C. J. CherryhThis long-running, Locus Award-nominated series tells the epic tale of a sole human diplomat, Bren Cameron, on a planet inhabited by a hostile, intelligent, non-human race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey.
Now in mass market, the twentieth book in the beloved Foreigner saga returns to the trials of diplomat Bren Cameron, as he navigates the tenuous peace he has struck between human refugees and the alien atevi.
Bren Cameron, diplomat in residence, usually represents the ruler of the atevi state. But Ilisidi, the dowager, has been known to borrow his services from time to time—and she has her own notions how to solve the simmering hostilities in the south of the atevi continent, playing one problem against another.
This time, she is betting the hard-won northern peace—and the lives of the people—on being right. She has commandeered the Red Train, taken aboard what passengers she chooses, and headed for the snowy roof of the world, where a hard-scrabble town and its minor lord are the first pieces she intends to use.
The nineteenth book in the beloved Foreigner space opera series begins a new era for human diplomat Bren Cameron, as he navigates the tenuous peace between human refugees and the alien atevi.
Bren Cameron, acting as the representative of the atevi’s political leader, Tabini-aiji, as well as translator between humans and atevi, has undertaken a mission to the human enclave of Mospheira. Both his presence on the island and his absence from the continent have stirred old enemies to realize new opportunities.
Old hatreds. Old grudges. Old ambitions.
The situation has strengthened the determination of power-seekers on both sides of the strait. Bren knows most of them very well, but not all of them well enough. The space station on which the world increasingly relies is desperate to get more supplies up to orbit and to get a critical oversupply of human refugees down to the world below. Rationing is in force on the station, but the overpopulation problem has to be solved quickly—and Bren’s mission on Mospheira has expanded to include preparation for that landing.
First down will be the three children to whom Tabini’s son has a close connection. But following them will be thousands of humans who have never set foot on a planet, humans descended from colonists and officers who split off from Mospheiran humans two hundred years before in a bitter parting of the ways. There is no way the atevi, native to the world, will cede any more land to these new arrivals: they will have to share the island. But certain Mospheirans are willing to use force to prevent these refugees from settling among them.
Bren’s job is as general peacemaker—but old enemies want war. Is Bren’s diplomatic acumen enough to prevent a war that both sides are prepared to wage?
The eighteenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences
Alpha Station, orbiting the world of the atevi, has taken aboard five thousand human refugees from a destroyed station in a distant sector of space. With supplies and housing stretched to the breaking point, it is clear that the refugees must be relocated down to the planet, and soon. But not to the atevi mainland: rather to the territory reserved for human, the island of Mospheira.
Tabini-aiji, the powerful political head of the atevi, tasks his brilliant human diplomat, Bren Cameron, to negotiate with the Mospheiran government. For the Alpha Station refugees represent a political faction that the people of Mospheira broke from two centuries ago, and these Mospheirans are not enthusiastic about welcoming these immigrants from space.
In the decades Bren has served Tabini, he has become enmeshed in the atevi world in a way no human ever has before. Bren is now an atevi lord, with his own estate on the mainland, his own household, and his own Assassin’s Guild bodyguards. He is a treasured resource to Tabini and has become close to Tabini’s young son and heir, Cajieri, the first atevi child ever to grow up in the presence of a human.
Tabini, impatient with human politics, has ordered Bren to return to the island of his birth in his official capacity as an atevi lord, with his full atevi retinue. Bren is to inform the president of Mospheira that he is no longer his diplomat, that Mospheira must take in the refugees from Alpha, and that there is no other acceptable solution. And among the refugees are three children requiring special protection because Cajieri has made them his “associates”—a bond of atevi loyalty that is unbreakable and lifelong.
While Bren travels to Mospheira, Tabini sends Cajieri to the country to visit his uncle Tatiseigi—a political gesture to shore up an old man and give the boy a well-earned vacation, a cherished opportunity to escape the formality of the atevi court. Tatiseigi’s neighbors, however, are determined to end an old feud to their own satisfaction….and Cajieri’s presence is just the excuse they need.
The seventeenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
The human and atevi inhabitants of Alpha Station, orbiting the world of the atevi, have picked up a signal from an alien kyo ship telling them that the ship is inbound toward Alpha. Five thousand of the inhabitants of Alpha are human refugees from the now derelict Reunion Station. They have seen this scenario before, when a single kyo ship swooped into the Reunion system and, without a word, melted a major section of Reunion Station with a single pass. These refugees, who were rescued through the combined efforts of an allied group of humans and atevi and brought to safety at Alpha, are now desperate with fear.
