FC Stone

jessie shelton at alumni.princeton.edu
Tue Jul 18 12:29:53 EDT 2000

By the way, as long as I'm posting again, I might as well put in my two
cents on F.C. Stone.  To me it's pretty obvious that she's supposed to be
C.J. Cherryh.

The name is right: the initials, and then the cherry-stone bit.  Even,
later, Candy fits too -- Cherryh's real last name is Cherry, which her
publisher didn't want her to use because it sounded too much like it
belonged to a soppy romance writer (!).

The lonely alien among humans and vice versa is a great tongue-in-cheek
capsule for a lot of her stuff (Cuckoo's Egg, Faded Sun, among others)

_Starship Candida_ is, I betcha, _Downbelow Station_, the book that won
Cherryh her first Hugo.

The gender reversal bit: "Much was spoken about the tender and peculiar
relationships between the sexes...In the book, the Captain was
all-powerful and dominating and complained about the food.  The Mate had a
hypnotically induced mindset that caused him to bleat for assistance at
the first sign of trouble."  Cherryh's protagonists have a tendency toward
older, ruthless women (Ari Emory, Signy Mallory) and younger, powerless
men (Justin Warrick, Sandor Kreja), as has been dissected on
rec.arts.sf.written in the past.  The hypnotically induced bit is almost
certainly a reference to Cherryh's azi (tape-trained humans).

"Provided she was making up the politics herself, there seemed no limit to
how intricate she could make them."  --Do you have any more doubt that
this is Cherryh? <laugh>

"She stayed with that universe and its intricate politics" -- she did,
too.  There's a whole slew of Alliance-Union books (in the same universe
as _Downbelow Station_), and they do indeed "have aliens in them, which
she always enjoyed", and they do indeed "keep mostly out in space".  And
Cherryh is notorious for putting her characters through physical hell.

Really it's a perfect sendup of Cherryh's work -- I laughed a great deal
at Adny's description of the politics of his world, and her reaction --
and about the only thing I would have added would be about the degree to
which Cherryh seems to think that culture can trump biology, and that's
the kind of quibble that's hard to fit in a story like this. (:

Oh yes, and belated congratulations to Melissa and Jake on the birth of
Cordelia (:


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