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A Matter for Men (War Against the Chtorr #1)
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A Matter for Men

(The War Against the Chtorr #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,566 ratings  ·  96 reviews
With the human population ravaged by a series of devastating plagues, the alien Chtorr arrive to begin the final phase of their invasion. Even as many on Earth deny their existence, the giant wormlike carnivores prepare the world for the ultimate violation--the enslavement of humanity for food!
Mass Market Paperback, 435 pages
Published February 1989 by Bantam Spectra (first published 1983)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  1,566 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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CONCEPT: Earth has been invaded by the Chtorr culture; a mix of especially nasty and powerful beings that make up this alien ecological chain. First, 75% or more of the humans were wiped out by the plagues and now gigantic worm like creatures are further slaying people while they infest the American lands.

SCORING: Superb (A), Excellent (A-), Very good (B+), Good (B) Fairly Good (B-) Above Average (C+), Mediocre (C ), Barely Passable (C-) Pretty Bad (D+), Dismal (D), Waste of Time (D-), Into the
Red Siegfried
Jul 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
David Gerrold is a goddamn genius. Let me repeat that. I want to have a civil union with David Gerrold and have his children. Perhaps then I can convince him to finish the remaining three books for this series that he has had on tap since 1992 or so.

A Matter for Men is the first book in the War Against The Chtorr series, a not-so-class story of alien invasion. This time, the story begins at the end of the world (no, it's not The Stand). After a series of plagues wipes out most of the world's
Jan 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Others have more than adequately described this book, so rather than repeat them, I want to toss in one comment that most people will probably find pedantic in the extreme. Sorry.

The premise of the book is that Earth's ecosphere is being remade, presumably by extraterrestrial agents although neither the agents, the transport and delivery systems, or any other alien technology are ever found - just lots and lots of alien biology. A nice mystery to wrap a book around.

But then the characters start
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was fifteen, and I was instantly in love. Unlike many other things in the last fourteen years, that hasn't changed. I can actually pinpoint the moment when my political leanings turned away from the Democratic party and towards libertarianism: it was reading this book. It seems silly to get influenced on politics by a sci-fi book, but the concepts of responsibility and rights as described here completely changed how I viewed government. Enough of that.

I absolutely
Jan 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
I could not even finish reading this book. The author has a lot of opinions about life and he seems determined to shove them down your throat at every possibility. I love a lot of books with moral lessons or observances about life as long as they are blended into the story, but when there are entire chapters with instructors preaching about freedom and responsibility it completely ruins the story. I even happen to agree with the author about almost everything he says. It just makes for terrible ...more
Brian Johnson
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
A Matter for Men is the uneven but often brilliant first book of David Gerrold’s notoriously unfinished War Against the Chtorr series from the 1980s, and it is a pretty spectacular read. The series was recommended (and gifted) to me by a close friend, and I’m happy he urged me to read it. The main plot focuses on the invasion of earth by elements of what appears to be an alien ecosystem belonging to the Chtorr: giant fuzzy caterpillars from outer space. The set-up seems almost like a joke (the ...more
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Earth is being invaded -- not by Martians wielding laser guns but by an alien ecology. The Chtorrian plants and animals are rapidly replacing Earth's native habitats, and the huge Chtorrian worms are happily munching down humans. Jim McCarthy may only have two years of biology but at least he knows which way to point a flame thrower, so he gets the job of investigating these worms at close range.

This is a great start to a series that has yet to live up to its potential. Still, this book is worth
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok I only made it about a quarter of the way into this book. It is far too derivative of Starship Troopers. It may get better as it goes, but life is too short to spend reading shitty novels.

I do like when space aliens eat people, though.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
20 page long lecture about freedom & responsibility from character even author calls "an asshole makes me look make look up other peoples think about this book at Goodreads ...ohhhh joy ... it's a "there's more lecture than book" book.
Waco Glennon
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have a long history with this book. Back in the day, I was part of the Science Fiction Book Club and I got a collected volume of the first two books in this series. I was amazed by that set. Gerrold became one of my favorite authors. Later, I learned that he wrote "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode for the original Star Trek series. I wanted to read everything he had written. But the Chtorr books disappeared. I didn't know why, but I kept trying to find the next novel or anything like them.

Wil Howitt
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
David Gerrold's epic is based on one of the more original concepts that I've seen in recent years. But it's really two parallel stories that happen together.

One story is about an alien invasion of Earth. But the invaders aren't in huge spaceships. It's more like an ecological infestation. First there are devastating plagues -- dozens of them, all at once -- that wipe out three-quarters of the human race. Then strange plants appear. Then come the animals. The worst are like car-size worms,
Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it
I finally got my hands on a Matter for Men, the out of print, but much loved start to David Gerrold's unfinished War Against the Chtorr epic. I am quite mixed on this book. On the one hand, the sci-fi ideas in the book are great. It is an alien invasion book, but the tack Gerrold takes is novel. Rather than land in ships with tanks ablazing like World War 2 from space, this war is approached more in a guerilla fashion. The aliens impose their ecosystem on earth, slowly taking over niches so that ...more
Hilmi Isa
The cover of this novel attracted me to purchase it. As a result,after finish reading it,I'm glad and not disappointed of doing so.
The setting or background story of the novel took place in an alternated history of our world. United States of America (USA) is no longer a superpower. Due to Moscow Treaties,US is obliged to pay compensation to all countries affected by a devastating war which started first in the Middle East. US received a hard blow by signing the treaties,especially her military
Fiction State Of Mind
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is volume One in a series 20+ years in the making! The future of an Earth recovering from the ravages of war is further imperiled by an alien invasion! Giant worm like creatures named the Ctorr (ktor) have invaded earth. This invasion not only includes attacks on the human population, but also a bizarre form of terrraforming.

