Downbelow Station – C.J. Cherryh

Stuck between the “old world” Terrans and the “new world” Union, Downbelow Station struggles to survive in an increasingly hostile universe. The book follows the denizens of the station and their machinations.

This novel won the Hugo Award in 1982 so I was expecting a lot. Sadly, I found it very dull. The story itself is very interesting, as is the setting. Unfortunately I dislike Cherryh’s style. It has been described as “limited third person”, meaning that the author only describes what the current point of view character thinks about. This is different from what the character actually sees, as for example things familiar to the character are ignored. I found that the lack of details stifled the novel, rendering the prose “claustrophobic”, for lack of a better word. A side effect is that events that happened “off stage” are often introduced rather abruptly. Scenes also proceed in fits and starts, jumping from one character to the next without much apparent structure. I gave up after about a third of the book.

The Pride of Chanur – C.J. Cherryh

This is now published in the omnibus “The Chanur Saga”. I managed to slog through this Novel. The story is pretty boring and the aliens are plain vanilla space opera fare. Just “humans with fur” if you like, not alien at all apart from appearance. What I don’t get is how this stuff can sell so well. Seriously, there is so much better out there.