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The Hugo Award-winning SF saga is now available in one complete trade paperback edition, containing Cyteen: The Betrayal, The Rebirth and The Vindication. "A psychological novel, a murder mystery and an examination of power on a grand scale, encompassing light years and outsize lifetimes".--Locus.
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Affichage de 1-5 de 52 (suivant | tout afficher)
I finished Cyteen. Someone gifted me Regenesis a few years ago, and I realized I had never read the whole preceding work, just only one installment. I only remembered a few bits and pieces. Couldn't really tell just which part it was that I read decades ago. Didn't like it. Didn't get it, especially the last bit.

It's like the nexus of all the Union-Alliance novels. I read Downbelow Station (took me 2 tries to get through the whole thing) because it was a Hugo winner. That gets brought up in the opening exposition. Can't say I remember much about that story. Forty Thousand in Gehenna also plays a role in a good chunk of the story in Cyteen. The exploration of programmed cloned azi vs cloned unprogrammed human and reflection on extremely long timeframes involved in societal evolution very much reminded of Serpent's Reach, which I love. The theme of the profound isolation of genius without peers to connect with is reminiscent of Wave Without a Shore (again, love that story). Frankly, I'd rather read those tighter stories with aliens than the endless human political maneuvering with plot holes and opaque motivations.

Felt like Cyteen had some real gaps/inconsistencies and didn't really hang together in some ways. I also really didn't like that the central plot point that defined the entire trajectory of 600+ pages was the rape of a drugged teenager that was then reframed as an Intervention (and thus somehow not really rape???!!). Also, presenting homosexuality as maybe really misogyny, or pathology/trauma reaction, so not okay. Said teenager becomes a traumatized adult who is regularly retraumatized by the corporation security apparatus doing all sorts of nonconsensual mindfucks. Maybe that's supposed to be the point? The whole novel is an endless series of psy-ops by the psy-ops masters out-psyching each other. Blehh.

Next paragraph is all sorts of spoilers, so skip if need be. Plus, it's an undigestible stream of reaction.

Counselor Corain is set up as a viewpoint character at the beginning then sporadically to the end--but does it actually contribute anything to the story? Like Jordan Warrick, he's established as an ideological opponent to Ari, but it's a little unclear just what their differences are, and who really cares anyway. Neither of them is actually developed as characters. Jordan Warrick apparently has ethical differences with Ariane Emory because she's too quick to kill off azi once they're no longer useful to her. And yet, Ariane Emory leaves instructions for her cloned heir (both biologically and psychologically) emphasizing that her duty is first to humanity overall and second to azi and everything else below those. Ari apparently orchestrates the rape of Jordan's clone/son to counteract his bad parenting, but he's not actually a bad parent? Or maybe it's to warp Justin in the direction she needs to develop his talents in a useful way? Yuck. Reseune, home of azi cloning and programming is being funded by Defense dark money, yet it's unclear what the hell they're supposed to be doing for the military. Like, years and decades of funding science and getting nothing back? Jordan Warrick has ethical problems with how azi are being treated, but he's head programmer at the military base? How does any of that make sense? Somehow, Reseune's finances are deeply in trouble for so many years, and creative accounting/Defense spending is all that's keeping it afloat--so what? And again, why and how? And Ari II's guppies somehow put the company back on its feet? Really? It's unclear to me just how Yanni Schwarz has somehow been disrespected in House politics and why that is such a critical plot point at the end. The various family relationships are important and simultaneously not--why introduce all these folks when they really have no bearing on the story. Ari II is so smart that she doesn't like to play with the other kids, but then she gets her personal bodyguards to help her coerce the kids one by one to become her besties, and it all works out. Sure. Ari II sets up her independent household when she's 12, and she has the maturity to self-regulate rather than self-indulge and self-destruct. Sure. Uncles Giraud and Denys push the rebirth of Ariane Emory as the latest in techniques and proof of concept and the great hope of Reseune but then turn around and try to end the project with prejudice--why exactly? All the cognitive dissonance! So many questions and gaps and nothing really resolved beyond people dying here and there.

