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Downbelow Station. by C. J. Cherryh
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1,765443,990 (3.82)132
Member:bsima
Title:Downbelow Station.
Authors:C. J. Cherryh
Other authors:Nigel (Jacket) Hills (Illustrator)
Info:Severn House (1985), Edition: New Ed, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

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Downbelow Station by C. J. Cherryh (1981)

Recently added byKelMunger, kpevjen, qux, private library, kleos_aphthiton, SteamDave, SirDi, sturlington
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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Why, oh why can't they give the Hugo and/or Nebula to a short book once in a while? So authors trying to get their names on a trophy wouldn't feel compelled to write these doorstops?
  sonofcarc | Aug 27, 2014 |
Started. Not for this science fiction lover. ( )
  tsgood | May 30, 2014 |
I've given up on this book for the time being; I was halfway through, put it down, and then realized I hadn't picked it back up in a week and hadn't missed it, which is a flashing neon warning sign that it's not worth the work to finish it. Might come back to it sometime since it's been suggested that it's such a pivotal work of fiction, but I dunno. ( )
  lyrrael | May 18, 2014 |
Alas, if only GoodReads permitted me to give this book 2.5 stars.

I promised that when I finished this book, I would assemble my thoughts about it and provide as accurate a description of my feelings about it as possible. So, here goes.

I love C.J. Cherryh dearly and if it weren't for the fact she wrote this book (and it is very reminiscent of her writing style), I would have abandoned it long ago. There are too many characters, who lack depth sufficient to identify with (the sole exceptions being Josh/Damon/Elene and Konstantin). For another thing, I'm sorry to everyone who has read this and didn't get the impression, but to me, hisa=Ewoks. Whenever she described a hisa, I saw an Ewok. This did not endear me to them.

For another thing, for a book that seemed very exciting in parts, the ending really didn't add up to very much. The good and bad guys switched sides, although the ending made it clear that Pell continues to be at risk. I feel like there were too many plotlines that didn't quite match up (and too many plotlines that were cut out just when they were getting interesting). I would have liked to have heard what would have happened with Jessad, Josh, and Damon. I also would have liked to have known what was going on with Ngo and why the book felt the need to jump time without sufficiently explaining what happened in the interim.

The characters that I liked, I liked because they were multi-faceted. This is a book that cannot be read without having read Cyteen and possibly Regenesis, simply because it would not make sense without those two. Therefore, as a stand-alone, it is a detriment for that. (I have heard it's not really a stand-alone, but without having read the first two books first, it'd be hard to have a position on the azi).

A lot of the action was tedious and events sometimes went nowhere. The hisa were described as religious and spoke much about dreaming, although the significance of this was never really explained. With their pidgin English and their description, it was hard to find them anything but annoying. And anything that was interesting, she swerved away from. What was so important about that damn statue, anyway?

I also felt like characters made decisions that weren't fully founded. Mallory, for instance, making a 180. I understand why she did it, yet it still felt unfinished. Josh, in particular, was a case of "wait, did that just happen?" And for someone who's been Adjusted, making the decisions that led to his desire for it again was displeasing to see.

I suffered through this book. Not since I read a book for school and disliked it have I had this much trouble getting through a novel. There were a few points where I genuinely enjoyed it...but the rest was difficult. It was hard to visualize the action, for one thing, and for another, science fiction written in this era is showing its age. C.J. Cherryh shines at showing interpersonal relationships and relationships between species. When this occurred and there was sufficient backstory and real description of it, it was enjoyable. This didn't always happen--the key example being Jon and Vittorio. It was hard to feel sorry for someone who barely got any screen time and seemed more like a shadow than a character.

I understand the key issues at stake here. The idea of genocide simply to perpetuate a war agenda is frightening, in and of itself. The idea that this has been going on for a while is equally frightening. The Q mass being shoved together and then brought to the brink of war by mismanagement and having gangs run them is terrifying. I feel like, as a whole, these components would have been excellent. Yet, together, the pieces are jangled and don't quite fit.

There were also a few instances where I wondered why the copy-editor didn't pick up on errors. In one particular scene, Bluetooth (who is up on the station) is suddenly and inexplicably down on Downbelow. I believe she meant Bounder, but it does give one the impression that the hisa are interchangeable.

After having fought with this book for twelve days, I no longer feel bad about disliking it. I just feel bad that the things that I enjoy weren't as fleshed out as they were in Cyteen and in the Foreigner series. Too many characters spoil the plot and I'm sorry...but there was far too many to keep track of and too few important ones.

(Also, the very end of the book made no sense. It was like the disturbing implications mentioned earlier meant absolutely nothing). ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattingly, David B.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Earth and Outwards: 2005 - 2352

The stars, like all man's other ventures, were an obvious impracticality, as rash and improbable an ambition as the first venture of man onto Earth's own great oceans, or into the air, or into space.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756400597, Mass Market Paperback)

A legend among sci-fi readers, C. J. Cherryh's Union-Alliance novels, while separate and complete in themselves, are part of a much larger tapestry—a future history spanning 5,000 years of human civilization.

Here is the 20th anniversary edition of Downbelow Station, the book that won Cherryh a Hugo Award for Best novel in 1982. A blockbuster space opera of the rebellion between Earth and its far-flung colonies, it is a classic science fiction masterwork.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:55 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The station at Pell's Star, traditionally neutral, holds the key to victory in a struggle between the decaying stellar empire of Earth and the rebel forces of the colonies

(summary from another edition)

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