C.J. Cherryh

C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Janice Cherry (born September 1, 1942), better known by the pen name C. J. Cherryh, is a United States science fiction and fantasy author. She has written more than 60 books since the mid-1970s, including the Hugo Award winning novels Downbelow Station (1981) and Cyteen (1988), both set in her Alliance-Union universe.

Cherryh (pronounced "Cherry") appended a silent "h" to her real name because her first editor, Donald A. Wollheim, felt that "Cherry" sounded too much like a romance writer. Her initials, C.J., were used to disguise the fact that she was female at a time when almost all science fiction authors were male.

The author has an asteroid, 77185 Cherryh, named after her.

Cherryh was born in 1942 in St. Louis, Missouri and raised primarily in Lawton, Oklahoma. She began writing stories at the age of ten when she became frustrated with the cancellation of her favorite TV show, Flash Gordon. In 1964, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin from the University of Oklahoma (Phi Beta Kappa), with academic specializations in archaeology, mythology, and the history of engineering. In 1965, she received a Master of Arts degree in classics from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was a Woodrow Wilson fellow.

After graduation, Cherry taught Latin, Ancient Greek, the classics, and ancient history at John Marshall High School in the Oklahoma City public school system. While her job was teaching Latin, her passion was the history, religion, and culture of Rome and Ancient Greece. During the summers, she would conduct student tours of the ancient ruins in England, France, Spain, and Italy. In her spare time, she would write, using the mythology of Rome and Greece as plots for her stories of the future. Cherryh did not follow the professional path typical of science fiction writers at the time, which was to first publish short stories in science fiction and fantasy magazines and then progress to novels. In fact, Cherryh did not consider writing short stories until after she had several novels published.

Instead, Cherryh wrote novels in her spare time away from teaching and submitted these manuscripts directly for publication. Initially, she met with little success. In fact, she was forced to re-write some of her early works when various publishers lost the manuscripts she submitted. Retyping from carbon copies of her manuscripts was cheaper than paying for photocopying, and, in effect, forced her to rewrite those lost manuscripts (using carbon paper to make at least one copy of a manuscript was standard practice until the advent of the personal computer). Her breakthrough came in 1975 when Donald A. Wollheim purchased both manuscripts she had submitted to DAW Books, Gate of Ivrel and Brothers of Earth. The two novels were published in 1976, Gate of Ivrel preceding Brothers of Earth by several months (although she had completed and submitted Brothers of Earth first). The books won her immediate recognition and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1977.

In 1979, her short story "Cassandra" won the Best Short Story Hugo, and she quit teaching to write full-time. She has since won the Hugo Award for Best Novel twice, first for Downbelow Station in 1982 and then again for Cyteen in 1989.

In addition to developing her own fictional universes, Cherryh has contributed to several shared world anthologies, including Thieves World, Heroes in Hell, Elfquest, Witch World, Magic in Ithkar, and the Merovingen Nights series, which she edited. Her writing has encompassed a variety of science fiction and fantasy subgenres and includes a few short works of non-fiction.

Excerpt from Wikipedia.

More: CJ Cherryh home page, CJ Cherryh blog, Shejidan, Meetpoint Station,

Bibliography (books set in the Alliance-Union universe, unless other stated, written by C.J. Cherryh):

The Company Wars

Heavy Time (1991)
Hellburner (1992)
- also published as Devil to the Belt (2000)
Downbelow Station (1981)
Merchanter's Luck (1982)
- also published in Alliance Space (2008) omnibus
Rimrunners (1989)
Tripoint (1994)
Finity's End (1997)

The Era of Rapprochement

Serpent's Reach (1980)
- also published in The Deep Beyond (2005) omnibus
Forty Thousand in Gehenna (1983)
- also published in the Alliance Space (2008) omnibus
Cyteen (1988)
- also published in a 3-volume edition as The Betrayal, The Rebirth and The Vindication.
Regenesis (2009)

