171 Following

Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 58/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes

Reading progress update: I've read 148 out of 428 pages.

Foreigner  - C.J. Cherryh

This is slow, with lots of pauses for historical/linguistic/cultural details, but I seem to be in a slow book kind of mood right now, so that's fine. I do wonder how this series has managed to go on for as long as it has, considering that humans seem very close to no longer being useful to the atevi.


The setup: a human starship accidentally ends up far off-course, unable to get back to any recognizable areas of space. Some time later (150 years?), they find the atevi homeworld and, lacking better options, try to start a colony there. After a good beginning, things suddenly go very badly. A deal is struck in which humans are permitted to live on a single island, Mospheira, in exchange for sharing information about their more advanced technology via a paidhi, a human interpreter living among the atevi. In the book's present (200 years later?), it's a delicate balance between humans secretly trying to nudge the atevi towards technology that will allow humans to escape the planet and trying not to give the atevi so many technological secrets that humans are no longer worth keeping around.


One related quote I enjoyed:

"That was the dream he had. The nightmare was less specific, only the apprehension which, long before the assassin tried his bedroom, he had been trying to communicate to Hanks and the rest of the office, that you couldn't go on giving atevi bits and pieces of tech without accelerating the randomness in the process, meaning that atevi minds didn't work the same as human minds, and that atevi cultural bias was going to view certain technological advances differently than humans did, and atevi inventiveness was going to put more and more items together into their own inventions, about which they didn't consult the Mospheira Technology Commission." (135)