A Novel of First Contact

Book - 1994
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The groundbreaking novel that launched Cherryh's eponymous space opera series of first contact and its consequences...

It had been nearly five centuries since the starship Phoenix, lost in space and desperately searching for the nearest G5 star, had encountered the planet of the atevi. On this alien world, law was kept by the use of registered assassination, alliances were defined by individual loyalties not geographical borders, and war became inevitable once humans and one faction of atevi established a working relationship. It was a war that humans had no chance of winning on this planet so many light-years from home.

Now, nearly two hundred years after that conflict, humanity has traded its advanced technology for peace and an island refuge that no atevi will ever visit. Then the sole human the treaty allows into atevi society is marked for an assassin's bullet. The work of an isolated lunatic? The interests of a particular faction? Or the consequence of one human's fondness for a species which has fourteen words for betrayal and not a single word for love?

Publisher: New York : DAW Books, c1994
ISBN: 9780756402518
Branch Call Number: FIC Cherr
Characteristics: 378 p


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Feb 18, 2019

First of a great series by one of SciFi's best writers. A lot to digest...but once you put yourself into Bren's situation of having to modify his mind into thinking and viewing like his new! Bring it on.

Jan 31, 2019

If you have read much sci fi/fantasy you may find this just fair to middling. More cerebral than action-oriented, I stuck with this slow-moving first book of a long series, because the writing is reasonably well done, characters and concepts interesting. The story's pace moves along better in the late stages. Not sure how far I will go with the series, but sadly, our library is apparently missing book three, at least.

Jan 18, 2017

The author is very good at what she does... interesting plot, well done internal monologueing... it just wasn't my type of book overall. I found it very slow moving.

Dec 05, 2015


Jul 01, 2015

C.J Cherryh at her best with this series.
First book of 16, written in series of trilogies. I haves started re-reading the entire series from the beginning.

First book is a little dry to begin with tracking the characters, events, names and new terms. HOWEVER, your patience is rewarded if you tough it out. The action gets fast paced and draws you into the book and characters.

You will NOT be disappointed when reading this book. You WILL want to read the rest in the series. I recommend going in order.

Jan 20, 2015

Excellent and engrossing sci-fi. The first 50 pages are a bit tedious, but it gets much better.

rthawk Jul 08, 2013

Different stokes for different folks... I forced myself to get through about 2/3 of the book before returning it. I liked the refreshing lack of sex and minimal violence, making choices under impossible circumstances. But ultimately, the book didn't "come alive" for me.

Vilka Feb 16, 2011

I am not a big sci-fi reader. That said, I've read this 4 times (plan to read it again) and, after finishing book 2, walked through a snowstorm to get book 3.
Note: if you don't want to commit to reading a series, you can quite happily stop at book one. You probably won't want to, though.
Impossible to put down, once first contact is made (you don't have to wait long). *Love* the (very well-developed) characters, interesting world, really keeps you thinking, throws in good suspense and mystery, too. Does not feel like sci-fi at all and is never preachy. Interesting concepts to wrap your mind around, for instance, how do you interact closely with people so different that, though they are a highly social species, have no concept of 'like', 'love' or 'friend'?

Oct 12, 2010

Did you see Avatar? Did you wonder how James Cameron came up with the idea? I suspect he read C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner. Shortlisted for a Locus Award in 1995, Foreigner is the first novel in a series which explores the interaction between humans and an alien race that sees life and society in a very different way. A very interesting and well written book.

Sep 05, 2010

A very interesting SF novel outlining the issues of dealing with an alien culture and the effects of technology. Have enjoyed a number of Ms Cherryh's other books but never got into this one before. I'm glad that I found this @ the OPL, you just can't put it down.

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