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Cyteen [Paperback]

C.J. Cherryh
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1995
The Hugo Award-winning SF saga is now available in one complete trade paperback edition, containing Cyteen: The Betrayal, The Rebirth and The Vindication. "A psychological novel, a murder mystery and an examination of power on a grand scale, encompassing light years and outsize lifetimes".--Locus.

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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dune like March 19 2004
Format:Paperback
I was struck by this book. Its style was just like frank herbert's later (messiah and onwards) books in the dune series. It is psychological and philosophical. It was slightly tiring, and it took me on average two minutes to a page.
Overall, it was great. Ariane Emory gets murdered early on. She has a replicate of her made. That is the focus of the book. It has very little action, so mabye Dean Koontz or Stephen King fans should opt out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cyteen July 13 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I agree that this is a wonderful book. However the word 'Book' does not explain, in any of the reviews, that it is a triad of three previously published books by C.J Cherryh: The Betrayal; The Rebirth; The Vindication. Therefore, its considerable length.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cherryh's masterwork . . . May 9 2003
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Time it Takes May 2 2003
Format:Paperback
I had to read this book for a biotechnology/science fiction class at UCLA. Despite the daunting size, Cherryh's book is well worth the effort needed to conquer it. The characters are so well developed that you think you know them. Ari is quite a scary little girl if you think about the implications of her actions..quite a thought provoking book! I would recommend it to any fan of science fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and Amazing April 8 2003
Format:Paperback
Cherryh is at her best when she's letting you live within varying perspectives of her characters. I've never experienced this with any other author - the ability to set two characters in diametrically opposed directions and have you support both sides of the issue.
Cyteen is long. Personally I found that to be a blessing - I love this book, and spending lots of time within its worlds was wonderful. But if you don't like to think... Or if your idea of a good Science Fiction novel is one with lots of hot alien babes and star fights... Well... Go back to you usual fare.
Cherryh is one of those writers you either love or hate. She's written enough books that if you find that you love her, you have uncovered a monumental treasure trove of books to read. Give it a shot.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Nope! April 2 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Good idea but too long because unnecessarily trying to be too complex. Poor characterization - if you think Justin's constant whinings is characterization that's another matter. The overlong political intrigue is bland and because of that the book misses the point (cloning and slavery) altogether. It ends up with a "surprise ending" which makes you think "so what?!".
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2.0 out of 5 stars A veritable headache: the life of a clone Feb. 19 2003
Format:Paperback
A ponderous hymn to claustrophobia, that's what this book is.
Always set in the same depressing institutional seclusion of a space station, this totally unemotional and humorless book is about the cloning of an unsufferable tyrant of a Chief-project, who, unsurprisingly, gets assassinated.Why they choose to clone her,beats me, but they clone also their android servants,and we are set to read hundreds of pages of this poor clone being repressed and coaxed into becoming the original. Not only that, but we also witness the urelenting persecution of the son of a scientist unjustifiably tought to have assassinated the famous original. An impossibly claustrophobic and paranoid tale.It gave me the creeps. If you want to read good science fiction, read The Night Dawn Trilogy .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clones, Genius, and Politics Feb. 15 2002
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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