Downbelow Station' by CJ Cherryh

Discussion in 'Classic SF&F' started by The Wanderer, Nov 2, 2007.

  1.  
    The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    240
    Fascinating book so far, haven't finished it yet

    so try not to give me spoilers:eek:

    Discussions can begin despite that:cool:
  2.  
    malfunkshun

    malfunkshun Stardog Champion

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    59
    i just started reading it today.
  3.  
    The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    240
    I have found parts of it difficult to absorb at first, maybe it's just me

    becomes easier to read, the further you go on
  4.  
    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    8,207
    I'm afraid I found the parts set on the planet a bit ....well, not exactly boring, but the political stuff on the the station, and, especially, the parts involving Mallory and Norway are much more interesting.

    There was a good picture of Norway leaving Pell, painted, I believe by David Cherry, on the cover of the Mayfair Games' "The Company War" boardgame.....
  5.  
    malfunkshun

    malfunkshun Stardog Champion

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    59
    so far i find this book hella boring. i just can't get into it. now i remember why i never read it, i've had the book for 20 years.
  6.  
    The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    240
    Fisnished it, liked it very much, the decision making impacts on the human/hisa element well

    It has it's flaws to be sure, but a great Space Opera

    There is a great Sense of people trying to survive in a desperate situation, people caught in the middle between 2 factions in which they are expendable

    the story is unpredictable but also chaotic and difficult to decipher at times, but you care for the characters in the end
  7.  
    malfunkshun

    malfunkshun Stardog Champion

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    59
    i've made it through about 100 pages. it is getting better i have to admit, but its still not glueing me to the pages like some other books. hopefully it will continue to get better so that i can come away from this book agreeing with its hugo award.
  8.  
    The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    240

    Could be the way it's written?

    One of the best things about the book is the politycal Machinations of Power seekers affect innocent People/Beings
  9.  
    clovis-man

    clovis-man Prehistoric Irish Cynic

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,903
    I think that's one of the strong points of Cherryh's writing, i.e., you become involved with the characters. Although I admit that I sometimes want to give some of them a kick in the pants to get them to do what they should (or what I perceive they should).

    Regards,

    Jim
  10.  
    icundell

    icundell New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Ages since I read this, but I remember liking it quite a lot and a forgiving it a few sins for what remains, by a country mile, the best realised space battle I've seen: one that *gasp* actually understands physics.
  11.  
    Parson

    Parson This world is not my home

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,113
    Everything I've ever read by CJ Cherryh is worth the struggle. She writes in a way that expects us to be a bit more than passingly literate. Her books are layered and meaty. They are not a quick romp like much of Juvenile SF, this is what real adult SF is supposed to be. I cannot recommend her more highly, and "Downbelow Station" is not her best but a fair representation of the kind of work that she does. I especially like her aliens. When she does aliens they are truly alien in surprising and sometimes frustrating ways.

    Try the Foreigner series. Now there's an alien race it will take a book or two to love and begin to understand, but you will and you will be better for the effort.
  12.  
    zedlav

    zedlav Weighted Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    38
    I'm about to finish Downbelow Station and I don't really have an opinion one way or another. It is certainly better than lots of other novels, I can appreciate what Cherryh was trying to do with the characters and think that the Hugo was warranted, but reading it has been a bit of a chore and less entertaining than I like my science fiction. It is competent, but not engaging. Still better than Robinson's Red/Blue/Green Mars in that regard, but not by much.
  13.  
    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    6,138
    Aha, a definite tie in. Those who, like myself like the Cherryh "Union / Alliance" universe, like the K.S. Robinson multicolour Mars series, and those who don't, don't.

    My favourite Union book? is "Cyteen" (I have it as three volumes, but surely it must exist bound as one?), but "Downbelow station" gives the framework in which all the others are set,
  14.  
    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Messages:
    8,207
    Yes it does, Chris - I've a trade paperback with all three parts included.
  15.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8,127
    I just got this book and reading it. C.J Cherryh is working perfectly for me. I got hooked on this book as soon she was done with the backround history for the story.

    Not fan of space opera really, i almost avoid the subgenre except some classic ones.

    Cherryh is becoming a favorit and i cant wait to read more of this book and her :)
  16.  
    gully_foyle

    gully_foyle Here kitty kitty kitty!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,260
    Just finished it. I can sympathise with all the comments here. It is a bit difficult to get into. It starts off more soap opera than space opera, and some of the characters are a bit dull. I guess there is an ordinariness to the characters that C.J. was trying to get across, and then she throws them into a disaster and we see what their real mettle is. This is a great book, you just have to hang in their.

    And for some reason, my mental picture of Mallory was that of Janeway from ST Voyager (not that I was a big fan).
  17.  
    clovis-man

    clovis-man Prehistoric Irish Cynic

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,903
    Oooh! Scary! I saw her as a hard-bitten Janet Leigh with the white hair and all. Kate Mulgrew's voice always bothered me. She sounds too much like Jane Curtin as Primat Conehead. "France! We are from France!"
  18.  
    Connavar

    Connavar New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8,127
    I started reading this a while ago. It is hard getting into. I know its a famous and award winning of hers but the early part isnt as good as Faded Suns books to me. They grabbed me from page one.

    I'm thinking about toughing it out in the early parts so that it might get real good. Mostly im interested in this story about humans U and not alien species the story focuses on.

    Im not a natural space opera reader this really only why it hasnt been as easy i expected to reading it.
  19.  
    gully_foyle

    gully_foyle Here kitty kitty kitty!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,260
    Conn, tough it out and you will be rewarded. The aliens are seemingly secondary, and I never quite figure them out, but the pace picks up and towards the end you can't put it down.
  20.  
    Razorback

    Razorback New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    250
    Conn, it has been a while since I read Downbelow Station, but I second gully’s advice. Downbelow was my first by Cherryh. My recollection is that I found it tough to get into it, but I ended up liking it enough to read many more by her. At this point, I’ve read 11 of her books (counting Cyteen as 3), and I have 16 more in my TBR-pile (counting the Faded Sun work as 3). I’m working my way through her Alliance-Union Universe before moving on to her other works. The Faded Sun books are next on my Cherryh agenda.


Share This Page