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Foreigner

de C. J. Cherryh

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Foreigner (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
2,139636,134 (3.91)2 / 416
The story of humans stranded on an alien planet where registered assassination is a way of life. They are the descendants of a space ship which lost its way 500 years earlier. They live on an island and the only contact they are allowed with the mainland is through one human, the foreigner of the novel.… (més)
  1. 30
    Invader de C. J. Cherryh (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Obvious really, it's the sequel.
  2. 10
    Embassytown de China Miéville (electronicmemory)
  3. 10
    Ancillary Justice de Ann Leckie (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Leckie has said that Cherryh's Foreigner books were a big influence on Ancillary Justice and sequels
  4. 00
    Ambassador 1: Seeing Red de Patty Jansen (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Ambassadors to aliens
  5. 00
    The Course of Empire de Eric Flint (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Diplomats exploring alien mindsets.
  6. 12
    Blindsight de Peter Watts (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two books that push the boundaries on our understanding of what constitutes alien cultures and intelligences.
  7. 03
    Barrayar de Lois McMaster Bujold (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Both character driven social SF rather than technologically focused.
S'està carregant…

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Es mostren 1-5 de 63 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Cherryh, C. J. Foreigner. Foreigner No. 1. Daw, 1994.
Rereading the first novel in C. J. Cherryh’s long-running Foreigner series, I was impressed by how many clues we get to themes and plot elements that are developed much later in the series. First, Cherryh is careful to establish that human scientific superiority does not mean that they can implement all they know. Their existence on land and in space is marginal and fraught with political division. When their undermanned starship abandons the station built in orbit around the only habitable planet within reach, the station cannot maintain its population. Their goal is to plant a colony on the planet and use the Atevi, its native humanoid species, to create the technological base they need. But the Atevi confine the colonists to one island and negotiate with them for the technology they want, which is not always the technology the humans want to give them. When the starship returns two-hundred years later, the fragile détente is endangered. This background story, told in the first fifteen percent of the novel, grounds the political drama developed in the next several trilogies in the series.
Most of Foreigner follows protagonist Bren Cameron and his relationship with the Atevi family, with whom humans have established political relations. Bren is primarily a linguist charged with learning to communicate efficiently with the Atevi. He finds that he cannot learn the language without partially assimilating into Atevi culture. His efforts to balance his duty and connection with his human family and colleagues as he begins to think almost like an Atevi are the core of the series.
The Atevi are a conservative, xenophobic society that is just beginning to industrialize. They look to numerology to evaluate every new idea and have no concept of emotions like love and friendship. Atevi society is a patchwork of loose associations with conflicting clan loyalties. Justice is dispensed by a guild of assassins that act has bodyguards for the rich and powerful. Tabini, who would be the head of state if the Atevi had such things as states, is interested in using his connection with the human colony to increase Atevi power and secure his position against his Atevi rivals. His powerful and dangerous grandmother does more than anyone to educate Bren into the Atevi rituals and values. Bren’s two assassin bodyguards are his closest companions. Even in this first novel, there is already sexual tension between Bren and one of the bodyguards. Cherryh’s adroit limited third-person narration let us follow Bren’s conflicted emotions and calculations as he works to understand what it will take to survive. Foreigner is character-driven science fiction at its best. 5 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Jul 2, 2022 |
I found it tedious and repetitive. We gave up about half way through. ( )
  mjduigou | Feb 27, 2022 |
Well, that was a compelling read (I think. I still don't trust my mental state while rating books).

I think the big tonal shift after the first two establishing sections is fairly likely to be a big letdown for most readers. Those chapters promise excitement and action, which isn't really most of the rest of the book. Most of the book is instead very slow, and you're meant to pick up clues as it all comes together in the end.

I also didn't find Bren all that likable...some of which was definitely for the plot, but there was a lot of whining (also as somebody who'd at least taken coursework on interacting with the atevi and had been living with them for while, you'd think he'd make fewer amateur mistakes...but plot, I guess). Anyway, despite all that I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to! There was some nice politicking where it wasn't people talking straight to one another and treating the reader like an idiot.

