spoiler potential: caution: book questions.

Do not get into this page if you are trying to read a book. This is for after you’ve read it. Likewise follow the custom of putting a subject and then dropping down a number of lines to make it possible for a reader to duck out if they don’t want the information yet.

I will answer questions about pronunciation, etc, all the little questions I’m normally asked. I won’t discuss things that disturb my creative process, like where I’m going or such. You can theorize among yourselves.


  1. BlueCatShip

    It might be both a capacity or talent for being able to communicate those ways, and an interest or need to do so.

    Some people have a gift for certain subjects, but don’t pursue them. Some have an avid interest, but not the innate ability: they can still learn it and develop. Then you have some with both, where it comes naturally. Or some have talent and interest, but the opportunity doesn’t arrive for some life circumstance.

    I’d imagine it would work that way with the night-horses: Not every night-horse would want to bother with a human, and not every human might want to get involved with another species…of those humans who don’t think it’s all just some crazed fluffy notion, which some might.


    I’ve had good luck ordering used or new out-of-print books from Amazon, for instance. This is certainly a way to get backlist, out of print titles, or ones not currently on the shelf at your local book store.


    Uh…and unlikely as it may be…this might be worth a shot. — Robert Carroll, by any chance, do you have relatives from Oklahoma? Those two names are given names for a great grandfather and a great uncle, both long gone. — I’m going to presume it’s mere coincidence, but it’s a nice coincidence, if so.

  2. paul

    Chanur: Does anybody remember in which book, which part, it was revealed Kohan had been gored by an uruus trying to protect Hilfy?

  3. Teresa

    I haven’t commented here in quite awhile, and I’m hesitant to bring in one of my infamous “I was just wondering …” musings, but I’m just wondering what became of the Foreigner audio movie project. Did it go away? I haven’t seen much activity on the FB page for eons. On another note, I have been keeping up with Convergence and look forward to the next. I may post more about that in the Foreigner thread. Thanks for the great stories and characters.

  4. CJ

    Alas, it sort of withered away. So, so many media projects do that. I wish they’d been able to get it together—nice folk, they seem, but the luck just wasn’t with them.

    • Teresa

      Oh, what a shame. Dramatic podcasts are becoming popular now, kind of like old-time radio. I think it would be great to have such a project for the Foreigner universe.

  5. Teresa

    I have an Alliance/Union confusion.

    Not sure where or how to ask this, but I hadn’t visited the site in a few years, and can’t find something I’m looking for.

    There used to be a sort of description of the Alliance/Union timeline that broke the books down into trilogies and groups and indicated where they occur on the timeline. Right now, I’m reading Cyteen, and I’m confused about its place in the timeline as relates to the Merchanter books, etc. I broke my own rule and read the Merchanter series and Downbelow Station out of order, I think. So is Cyteen a prequel written after the others?

  6. Jaxartes

    Maybe this one is what you want: http://www.cherryh.com/www/univer.htm . According to that (and my memory of limited accuracy), Cyteen comes after the Merchanter books. Prequel written later describes Heavy Time and Hellburner.

    But I wouldn’t advocate getting hung up on chronology. There was a time when one’d read things in whatever order they showed up at the local bookstore.

  7. Sapphire

    I’ve just been re-reading the Chanur books. It’s hard to believe that the last one was written in 1992. They are wonderful books, which get better the further you get into the sequence. I wondered whether there was any chance that we would meet our friends again in more books (I’ve become particularly fond of the clever Kif prince)? There are more stories to be told about the canny ‘cats’, I’m sure … a wonderful world, and I love the descriptions of the stations and the atmosphere in them. (I wasn’t sure where to post on this topic, and this seemed to be the best place I could find.)

    • Sapphire

      No response to this so I’ll continue the conversation with myself. 🙂 I’ve now re-read the Chanur books AGAIN, for the second time in a row. The things I especially like about them are the depictions of the great space stations (no one describes these so well and so evocatively as does CJ, also in some of the Alliance novels), the space ships careening over vast distances out in the dark, the marvellous aliens, with the huge differences in their ways of thought and appearance, and the tension. This is exactly the sort of thing that attracted me to the science fiction genre as a child, and which continues to draw me now wherever I encounter it (sadly, not too frequently any more, so I’m stuck with re-reading the old books on my shelves). These titles evoke a sense of wonder and positivity in me. Wonderful stuff – I’d really love to see more of the Hani, Kif, Mahen, Knn and all the others in more books.

      • Raesean

        I second Sapphire’s attraction to the depiction of both the space stations and the interactions very different thinking/feeling species. Makes me want to explore space too!

        • Sapphire

          Yes, me too. No one, as far as I’m aware, has depicted alien intelligent species in such intricate detail, and made them appear convincingly other than human – something that must be very tricky, given that these books are being written by a human!

          I’ve studied archaeology and history for years. Trying to decipher ancient civilisations can bring a similar sense of wonder, though for me in that case the feeling is less intense, probably because the finds relate to humans, who (however different their beliefs and lives were from ours) are all of the same species and thus have similar instincts. Interesting: my sister is also very keen on history, and she too re-reads similar science fiction literature to mine.

          The Chanur books are so detailed and so good to read that I may now go back and re-read them for the third time…

  8. CJ

    Well, I think you’re going to be somewhat pleased with Alliance Rising.

    • Sapphire

      Is that me? If yes, that will be brilliant! Thank you. Can’t wait for that one.

    • michael.j.lacey

      I had “a moment”, when I googled “Alliance Rising” and found a http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com link, from 1 Jan ’18, to a 400 page ebook.

      It’s gone again now, so I guess you’re not quite ready – but to say I’m looking forward to it would be a massive understatement.

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