Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 16:56

C. J. Cherryh

If you don't understand other people in their time and why they did what they did, then you don't understand your own past. And when you lose your past, you lose some potential for your own future.

C. J. Cherryh (born Carolyn Janice Cherry on 1 September 1942) is an American science fiction and fantasy author.

QuotesEdit

For me the purest and truest art in the world is science fiction.
When the legend is retold, it mirrors the reality of the time, and one can learn from studying how various authors have attempted to retell the story.
  • Jane leaned back against the counter and stared at the ceiling. At the traditional location of God, no matter what the planet.
  • If you're up against a smart opponent, make him think himself to death.
  • Trade isn't about goods. Trade is about information. Goods sit in the warehouse until information moves them.
  • Average people didn't analyze what they thought: they thought they thought, and half of it was gut reaction.
    • Invader (1995)
  • Inevitably the party trying to resolve a matter had to contend with the party most willing to exploit it.
    • Invader (1995)
  • Poisoning rarely happens in a well-managed kitchen.

Downbelow Station (1981)Edit

All page numbers from the trade paperback edition published by Daw Books (First trade printing, December 2008)
  • People ask where writers get ideas.
    Take my advice. Some cool, clear night, drive to a country place where city lights don’t block your view. Turn off the car lights. Get out and look up. And see our real neighborhood.
    • Author’s introduction (p. 3)
  • What the probe had found was a star with reasonable possibilities for encouraging life; a belt of debris, including particles, planetoids, irregular chunks somewhat under planet size with interesting implications for systemic formation, and a planetary companion with its own system of debris and moons...A planet desolate, baked, forbidding. It was no Eden, no second Earth, no better than what existed in the sun’s own system, and it was a far journey to have gone to find that out. The press grappled with questions it could not easily grasp itself, sought after something to give the viewers, lost interest quickly. If anything, there were questions raised about cost, vague and desperate comparisons offered to Columbus, and the press hared off quickly onto a political crisis in the Mediterranean, much more comprehensible and far bloodier.
    • Book 1, Chapter 1 (pp. 7-8)
  • “You’ve behaved very highhandedly, Captain Mallory. Is that the custom out here?”
    “The custom is, sir, that those who know a situation handle it and those who don’t watch and learn, or get out of the way.”
    • Book 1, Chapter 4 (p. 34)
  • What happened this far remote would have little political impact on Earth. What the visual media could not carry into living rooms, the general public could not long remain exercised about. Statistically, a majority of the electorate could not or did not read complicated issues; no pictures, no news; no news, no event.
    • Book 2, Chapter 2 (p. 118)
  • “I frankly doubt that.”
    “Ah. That is your privilege. But doubt doesn’t alter fact, sir.”
    • Book 2, Chapter 2 (p. 124)
  • She was a student of history, valued the lessons of it. The worst atrocities began with half-measures, with apologies, compromising with the wrong side, shrinking from what had to be done.
    • Book 3, Chapter 2 (p. 192)
  • At this point I ceased argument with Lt. Goforth and shot him in the belly.
    • Book 5, Chapter 1 (p. 334)

Arafel's Saga (1983)Edit

An earlier edition of the Ealdwood Stories in The Dreaming Tree (1997)
  • Things there are in the world which have never loved Men, which have been in the world far longer than humankind, so that once when Men were newer on the earth and the woods were greater, there had been places a Man might walk where he might feel the age of the world on his shoulders. Forests grew in which the stillness was so great he could hear stirrings of a life no part of his own. There were brooks from which the magic had not gone, mountains which sang with voices, and sometimes a wind touched the back of his neck and lifted the hairs with the shiver of a presence at which a Man must never turn and stare.
    But the noise of Men grew more and more insistent. Their trespasses became more bold. Death had come with them, and the knowledge of good and evil, and this was a power they had, both to be virtuous and to be blind.
    • The Dreamstone, Book One : The Gruagach, Ch. 1 : Of Fish and Fire
  • Men changed whatever they set hand to. They wrought their magic on beasts, to make them dull and patient. They brought fire and the reek of smoke to the dales. They brought lines and order to the curve of the hills. Most of all they brought the chill of iron, to sweep away the ancient shadows.
    But they took the brightness too. It was inevitable, because that brightness was measured against that dark. Men piled stone on stone and made warm homes, and tamed some humbler, quieter things, but the darkest burrowed deep and the brightest went away, heartbroken.
    Save one, whose patience or whose pride was more than all the rest.
    So one place, one untouched place in all the world remained, a rather smallish forest near the sea and near humankind, keeping a time different than elsewhere.
    • The Dreamstone, Book One : The Gruagach, Ch. 1 : Of Fish and Fire
  • Things whispered here, and the trees muttered with the wind and perhaps with other things. Men knew the place was old, old as the world, and they never made peace with it.
    • The Dreamstone, Book One : The Gruagach, Ch. 1 : Of Fish and Fire

The Camelot Project interview (1996)Edit

There are certain myths that have persisted throughout the ages, and this one has remained very potent in modern culture.
Taliesin's Successors: Interviews with Authors of Modern Arthurian Literature by Raymond H. Thompson — Interview with C. J. Cherryh (18 May 1996)
  • There are certain myths that have persisted throughout the ages, and this one has remained very potent in modern culture. The Arthurian cycle involves numerous kinds of relationships, not only between men but also between men and women. In our rather less structured society nowadays defining these relationships can sometimes be difficult.
  • When the legend is retold, it mirrors the reality of the time, and one can learn from studying how various authors have attempted to retell the story. I don't think we have an obligation to change it radically. I think that if we ever move too far from the basic story, we would lose something very precious. I don't, for instance, approve of fantasy that attempts to go back and rewrite the Middle Ages until it conforms to political correctness in the twentieth century. That removes all the benefit from reading the story. If you don't understand other people in their time and why they did what they did, then you don't understand your own past. And when you lose your past, you lose some potential for your own future.
  • I've seen how other writers have approached the relationships in the Arthurian cycle in this century, and it does seem to me that while some of the characters get treated fairly, others do not. And the point is, it's one of those kinds of legends in which no one is totally wrong, not even Modred. It presents a collision of necessities, and Modred has his own political reality.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia
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