There were at least four different sides and they were all valid and you may not even have known they existed until the end of the book, despite all the major characters having been introduced less than halfway through the book.

Overall, I'm glad I didn't listen to the negative reviews, because it ended up being a pretty good book for me. I also saw somebody compare it with the Goblin Emperor, which - fair. It's not as full of alien language (ironically), but the concept of "alien setting and most of the action happens in the other room, now infer what it means" holds true for both books.
( )
  Tikimoof | Feb 17, 2022 |
Utterly brilliant! ( )
  Hoppy500 | Dec 1, 2021 |
This was another one of my series-sampling audio listens, to see if I might want to pursue it in print someday. It was also my first time reading anything by C. J. Cherryh, whom I’ve often seen mentioned favorably.

Audio Narration
The narrator was Daniel Thomas May and he’s now on my list as one of the good ones! His narration style is very much the style I prefer. It’s a more understated and unobtrusive reading. He didn’t overly dramatize or exaggerate the characters or the story and he sort of faded into the background while I just focused on the story and almost forgot I was being read to. That is exactly what I like best. He also did a good job of differentiating character voices, and I can’t think of a single aspect of his narration that ever annoyed me.

There are a lot of unfamiliar sorts of names and terms and that was a little more overwhelming to me in audio at first than it would have been in print. A word feels more solid and memorable to me if I see it in print than it does if I only hear it, and I’m somehow much less frustrated by not knowing how a word is properly pronounced than I am by not knowing how it’s spelled. Once the story settled into its rhythm, I was less bothered by it and didn’t have any significant confusion that impacted my ability to follow the story.

Story
The story is a little misleading at first. It’s broken up into three “books”, although the first two books are very short. The second book was sort of like a prologue, and the first book was sort of like a prologue to that prologue. I enjoyed both books, but they gave an impression that the story was going to be something different than it was. Fortunately I enjoyed the third book also, which is when the real story starts.

Because of this structure, it’s hard to give a brief, spoiler-free taste of what this book is about for anybody reading this review who’s curious. If you know the state of affairs at the beginning of the third book, then it spoils the preliminary details from the first and second book. Yet the first and second books really don’t describe the story at all. So I’ll put a brief explanation of how book three starts in spoiler tags, and people can read it or not as they choose. The story focuses on a human ambassador to an alien people on an alien planet where some humans became stranded 200 years ago. At the beginning of his story, somebody tries to assassinate him.

The main character, Bren, is the type of character I don’t always like reading about, so it’s a little surprising to me that I was so invested in his story. He can be a bit whiny, and he often came across as not being very competent at or even well-suited for his job. Nevertheless, I cared about what happened to him, and I did like some elements of his personality, and I very much liked the other characters that we saw through his eyes.

I wasn’t always engrossed in the story, but it generally held my interest. With audiobooks, I usually have trouble listening for much more than an hour at a time. Even if I want to keep cross-stitching, I turn off the audiobook to give my ears a rest. I easily surpassed that a few times listening to this book. The ending wasn’t terribly satisfying. The most immediate issue was sort of resolved, but this is clearly just the first part of a larger story. There were also hints of interesting backstories that I wanted to learn more about. No doubt all of this would be better satisfied by continuing the series.

I’m marking this one as a “yes” regarding whether or not I want to revisit it in print someday and read further into the series. I would very much like to continue the story at some point. I also think I would enjoy re-reading this first book in print because I sometimes felt like there were nuances to the story that I would have grasped better that way. ( )
  YouKneeK | Apr 3, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
C. J. Cherryhautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Long, MilesDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
May, Daniel ThomasNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Whelan, MichaelAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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The story of humans stranded on an alien planet where registered assassination is a way of life. They are the descendants of a space ship which lost its way 500 years earlier. They live on an island and the only contact they are allowed with the mainland is through one human, the foreigner of the novel.

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