Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Thousand Words for Stranger

(Trade Pact Universe #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,718 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Sira is on the run. The mysterious Captain Morgan has a starship. But if she goes with him, who will be at risk? Meet the Clan, shadowy figures of unfathomable power. Meet Huido, the lobster-like restauranteur. Meet the Trade Pact Enforcers, who have their own intentions. For events are beginning to unfold that will affect them all.

Originally the first of the Trade Pact Un
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by DAW (first published 1997)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Thousand Words for Stranger, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mary-Anne Personally, I would suggest reading them in publication order, so that means starting with a Thousand Words for Stranger. The "Stratification Cycle" b…morePersonally, I would suggest reading them in publication order, so that means starting with a Thousand Words for Stranger. The "Stratification Cycle" books do depend a tiny bit on some of the information in them. Just a tiny bit.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,718 ratings  ·  166 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe, #1)
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, female-lead
Three and a half stars, rounding up for a positive after-taste. Reminded me somewhat of Andre Norton's Witch World, only with more technologically advanced societies.

I love reading about the bird-person at the beginning, his thoughts on the mission and analyzing the trouble people had reading him due to lack of facial expression. Truly interesting, and it was sad to lose him to the main characters.

The progression of Sira and Morgan's relationship from an infatuated fixation on Sira's part and r
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a debut novel? Really?

I am so glad I've been introduced to this author! I have previously read Survival by the same author and was amazed by the wonder of her universe. But, for some reason, I prefer the characters in this debut novel.

What I really want from sci-fi is a sense of wonder and adventure and engaging characters and this book definitely succeeds on all fronts. I loved it!
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: readers who enjoy a blend of science fiction and romance
I believe this is Julie Czerneda's first published book, so I'm putting my review here. There are a few authors who (so far) have never published a book I didn't love. Julie Czerneda is one of them. What makes me love all of an author's books? When they consistently deliver a good story, with vivid characters, sparkling prose, and pacing that suits me to a "t".

Of course, not everyone will love the same authors I love. Everybody has different tastes in plotting, characterization, pacing, level o
Nov 15, 2007 rated it liked it
This book would be greatly improved by less references to the captain's piercing blue eyes and more plot revelations. Isntead everything gets obliquely hinted at until the last twenty or so pages when everything is explained. ...more
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, sf, ebooks, 8, 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook

3.5 Stars for Narration by Allyson Johnson
4 Stars for Sira & Morgan
2 Stars for Story Development

Concepts were great but the actual storytelling was lacking. I liked the interactions between Morgan and Sira but there wasn't enough solid descriptions in the story to make it have color. It's like I got to know Sira & Morgan without knowing how either look or where they were. It's a big, blob of foggy gray. I'm listening to the audio and do not have the texture of words in print to add m
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This first novel opens with a classic situation, the main character's, a young nameless woman, amnesic. Fortunately, her POV is compensated by other characters that we follow.

I had a lot of difficulties to suspend my disbelief at characters who are not only telepaths, but who can also teleport themselves, or project their mind light-years away for a little chat...

The "of course" section:

1- Of course, there had to be limitations to those awesome powers: the main character is amnesiac, wears a d
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“What’s been done to you wasn’t to help you. And what was blocked is much worse than losing your past. If you were once so powerful, so gifted— Sira, they’ve blinded and crippled you.” “I don’t feel blind or crippled. I feel sick. And I’m scared.”

Excellent science fiction. A non-Star Wars take on a Force-like power, those who can connect and the muggles. Most told from the point of view of a sort-of human character whose memory and abilities have been blocked. Through the story she must discover
Jamie Collins
Jun 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Abandoned after a few chapters. The prose is just not working for me... particularly it's not good enough to support a plot with both amnesia and teleportation.

