C.J. Cherryh, was Re: [LMB] Cloned Pets/People veering back...

Elizabeth McCoy emccoy at nh.ultranet.com
Tue, 19 Feb 2002 15:13:47 -0500


It's flickering back and forth -- I'm adding compare-and-contrast bits
with Bujold books, though!

At 9:39 AM -0500 2/19/02, Royce Day wrote:
>Elizabeth McCoy wrote:
>
>> (I liked it too, but I always feel so hemmed in with her books, really;
>> like there's... a little maze to navigate. Small universe, constrained.
>> Bujold books feel much... bigger, like the universe has a lot of places
>> and people could just go there. Even Warrior's Apprentice, where a goodly
>> chunk of the book is being stuck on one side of the wormhole. Weird.)
>
>It's a function of her characters I think.  In CJC's books, they tend to be
>reactive, while in LMB's, they're definintely pro-active.  

But wasn't Miles veering around between reactive and pro-active for a while,
when they had taken the base?  Though admittedly, Miles is well-able to
pull off "pro-actively reactive" as a tactic.  

>Take Bren in the recent "Foriegner" trilogy.  For most of the first two books, 
>he spends his time being shuttled around by his patron's security people, 
>completely in the dark about what was going on. 

Point. Child in size, child in treatment, somewhat. CJ Cherryh does do
_alien_ aliens -- but then one has to go through the "growing up" stage
so that one can understand them...

(Then there's Cetagandans... And, come to think of it, _Cetaganda_ was
another book which should have felt "closed in" and didn't, and Miles
was doing a _lot_ of reacting in it, with a lot of Not Enough Data?)

>And when he is in a situation where he's supposedly in control, he spends an 
>inordinate amount of time being bugged by his self-absorbed mother and his 
>ex-girlfriend, who are on my short list of Literary Characters Who Must Be 
>Shot.
>And this guy is supposed to be the most powerful diplomat on the planet.

Only when he's _not_ at home... O:> So of _course_ everyone is trying to
get control of him: he's not a strong-willed person so much as a numerically
savant one.

I'd say that might be the issue, since Miles has Strong Will out the wazoo,
but then there's the Chanur books, which have the same "closed in" feel
to them. (But I love non-human viewpoints, so I like 'em anyway.)

>At least in "Precursor" he had a better idea of the internal politics of the
>Pheonix's crew than even they did, even if he did spend most of the book locked
>in a small apartment.  It was just so wonderful to see him meet somebody that 
>he could finally tell off...

Must re-read that, I must...

Hm. Though Precursor was a bit _less_ closed in-feeling, despite the
smaller stage? Waug. Brain... brain weird...

--emccoy at nh.ultranet.com // arcangel at io.com  In Nomine Line Editor
RPG links; Random name list, Art: http://www.io.com/~arcangel/