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Heavy Time

(The Company Wars #4)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,594 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Discovered alone and without his memory on his drifting ship, pilot Paul Dekker is accused of the murder of his crew members and he must rely on the help of renegade miner Morris Bird to learn the truth. Reprint.
Published November 10th 1992 by Random House Value Publishing (first published January 1st 1991)
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David Merrill I read Downbelow Station and Merchanter's luck around the time they came out and hadn't touched the series since. I just came back to it. There are…moreI read Downbelow Station and Merchanter's luck around the time they came out and hadn't touched the series since. I just came back to it. There are frustratingly few places on the internet with the proper chronology of the series. Most sites have The Company Wars books in publication order. You can find the chronological order on C. J. Cherryh's website and few other places. Matthew Villa has the correct order for internal chronology below.(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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The world of asteroid belt miners and others is presented with extraordinary clarity and detail. The physics and technology are superb, minus the 1980s view of computers compared to today, much less 100s of years in the future.

However, the story often badly bogs down in seemingly endless thoughts and worries in the characters minds. A good editor should have cut out perhaps 40% of the book. Although there is a good mystery and tragedy here, much of this impetus and energy is dissipated before
Does your environment as a child shape the kind of person that you become? I think most of us would answer an unequivocal ‘yes’ to that question. Cherryh explores that notion, comparing Earth-born and Asteroid-Belt raised men, working in the Company environment of space. When you have different notions of what is moral or acceptable behaviour, how do you operate a small space ship together? When you’ve only known the morality of the mining company and never been exposed to literature or ...more
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in dept.
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

The time: A generation or so prior to the events of Downbelow Station. The place: The asteroid belt. Ben Pollard and Morrie Bird are independents -- they take their little ship (the Trinidad) out (using charts provided by the Company, and using lightsails which are laser-boosted to speed and to deceleration using the Company's lasers),
May 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a story by C.J. Cherryh set in her Union/Alliance universe. She wrote it on the end of her run in this universe but it is actually the first book to read if you want to follow the story by the history timeline she has set up. This is not necessary in the least but it does seem the right way to go if you reread her books. The story itself is vintage Cherryh, by which I mean it is space scifi with good science and plenty of intrigue and action but she always tells her stories from the view ...more
Samantha (AK)
“Cher. Death is. Pain’s life. And there’s, above all, sons of bitches.” - Meg Kady

Meg’s a secondary character, but she sums up the emotional arc of this book pretty darn well. It was a slow-tilted ride of backstabbing intrigue… which I enjoyed, though a bit less than the other Cherryh books I’ve read.

This is Alliance/Union ‘verse, but you really don’t need the other books to grasp this one. Taking place well in advance of Downbelow Station, it follows a ragtag group of space miners working and
David Kerschner
So, to begin with, this book is very very slow to start. We literally spend (view spoiler) However, this is a rather good read.

The feeling of claustrophobia in the beginning where (view spoiler) is palpable. As the book continued, I got the impression of the interminable slowness of space travel. Given
Captain Skyhawk
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
God, I can't get enough of CJ Cherryh's world that takes place about 300 years in the future. This book follows the life of a group of miners who live their lives in the "Belt" here in our own solar system. The theme of "heavy time" -- necessary time they must spend in 1g gravity aboard space stations in between mining runs (there's no artificial gravity in this world) -- is ongoing throughout the novel.

It's a story set in the time before the Company/Union wars, when life was tough for those
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series & books set on space stations/outposts
I'm so glad I finally got to this one. While the characters weren't much to rave about (Dekker spends pretty much the entire book deranged, poor guy), Cherryh gets me with her setting. The main of the story takes place during the miners time on Refinery Two station between jobs (which is called "heavy time"). The description of the place and life on it were vivid and pulled me in. I was reminded of what I loved about Downbelow Station.

The political and corporate malevolence are there and come
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heavy Time is Cherryh's fourth book in her Company Wars series of the massive Alliance-Union book continuity. Like most of the Company Wars books, Heavy Time needn't be read in publication order though a few characters from Downbelow Station make cameos.

Heavy Time is a military-industrial thriller set against the backdrop of Earth's outer solar system. As the Earth Company and the United Defense Command gear up for war against breakaway extra-solar colonies, corporate contractors are scrambling
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, crime, space-opera
When industrial accidents turn out to be murder... I love that kind of crime story. Throw in an uprising and I am very happy. What I really like about Cherryh's Union-Alliance stories though is of course the spaceships and space stations and all that. Characters that have never been on a planet, don't really understand what people who talk about mountains and forests are on about... Cherryh also gets a lot of technical stuff about the weirdness of living in space without bogging the story down: ...more
Oct 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it liked it
The first 40% book were actually really good - but then it slogged down to the point where reading it was a chore. (The exact moment this happens is when you first hear rab-speak)

It picks up again near the end, but by that time the aftertaste is so foul that it doesn't really help.
Michael Battaglia
While I am certainly glad for the most part to be born at this particular point in human history (as opposed to the point where getting killed by a saber-toothed tiger was going to be my likeliest fate) one of the suckiest aspects about being tied to a finite lifespan is not getting the chance to see if all the predictions futurists made about expanding into space and whatnot are ever going to come true.