Nice title, though.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
What a wonder! Once you read an actual science fiction novel, I guess you can never go back. Once I used to dabble in light science fiction, and it's no wonder that people turn to these 400+ page tomes. There's really no comparison between this book (a debut novel) and books like Sirantha Jax. (Yes, I'm comparing Sirantha Jax again, just because the premise was so promising, the ratings are oh-so-deceivingly high, but the delivery, characters, and weak alien planets so incredibly disappointing a ...more
That's a zero, not a one star. I do not even know where to start with discussing how bad this was - the whole plot could have fit into a short story? The characters were made of cardboard? And not even well cut cardboard, more like the kind of cut-out figures a kindergarten-child may make. The world was totally incoherent. The powers were conveniently made to fit the plot without any attempt to create something coherent. Insta-love, of course. Awful language, full with meaningless phrases.
I so w
Dec 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandi by: Beyond Reality February SF BOM
Shelves: 2009, sci-fi
Julie E. Czernada is an author whose books I see on the science fiction/fantasy shelves all the time, yet I've never read any of them. "A Thousand Words for Stranger" was her first novel. While I liked it, I strongly suspect that I'm not going to remember much about it a month or two from now. It took about 100-150 pages for the story to start congealing into anything that made much sense. I really disliked how it jumped from the main chapters narrated by Sira to "interludes" told by an omniscie ...more
Oct 09, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I honestly never really could figure out quite what was going on in this book. It was difficult to read and difficult to follow.
This was not really what I expected. I expected a space opera in an SF world, I expected a little bit of cheesiness, and I expected a focus on characters over story - and I got all of that. I didn't expect, however, the fantasy elements, the incredible amount of cheesiness, and the excessive explanation of every character's motivations that contribute to one of the most convoluted plotlines I've ever read. I expected to love it, and I just didn't. I did get sucked in, I was invested in the story ...more
CW: (view spoiler)

This review should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt, because I paid $9.99 for it and did not feel it was worth it. This feeling was heightened by the fact that I
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm glad I read this book after I read the prequel books (which were written later), because if I had started the series with this book, I wouldn't have kept going. I really, REALLY, reeeeally hate amnesia plotlines. They are so stagnant! A character has ZERO personality if their memories have been deleted. A protagonist with no motive or skill is a snoozefest.

It's like:

Sira: I don't understand what is happening!
Morgan: I will not tell her what is happening. She must figure it out for herself...
I'm pretty sure I've read other books by this author. And I liked them. So I hunted down this, the first book. And it was pretty disappointing. The ideas were okay and the powers. And there were hints of interesting aliens. But in general the pace was plodding. And I just didn't care about the characters. I wanted to care. But I never learned enough of who the good guys were for that to happen. If this had been the first book I had read, I probably wouldn't have read the second. ...more
Jacqueline J
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
A solid enjoyable sci fi book. My only complaint is that Morgan’s character wasn’t as completely developed as I would have liked. It made him a bit of a card board character. I did still enjoy the relationship between him and the heroine. The only other complaint I had was the ending was a bit too abrupt. This was my first book by this author. I liked it well enough to try more of her stuff..
Terri Pray
Jan 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unable-to-finish
Voice didn't work for me. ...more
Dave Brown
Jun 13, 2010 rated it liked it
The first time that I read A Thousand Words for Stranger, I was about middle school age. I was pulled in by the title, as I recall, and I loved the book! This was space opera before I knew what space opera was called, and all that I knew was that I loved it. The world of competing cultures and fantastical alien races gripped me thoroughly. I don't think that I finished the book, which is extremely rare for me (I can count on one hand the number of books that I've began but not finished in my lif ...more
Scott Rhine
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fumbling but beautiful
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
The moment I finished Reap the Wild Wind, I had to immediately jump back to A Thousand Words for Stranger just to remind myself of what had been previously established about the Om'ray--and of course to re-read the story of Sira and Morgan, which was an excellent little love story in general.

Re-reading this, I'm amused to find that the book actually has a fairly small cast of main characters, despite being set in a starfaring society. The spacer Jason Morgan in particular is a hub of connections
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
A mysterious woman turns up on planet Auord with no idea of who she is or what she is doing there. All she knows is that she's driven by an inner compulsion to find an unnamed space ship, and leave the planet on it. And she is hunted, by pirates and worse. Why are the powerfully telepathic humanoids known as the Clan so interested in her, when they despise Humans so much? Will Captain Jason Morgan, who saves Sira from her immediate peril, prove to be a friend or a betrayer?

