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Alliance-Union Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Faded Sun Books

Publication Order of Alliance-Union Books

Serpent's Reach (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Forty Thousand in Gehenna (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Alliance-Union: Company Wars Books

Chronological Order of Alliance-Union: Company Wars Books

Publication Order of Alliance-Union: Cyteen Books

Publication Order of Hinder Stars Books

Alliance Rising (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Alliance-Union series is a series of space opera or science fiction genre written by award-winning American novelist C.J. Cherryh. Cherryh Carolyn Janice has been publishing fantasy and science fiction since 1975 though he started writing way before that. She is proficient in a variety of disciplines and languages that include Mediterranean archaeology, Greek, and Latin having taught these subjects in high school in the Oklahoma City Public School system. She also loves plumbing, pond building, physics, planetary geology, photography, and travel all of which inform his love for space opera and time travel prominent in his novels. He has also studied much of world history and believes himself an optimist even in the face of constant threat of war or climate change. His study of humankind and history makes him believe that humanity has developed a lot and could face any kind of catastrophe that may be thrown into its path given its innovative ways and technology available. He thus writes novels about clever people who rebel against situations they do not like and find solutions to make their world a better place. C.J. Cherryh’s best known works are set in the Alliance-Union Universe, the Foreigner Universe, and several science fiction and fantasy works. Her Alliance-Union series is known for its great realism which is made possible by Cherryh research in archaeology, psychology, language, and history. For her contributions to the space opera genre she had “77185 Cherryh”, an asteroid named after her.

The “Alliance-Union” series of novels is set in a universe that can fit in either science fiction or space opera. The series is set in an alternate world where space stations have been taken over by a greedy corporation that has been gradually expanding its reach across the universe. The persons that are stationed on these increasingly far away colonies eventually develop their own cultures and unique identities. Soon tensions develop and these far off communities make an attempt to break away from the repressive Earth Company. They begin manufacturing an army of clones to protect their civilizations that they call the Independent Union from the Company. Cherryh got a jump-start in her writing career when she sold “Brothers of Earth” and “Gate of Ivrel” to Donal A. Wollheim the legendary editor. The novel Brothers of Earth catapulted her to fame and critical acclaim as she won the Best New Writer at the John W. Campbell Awards and got a nomination for the Locus Award. After the success of the novel published in 1976, Cherryh expanded the series to include many novels and sub series that have their own smaller story arcs all in the Alliance-Union universe. The best known mini arc of the series is the Company Wars story-line that included the 1981 blockbuster novel Downbelow Station that went on to win a Hugo and gain receive much critical acclaim. The series follows a bloody and lengthy conflict between the Union and the Alliance with later novels telling the story of past war restoration.

The Alliance-Union series of novels is a classical historical epic set in space that comes with a large cast, backstabbing, shifting allegiances, intrigue, and tragedy. These novels combine interstellar conflict with military science as told from survival and tactical perspectives. As such, the novels do not fit snugly in either military science or interstellar space conflict though they could very well be space opera novels. However, the novels in the series place great emphasis on logistics, economics, the social sciences and the importance of family and loyalty. The novels are some of the most realistic science fiction novels about life in space as they bring to life the tension knotted stomach, the stale air, and fear in terrifying life and death interstellar situations. The novels’ strongest points are the depiction of military power and its abuse, exotic alien creatures, and strange lands that are settled by humans to just similar to the settlement of the American colonies. Cherryh does a good job at building the Alliance-Union world as unlike her contemporaries, the alien societies are not your usual run-of-the-mill clones of Earthly nations states. These societies are determined by special economic factors and environments that inform their organization. The end games of the novels often come in spectacular betrayals, assassinations in stuffy corridors and ultimate battles between space ships to determine the fate of the galaxy in battles fought between ordinary people.

“Downbelow Station” is the explosive debut of the Company Wars series of novels in the Alliance-Union universe series. Set three centuries in the future, the novel follows the adventures of humans controlled by a private organization known as The Company. The Company has taken over the building of network of space stations and the exploration of space as it seeks to gain control over the known galaxy and its assets. However, things have not been going so well for “The Company” as even as it has been very successful in finding habitable planets and establishing colonies, it has not found much success in holding on to them. Many of the colonies have adopted a very different culture and formed an alliance they call the “Independent Union” to fight against the domination of the Company. Pell Station is among the first that is constructed above a planet. Together with Downbelow Station the two stations find themselves struggling to remain independent from all the fighting between the Company and the Union. The novel strikes emotional chords with its depiction of alien life, the most prominent of which are a very developed civilization known as the Hisa. The novel excels in its introspective view of the ambition and its effects of personal achievement and interstellar conflict, rather than vivid descriptions of the ship maneuvering and gun battles.

“Merchanter’s Luck” is a gripping novel featuring a space traveler known as Sandor Kreja, who has been compared to a reckless and lonely version of Serenity and Malcom Reynolds, or Millennium Falcon and Han Solo. Sandor Kreja is an enactment of these strong characters but without the all supporting crew. He is left with a battered ship after a war that killed all of his family and left him all alone. The first chapter opens to Sandor walking into a bar where sets his eyes on Allison Reilly a raven haired beauty. Against his better judgment he falls in love and has sex with the Merchanter daughter which makes him love her even more. He promises to find her when she docks at her next port of call which is quite a distance for his tiny and battered ship. Driven by love he embarks on the torturous trip staying awake on drugs only to find himself front and center of some very unwelcome attention. What follows is the reenactment of Sandor’s family story that weighs him down with PTSD, making it almost impossible for him to find any trust or love in his life.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Alliance-Union

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