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The Pride of Chanur (original 1982; edition 1981)
by C.J. Cherryh
The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh (1982)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0886772923, Mass Market Paperback)
No one at Meetpoint Station had ever seen a creature like the Outsider. Naked-hided, blunt toothed and blunt-fingered, Tully was the sole surviving member of his company -- a communicative, spacefaring species hitherto unknown -- and he was a prisoner of his discoverer/ captors the sadistic, treacherous kif, until his escape onto the hani ship The Pride of Chanur.
Little did he know when he threw himself upon the mercy of The Pride and her crew that he put the entire hani species in jeopardy and imperiled the peace of the Compact itself. For the information this fugitive held could be the ruin or glory of any of the species at Meetpoint Station.
Cover art by Michael Whelan
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)
A human finds refuge on a spaceship operated by catlike beings. A sequel is Chanur's Venture.
(summary from another edition)
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