Bren Cameron—brilliant human emissary of Tabini-aiji, the powerful atevi political leader on the mainland below, and also the appointee of the human president of the island nation of Mospheira—is the obvious choice of representative to be sent up to deal with both the panicked refugees and the incoming alien ship.
As a member of the spacefaring delegation who rescued the refugees, Bren has talked to kyo before—and even won their trust by saving one of their kind from a Reunioner prison. Because of his remarkable diplomatic and linguistic abilities, Bren managed to communicate with that grateful kyo individual on a limited basis, and he has evidence that that same kyo is on the ship heading to defenseless Alpha Station.
But no one can predict what an alien race might do, or what their motivations could be.
And Bren Cameron, the only human ever to be accepted into atevi society, is now the one individual with a hope of successfully interacting with the crew of the incoming ship. But Bren knows it will take putting himself in the hands of the kyo.
Can Bren count on the gratitude of one individual alien to save his life and the lives of thousands on Alpha Station?
The sixteenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
It’s been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron’s return from space—a year when he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government overthrown and their world in chaos.
Now, at last, things are calming down; the Assassins’ Guild is functioning again, working out its internal difficulties, and Bren is settling back into his routine: not as Lord of the Heavens; not—to his regret—as Lord of Najida peninsula, where his leisure estate is located; but as paidhi-aiji, an official in the atevi court.
His current ambition is to keep himself and his bodyguard out of harm’s way, and to shepherd the aiji-dowager’s daring new trade agreement through the appropriate legislative committees. Combined with Tabini-aiji’s recent appointment of his young son Cajeiri as his official heir, Bren’s workload is challenging, but at least things on the atevi world seem to be on the right track.
Something is coming, however, quietly, stealthily, just the first ominous twinkle of a new star in the heavens….
The fifteenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
Civil war on the world of the atevi is finally over. And Cajeiri, son and heir of Tabini-aiji, atevi leader of the dominant Western Association, is about to celebrate his fortunate ninth birthday. Bren Cameron, brilliant human diplomat allied with Tabini, has managed to arrange a visit for Cajeiri’s three special associates from the starship Phoenix—ordinary human children who developed a bond with Cajeiri during his two years in space.
After a year of political upheaval, this is a happy event: the heir is safe, the aiji is back in power, and a massive celebration is planned in the capital. The whole world is watching.
But Bren Cameron has received evidence that security has been severely compromised from the aiji’s high office on downward. The powerful Assassins’ Guild—which provides the judicial system, law enforcement, and personal protection in atevi society—is in the hands of a man who would like to turn the entire world back two centuries.
Bren now knows the details of a decades-old plot that’s been threaded through Guild actions since before his arrival on the continent. The enemy’s best chance is to strike now, at the public celebration that is much too important and far too advanced to cancel.
Bren and his associates have no choice. If they don’t make the first move, the other side will. And the lives of the heir, his innocent human guests, and the entire ruling family are at stake.
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Peacemaker is the 15th Foreigner novel, and the 3rd book in the fifth subtrilogy.
The fourteenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
Civil war on the world of the atevi is finally over. Bren Cameron, brilliant human diplomat allied with the dominant Western Association, has finally returned to the capital from the southern coast, where he negotiated a daring redistribution of the atevi legislature. Now, Bren is settling back into the capital, in the home he knew prior to the war—but life at the atevi court is never easy.
Tabini-aiji, head of the Western Association and Bren’s ally, has promised his son, Cajeiri, that he can have the young human children he knew from his voyage on the world’s space station sent down to the planet for a birthday celebration.
But there’s far a darker business going on in the background—a major split compromising the Assassins’ Guild, which furnishes security and law enforcement to the whole continent. Tabini’s consort’s own father has been barred from court, and may be involved in a new conspiracy against him. Tabini wants Bren to take charge of Cajeiri, and see him and his young guests to safety, all while keeping the security problem a state secret.
Can Bren protect Cajeiri and the unsuspecting human children who are to be guests in an atevi household that is on the brink of political explosion?
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Protector is the 14th Foreigner novel, and the 2nd book in the fifth subtrilogy.
The thirteenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
Civil war on the world of the atevi is over but diplomatic disputes and political infighting continue unabated. Bren Cameron, brilliant human diplomat allied with the dominant Western Association, has just returned to the capital from his country home. But his sojourn was anything but restful, for Bren and his associates have had a small war of their own to contend with, ending with rebel leader, Machigi, joining the atevi congress representing the rebels as a member state.
Machigi, to Bren’s utter shock, has invoked an ancient law, changing Bren’s role as negotiator for Tabini-aiji, Ilisidi, and other leaders of the Western Association to that of a specialized, entirely neutral negotiator between atevi adversaries. Tabini-aiji is enraged to have lost his personal negotiator, and Bren is becoming embroiled in a development that could result in his assassination.