The Chanur novels

The Pride of Chanur (1981)
Chanur's Venture (1984)
The Kif Strike Back (1985)
- The Chanur Saga (2000)—single-volume edition of the above three books
Chanur's Homecoming (1986)
Chanur's Legacy (1992)
- Chanur's Endgame (2007)—single-volume edition of the above two books

The Mri Wars (Faded Sun Trilogy)

The Faded Sun: Kesrith (1978)
The Faded Sun: Shon'Jir (1978)
The Faded Sun: Kutath (1979)
- The Faded Sun Trilogy (UK, 1987 and US, 2000)—single-volume edition of the above three books

Merovingen Nights (Mri Wars Period)

Short stories

Festival Moon (1987), published in anthology with the same name
Fever Season (1987), published in anthology with the same name
Troubled Waters (1988), published in anthology with the same name
Smuggler's Gold (1988), published in anthology with the same name
Seeds of Destruction (1989), published in anth. Divine Right
From the Files of Anastasi Kalugin, Advocate Militiar, (1989), published in anth. Divine Right
Flood Tide (1990), published in anthology with the same name
Endgame (1991), published in anthology with the same name

Poems and songs

Merovingian Song: Black Water (Suicide) (1987, C.J.Cherryh & Mercedes Lackey), , published in anth. Festival Moon
Merovingian Song: Private Conversation (1987, C.J. Cherryh & Mercedes Lackey), published in anth. Festival Moon
Fever Season (song) (1987, C.J. Cherryh & Mercedes Lackey) published in anth. Fever Season
Mist Thoughts (A Waltz with a Limp) (1987, C.J. Cherryh & Mercedes Lackey) published in anth. Fever Season
Merovingian Songs: Partners (1987, C.J. Cherryh & Mercedes Lackey) published in anth. Fever Season and anth. Troubled Waters
Merovingian Songs: A Song for Marina (1988, C.J. Cherryh & Mercedes Lackey) published in anth. anth. Troubled Waters

Novels and anthologies

Angel with the Sword (1985)
- Merovingen Nights—shared world series of anthologies
Contributors to the following 7 anthologies beside C.J. Cherryh are Lynn Abbey, Nancy Asire, Robert Lynn Asprin, C. J. Cherryh, Leslie Fish, Mercedes Lackey, Chris Morris, Janet Morris, Roberta Rogow and Bradley H. Sinor.

  • Festival Moon? (1987) – Merovingen Nights #1
  • Fever Season? (1987) – Merovingen Nights #2
  • Troubled Waters? (1988) – Merovingen Nights #3
  • Smuggler's Gold? (1988) – Merovingen Nights #4
  • Divine Right? (1989) – Merovingen Nights #5
  • Flood Tide? (1990) – Merovingen Nights #6
  • Endgame? (1991) – Merovingen Nights #7

The Age of Exploration

Port Eternity (1982)
- also published in the Alternate realities (2000) omnibus
Voyager in Night (1984)
- also published in the Alternate realities (2000) omnibus
Cuckoo's Egg (1985)
- also published in The Deep Beyond (2005) omnibus

The Hanan Rebellion

Brothers of Earth (1976)
Hunter of Worlds (1977)
- At the Edge of Space (2003)—single-volume edition of the above two books

The Morgaine Cycle

Gate of Ivrel (1976)
Well of Shiuan (1978)
Fires of Azeroth (1979)
- Above three collected in the following editions:
+ The Book of Morgaine (1979)
+ The Chronicles of Morgaine (1989)
+ The Morgaine Saga (2000)
Exile's Gate (1988)


Wave Without a Shore (1981)
- also published in the Alternate realities (2000) omnibus
The Scapegoat (1985)—novella

Books in the Foreigner Universe?

Foreigner? (1994)
Invader? (1995)
Inheritor? (1996)
Precursor? (1999)
Defender? (2001)
Explorer? (2003)
Destroyer? (2005)
Pretender? (2006)
Deliverer? (2007)
Conspirator? (2009)
Deceiver? (2010)
Betrayer? (2011)
Intruder? (2012)
Protector? (2013)
Peacemaker? (2014)
Tracker? (2015)
Visitor? (awaiting publication)