This is a compelling
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Sira is running—but she doesn't know why. She can't remember anything about her past; her memory has been wiped. Drawn strongly to Jason Morgan, a human telepath, Sira takes passage on his spaceship on the run from the Enforcers of the interstellar Trade Pact. As her memories return in short flashes, Sira learns that she's a member of the Clan, a race of extremely talented telepaths who disdain the Trade Pact and all other races, particularly humans whom they so closely resemble. As one of the s ...more
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
This was kind of a random pick up. Read the synopsis on a website somewhere and thought it sounded interesting. The setting took me a little to get used to, but the author handled the introduction of the world with a lack of explanation that I felt might mean additional titles in a series? But, seeing the world, primarily, through the eyes of someone without a memory makes the transition much easier than if all of the characters were accustomed to the world paired with a minimal exploration into ...more
I'm not entirely sure where to go with this book. I picked this up a long time ago (back when I was into Bookcrossing), traded it away and then re-picked it up at my local Indie. Admittedly its the cover that made me interested and I'm a sucker for amnesia trope stories in science fiction.

Largely I liked the cast and I liked Sira and Morgan, but it was not an enthralling read for me. Plus the "Interludes" tended to break things up, distracting me from Sira's current plight (most of the time, occ
Rhy Moore
Jun 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff, sci
I wasn't expecting a romance, even with the introduction about reproduction. But this book felt more like a romance in a science fiction setting than not. That took a little of the gloss off for me, but it's a pretty good book for all that. If I'd looked into it more before reading... (I don't dislike romance, but if something is a romance, rather than just having a romance, I prefer to have deliberately chosen it because that's what I was in the mood for.)

On the plus side, I liked the character
Samuel Lubell
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
This is a first novel about a semihuman/alien race with special powers. Sira, a member of the mysterious Clan, has had her memory wiped for some unknown reason and does not know that she is not human and has mental powers. She is compelled to contact Captain Jason Morgan and becomes crew on his spaceship. He turns out to have powers of his own. Meanwhile she is being chased by a pirate, a renegade member of the Clan, and even her own family. The book has some great ideas but does not really give ...more
RTC (I have so many reviews to write...)

tl;dr Good first novel, has some of the first novel flaws but I really enjoyed it and its message of "screw the patriarchy"
Julie Davis
Jun 29, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Based on Hannah's strong recommendation, shoving it into my hands and giving me that puppy dog look. Based on the two chapters I read last night this is space-opera-ish/romance-ish ... which I have no objection to at all. More later ...

UPDATE: Aaargh, having struggled (and I do mean struggled) through 150 pages of this book I am throwing in the towel. It is the author's first book and it shows in so many ways, beginning with predictability.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: A Thousand Words For Stranger by Julie E. Czerneda 1 13 Aug 08, 2015 02:55PM  
Erroneous description 4 19 Apr 05, 2012 10:46AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Crown of Moonlight (Court of Midnight and Deception #2)
  • The Son of Tarzan (Tarzan, #4)
  • Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1)
  • Wanderlust (Sirantha Jax, #2)
  • Jungle Tales of Tarzan (Tarzan #6)
  • Doubleblind (Sirantha Jax, #3)
  • Direct Descent
  • The Return of Tarzan (Tarzan, #2)
  • Caszandra (Touchstone, #3)
  • Lab Rat One (Touchstone, #2)
  • Stray (Touchstone, #1)
  • Medair (Medair, #1-2)
  • The Beasts of Tarzan (Tarzan, #3)
  • Swarm (Star Force, #1)
  • Quatermass (Quatermass #4)
  • Missing Link
  • Dyyni: Ensimmäinen osa (Dyyni #1, part 1 of 3)
  • Empire (Star Force, #6)
See similar books…
For over twenty years, Canadian author/ former biologist Julie E. Czerneda has shared her curiosity about living things through her science fiction, published by DAW Books, NY. Julie’s written fantasy too, the first installments of her Night’s Edge series (DAW) A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow, winning consecutive Aurora Awards (Canada’s Hugo) for Best English Novel. Having completed her Clan ...more

Other books in the series

Trade Pact Universe (3 books)
  • Ties of Power (Trade Pact Universe, #2)
  • To Trade the Stars (Trade Pact Universe, #3)

Related Articles

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
62 likes · 28 comments
“There must be a thousand words for stranger in the explored galaxy. Let one of them be sister ---” 2 likes
“It was part” 0 likes
More quotes…