".--Locus.
Authors:C. J. Cherryh
Info:New York, NY: Warner Books, c1988.
Collections:Your library

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Cyteen by C. J. Cherryh (1988)


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» See also 211 mentions

English (51)  Italian (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
I've read other novels as excutiatingly dull as this one but they were about a third of the length and written in three days for gas meter money by alcoholically challenged Grub Street hacks.
This novel actually turned me off Science Fiction for about twenty five years and I'm only just starting to dip my toe back in.
Also this was the last time I forced myself to finish a book that I hated. Never Again god willing. ( )
  Faustus61 | Jul 1, 2020 |
Read 2017, favourite. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 8, 2020 |
Upon finishing it, all I can say is that I am thoroughly confused. Obviously an example of masterful world-building, but I felt it had a distressing tendency to tell me "This character is cool and will triumph" and then sit back and play out how... big surprise... that character acted cool and triumphed. I kept expecting something disastrous to happen and ruin Main Female Character's plans, and nothing ever did. It's definitely one of those "You wiggled your eyebrow at me significantly in that room full of important people, how dare you, now they've seen that and from that they will infer Very Complicated Thing and oh noes, paranoia, but you knew they would infer the Very Complicated Thing and what does it mean that you wanted them to infer the Very Complicated Thing from your raised eyebrow???" I find it stretches credulity to the limit to have a character as fully in control of all features of a situation the author paints as Very Complex Indeed spanning lots of people and lots of worlds (this being scifi) as the main character of Cyteen is portrayed as being. It doesn't seem like anybody grows or changes in that sort of situation because they never have to respond to the unexpected. Admittedly, I think Cyteen is more about worldbuilding and setting up a world in which Cherryh has subsequently written other novels (this being a guess, as I haven't read them) but it just didn't turn my crank. I did read all 600+ pages of it anyway, however, which might say something about the book's quality.

Cherryh is one of those authors who I keep trying to get into- she has a fantasy series I enjoyed and yet didn't- and I think the issue I have with her is that the way she believes people are capable of behaving and acting simply isn't within the parameters I understand for human behavior. Admittedly, none of her protagonists are strictly human- they're either incredible geniuses or golems or something- so perhaps she's just showing a genius for creating alien psychologies- but as a character-driven reader, I find her fiction difficult to work through and her resolutions unsastisfying. ( )
1 vote being_b | Jan 8, 2020 |
This actually reminded me a lot of some of the Asimov books I read earlier this year (particularly The Currents of Space): interplanetary politics, powerful people aware of the repercussions their actions will have on timescales longer than their own lives, people doing disastrous things because their incomplete information causes them to misunderstand the situation. However, it's even better than Asimov, because the female characters actually have personalities and roles to play other than "love interest". I enjoyed this a lot, but I found the very end a bit confusing, so I suppose I'll have to read the sequel.

Trigger warnings: An adult woman blackmails and drugs a teenage boy (19) and forces him to have sex with her and at least one of her staff members. It isn't described in great detail, but it strongly affects the boy for the whole rest of the book, and I found the way in which sudden memories of the incident kept blindsiding him even years later quite hard to read about in places. Additionally, this book contains numerous mentions of off-screen consensual sex between minors (~12). ( )
  tronella | Jun 22, 2019 |
I usually like Cherryh books MORE on the reread, and that's true of this one, too - but it is NOT my favorite. There are intriguing themes developed in different ways in the Foreigner series. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cherryh, C. J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birdsong, KeithCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Iwoleit, Michael K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luger, DianeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maitz, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zackman, GabraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Imagine all the variety of the human species confined to a single world, a world sown with the petrified bones of human ancestors, a planet dotted with the ruins of ten thousand years of forgotten human civilizations--a planet on which at the time human beings first flew in space, humans still hunted a surplus of animals, gathered wild plants, farmed with ancient methods, spun natural yarns by hand and cooked over wood fires.
"Do you know why they put PR on a CIT number?"
"Because they're a Parental Replicate."
"Do you know what that means?"
She nodded, definitely. "That means they're a twin to their own maman or their papa."
"Just any kind of twin?"
"No. Identical."
"Identical all the way down to their genesets, right?"
She nodded.
"You don't have a PR on your number. But you could have."
It's spooky to know you're an experiment, and to watch yourself work.
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