Grandmaster Announcement: C.J. Cherryh

If you haven’t read any of C.J. Cherryh’s incredibly intelligent, complex, thought-provoking, entertaining science fiction or fantasy,   perhaps you don’t know how deserved this announcement is, and why some of us met it today with “About time!”   Cherryh has published somewhere the far side of 60 novels and many, many shorter works (though I think her novel series–very long arc stories–are her real metier, since they give her the space she needs to tell the kinds of stories she does.) 

Those of you who have read her works know exactly why she deserves to be named Grandmaster.   You know she  creates characters who are fully rounded, who have agency, whose motivations (however weird they have been to me at times) make sense within the cultures where they exist.  Her many varied cultures are grounded in foundations of biology, geology, terrain, political systems consonant with their biology, economic systems consonant with their location and resources.  And so on.  She can write old people, young people, middle aged people (people including her many alien species),  male/female/other people,  people with distinctively *different* personalities, talents, limitations.   She can write action; she can write mood; she can write intellect; she can write emotion…and she can write in both branches of our super-genre, SF/F.

I have admired her work from the first, when I read Kesrith: Faded Sun serialized in a magazine (I think Galaxy).    We still buy her books as soon as they show up in the stores and sometimes end up with two copies because neither of us wants to wait out the other’s reading speed.   She’s won awards, of course (though I think she should have won more) and her winning honored the awards as much as they honored her.   She is one of the great writers in our field; she would have been a great writer in any field she chose.

Grandmaster Cherryh:  finally.    Finally.  And forever on that short list.   She’ll receive the award formally at this year’s Nebula Awards ceremony (where, alas, I can’t be to stand up and cheer.)

In lieu of that,  the Universes section of Huygens Waystation will hold an all night party in her honor.  Come as a Cherryh character and receive a free drink.

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5 thoughts on “Grandmaster Announcement: C.J. Cherryh

  1. Delighted for her. Plus she’s a figure skater, which means she has to be a super person…. I have read some of her works, but probably not as many as I should have.

    1. There are so many–I don’t think I’ve read them all myself. At one point I was really, really busy with autistic kid and writing my own books and missed several years’ worth. But I’ve never read a bad, or even ho-hum, Cherryh book.

  2. I have read them all, I think, and enjoyed them all and have began to intuit a single shared universe in which the stories take place. The Grandmaster recognition is an honor for Science Fiction as well as well as a long deserved recognition of Cherryh,s place in the field.

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