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Showing 1-10 of 23 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 79 reviews
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.
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on June 9, 2017
This book, originally published as a trilogy, explores an attempt to recover the special genius of a deceased woman by not only cloning her body, but recreating as exactly as possible the circumstances of her growing up. Moral issues, practical issues, and especially the unintended effect of a major difference: the mother of the original genius regarded and treated her child as an experiment; the mother-surrogate, while replicating the recorded acts of the mother, loves the child. I have read this book and its sequel with great pleasure, several times.
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on May 1, 2012
CYTEEN is not a fast-paced science fiction adventure. But to have won the 1989 Hugo Award, it must have impressed somebody besides me.

Progressing on a distant planet in the 25th century, the story has a background theme of psychology, genetics, and psychogenesis (the developmental growth of a person's mind into that person's cloned body). Politics and family infighting are interesting, and these reminded of Mario Puzo's THE GODFATHER, but action sequences are rare, and a great deal of the narrative immerses readers into mundane activity and expositions of technical psychology. Therefore my rating of only four stars.

The best part is the main character, Ariane Emory. You may think she is nothing special at the beginning, but later on she and her friends stimulate the plot with vitality. Generally all of the many characters are diverse and colorfully emphasized. Indeed an entire social class draws our attention. These are the azi, a word derived from their A-to-Z classifications, based on genetically engineered specializations.

Gravity is more artistically valuable than levity, and no reader can doubt that CYTEEN is imbued with the former. If you get tough and forge ahead through the slow passages, Cherryh immerses you into a credible, futuristic society. And you will surely be aroused by the final pages.
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on January 25, 2005
This is the first book I've read from Ms. Cherryh and deeply impacted me.

She creates an astounding backdrop Universe full of intricacies, depicting Humankind's expansion 300 years from now.

In this Universe three human potencies compete for supremacy: Old Earth, Alliance and the Union. The story focuses on what's going on planet Cyteen, the heart of the Union, in the aftermath of the Merchant's War.

The explosive political situation conducts to the murder of Ariane Emory a powerful charismatic state leader. In our days that will mean: end of the question. In Cyteen there is yet another chance: a clone of the murdered personality may be developed. But...will Ary 2 be as brilliant and decisive as her predecessor? Will she survive to adulthood in Cyteen's crushing environment?

The storyline is very interesting with extremely well developed main characters, whose lives are followed for more than twenty years.

The core of the novel however is the description of Cyteen's Universe (as happens with Asimov's "Foundation" or Herbert's "Dune" series). Genetics science is overdeveloped enabling creation of Citizen's replicas and the Azi, bred from human stock but educated thru "tapes" to fulfill specific needs (military, scientific or just plain workforce).

Azi psychology is depicted in detail by Ms. Cherryh and their interaction with "standard" humans is full of complex subtleties.

A thought provoking novel that will be enjoyed by sci-fi fans!

Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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on July 21, 2010
I have read many books by CJ Cherryh, she is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are what draws me. She leaves enough to my imagination to allow me to get to know them and form my own opinions. This latest book is a political side of Cyteen culture, cloned individuals and made men, and the values their culture places on them. This book was meant to be read prior to Down Below Station with her new book Regenesis to be a sequil, 40 thousand in Gienna is kind of a parallel as it explores the Azi and their culture as throw aways. I admit that each of these company books makes me feel like I am missing something and need to read more to catch up. The one thing I have noticed with CJ Cherryh's writing however is the basic human story underneath all the action and intrigue that keeps me coming back and looking for more.
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on March 12, 2017
Always enjoyed this book.
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on September 20, 2009
I have loved C.J. Cherryh for more years than I care to admit. I hate to say _Cyteen_ is her best... I'll probably still save _Wave Without A Shore_ for that honor.

But _Cyteen_ is part of her wonderful fantasy world. *Fantasy* only in that the story takes place in a universe we've yet to experience. She makes it very REAL in all its details. Her characters are compelling - and I CARED about them by the end of the first chapter. I do think _Cyteen_ is the closest she's ever come to slash/yaoi which is now my favorite genre.

An awesome story by an awesome writer. If you're already a C.J. lover, this book will meet your highest expectation. If this is your first time with her, I think you'll become a fan.
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on January 9, 2005
I have read Cherryh before, but I have to admit I never really got why she had such an impressive reputation before reading Cyteen. After reading Cyteen, my biggest question is why she does not have *more* of a reputation.

Cyteen (a repackaging of three shorter novels set in the Merchanter universe) is a sprawling intergenerational book which is entertaining to read even as it raises important questions about morality and identity. At its center, it features three main characters who are all genetic replicas of other older characters. These three struggle to accept their heritage while at the same time they try to own their own lives in a way that hardly seems possible, given the controlling and invasive atmosphere on Cyteen.

This is my first exposure to any of the books in the Merchanter Universe, and I did not feel as though I were missing any backstory. Cyteen is well able to stand on its own as a novel. Readers should be advised to not waste too much time trying to grasp all the concepts introduced in the first 50 pages at the time that they are introduced. Cherryh dumps an awful lot of ideas into the first few chapters, but they are all explained gradually as the book unfolds.

I would recommend Cyteen for almost any science fiction fan, particularly those who are interested in biotechnology issues. Cyteen should generally safe for teenage readers-- sexual situations (including a rape) are implied, but not made explicit.
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on November 20, 2015
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. Not on par quite with Asimov's Foundation, but still very good.
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on March 23, 2016
Hate that I couldn't find a Kindle edition.
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