Every day Officers in the Special forces fight to protect the human race on a planet that is becoming more alien every day. Biology Student James Edward Mccarthy is
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
WORMS!! Enormous freakin worms from space invade Earth!!! Sounds stupid? Yeah, but boy, was I hooked on this beginning to the War Against the Chtorr! This has it all, suspense, humour, terror.
I can't recommend it highly enough. Read it!
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Good concept, horribly executed.

Boring characters and story goes no where..ugh.
Peter Tillman
Pretty good, needed a better edit.
Gunther Rogahn
Apr 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I refuse to read anything by this jackass until he finishes this series. He's been lying about it for 20 years or so.
Jim N
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just listened to the audio version of A Matter for Men, a novel I've previously read 3 times. This book and the rest of the still unfinished War Against the Chtorr series owe a debt to the work of Robert Heinlein (and Starship Troopers in particular) but Gerrold's take on alien invasion is fresh and original (even though this novel first appeared decades ago). The great twist of these novels is that the very nature of the invasion itself is a mystery. There are no massive spaceships hovering ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Heinlein style soapboxing help mar this otherwise interesting novel about an alien invasion through xenoforming the Earth. When I read the synopsis of the this book years-ago, I was intrigued by the idea of aliens trying to change the Earth by introducing invasive species. I never tackled it though because of the length. I was surprised to see the xenoforming concept in H.G. Wells book, The War of the Worlds written in the late 19th century. This did not make it into the famous George Pal film, ...more
Bon Tom
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is pure reading pleasure. I'm currently on the book 2, and I can only say this series deserves cult status. The writing is masterful, so many cool and fun concepts served through unobtrusive comedy-like situations and dialogues, which sound so natural and non comedy-like it's unbelievable.
There's no single moment, word or line that would be a filler. For me it was fun from the first to the last word. It's like this fuckin guy, David Gerrold, knows what you'll like and delivers it on silver
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a reread for me. I must admit I don't remember the libertarian views I saw in this read. Still fun, quick paced read and a good story.

Looking forward to rereading the rest of the series.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It seemed like the first 350 pages are more or less the intro for the rest of the story. Kind of a slog to read, especially when it doesn't start getting interesting until 75 or 80 pages before the end of the book.
Tony Hinde
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this series a couple of decades ago and loved them at the time. Unlike many other books, however, I've no desire to re-read them. The tone becomes cloying and oppressive, and even though that is completely appropriate for the story, it's not something I'd seek to relive.
Dale Rosso
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting alien invasion storyline from the author of Star Trek's Trouble With Tribbles. Aliens terraforming our world from a unknown location.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
The book was quite epic. From my point of view, better than Starship Troopers!
Gerard Costello
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
I wasted my Audible credit on this piece of trash. I had just finished my third leviathanesque book in several months and decided that I would cool off the heavy shit with some trashy sci-fi. It didn't have to be great, just an enjoyable fictional piece that I could lose myself in for a bit before reverting my attention to more important literary works. As an audiobook this is 15h25m long. I gave up after almost 5 hours of listening; and I do mean 'gave up' not 'stopped listening'. I wanted to ...more
Jul 06, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish
I won't give this book a star rating since I didn't finish it.

It's too bad this book wasn't very interesting. It really is. I expected better from the writer of "The Trouble with Tribbles." I read about 50 pages of it and it just wasn't interesting me. The classroom scenes seemed to be ripped off of Starship Troopers, except the classroom scenes in Starship Troopers actually had some charm. Robert A. Heinlein and his wife are thanked in the acknowledgments and A Matter for Men is actually
John Kim
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Definitely falls in one of my all time favorite science fiction series. A shame that this series is currently out of print, but according to David Gerrold's blog, will be reissued as soon as his next book gets published.

David Gerrold may not be a household name like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, but he is well known in the science fiction community. He wrote the classic Star Trek episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles" when he was still in his twenties, and his recent book, "The Martian Child" was
Apr 19, 2008 added it
Shelves: 2008
As a person reads more and more and becomes what I guess you'd call a better reader, there's danger in going back to something you previously loved and noticing all the flaws. So it happened when I reread Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's books after that awful movie came out and was horrified to find out that the books themselves aren't very good anymore, and so it's happening now as I'm rereading David Gerrold's War Against the Chtorr series. I loved the first two books when I was a kid and was ...more
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The War Against the Chtorr (5 books)
  • A Day for Damnation
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“I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.” 53 likes
“If you want to be taken care and not to worry that’s fine; you can join the rest of the cattle. Cattle are comfortable, that’s how you recognize them. Just don’t complain when they ship you off to the packing plant. They’ve bought and paid for the privilege. Now if you want to be free, then get this: freedom is not about being comfortable. It’s about seizing and using opportunities, and using them responsibly. Freedom is not comfort. It’s commitment. Commitment is the willingness to be uncomfortable.” 5 likes
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