Book Discussion: all books: spoiler alert in effect…

If you have not read the book being discussed, you’ll be happier not reading further.


  1. joekc6nlx

    Sometimes, it’s distressing that the main focus of this particular thread is “Foreigner”. Plenty of other books that could also be brought up, I’m still waiting for the next Morgaine book (and I know CJ’s got the outline for one in her head and I want to know where Morgaine and Vanye end up next), as well as the next “Fortress” book. Still lots of things that could be brought up about Tristen……

    • OldNerd

      I was pleasantly surprised (and grateful) to get the new Alliance/Union book – very welcome; good read. While I enjoy Bren and the Foreigner series, it was nice to revisit an old favorite – and it was a great read.

      A new Morgaine book would be a wonderful thing.

      Fortress would be just as welcome.

      (I wouldn’t say no to Mri, Chanur – or anything else, really. Mri exploratory ship means Chanur?) I mean – Chernevog wouldn’t be at the very top of my list – but that’s more due to how much I love the other books)

  2. Jean

    When is Re-emergence coming out. I’ve been looking and looking for it.

    Morgaine is a wonderful series too

    A belated happy thanksgiving to all


  3. Jean

    I meant Resurgence, sorry.

  4. GreenWyvern

    I’ve finished reading Alliance Rising, and enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s an excellent addition to the Alliance-Union universe.

    It filled in some gaps, and showed that the Merchanter Alliance existed before Downbelow Station, which wasn’t clear from Downbelow Station itself, or from any of the other books.

    It’s different in one significant way from the other Alliance-Union books. The reason I was attracted to the books in the first place was that the main characters are all loners trying desperately to survive. They are trying to keep up appearances, trying to deal with ‘the system’, at the end of their tether, and at the end of their resources. I know in my gut what that feels like, and I’ve been in that position.

    Alliance Rising has complexity, drama, and completing interests, but it doesn’t have that kind of emotion, passion, and powerful intensity. It’s about the bigger picture, and the influence of individuals on that. It’s still highly engaging and it draws you in intellectually, and when the action eventually gets going it becomes a page turner.

    But the first half is rather slow and repetitive. It could have been edited down considerably. It’s not necessary to have several detailed recaps of the entire situation, even though from different points of view.

    Hardcore fans will love it, but I’m not sure that casual readers will read beyond the first few pages or the Kindle sample. It has nothing to immediately engage someone who hasn’t read the earlier books, even if they are looking for intelligent SF.

    Now, nobody – absolutely nobody in SF or fantasy – does politics, economics, detailed world-building, complex thought processes, and differing points of view better than CJ. But even the most intelligent and dedicated readers need to take that kind of thing in small doses, well mixed with action, emotion, and humor.

    There will also be those who won’t like it that everything is left hanging at the end (literally, in the case of Rights of Man), and they will have to wait a couple of years at least for the conclusion.

    But I really look forward to Hinder Stars II, and I hope that there will be many more Alliance-Union books to follow.

  5. nighthawkatshejidan

    Thanks. I’ve never liked books that leave me hanging, and at 80 years of age I’m not planning to knowingly begin a series that doesn’t have standalone books! But I’m glad that you did enjoy it, and look forward to seeing other comments.

  6. joekc6nlx

    Somewhat of a discrepancy…when JR meets with Abrezio in Abrezio’s office, after Cruz has taken over Galway, Owen Monahan accompanies JR. To the best of my knowledge, Owen remains in Abrezio’s office during the entire evolution to stop Rights from moving. (Chapter 16, Section iii, Page 334) In fact, he even critiques Rights’ steps of procedure, “Come on. Unlock thrusters, you stupid bastadrd. Don’t shove the mast.” However, when the Galway crew is watching in Rosie’s, (Chapter 17, Section i, Page 337), Owen is mentioned as being there, too. There were a couple of typos I noticed, as well, not glaring, but this was the only discrepancy I noted, Owen Monahan being in two places on the station simultaneously.

    I’m betting that Cruz is never going to reach Sol, for whatever reason, either his own people realize what a mess he’s put them into and space him themselves, or he does something really stupid and gets himself killed. Either way, we’d be rid of Cruz.

    As for Hewitt, looks like he’s a prisoner on his own ship and won’t be allowed off until competent EC authority comes to take him away and deal with him themselves. He’s still under that cloud of having undocked without station permission, something that was mentioned, even if Hewitt tries to justify it by saying that Abrezio lied to him about Finity’s intentions toward Rights.

    I liked the book, it moved very well, even the second time I read it. Wonder what the next book holds in store.

    • GreenWyvern

      We know from books later in the timeline that this is not going to end well.

