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Wave Without a Shore (Alliance-Union Universe)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  481 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Freedom was an isolated planet, off the spaceways track and rarely visited by commercial spacers. It wasn't that Freedom was inhospitable as planets go. The problem was that outsiders—tourists and traders—claimed the streets were crowded with mysterious characters in blue robes and with members of an alien species.

Native-born humans, however, said that was not the case. Th
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 4th 1984 by DAW (first published 1981)
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodFrankenstein by Mary ShelleyA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
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269th out of 1,215 books — 1,173 voters
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Classic Science Fiction - 1980-1989
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 793)
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Feb 25, 2012 Vince rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cherryh fans, philosophy fans
A thought-provoking experiment in objectifying the philosophical viewpoints of the main characters. It's as if Cherryh asked, "What if I wrote about a world where people actually tried to live by these philosophies?"

I found plenty of food for thought when I view this book as an example and analysis (hyperbolic, of course) of how we distort objective reality when we interpret it to fit with our subjective belief-frameworks. Whew, that's a pretty heady sentence and I'm no philosopher. But, this sn
Apr 10, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: thinkers
Captivating ideas, poignant prose--Cherryh doesn't always blow my mind, but Wave Without a Shore does.
Dec 03, 2013 Gregory rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was amazing and inspiring and wonderful. It takes place on a distant world, but really it's a Utopia of conception with a race metaphor rolled up into it and it's just delightful.
It starts off with a character, Herrin Law, being selected by an academic as a smart person to be taken from his farm life to the Big City, called Kierkegaard, and trained up as an artist. There, he meets Wade, who is set to become the most powerful man in the city. The relationship between the two
Jan 30, 2013 Kenny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
A strong novel with fleshed-out characters and a psycological and spiritual plot that keeps the mind working and reading moving along.

The tone of the novel smoothly changes from a distant omniscent narrater to intensely personal and psychological. The change is gradual and I only noticed over the reading of chapters. A novel that greatly changes tone comparing the beginning and end shows great control of craft and provides a satisfying read.

Ideas bust out all over; existential philosophy is the
Jul 04, 2011 Mawgojzeta rated it really liked it
Shelves: c-j-cherryh
This book really reads best after becoming comfortable with the Alliance-Union Universe. I first read it many years back not realizing this. I liked it then, but missed out on the back-story that flesh this out. Another suggestion I would make is to read Forty Thousand in Gehenna just prior to this one. To me, and I would think to others, it will make more clear WHY Freedom was allowed to become the way it is. For those that have already read "Forty Thousand in Gehenna" I will remind you: (view ...more
Ken T
Mar 19, 2012 Ken T rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A truly bizarre, but pleasurable read. The conflict between the artist and the autocrat with their political scientist love interest thrown into the mix gives the reader a glimpse into an almost impossible world where power - as perceived by the individual. The artist seeks to encapsulate the autocrat, the autocrat seeks to employ the artist, and the political scientist seeks to guide the two powerful men through this crisis. What makes the society presented here so alien are not the actual alie ...more
Gilbert M.
Jul 04, 2013 Gilbert M. rated it it was amazing
Wave Without a Shore by C.J. Cherryh is about the nature of reality--also a highly philosophical book. It's characters live on the planet, Freedom, and operate on the assumption that their personal power of belief creates reality. Therefore, people they choose not to see, don't exist. And they also choose not to see the alien race that coexists on the planet with them. It is a powerful and intriguing setting which is upset by the introduction of interstellar humans interacting with Freedom and b ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Suzanne rated it did not like it
Shelves: delete
I absolutely didnt like this book (and I am being nice), and after struggling thru half, with no discernable plot , attrocious dialogue, and obnoxious philosophical statements, I asked my son- does this get better? He shook his head, and I shut the book. When I was done with book discussion, I told him to throw it away, but he took it to his room, hopefully to feed it to our pet rats for bedding.
Justin Howe
Jun 24, 2011 Justin Howe rated it really liked it
A crunchy little stand-alone SF novel. Enjoyable, engaging, and entertaining -- exactly what a novel of ideas should be. There are points I could quibble with and at times the characters reminded me of my college roommates, but once again Cherryh awes me with her ability to take an idea and run with it without wasting the reader's time.
Only book I've ever really liked by C J Cherryh, tho every now and then I go and try one again just because I like this book so much. It's THE best attempt I've ever read at really writing in an alien mindset - most authors just give you alien thoughts but she does alien ways of thinking. Furthermore, that's just the humans!
Leah Jay
Oct 13, 2012 Leah Jay rated it it was ok
True, The language is stilted and awkward, and nothing really goes on except through the heavy psychological and philosophical filter of the main character, Herrin Law. Some crazy screwed-up humans are these..... Still, I made it through the book and the point was not lost on me. I'm going to keep reading Cherryh.
Sep 11, 2015 Devero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un romanzo interessante, che parla dell'arte, della visione del mondo che ha un artista, e della funzione che ha la dialettica nella definizione della realtà. C'è parecchia filosofia spicciola, non si può dire che sia proprio ben riuscito ma si lascia leggere volentieri.
Oct 21, 2008 Dorian rated it it was amazing
Here is classic Cherryh. An imaginative and unique experience of alien emotions, aesthetics and even formerly unknown colours that will leave you wishing that the author would return to the truly blank slates of unknown cultures she hasn't touched for most of a decade.
Jun 19, 2007 John rated it really liked it
This book creates an imaginative distopia centered around a genius who has been commissioned to create a work of art that will immortalize the leader of their enlightened society. Apparently whatshername, the author, was 19 years old when she wrote it.
Apr 05, 2016 Luke rated it really liked it
Great, thought provoking story. Cherryh is my favorite author, and this book only solidified my opinion even more. However, I would only recommend this book to someone who is very familiar with her and the manner in which she writes.
Kane Jozzy
Perhaps Tripoint is the prequel. Seems that Mazianni eventually gets absorbed by Alliance.
Jul 22, 2010 DoctorM rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
A lovely, melancholy short novel on a key Cherryh theme--- what do humans and aliens have to say to one another? Well-done.
May 27, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it
I haven't read much sci-fi; a friend gave me this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it.
Aug 17, 2008 John rated it it was amazing
Recommended to John by: folks who stay up late arguing over the meaning of stuff
very very weird. so. How do you mix art appreciation with science fiction? Check it out
Katie Lucas
Jan 12, 2009 Katie Lucas rated it really liked it
More of a stand alone novel than a Merchant-Alliance novel.
Sep 13, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf
An unusual for Cherryh, a stand-alone novel.
Nov 02, 2014 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very philosophical.
Dave rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2016
Francesca P
Francesca P rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2016
Sebastian marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2016
Bob is currently reading it
Jun 06, 2016
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Currently resident in Spokane, Washington, C.J. Cherryh has won four Hugos and is one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors in the science fiction and fantasy field. She is the author of more than forty novels. Her hobbies include travel, photography, reef culture, Mariners baseball, and, a late passion, figure skating: she intends to compete in the adult USFSA track. She began ...more
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