So yeah, not going to be keeping this one. Probably will read Regenesis. Supposedly, it addresses all the plot holes and loose ends. We'll see. ( )
  justchris | Jun 8, 2021 |
didn't finish
1 voter | steveportigal | Dec 31, 2020 |
Read 2017, favourite. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 8, 2020 |
Upon finishing it, all I can say is that I am thoroughly confused. Obviously an example of masterful world-building, but I felt it had a distressing tendency to tell me "This character is cool and will triumph" and then sit back and play out how... big surprise... that character acted cool and triumphed. I kept expecting something disastrous to happen and ruin Main Female Character's plans, and nothing ever did. It's definitely one of those "You wiggled your eyebrow at me significantly in that room full of important people, how dare you, now they've seen that and from that they will infer Very Complicated Thing and oh noes, paranoia, but you knew they would infer the Very Complicated Thing and what does it mean that you wanted them to infer the Very Complicated Thing from your raised eyebrow???" I find it stretches credulity to the limit to have a character as fully in control of all features of a situation the author paints as Very Complex Indeed spanning lots of people and lots of worlds (this being scifi) as the main character of Cyteen is portrayed as being. It doesn't seem like anybody grows or changes in that sort of situation because they never have to respond to the unexpected. Admittedly, I think Cyteen is more about worldbuilding and setting up a world in which Cherryh has subsequently written other novels (this being a guess, as I haven't read them) but it just didn't turn my crank. I did read all 600+ pages of it anyway, however, which might say something about the book's quality.

Cherryh is one of those authors who I keep trying to get into- she has a fantasy series I enjoyed and yet didn't- and I think the issue I have with her is that the way she believes people are capable of behaving and acting simply isn't within the parameters I understand for human behavior. Admittedly, none of her protagonists are strictly human- they're either incredible geniuses or golems or something- so perhaps she's just showing a genius for creating alien psychologies- but as a character-driven reader, I find her fiction difficult to work through and her resolutions unsastisfying. ( )
1 voter being_b | Jan 8, 2020 |
This actually reminded me a lot of some of the Asimov books I read earlier this year (particularly The Currents of Space): interplanetary politics, powerful people aware of the repercussions their actions will have on timescales longer than their own lives, people doing disastrous things because their incomplete information causes them to misunderstand the situation. However, it's even better than Asimov, because the female characters actually have personalities and roles to play other than "love interest". I enjoyed this a lot, but I found the very end a bit confusing, so I suppose I'll have to read the sequel.

Trigger warnings: An adult woman blackmails and drugs a teenage boy (19) and forces him to have sex with her and at least one of her staff members. It isn't described in great detail, but it strongly affects the boy for the whole rest of the book, and I found the way in which sudden memories of the incident kept blindsiding him even years later quite hard to read about in places. Additionally, this book contains numerous mentions of off-screen consensual sex between minors (~12). ( )
  tronella | Jun 22, 2019 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Cherryh, C. J.auteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Birdsong, KeithArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Davis, JonathanNarrateurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Iwoleit, Michael K.Traducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Luger, DianeConcepteur de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Maitz, DonArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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Imagine all the variety of the human species confined to a single world, a world sown with the petrified bones of human ancestors, a planet dotted with the ruins of ten thousand years of forgotten human civilizations--a planet on which at the time human beings first flew in space, humans still hunted a surplus of animals, gathered wild plants, farmed with ancient methods, spun natural yarns by hand and cooked over wood fires.
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"Do you know why they put PR on a CIT number?"
"Because they're a Parental Replicate."
"Do you know what that means?"
She nodded, definitely. "That means they're a twin to their own maman or their papa."
"Just any kind of twin?"
"No. Identical."
"Identical all the way down to their genesets, right?"
She nodded.
"You don't have a PR on your number. But you could have."
It's spooky to know you're an experiment, and to watch yourself work.
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The Hugo Award-winning SF saga is now available in one complete trade paperback edition, containing Cyteen: The Betrayal, The Rebirth and The Vindication. "A psychological novel, a murder mystery and an examination of power on a grand scale, encompassing light years and outsize lifetimes".--Locus.

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