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Foreigner af C. J. Cherryh

Foreigner (udgave 1995)

af C. J. Cherryh

Serier: Foreigner (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
2,005585,897 (3.9)2 / 389
The story of humans stranded on an alien planet where registered assassination is a way of life. They are the descendants of a space ship which lost its way 500 years earlier. They live on an island and the only contact they are allowed with the mainland is through one human, the foreigner of the novel.… (mere)
Forfattere:C. J. Cherryh
Info:Legend paperbacks (1995), Paperback
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek, paperbacks, Read long ago
Nøgleord:science fiction, Foreigner, aliens, colonies

Detaljer om værket

Foreigner af C. J. Cherryh

  1. 30
    Invader af C. J. Cherryh (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Obvious really, it's the sequel.
  2. 10
    Embassytown af China Miéville (electronicmemory)
  3. 10
    Ancillary Justice af Ann Leckie (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Leckie has said that Cherryh's Foreigner books were a big influence on Ancillary Justice and sequels
  4. 00
    Ambassador 1: Seeing Red af Patty Jansen (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Ambassadors to aliens
  5. 00
    The Course of Empire af Eric Flint (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Diplomats exploring alien mindsets.
  6. 12
    Blindsight af Peter Watts (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two books that push the boundaries on our understanding of what constitutes alien cultures and intelligences.
  7. 03
    Barrayar af Lois McMaster Bujold (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Both character driven social SF rather than technologically focused.

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Viser 1-5 af 58 (næste | vis alle)
This book is the first in a long saga, and so I am possibly not being entirely fair in my rating. Keeping that in mind, taken as a single book I think this book had a major problem.

What I loved was the world-building. I have to give credit to Cherryh for the construction of an alien culture that felt entirely alien. A fundamentally different and incomprehensible culture, but nevertheless one that can be written about and made the setting for an entire series.

What I thought was the book's biggest problem was the protagonist. Bren is so utterly clueless. Seriously he felt like a 5 year old sometimes. He simply spent the entire book being surprised, shocked, confused, angered and terrified. He spends a significant part of the book whining and complaining and essentially reacting to the problems, rather than being proactive and trying to have some kind of plan. And he is the only PoV. It made the middle of the book very difficult to read.

Nevertheless I am sure that he grows and learns and stuff. I just hope he hurries up about it. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
This had a very slow start, with two different prologues. And the entire first half was mostly a lot of internal monologuing and descriptions. But I'm still giving it four stars because the aliens were just that good. They have their own fully-constructed world, culture, animals, history, everything. And the human ambassador, who is the main character, has spent his life studying them and still doesn't understand.

There's a plot, but it's not really about the plot. It's about the impossibility of understanding and predicting someone who doesn't think or feel the way you do.

As a science fiction writer myself, I shut this one with a mind teeming with ideas of how to make my work better. That makes it one of the most important books I've read this year. I'm glad I didn't give up on it. ( )
  jennelikejennay | Dec 31, 2020 |
Third read, 8/18/16:

What can I say? Until it gets to Bren, I'm not attached to the story much, but the fact that so much of them comes back to haunt us in subsequent novels makes me *want* to pay attention. But other than that, once Bren is in the spotlight and we're in his head, I'm there, and this becomes one of my favorite novels. :)

Why? The psychology, mainly. The Atevi are really fantastic aliens and the real diamond in this series is the fact that they are not hardwired the same way as us. Their knee-jerk reactions are *not* ours, and Bren, our interpreter/diplomat, starts out in the middle of an assassination attempt on his life for reasons he doesn't understand and political associations and alien emotions that refuse to be cracked. It doesn't help that the Atevi think of everything in a type of numerology, that word orders and groupings of people or objects are either fortunate or unfortunate, that Bren must do the equivalent of tensor calculus with ever sentence, and then he gets thrown into the really life-threatening situations.

The whole novel is about trying to understand his situation, and its harrowing and I'm just as concerned and confused as the MC. And this is still true even when I've read a good portion of the rest of the series and this is my third read for this one. Can I be even more impressed than this?

Will Bren's decisions alter the destinies of the stranded human colony and the aliens? Is he betraying his own kind? Or can he rely on his gut reactions? Can he ever trust the Atevi?

