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Forty Thousand in Gehenna (Alliance-Union…
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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
A sweeping multi-generational saga detailing the adaptation of humans to a world where the dominant sapient life form is so bizarre in its mentation that it necessitates a shift in human consciousness to connect with it. ( )
  WingedWolf | Oct 20, 2017 |
The was originally published in 1983, making it one of Cherryh's earlier works, and it is easy to see the development of many themes that Cherryh later mines for gold in the "Foreigner" series: the epic sweep of nations and politics, human/alien cultural divides, and individual endurance (in fact, it is easy to compare 40,000 to Foreigner, as the last half of the book centers around the observations and experiences of a "starman diplomat" to the native Gehennans). This is a book to savor, not just for Cherryh's excellent use of language and descriptions, but because of the hugeness of the story, which covers several hundred years of history and the lives of many characters.

It is an eminently satisfying read, and as usual Cherryh brings to life not only the human characters in all their glory and with all their faults (her humans are always, always genuinely, humanly flawed) but also the alien "dragons" of Gehenna, who are fascinating but truly otherworldly creatures. ( )
  KimBooSan | Sep 23, 2017 |
Forty Thousand In Gehenna is an off-shoot of the Cyteen cycle. Azi are dropped off on Gehenna after being trained to become a stone in the throat of the Alliance forces. Certain aspects of the landing are predictable: the departure from the original plan by the younger generations, the bewilderment of the AZI parents who are ill-equipped to handle "born men". The unexpected part is the interaction with the native wildlife, which seems to be far more intelligent than the original landing party understood. By the time the planet is rediscovered, They have become more than a stone for the Alliance to swallow. ( )
  JoBass | Aug 25, 2017 |
Traces about 300 years of human colonization of Gehenna, and their advances in learning to live with the planet's native species, the calibans. ( )
  Pferdina | Jan 3, 2016 |
I have generally liked or loved just about everything I’ve ready by Cherryh. This one is a multi generational tale of a large group of colonists who are planted on a distant planet with expectations of follow-up supplies and support but then abandoned for political reasons. The book has some interesting ideas, but was overall a bit of a mixed bag. I would say it offered a promising if slow beginning, a boring middle, and strong if flawed ending.

For me the strengths of this book are the truly alien aliens and a satisfying if not particularly believable conclusion (in which the humans are revealed to have overestimated the extent to which they were running the show).

I would say that the book's biggest weakness is characterization (which is surprising, because I usually think Cherryh’s science fiction shines because of its complicated and deep characters). To some extent that is perhaps an inevitable challenge in a book which spends much of its length generation hopping. But even when the book slows down in the final section to focus on the Jin – Genley – Elai – McGee quadrangle, it seems that these characters exist more as vehicles to take the plot where Cherryh wants it to go than as convincing characters with whom I could empathize. Also, I never really understood the fifth column…or was there even a fifth column?

Still, worth your time. ( )
  clong | Nov 8, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cherry,David A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gurney,JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walotsky, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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T-190 hours
Communication, Union Ministry of Defense,
US Venture
in dock at Cyteen Station

ATTN: Mary Engles, capt. US VENTURE

Accept coded packet; navigation instructions contained herein.
There were photofaxes on the office walls, ships and faces, some of the photos scarred and scratched. Faces and uniforms. He had a gallery like that in his own duffle. The desk had a series of pictures of a young man, battered and murky. He was not about to ask. The photos never showed him older. He thought of Jean with a kind of grayness inside...had known a moment of panic, the realization of his parting from Cyteen, boarding another ship, leaving the places Jean had known, going somewhere her memory did not even exist.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
“Set in the same future as the Hugo-winning Down below Station, but fully self-contained, this is a story on the classic theme of human underestimation of the alien. The 40,000 colonists on Gehenna are abandoned for political reasons. When the re-supply ships fail to arrive, the colony begins to collapse. But the real story is yet to come.

Over a period of 200 years, the descendants of the colonists who couldn’t impost Terran conditions on Gehenna become a part of Gehennan ecology themselves, by entering a partnership with the planet’s native intelligence - the lizard like burrowing Calibans.

“Cherryh tantalizes our minds with these enigmatic aliens, captures our hearts with her characters and involves us completely with her mix of broad and narrow views of a new culture’s rise. Once again, Cherryh proves herself a consistently thoughtful and entertaining writer”

Publisher’s Weekly
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0879979526, Mass Market Paperback)

"Set in the same future as the Hugo-winning Downbelow Station, but fully self-contained, this is a story on the classic theme of human understanding of the alien. . . . Once again, Cherryh proves herself a consistently thoughtful and entertaining writer."--Publishers Weekly. Reissue.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:17 -0400)

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