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Cyteen Paperback – Sep 1 1995


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Cyteen + Alliance Space: Merchanter's Luck and Forty Thousand In Gehenna
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Aspect (Sept. 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446671274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446671279
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 5.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #299,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Genetic manipulation, murder, intrigue and politics are just part of the story of a young scientist in this substantial book. C. J. Cherryh, who won the 1989 Hugo Award for this novel, following on her Hugo Award-winning Downbelow Station, offers another ambitious work. A geneticist is murdered by an adviser, but the scientist is replicated in the lab, leaving a prodigy who attempts to chart a different fate. The book is intense and complex yet always presented with the flow of true storytelling.

From Library Journal

A brilliant young scientist rises to power on Cyteen, haunted by the knowledge that her predecessorand genetic duplicatedied at the hands of one of her trusted advisors. Murder, politics, and genetic manipulation provide the framework for the latest Union-Alliance novel by the author of Downbelow Station. Cherryh's talent for intense, literate storytelling maintains interest throughout this long, complex novel. Highly recommended. JC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
When I first read this fat, extraordinary novel a decade ago, I concluded it was one of the best science fiction novels produced in (at least) the past half-century, and, having now re-read it, I still believe that. It's set in Cherryh's Merchanter universe (a couple of generations after the concluding war, the story of which she told in Downbelow Station), but that's really only the distant backdrop. (You'll also find here the back-story to Forty Thousand in Gehenna.) This is a very detailed, very in-depth, very carefully worked-out, very thought-provoking study of power and the claustrophobic effects of its mis-management, of the relationship of "natural born" psychology to manufactured and tailored minds, of the effects on a society of an artificial underclass (the "azi") that is both more and less than chattel slavery, . . . and along with all that, a satisfying and very affecting story of a cold, slightly inhuman genius and the mystery of her death (which was possibly a murder), and the replicate who is intended to replace her -- and who succeeds more completely, perhaps, than her creators ever anticipated. At 680 pages, there are, of course, several other plots moving full-tilt, also filled with detail and nuance, but they all interrelate nearly seamlessly. Her ability to play off one character's collection of concerns against another's is amazing, and she shows a considerable (and very speculative) understanding of the depths of psychological intervention. She's also a master of precise prose . . . when she wants to be. I have never doubted that this book did indeed deserve the Hugo it was awarded. And now I shall put it back on its shelf for another decade.
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Format: Paperback
C. J. Cherryh has been developing her universe of the Alliance/Union empires for quite some time through several books. Most of these are very good action novels with complicated plots and believable characters, but they typically do not have deep themes. Cyteen, however, is the centerpiece of this universe, with great, insightful looks at the ethics and methods of cloning, slavery, identity (what makes you you?), genetics versus environment, the art of politics, and an incredible look at the inner psychology of the gifted, super-intelligent. This book is not an easy read - it requires some effort and thought by the reader to understand the points presented, but the reader will be richly rewarded for his effort.
The prose style is very clipped, almost abbreviated, and does much to give the reader a sense of unstoppable, pell-mell action and high tension, but it does take some getting used to. Especially at the beginning of the book, where Cherryh drops the reader into this very complex and alien world with very little background explanation of the situation, the people, or the world, it is easy for the reader to become lost and confused. But if the reader will persevere, bit by bit he will find an envisioned world constructed in the best traditions of the field, fully as rich and satisfying as Tolkien's Middle Earth or Herbert's Dune, but with dark overtones reminiscent of Huxley's Brave New World and the paranoid mind control of Orwell's 1984.
The plot is a complex intertwining of power politics, intriguing scientific concepts, and the personal life histories of some very dynamic characters caught up in the Byzantine struggles for ultimate control of this world.
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By J.L.Grant on Dec 19 2001
Format: Paperback
One of C.J.Cherryh's more complex books which unfortunately I had
to import from the US at great detriment to my bank balance.
The society that Cyteen has developed is completely foreign to
the inhabitents of the companies OR the stations and marks a deep divide in the human psyche.
Earth seems to be completely cut off from contact with the "colonies",who are more and more exerting their independance
and who are experiencing a greater degree of competition from the "vat-bred" workers of Cyteen.
The problems that Earth faces is "faintly" touched on in the Chanure Saga where human ships endeavour to transgress Kif;Shsto;
Tc'a and even fire on Knnn ships,in order to establish a trading
route now being denied them by rebellious systems.
"Finity's End" tries to bring a satisfactory conclusion to the
problem,but I think that another book is neccessary to solve the
problems although I don't how she is going to find the time to write it.
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By Riley on Feb. 18 2001
Format: Paperback
*Cyteen* conclusively demonstrates that hard science speculation and brilliant chracterization can coexist beautifully in the same novel. The scientific and political structures are beautifully drawn and fleshed out, and the psychology in particular is convincing, especially to anyone with a background in working with the intellectually and creatively gifted. I first read this book while working on an MA in educational psychology with an emphasis in gifted and creative studies, and this book not only reflects but expands upon the ideas of the most respected theorists in this field. I don't know if Ms. Cherryh's background includes G/CS, but *Cyteen* could serve as a textbook in any class on the psychology of high intelligence.
The characters themselves also draw you into their lives and ambitions. In particular, I would advise all young women, especially those with the ambition to be something more than someone's girlfriend, to read the advice that Ari senior gives her replicate. Ari--- both of her--- is/are a real role model for intelligent and ambitious girls and young women, not to mention a refreshing change from the female characters in other stories whose entire life is focused on the quest for romance and love. She is the first character I have ever encountered who reflects the emotional truth of life as a highly intelligent and ambitious young woman working her way through issues of identity and intimacy--- and all the while never losing sight of the goal of self-actualization. The emotional struggles of Justin Warrick also struck me as a highly convincing portrait of a *real* young man likewise wrestling with intimacy and identity--- again, a refreshing change from stereotypes of young male heroes.
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