But there are even more dangerous things afoot, as a crisis brews inside the immensely dangerous Assassins’ Guild. The recent dustup with the Shadow Guild may be only the beginning.
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Intruder is the 13th Foreigner novel, and the 1st book in the fifth subtrilogy.
The twelfth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
In the wake of civil war, Bren Cameron, the brilliant human diplomat of the alien atevi civilization, has left the capital and sought refuge at his country estate, Najida. But now he is trapped inside Najida—which has been surrounded by enemies—with Ilisidi, the powerful grandmother of his ally, Tabini-aiji, atevi leader of the Western Association. But Ilisidi, the wily and dangerous aiji-dowager, is not inclined to be passive, and in a brazen maneuver sends Bren into enemy territory, to the palace of Machigi, the leader of the rebels.
Bren’s mission is to negotiate with Machigi—a young atevi lord who has never actually seen a human—and somehow persuade him to cease his hostile actions against the West. Bren knows that the autocratic Machigi rules a fractious clan, and that his hospitality is not guaranteed. Bren’s genius for negotiation enable him to make a daring trade offer to Machigi—one that seems to interest the young warlord. But Machigi is suspicious of Ilisidi’s motives, and, to Bren’s utter shock, evokes an ancient law that jeopardizes Bren’s life. Can Bren stay alive and not alienate Ilisidi or Tabini, while also representing the interests of their enemy?
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Betrayer is the 12th Foreigner novel, and the 3rd book in the fourth subtrilogy.
The eleventh novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
The civil war among the alien Atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajeiri, his son and heir, has returned to the Bujavid, his seat of power. But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over.
Bren Cameron, the brilliant human diplomat allied with Tabini, has graciously chosen to visit Najida, his country estate on the west coast. He feels that the political tensions in the capital might ease if he is not present, and after two years in space, he relishes the peace and tranquility his lovely coastal home affords.
But peace and tranquility are not in the cards for Bren.
Desperate for freedom and adventure, disregarding the obvious danger, Cajieri, Tabini’s young son, escapes the tightly guarded capital with his bodyguards and arrives to surprise Bren in the country. But he is not the only surprise guest, for Ilisidi, the aiji-dowager, Tabini’s wily and powerful grandmother, has been dispatched to secure her great-grandson’s safety.
However, Najida, formerly a safe haven, is no longer the sanctuary it once was. For a neighbor’s estate—the ancestral home of Lord Geigi, a close associate of Bren’s—has been left without strong leadership. Lord Geigi now resides on and runs the atevi space station, and in his absence, rebel clans have infiltrated his home. When these rebels attack Bren, Cajieri, and the dowager, they have no choice but to recall Geigi from space.
With Lord Geigi, Ilisidi, Bren, and Cajieri all under one roof, they pose an irresistible target for the enemy. And Bren’s pastoral retreat, now swarming with bodyguards, becomes a locked-down and armed fortress. These four individuals—three of the most powerful politicians on the planet, and the heir to the aiji—are not without their own resources. But can they overcome their adversaries and end this guerilla war that is the last vestige of revolution?
The tenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
The civil war among the alien atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajieri, his son and heir, and his human paidhi, Bren Cameron, have returned to the Bujavid, their seat of power.
But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over. Since the rebellion, Bren Cameron’s apartment in the capital has been occupied by an old noble family from the Southern district—the same district from which the coup was initiated. This family now claims loyalty to Tabini, but the aiji is dubious. To avoid additional conflict, Bren has decided to visit Najida, his country estate on the west coast.
Tabini-aiji has once again take over the job of training his young son in the traditional ways of the atevi, and has Cajieri under strict supervision. But after two years in space, surrounded by human children, Cajieri bristles in this highly controlled and boring environment. Desperate for freedom and adventure, Cajieri escapes the tightly guarded Bujavid with his young bodyguards and sets out secretly to join Bren on the coast.
Determined to ensure his son’s safety, Tabini recalls Ilisidi from her home in the East, asking her to find Cajieri and secure him at Bren’s estate. But it has been a long time since Bren has been to Najida, and the war has shifted allegiances in many quarters. A district that once was considered a safe haven might now be a trap. And with Bren, Cajieri, and Ilisidi all under one roof and separated from their allies, that trap is now baited.
