cover image Chanur's Homecoming

Chanur's Homecoming

C. J. Cherryh. Phantasia Press, $18 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-932096-42-5

A member of the peaceful, clannish, matriarchal hani race, merchant-ship captain Pyanfar Chanur would rather be left alone to earn her living. Circumstances, however, have drawn her into a vast, complicated power struggle, as the uneasy relations among several spacegoing species are enflamed by the arrival of the first humans. Armed skirmishes are rare, but hostage-taking, torture and betrayal become standard. In this amalgam of strains from current international politics (the Mideast particularly), each race harbors several factions fighting to enact their own agendas and willing to deal with their ostensible enemies to come out on top. Thus, the ambitious kif Sikkukut releases his hostages to Chanur only after she agrees to help him seize Meetpoint station. As in the previous three titles in Cherryh's series, the interesting premise of action played out against a background of volatile culture clashes devolves into a drawn-out string of inconclusive conflicts. Paperback rights to DAW. (September 8)