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Cyteen Paperback – September 1, 1995
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
I believe in the future: I'm an optimist for good reason---I've studied a lot of history, in which, yes, there is climate change, and our species has been through it. We've never faced it fully armed with what we now know, and if we play our cards right, we'll use it as a technological springboard and carry on in very interesting ways.
I also believe a writer owes a reader a book that has more than general despair to spread about: I write about clever, determined people who don't put up with situations, not for long, anyway: people who find solutions inspire me.
My personal websites and blog: http://www.cherryh.com
Top Customer Reviews
And now about this diverse world comes Cyteen, the novel. What a novel it is, close to seven hundred pages, and Cherryh used every single page to tell this story of young friends trapped in a world of security constantly watching over their shoulder. This book reeked paranoia in a way that would make Thomas Pynchon proud. Friends and enemies all meld together in this novel and you can never tell which is which.
Cherryh does a great job detailing the planet Cyteen and the society that grows up on it. The people and culture are as diverse as (dare I say it?) Frank Herbert's Dune. You get a feel for the government and the politics that surround everyday life, the behind the scenes stuff regular people don't know about.
But that's not it. Cherryh also gives us arguments on the different between the born men and the azi, the genetically created people, weaving these threads into an already idea packed story.
Nothing Cherryh has written before or since can come even close to this book. The only two I can think of are Downbelow Station or maybe even Forty Thousand in Gehenna (which ties into this novel). It's a landmark of science-fiction and should be read by any who consider themselves a fan
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.Read more ›
Cherryh has done a masterful job in this story to show how a complex concept like cloning can be done. As science breaks through even now with techniques for cloning, it only gives us a body. Cherryh gives one possible method, one that works with the kind of Big Brother future SF tends to hint so strongly at. Take all the records of a person's life. Every tidbit, every mistake, every triumph, and recreate them.
I haven't given this a 10 mostly because while I think this is a superb book, there are a few drawbacks. It's *long*. It covers the entire childhood of a woman. It's not the easiest of reads, which isn't a problem, but makes it difficult to encourage others to read it.
Regardless of which, if you get a chance to read it, do so. It's well worth it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
CJ is one of my favorite authors and this book is part of the series about the typical competition between confederations far into the future. A must read for sci-fi fans. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jack Oliphant
Warning: To get the "most" out of this great but demanding work, first read Downbelow Station and 40,000 in Gehenna! Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Frost
I enjoy reading science fiction. I did not enjoy this book. My son bought me the book and I carried it around on vacation for two years before getting serious about reading it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by John Lindberg
Were I to draw up a list of All Time Classics of Science Fiction, "Cyteen" would be in the top ten.
How do biology and environment interact to create identity? Read more
I have read this book several times over. I love the complexity of the relationships, and I feel stressed along with the characters as they come into conflict with each other. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
A regular little murder mystery among other things. I thought the build up and the conclusion were well tied together.Published on January 25, 2014 by G. Serjak
Might not hold its age as well as other books set in the Alliance/Union universe. More of a psychological drama about the abuse of power and the trauma of its victims-- the book... Read morePublished on November 16, 2013 by Bruce