Totally amazing thriller. :)

Original review:

My personal favorites of Cherryh are the Foreigner books, hands down. And that's even while excluding her actual Hugo winners, Downbelow Station and Cyteen.

It's been so long since I started the Foreigner series that I only very vaguely recall having to struggle a little bit at the beginning. The second readthrough, on the other hand, was an absolute joy, picking up and retaining all those previously annoying details that then brought the tale to life. Nothing is wasted. The tension between remaining loyal to the human community and getting sucked into the political tensions of an interesting alien race that could seriously benefit from a greater stream of technology was like a draft of pure clean water in comparison to so many years of ham-fisted Star Trek.

The seriously twisted mental gymnastics of having to speak through numerology made me really believe, deep down, that these aliens were not only brighter than us, but they were also natural Shakespearean poets. I also learned more about herd mentality from this book than I did from any other source, and she made it truly exciting.

What will Bren do? Will he betray his own kind? Is it right to do so? Is he being set up to die?

The poor Paidhi was so lost. I loved it. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Epic. ( )
  bit-of-a-list-tiger | May 5, 2020 |
To read more reviews, check out my blog keikii eats books!

-“Trust was a word you couldn't translate. But the atevi had fourteen words for betrayal.”

-"Fourteen words, the language had for betrayal, and one of them doubled for ‘taking the obvious course.’
I genuinely don't know what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I put it on my list months ago and quite forgot what it was about. Yet, whatever I was expecting it couldn't possibly have been what I got. Because what I got was even better than I could have hoped for.

Foreigner is pure political intrigue. It is about trying to avoid war between two people who have to live together due to circumstance, but being incapable of fully understanding each other due to differences in biology. It is about very complex ideas that humans cannot understand, and aliens cannot understand - and there is always misunderstanding. It is about trying to stay alive when people want you dead. And it is about the main character, Bren, being completely and totally out of his depth.

Bren is a political attache to the Atevi from the humans. They call him the paidhi, and he is there to systematically release scientific information slowly to the Atevi, as a condition of a treaty to stop a war between the two races. He has to do it so he doesn't disrupt the way of life of the Atevi race, so they don't devolve into war and try to kill each other. Or humans. Yet his personal goal is to get the Atevi to the space age.

Bren is the only human amongst the Atevi. The humans live on an island. And on the mainland, there is a Guild of assassins. Which is where the book opens up - with an assassination attempt on the paidhi's, on Bren's, life. An unsanctioned attempted. It devolves from there, basically. Bren is sent to a crotchety old lady, Ilisidi, for safety. Everyone fears Ilisidi because of who she is and the power she can wield. And she is the best. Bren has to navigate the political minefield (mindfield? lol) that is Ilisidi, who happen's to be the Grandmother of the current ruler of the Atevi. And it is just minefield after minefield and Bren desperately just trying to stay alive and get to the bottom of what the problem truly is.

This book was absolutely perfect for me. Political stories aren't typically my favourite things. Yet, I couldn't put this down, and I couldn't just stop with one book, either. (Or, chance would have it, with 19 books since I read the whole damn series at once and now I have to pay the piper and write all 19 reviews.)

However: is it still infodumping if it takes up half the book? Because that is what it feels like. Especially with those two short stories in the beginning that I highly recommend skipping because it left the book feeling disjointed. There are so many complex topics that Cherryh introduces into the story that it takes forever to set things up so the reader can understand them. Complex topics about the aliens that Bren struggles to understand, and complex topics about humans bren struggles to translate for the aliens. Plus the entirety of the setup for the politics this book is completely about takes a while to lay out because of all the factions.

The infodump went on and on and... I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I loved figuring out every single piece. I loved the feeling of being completely overwhelmed - because Bren was overwhelmed. I loved this book and I could not wait to read further books.

...Could have done without his musing on his lovelife, though. Just saying. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Long, MilesOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
May, Daniel ThomasFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Whelan, MichaelOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The story of humans stranded on an alien planet where registered assassination is a way of life. They are the descendants of a space ship which lost its way 500 years earlier. They live on an island and the only contact they are allowed with the mainland is through one human, the foreigner of the novel.

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