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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » CJ Cherryh anyone?

   
Author Topic: CJ Cherryh anyone?
dkr
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Just curious to know if any of you folks have read any of her works. I have been reading the latest volumes of WotF that I could find in preparation for kicking off my story for the same. Having been blow away by Cherryh's Morgaine series several years ago, when I recently happened upon an anthology of her short stories I grabbed it. Between her and the 750k words of A. Dumas I just finished I find myself in a state of near-stunned silence at her (their) ability to tell a tale. The first three stories of her anthology (The Collected Short Fiction of...) are absolutely unique. This has given me a new infusion of drive and confidence.

Thoughts? Opinions? Other authors having an effect on you this way?

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extrinsic
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C. J. Cherryh's Cuckoo's Egg is on my and others' top hundred best list science fiction novels.

Cherryh's narrative ability is admirable, though declined hit or miss over the years from the stellar heights of Cuckoo's Egg, 1985.

The most influential writer in craft terms of mine, though, is Mark Richard, "Her Favorite Story" is the best known of his works. "Strays" is my favorite of his short stories. Both are collected in Ice at the Bottom of the World.

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Meredith
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Some. But it's been a long time.
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LDWriter2
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I have seen her name a bunch so I assume I read at least a couple of her books but it would have been years ago and I would have to take a close look at them to see if I can recall one.
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Robert Nowall
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I read a good deal of her earlier stuff, the Faded Sun trilogy and the Morgaine trilogy, plus several stand-alones (or at least I thought they were)...but most didn't appeal to me that much, honestly...and I haven't read anything of hers in many years that I can recall. Don't think I read Cuckoo's Egg.

I do remember certain elements from certain books, though; I suppose she did have some influence on me.

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dkr
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Thanks! I will be checking out Cuckoo's Egg and looking into Mark Richard as well.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I love her work and how she makes alien points of view work for me as a reader. Some stuff works better than others, but that's not unusual.
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Reziac
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I've read ...I believe all of her work other than some shorts/oddities and the latest Foreigner novels (I guess we're up to #16 now; I've read through #12).

Her earliest novels were a bit rough (not bad, but you can see the learning curve compared to later works) but since then... she is my 2nd most re-read author (up to 5 times for some works), after Jack Vance (7 times for almost everything, if I haven't lost track).

She excels at worldbuilding, characterization, and immersion. Plots and backgrounds tend to be complex, layered, and nuanced (I didn't grok all the politics in the Union/Alliance novels until my 5th time through!) The technical quality of her work is nearly flawless, her style economical and assumes the reader has a brain. She does occasionally recycle some plot points and often uses the same pacing, but that's hardly unusual for someone with 60+ novels in print.

She's probably not to everyone's taste, but she writes a fairly broad range -- her fantasy is quite unlike her hard SF. A lot of readers like only one side or the other; some like both.

I've probably learned more about how to write from Cherryh than from all other authors combined.

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History
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Although stylistically different, I think of C J Cherryh and Tanith Lee (who sadly passed last week) almost simultaneously. Both appeared as new talents in the 1970's in DAW books and both were quite prolific in multiple genres. They helped elevate full realized female protagonists in the genre. Ms Cherryh's early works such as The Faded Sun trilogy and Morgaine qudrology are respectively strong "classic" science fiction and science fantasy works with entertaining twists on traditional tropes. I've enjoyed re-reading them. I've enjoyed her Alliance Universe novels, including the Hugo winning Downbelow Station and Cyteen (I haven't read Regenesis yet, but I will). Her heroic fantasy Ealdwood and her sf Chanur novels are transporting reads as well. I posses all eight of her shared world series Merovigian Nights (one novel and seven story collections) which I also plan to read soon. I read her epic Fortress in the Eye of Time and found it moved a bit slow, but bought the other 4 novels that followed (the obsession of being a collector). I have a few of her Foreigner books but never took time to sample them. Since she has recently published the first novel in her sixth trilogy in the Foreigner Universe, I suspect this long-running fan-favorite series is likely worth checking out as well.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Smiley
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I recently picked up Cherryh's Fortress in the Eye of Time. I can hardly stomach the beginning chapters. Please tell me it gets better soon.
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