Merchanter’s Luck, by C.J. Cherryh

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Sandor reached and put the interior lights on, and Lucy’s surroundings acquired some cheer and new dimensions. Rightward, the corridor to the cabins glared with what had once been white tiles—bare conduits painted white like the walls; and to the left another corridor horizoned up the curve, lined with cabinets and parts storage. Aft of the bridge and beyond the shallowest of arches, another space showed, reflected in the idle screens of vacant stations, bunks in brown, worn plastic, twelve of them, that could be set manually for the pitch at dock. Their commonroom, that had been. Their indock sleeping area, living quarters, wardroom—whatever the need of the moment. He set Lucy’s autopilot, unbelted and eased himself out of the cushion: that was enough to get himself a stiff fine if station caught him at it, moving through the vicinity of a station with no one at controls.

Don’t hate me, but I have often found C.J. Cherryh’s work difficult to engage with. (I have similar problems with John Crowley and M. John Harrison.) I bought this at Eastercon to give her another try, having rather bounced off both Downbelow Station, to which this is a sequel, and Cyteen a few years back. I’m afraid this didn’t work for me either; I appreciate the tightness of the prose, but I lost track of the plot early on and could not work out why I should care much about the characters. Lesson learned, I guess.

This was both my top unread sf book and top unread book by a woman (as measured by LibraryThing popularity). Next on the former list is The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, next on the latter The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro (which was already at the top of the pile).

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1 Response to Merchanter’s Luck, by C.J. Cherryh

  1. nwhyte says:

    I have some way to go till I get to Camera Obscura. Still, I think the EDAs certainly picked up after a wobbly beginning!

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