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Voyager in Night [Large Print] [Hardcover]

C. J. Cherryh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Gem July 12 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a smart, moving book. To my mind it does what the best science-fiction ought to do, which is to provoke thought as well as entertain. It also manages to be genuinely moving, a rare-ish commodity within the genre of space fiction. I've noticed other reviewers have shied away from discussing the plot in detail, and I'll follow suit. Some of the book's ideas are more familiar now in our computer age, but to my mind that just increases this book's value as a mother-lode. I've long treasured this book, and would encourage others to seek it out. It's a haunting, harrowing and ultimately uplifting fable about humanity's struggle against the void. Best of all, it adds to the ever growing store of reflections on what it means to be human, to be alone, to be alive - qualities, surely, that move it from the shelf labelled "science fiction" onto the shelf labelled "art".
Well done, CJ!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking June 24 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The best novels portray people in difficult situations and explore their reactions at the emotional and psychological levels, not just at the physical. This book is haunting in its portrayal of three people caught in an ambiguous, alien, and unfathomable milieu. As they learn more about their surroundings, shocking revelations pour over them that literally redefine who they are, over and over again. The human drama is profound and realistic. After it appeared on a "most disturbing books" list, I searched a long time before I found it and it was definitely worth it. I see that a new edition is due in June 2000. If you want a thought-provoking read, get this book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Machine Intelligence with imagination! May 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This footnote in the annals of Merchanter/Union space describes the encounter of a small Family ship with an ancient alien vessel. The human crew become involved unwittingly in an internal power struggle between the alien crew. Then some of the humans find that they are not what they were.. This is a remarkable study of the interaction of human psychology with machine psychology, and particularly of how alien the combination can be. It is quite chilling but grips. I recommend it if you can find it. An antidote to space opera.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien Incarnations June 6 2006
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Voyager in Night (1984) is a singleton SF novel in the Alliance-Union universe. Trishanamarandu-kepta is very old, 100,000 years in ship time, but it has spent so much duration in jumpspace that it is much older in terms of normal spacetime. It is also very large, with the mass of a starstation.

In this novel, the Company Wars are over and Alliance trade routes are expanding. Endeavor Station is being constructed and ships are converging on the system to provide needed raw materials and products. One of these ships is the Lindy, a very small mining ship, jury rigged from scraps and salvaged parts, with a crew of three.

Rafe Murray is the Old Man of the Lindy and his sister Jillian and her husband Paul Gaines are the crew. The Murrays are Merchant brats who were orphaned during the Company Wars and Paul was a stationer on Forgone. The trio has put everything they have into the Lindy.

Having no jump engines, the Lindy was brought to Endeavor aboard the can-hauler Rightwise. It is quickly put to work bringing in rock for the oreship/smelter Ajax. The crew has just finished their first tour and are going out for another load.

While they are gathering rock from the belt, Endeavor longscan detects a tandem jump into the system. At first they think that one of their supply ships is being pirated, but the John Liles sends transmissions claiming that the bogey is alien. The Lindy is within its projected flight path and pushes its puny engine to avoid the oncoming ship. Then they discover that the approaching craft is the bogey itself and they increase the acceleration.

Nothing works, for the bogey is aimed for them and decelerating to pull alongside. Rafe throws on the automatic pilot, but it throws them into a spin. He tries to disengage the autopilot, but blacks out with the spin only getting worse.

When Rafe awakens, he finds himself aboard the huge bogey and pieces of the Lindy collected around him. He soon discovers that Jillian and Paul are dead, but their holograms react to him as if they are alive. In addition, he is brought face-to-face with his own hologram.

Jillian and Paul have problems accepting their own death and revival as discorporate holograms. For Rafe Two, this acceptance is easier since his original body is alive and present. However, they soon learn that other copies are being activated and then additional templates are created.