Fortunately CJ Cherryh has a way of soothing that sting by demonstrating now in the future
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cj-cherryh
I read the sequel to this book some years back, so this was kind of anticlimctic. Good fill-in, in the storyline.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, space-opera, 1990s
Heavy Time begins with Morrie Bird and Ben Pollard, miners in the Asteroid Belt, who happen upon a wrecked vessel in space. Venturing inside, they find Dekker, who has been unconscious for days. He is barely alive and is completely disoriented, yelling for his partner Cory, who is no where to be found. The answer as to what truly happened is yet to be known. Dekker grapples between the slippery grasp on his memory, the mental trauma that has overtaken him, and the supposed reports from the ASTEX ...more
The first Cherryh sci-fi I read and possibly her best in my opinion.
Nathan Trachta
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
CJ Cherryh has been a long term favorite of mine, going back to my college days. Recently I’ve been going back through some of her works and this time Heavy Time struck me as the perfect book to take on a road trip.

As with many of Ms. Cherryh’s works characters are a premium in Heavy Time; this comes from her writing style and in this case giving us multiple characters to follow (Dekker, Bird, Ben, Meg, and Sal). Each is unique and brings their own observations/experience into the game. For
Storyline: 3/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing Style: 2/5
World: 3/5

Every time I read Cherryh I think, "This is the last one!" But then I go ahead and read another. She's frustrating enough to want to avoid but also good enough to lure you back.

The bad that seems to be in every Company Wars book: Repetition. Tiny - minuscule, even - plots. Repetition. Cryptic, staccato vernacular and sentence construction. Repetition. Too much overlap with themes, descriptions, and dramas in other books. Repetition.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book felt disjointed-I had trouble following the story. Well, not the up close story of Dekker, Bird, Ben, Meg, and Sal, but the larger story of miners, Shepards, ‘drivers, “Mama” ASTEX, EcoCorp/EarthCorp. Still, Cherryh has written intriguing characters and only reveals them layer by layer, as she unwinds the plot.
And yet, as I reflect, I find that I really like these SF books of the Company Wars and the way each books shines a spotlight on a particular corner or aspect (station, ship,
Dan Hyer
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I really enjoyed Downbelow Station. This book set in the same universe not so much. It's told entirely from the first person narrative which I sometimes found hard to follow. Being in the first person and told without much backstory or information about the universe I found myself stumbling over some of the details. Okay, what did that acronym stand for, what's the relationship between these organizations, etc.

This is the prequel to Hellburner which is written in the same style, but which I
David Merrill
Probably more like 3.5 stars. I have to admit, the action at the end of the book was hard to follow. There’s a main character death, I won’t say who to avoid spoilers, I felt was breezed over much too quickly, to the point where I wasn’t sure they died. And Cherryh didn’t show much Of a reaction from the other characters. The end of the book seemed very rushed. Usually I find books today could be cut by 100 pages. This one could have used another 50 to give more explanation and make the ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've loved this book since the first time I heard James Delotel reading it when I was no older than 15. Every time I've reread it since then, I find more to love, and learn more about the Alliance Union universe.
Leliel Mitsukai
Heavy on the politics, world building and character reveals. Light on action and explosions.
The dialogue style, with all the characters' vernacular, is great for painting the portrait of their society but a little disjointed to read.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
This book is more on the point and very well paced thrilling till the end. Again it reminded me of Expanse series and this is a good thing.
Kent Pettus
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Ending is good.
Sheryl Hill
I like the main character, but the narrator grated on my nerves until I decided to quit.

So far The Company Wars series has been a bit dark for me.
B. Lee
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Heaven, I just love reading C. J. Cherryh. Its like being there.
Elise Rogers
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is more on the point and very well paced thrilling till the end. Again it reminded me of Expanse series and this is a good thing.
Greg Bidwell
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cherryh creates characters with believable flaws and limitations. I enjoyed reading the book.
Andrew McIntosh
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Heavy Time refers to the time asteroid miners spend on station with gravity between runs, and that's where 80% of the book takes place. If you're looking for a rapid, action-packed romp around the solar system, then take a pass on this one. That being said I really enjoyed this book. It has well-written characters that you get a great feel for, as well as the details of how they live their lives. You really feel for them throughout and (view spoiler) ...more
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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

Other books in the series

The Company Wars (7 books)
  • Downbelow Station (The Company Wars, #1)
  • Merchanter's Luck (The Company Wars, #2)
  • Rimrunners (The Company Wars, #3)
  • Hellburner (The Company Wars, #5)
  • Tripoint (The Company Wars, #6)
  • Finity's End (The Company Wars, #7)