The ninth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
In the aftermath of civil war, the world of the atevi is still perilously unstable. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with his son and heir Cajeiri, and his human paidhi, Bren Cameron, have returned to the seat of power. The usurper, Murini, has escaped to the lands of his supporters, but the danger these rebels pose is far from over. Ilisidi, Tabini’s grandmother, the aiji-dowager, has returned to her ancient castle in the East, for she has powerful ties in the lands of the rebels, and she seeks to muster whatever support for her grandson that she can from among those enemy strongholds.
In his father’s tightly guarded headquarters, eight-year-old Cajeiri is horribly bored. Two years on an interstellar starship surrounded by human children have left him craving excitement. But unbeknownst to this dissatisfied youngster, he has become a target for forces bent on destroying his father’s rule and everything it stands for.
Though still a child, Cajeiri embodies a unique threat to the venerable, tradition-defined lifestyle of his people. For this young boy is the first ateva youth to have lived in a human environment. And after hundreds of years of tenuous atevi-human coexistence, Cajeiri may very well be the first ateva to ever truly understand the so similar yet so dangerously different aliens who share his home planet and threaten the hidebound customs of his race.
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Deliverer is the 9th Foreigner novel, and the 3rd book in the third subtrilogy.
The eighth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
Exhausted from a two-year rescue mission in space, the crew of the starship Phoenix return home to find disaster: civil war has broken out, the powerful Western Association has been overthrown, and Tabini-aiji, its forceful leader, is missing. In a desperate move, paidhi Bren Cameron and Tabini’s grandmother Ilisidi, the aiji-dowager, along with with Cajeiri, Tabini’s eight-year-old heir, make planetfall and succeed in reaching the mainland. The brilliant and forceful Ilisidi seeks refuge at the estate of an old ally, and Tabini-aiji arrives at the door.
As word of Tabini’s whereabouts circulates, clans allied with Tabini descend upon the estate, providing a huge civilian presence that everyone involved hopes will deter impending attacks by the usurpers. But as more and more supporting clans arrive, Bren finds himself increasingly isolated, and it becomes clear that both his extremely important report of alien contact in space, and even his life, rest on the shoulders of only two allies: Ilisidi and Cajeiri.
Can one elderly ateva and and eight-year-old boy—himself a prime target for assassination—protect Bren, a lone human involved in a civil war that most atevi believe he caused?
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Pretender is the 8th Foreigner novel, and the 2nd book in the third subtrilogy.
The seventh novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
It has been two years since the starship Phoenix left Alpha Station on a rescue mission where over four thousand human spacers were under attack by a hostile alien race. Now, exhausted from their journey, the crew of the Phoenix yearns for home. But when the ship makes the jump into atevi space and contacts Alpha, they learn the worst: that supplies to the station have been cut off; that civil war has broken out on the atevi mainland; that the powerful Western Association has been overthrown; and that Tabini-aiji, Bren Cameron’s primary supporter and Ilisidi’s grandson and ally, is missing and may be dead.
With no one left to lead the Western Association, Ilisidi and Bren know that the survival of their allies lies in their hands. And with the atevi world at war, the only safe landing strip lies on the human colony at Mospheira. Although there are many dangers inherent in bringing a powerful atevi leader such as Ilisidi onto human lands, Bren realizes they have no other choice.
But even if they safely survive their landing, will Bren and Ilisidi together prove strong enough to muster the remaining shards of the Western Association and regain control of their planet?
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Destroyer is the 7th Foreigner novel, and the 1st book in the third subtrilogy.
The sixth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…
It has been nearly ten years since the starship Phoenix returned to Alpha, the station orbiting the world of the atevi, which had been abandoned following a rift between a faction of the station’s inhabitants and the spacers’ Pilot’s Guild. The unexpected return of the Phoenix has forever changed the lives of both atevi and Mospheirans, for over the ensuing decade, the captains of the Phoenix have brought both species into space. Their motivation seemed simple: Reunion Station, a human station in another sector of space, had been destroyed by aliens.
But on his deathbed, the senior captain of the Phoenix admits that he lied to the crew—that Reunion was merely damaged, not destroyed, and many people may have survived. At this disclosure, the crew rebels and forces the Phoenix to undertake a rescue mission to Reunion.
Onboard the rescue mission are Bren Cameron, brilliant human paidhi representing the atevi ruler Tabini-aiji, and Tabini’s grandmother Ilisidi, a fearsome and ambitious atevi leader with an agenda of her own. Trapped in a distant star system with little fuel left, facing a bellicose alien ship, how can Bren help to avoid interspecies war when the notoriously secretive Pilot’s Guild aboard Reunion Station refuse to cooperate, and may have kept the inhabitants of their own station ignorant of their true situation?
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Explorer is the 6th Foreigner novel, and the 3rd book in the second subtrilogy.