< > is the dominant intelligence on the Trishanamarandu-kepta. < > has tried to save Jillian and Paul, but their bodies weaken, die and then decompose. Rafe is saved, but he is badly mauled by the Lindy's unchecked tumbling. < > controls the templates for the three humans and activates other copies to learn their thoughts. < > also deactivates -- kills -- some of these personae.

< > is opposed by </>, who is almost as strong as < >. However </> is now confined to his own part of the ship. Other crew and passengers are more or less insane; ((())) flies around the ship screaming and ==== has become a cannibal.

This novel is an early example of personae existing within a computer, but interacting with the real environment. The various persona are intelligent and responsive to stimuli. Indeed, they seem to be alive.

While the author has written many stories about humans living within an alien environment, this tale takes that plot almost to absurd extremes. Human persona dwelling within computers was really way out at the time of publication. However, this novel doesn't get bogged down in the techniques of such incarnation, but rather assumes that such technology is so advanced that it might as well be magic.

Highly recommended for Cherryh fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of really way out adventures with alien technology.

-Arthur W. Jordin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU THE EXPLORER Aug. 10 2010
By Diana Manzanilla - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I haven't read a sci-fi book in years. I am an artist and collect old pbs for the artwork. so, the other day I grabbed a few off the shelf and thought I'd just open the books at random, read a page and see if they hold my interest. I put 4 books back on the shelf but kept reading this one for hours.

To me what makes a great book is a great premise, engaging characters, and a narrative that flows- allowing you to emerse yourself in the environment of the book.

This book has science but delivers it in a way that allows the reader to conjecture and try to figure out for themselves "how the "science" is possible. It assumes the readers intelligence and doesn't hand you all the answers or try to employ "fantasy" words to make it seem other worldly.

One of the other reviews on Amazon here practically tells you the entire plot. That is a shame because the true pleasure of sci-fi is that these are voyages of discovery and the reader is exposed to ideas previously unconceived. All you need to know is that 3 humans who were on a small ship are "abducted" by an enormous alien ship. Throughout the story we are trying to figure out why.

What is so fascinating about this story is that the alien characters don't have names but are referred to in symbol. As you read more YOU learn to associate personality traits to these symbols. It's a new way of thinking for us readers and it's very stimulating (and cool).

Through the interaction between the aliens and humans the book deals with the concept of "identity" - how our experiences change who we are - and perhaps who we would be if certain things had not happened to us. It speaks of how we all are wired differently and why we choose the relationships we do - how they define us, and even help us survive.

I could say more but I'll leave it to YOU THE EXPLORER.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful March 2 2009
By amber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Cherryh's Union/Alliance universe have long been favorites and Voyager In Night is no exception. Dealing with abduction; coming to terms with death and the horror of meeting yourself; coupled with an unfathomable alien intelligence makes this book compelling and thought provoking. It is a stand alone book and highly recommended for SF fans.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Gem July 12 2000
By Matthew McGuchan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a smart, moving book. To my mind it does what the best science-fiction ought to do, which is to provoke thought as well as entertain. It also manages to be genuinely moving, a rare-ish commodity within the genre of space fiction. I've noticed other reviewers have shied away from discussing the plot in detail, and I'll follow suit. Some of the book's ideas are more familiar now in our computer age, but to my mind that just increases this book's value as a mother-lode. I've long treasured this book, and would encourage others to seek it out. It's a haunting, harrowing and ultimately uplifting fable about humanity's struggle against the void. Best of all, it adds to the ever growing store of reflections on what it means to be human, to be alone, to be alive - qualities, surely, that move it from the shelf labelled "science fiction" onto the shelf labelled "art".
Well done, CJ!
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Machine Intelligence with imagination! May 23 2000
By Carlos Huggins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This footnote in the annals of Merchanter/Union space describes the encounter of a small Family ship with an ancient alien vessel. The human crew become involved unwittingly in an internal power struggle between the alien crew. Then some of the humans find that they are not what they were.. This is a remarkable study of the interaction of human psychology with machine psychology, and particularly of how alien the combination can be. It is quite chilling but grips. I recommend it if you can find it. An antidote to space opera.
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