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Slavery has its advantages
on October 14, 2013
Cyteen is the story of a group of people who create people. These created people (called azi in the story) are controlled by psychological manipulation throughout their lives, using drugs and indoctrination tapes. These tapes can modify the belief system of the azi's mind, making them completely loyal to an individual, called their Supervisor. They can also teach skills quickly. The creation of these azi gives tenuous political control of the world Cyteen and the Union of space stations to the people who design these azi.
The next step, one that has not been successfully accomplished when the story begins, is to replicate people, make them live again by creating clones with the same genetic makeup and psychological stresses that the original had. Cyteen is mainly about this next step, and how it plays out. There are rewarding intertwined plots about the repressive society these people live in; about family and its importance; about love and hate; about political manipulation and control; and many other subjects, all swirling around the central plot line.
Cyteen teaches you about the world in stages, but does not give a gentle introduction to this world; it abruptly throws you into a world that uses unfamiliar terms and definitions. Part of the fun is learning the lay of the land, from the point of view of the characters.