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Foreigner: 10th Anniversary Edition Mass Market Paperback – December 7, 2004
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The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.
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The Chanur universe took each book to explore the psychology of a completely different alien species; the Foreigner universe does that in spades.
People who like shallow, shoot-em-up action type scifi will likely hate this, but if you like intricate, even baroque levels of detail layered on detail, you will like this. It helps to think of the series as one humongous book, with "Foreigner" serving as the foreword.
I keep wondering if the Chanur universe might blend into the Alliance-Union universe (who were those humans at the end anyway?), or maybe it will bump into the Foreigner universe (where did that human ship come from in the first place?).
Cons: Definitely slow in parts. There are a many, many pages of the main character pontificating on his predicament and future, but overall it helps convey just how bored and thoughtful the character is, and how long the wait must feel when you’re denied contact with your office/home/anything familiar. I believe it was deliberate on the part of Cherryh to help establish tone, the endless waiting, and to give the reader more insight into the world and political system.
I will only say that C.J. Cherryh's alien universes are realistic, compelling, exciting and even amusing. And her writing is intelligent and thoughtful.
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Bren and the ateve have a fascinating 'interplay'.Read more