      Cruz and Hewitt represent the true face of the EC, and the EC will back them to the hilt. The EC is later going to build Mazian’s fleet to conquer the Beyond.

      Whether the Galway crew manage to dispose of Cruz and his men or not (by jumping unexpectedly, and disposing of them immediately after jump when they are incapacitated) – the Monahans are not going to find their dealings with the EC pleasant. The EC will regard itself as having authority over them, and will want to board and take over the ship and examine its FTL systems in detail. They will want to take ownership of the ship, and put their own crew aboard.

      The EC will probably regard Abrezio as highly disloyal for making arrangements with the Alliance behind their backs, and will replace him as soon as they can. Alpha is later likely to become the first Maziani base. We know that the Hinder Stars stations will all be shut down (presumably due to lack of supply) once the war starts.

      I don’t see any way that the next book is going to have a happy ending… and that means it has the potential to be a great book.

      • Levanah10

        Hm. Do we know if the Galway made it to Sol, at all? Or if Galway did…did the Monahans survive the trip? And if they did, I can’t see the EC letting them return to Alpha — not after what they’ve witnessed. At this point the Alliance/Union universe is a grim reality, and about to get grimmer…

        • joekc6nlx

          If EC doesn’t let them leave, then with the Alliance gathering all of the Family ships and the outlying stations into agreement, EC is looking for an embargo on trade. Stations who are in the agreement will not trade with the EC, and Family ship won’t bring trade goods to Earth for trade. It’s still going to be a ticklish “first contact”, though.

        • SteveB

          I’m reasonably sure in Hellburner(I think) one of the characters mentions seeing crew from a ship docked at Sol whose ship patch was a black circle. Might have to go back for a re read but that’s Finity’s End isn’t it?

  7. Laura Lasley

    OK…is there a timeline of the Alliance books? I enjoyed Alliance Rising very much…50% set up, but by the time you get to 60%, CJ winds the story tighter and tighter until you are up all night finishing the damn book!

  8. kokipy

    I am wondering if we ever will learn what happened to the inhabitants of Beta. I don’t remember that ever being discussed in the earlier Alliance/Union books.

    Also, I noted the reference to Eversnow. I had the idea that was a planet that was possibly known only to Union, and only centuries after the events in this book, but we know virtually nothing about it. Wonder if we will ever learn more of it.

    • carterjg

      I think here’s a whole new story thread here. Perhaps an opportunity to link with the Foreigner Universe, but it’s perhaps too early for contact with the Kyo. The whole station bailing out on the Phoenix is a possibility.

  9. CJ

    It could happen. Jane and I are enjoying this working together thing.

    • kokipy

      🙂 That would be wonderful for your readers.

  10. Raesean

    I just finished Alliance Rising a couple days ago, as I didn’t want to touch it until a got two major research projects & accompanying presentations out of the way. I enjoyed it overall and it very much got me thinking about the other, later Alliance books — especially Merchanter’s Luck, which I adore for its characterization and interrelationships. Thinking back on this new novel, much of what I enjoyed was the continued fleshing out of the merchanter ship culture. As an anthropologist specializing in social organization, I find that CJ develops great cultural details.
    Separately, anyone else notice that the name of the Cyteen-based merchant ship is Dublin, not Dublin Again? Methinks there are some big losses & changes coming to the this end of the galaxy in the next few books of this series. Like Green Wyvern, I think it will make for fascinating reading.

    • BGrandrath

      Raesean asks “anyone else notice that the name of the Cyteen-based merchant ship is Dublin, not Dublin Again?”

      I noticed and got a bad feeling every time. Also noticed ship names and family names that don’t show up in books set later down the timeline.

      Also noticed the similarity to Merchanter’s Luck. Both are love stories: boy meets ship…I mean girl

  11. chondrite

    Dumb question # 82, because searching isn’t so great: do Hani crew wear boots or shoes of some type? Obvs, for spacesuit work they would need to, but on a regular basis around the ship/dockside/planetside? I was looking at my little felinoid BJD (I still owe Jane a picture of her) and realized that cat feet aren’t really built for boots, no matter what Starfleet regs and Puss-in might say.

  12. BGrandrath

    Last month I participated in Thomas Wagner’s Space Opera September Readathon. One of the books I read was Finity’s End, it had been years since my last re-read. I really enjoyed it even though when what happens to Fletcher Sr is reveled I had to close the book and grieve a little. I had forgotten who took the stick the stick until I had a “wait a minute” moment. A great book, glad I read it again.
    Wagner provided a list of Space Operas by women where I was happy to see Jane’s Groundties books…and of course lots of Cherryh.

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