Cyteen (Unionside #2)
Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.
On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.
While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became...more
I could hardly put it down and am now sad that it's over and I'll have to get myself involved in another book to g...more
The scope of this novel is huge: an in depth study of power, examination of the difference in the psychology of a ‘natural-born’ person and that of a manufactured mind, the story of a ruthless genius, her death and subsequent cloning, and the experiences of the clone herself, who is intended to replace the greatest mind in history and succeeds more completely than anticipated. The large scope makes the novel clunky in some places, but for the most part it is very engagi...more
Books such as this are usually writte...more
A third of the way through, I'm calling it quits. I might pick it up again if there's nothing else in the house to read. But definitely some other time.
The writing itself is very good. Literally, that is the only thing that kept me going (and the hope things would suddenly get interesting). Cherryh's portrait of the universe has a lot of richness...more
I try to read every Hugo Award nominee. For a reason I don’t remember, I never read Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh when it was nominated in 1989. Maybe my library didn’t have a copy; maybe I was intimidated by the length of the book (680 densely packed pages) (or I didn’t have enough time to finish); or perhaps I had read stuff by Cherryh before and had been underwhelmed. Whatever the reason, I recently decided to give Cyteen a try after I read a blog post extolling its virtues. In fact,...more
I give this book 3.85 stars on the Goodreads s...more
It is the most intensely detailed sf I've read, and rivals Asimov's Foundation series and Herbert's Dune series for the verisimilitude of their sociological foundations that make all great science fiction books GREAT.
It is a psychological thriller and an sf political novel - very rar...more
The book also includes a great deal of my favorite subject, psychology. In fact, it deals with...more
Cyteen is a semi-inhospitable world that has become the center of the Union, a far-future federation of human space colonists who have left Earth, the Alliance and the power-hungry Company behind. The main power on Cyteen is Reseune, a scientific facility that researches personality creation, meme...more
When the de facto leader of Cyteen, Special Ariane Emory, is murdered, the Warrick family is scapegoated, but her psychogenesis program soon goes underway nonetheless.
1. No dumbing down for the reader! Cherryh's a big fan of introducing terms and information that's not really explained or properly introduced until much, much later. [Admittedly, I can't tell whether this is rather deliberate, or if Cherryh is just a somewhat lazy writer.] Especially at the beginning, I k...more
My mixed feelings about the book include two other areas. First, the book ends at what in some senses is...more
A slow start because there was so much background to set up. A very good ending where the good guys are finally championed by the young clone of the founder, Ariane Emory, of the scientific center of Reseune on the partially terraformed planet of Cyteen.
Reseune, thru the brilliant Ariane, developed and refined cloning to a very advanced degree and has a monopoly on the business of cloning and genetic engineering for the whole of human space, including Earth. T...more
I'm an absolute nerd for anything dealing with bioethics and what it means to be human, so this book hit most of my literary go-to spots.
Honestly, my only real criticism is that the ending felt too abrupt. I don't know if this is because I wanted the story to just keep going (even though it's already something of a huge monster book; I listened to the audiobook, which was something in the neighborhood of 36 hours) or because it did feel like it wrapped up too soon. Even so, I loved the character...more
Cyteen was a long, but enjoyable read. I was fascinated by Cherryh's arguments and definitions of power, survival, and self from within the scope of an individual. As a treatise on the theory of personality, including development of the ideas of self vs other, altruism, need structures, social order, and personal bonds, Cherryh did a remarkable job tying all these assorted facets together in a single, cohesive work, even if some...more
My one problem with it was that some of the science fiction language was tricky and came without explanation. The more I read, however, the clearer a lot of it became, although there were still terms that I never understood....more
I read Rebirth when I was in high school and love it and couldn't wait to get my hands on the other two novels. Unfortunately it was not very easy, unlike Narnia novels which were available at the library I work for.
Anyway, I just couldn't help it, I read it in jumping sequence. Sometimes to the middle, to the front, and then to the back. My favorite character would be Florian and Justin....more
That being said, it's got some very interesting ideas. It's worth sticking with, because the story involving AE2 growing up and finding out who her predecessor was and what she is is very good. I also found the science behind...more
Complex, unrelenting, expansive, focused, and the ending still drops an anvil on my head. I first read this when I was too young to understand a lot of it, and to this day I feel as though each turn through it just gives it shading (definitely darker). I find some characters despicable, others compelling, and one in particular I can't make up my mind about. They are, I think, convincingly brilliant far beyond the reader, yet engaged in problems I can (with s...more
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But that's not real easy unless you know what your value-sets are, and most CITs don't. CITs have a trouble with not wanting to know that kind of thing. Because some of them are real eetee once you get to thinking about how they link. Especially about sex and ego-nets.
Justin says inflexibility is a trap and most Alpha types are inward-turned because they process so fast they're gone and thinking before a Gamma gets a sentence out. Then they get in the habit of thinking they thought of everything, but they don't remember everything stems from input. You may have a new idea, but it stems from input somebody gave you, and that could be wrong or your senses could have been lying to you. He says it can be an equipment-quality problem or a program-quality problem, but once an Alpha takes a falsehood for true, it's a personal problem.”