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. CJ

    THe short answer? Edger. Tom Edger. Mazian was talking to the ‘suits’ because he was com one. But he was also power-hungry, and had his own agenda. Edger is the military brains. Mazian is the ambition. And the combination of the two of them got Mazian into the captaincy and at the head of the Fleet. If you recall Mallory’s opinion of Edger, it wasn’t sterling.

  2. maj_walt

    Porey was an interesting character — feared and respected, but not well liked.

    He reminded me of the last Brigade Commander I served under. The man was capable of reducing folks to tears, I remember. We called him the POD (Prince of Darkness).

    Rumor had it that he infuriated his wife with his vile tongue, and she locked him out of the house. It did little do improve his disposition, unfortunately.

    Whenever I read about Porey…I can’t help but picture him.

  3. CJ

    I’ll bet the brigade cheered the wife.

  4. freehatani

    A friend of mine bought me a book of your short fiction recently. One story that really caught my attention was “Scapegoat”. It felt like a wonderful bridge to “Faded Sun Trilogy”. SurTacs! Sweet, sweet SurTacs. I had wondered in Faded Sun, why the humans hit Nisren so hard, so early in the war. If I remember the time-line right, and honestly it has been a while, the fall of the edun at Nisren was only a year or so into the 40 year war.

    Reading “Scapegoat” made it click together. If it indeed happened before the Mri Wars, humanity had learned a lesson from elfland. Hit hard, and strike in overwhelming force, no quarter. Break their will to fight. Care to offer any clues on how close the events of Scapegoat were to the Mri Wars? Do I perhaps have the sequence backwards?

  5. univoxs

    Hello Ms. Cherryh I have two questions if you please.
    1. Who are you more inclined to read Ray Bradbury or Arthur C. Clarke?
    2. Where are the movies, tv, shows, cartoons or comic books for your work? Or is there something I’m not aware of. (a new movie coming out called Avatar by James Cameron reminds me of Hestia youtube the trailer!)
    On another note I hate cellphones too and thanks for all the sleepless nights because of your books.

    • CJ

      There’s one comic adaptation, for Gate of Ivrel. Now and again somebody options one for a movie, but my works are pretty complex. (Most movies are actually short stories, not novels.)
      ๐Ÿ˜† you’re welcome.

  6. Spiderdavon

    If they did make a movie of, say, Downbelow Station, who would you like to see in the main roles? I’ve always liked Donald Sutherland for Mazian for example.

    • maj_walt

      For Mazian, it would have to be Frank Langella… he’s just got the mazianic look ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Asad Sayeed

    I was just wondering about The Trend and Stylists in Forge of Heaven. How much was all that inspired by Regency England if at all? I was just reading Wikipedia about Almack’s and the Patronesses and the vouchers they could deny to the dรฉclassรฉ

  8. CJ

    Actually I was thinking more of the same period in the states, when fashion ruled peoples’ lives and established social class. Same era. Interesting. I’ll have to read that article.

    I think fashion to that extreme goes along with threatened societies: if the power of the ruling class is in need of bolstering, conspicuous consumption and the tyranny of what’s ‘in’ keep the rest in terror of criticism. In the case of Forge, this also operates, but in a more democratic way, because the knack for innovation (plus the funding) is what gains a Stylist a following. So in this case, imagination helps.

  9. Asad Sayeed

    But on the other hand, you didn’t exactly paint the Stylists as establishment figures, defending an establishment turf by the use of fashion. In fact, by the standards even of Outsider powers, the Stylists were painted as an outgroup meriting some distaste, representing rebellious young people…

  10. CJ

    But they are the movers of the otherwise static society.

  11. maj_walt

    I’m getting more into Downbelow Station again (read it first in ’95). I’m getting even more out of it on the second read. Its amazing how you tie political affiliations and personalities together and weave an epic story in the process.

    With most novels, the reader takes in the story — but with your works, the story takes in the reader. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a story ๐Ÿ™‚ The characters keep haunting me.

    I especially like Elene Quen. You can’t help feel for her with the loss of her ship, her family and her name. And the hisa…. I love them ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. maj_walt

    In Downbelow Station, Pell has shuttles that ferry personell and equipment from station to the base on downbelow. I’m trying to picture what these look like.

    I’m seeing something that looks like an oversized Apollo capsule that has extendable landing gear. Am I close?

  13. CJ

    They have wings—easier and less a fuel hog on the ascent, particularly; but hover on landing. There aren’t really any extensive landing strips on Pell.

    • maj_walt

      Something like a lifting body type vehicle with vectoring jets for a landing?

      • CJ

        Yep. A lot like the Harrier. Wings probably moveable for various phases of flight.

  14. Soltsy_Blue20

    >> Confutus July 10th, 2009 at 10:17 pm ยท Vikktakkht for President
    >> CJ July 11th, 2009 at 8:57 am ยท LoL!

    Hear Hear, or rather Kttkt Ktttkt ๐Ÿ˜›

    1901 [0901GMT, 0201PST] Wed.26 Aug 2009

    • Jcrow9

      Boy! Wouldn’t that be a (sadly) obscure T-shirt! ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Spiderdavon

    Another techy question if you don’t mind.
    What are your Pell shuttles using for take-off power? I’d suppose fusion and AM is inadvisable in a populated area (assuming you want it to remain populated!) so is it some sort of ramjet/scramjet to the edge of the atmosphere, then switch to fusion to make orbit?

  16. CJ

    I haven’t exactly pinned that down. Cyteen clearly uses jets for in-atmosphere travel—old tech, but fairly fast, cheap enough. Antimatter is right out. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Between the planet and the station, maybe fusion.

    • maj_walt

      I’m thinking of something like the old VentureStar Single Stage to Orrbit (SSTO) proposal (with VTOL and variable geometry wings/fins). The spacecraft was triangular in shape, and the cross section was somewhat of a squashed ellipse. It would have used an aerospike as opposed to the conventional nozzle. The aerospike is more efficient at higher altitudes. The benefit to the triangular lifing body shape was fuel storage capacity — which would have allowed it to get into orbit without the need for external tanks or solid rocket boosters.

      Way to cool ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. CJ

    Something like that. I’ll tell you, I’d be queasy about the notion of a perfectly good engine cutting out and the designers assuring me another one will kick on any second now. But I have a feeling we’ll be building those kind of systems a lot in the next stages of space exploration. Different jobs, different environments. Myself, I’d be sitting there with a hammer to whack it one if it failed to start.

  18. tulrose

    Hammers are good. For small things that suddenly go on the fritz just turning them upside down to get the dust off the innards works. If all else fails, duct tape.

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