Talk:Cuckoo's Egg

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Timeline?[edit]

I always had the impression that the Hatani were visited by an FTL ship while the Hatani were not FTL-Capable. I always felt that it took place sometime after Cyteen, etc. I specifically remember a comment about Duun and his fellow "defenders" disabling the human ship from leaving the system, chasing it down eventually, and finally boarding it where Duun was shot by Thorn's gene-father. Anyway read it more recently, and could you tell me where you think it falls in the timeline? Bo-Lingua 21:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I think you are right about the Hatani being visited before they are FTL capable, and your description of the events seems about right to me. I don't believe Cherryh ever placed it in her timeline except in the ambiguous "Age of Exploration" category. Therefore I think the Tharp timeline reference must be wrong, and will remove it. Fairsing 05:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
My recollection of the book is that the humans did not have FTL capabilities. The crippled human ship the Shonunin chased sent distress messages out of the Shonunin's solar system requesting help. Nine years later (I think it was 9), the Shonunin picked up a message from the humans - that's 4½ years for the message from the crippled ship to reach the human base, and another 4½ years for the return message. That was why the Shonunin were expecting the humans to return. Now if the humans had FTL ships, help would have arrived in less than 9 years. To quote Tharp: "The impassable distances of light space play an important role in the book, indicating that jump was not yet in use by humans." I see no reason to doubt this reference. --Bruce1ee 07:32, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
The quote just doesn't jive with me, Bruce1ee. (Thanks for putting it up, all the same. It's good that we discuss this, after all). For me it wasn't in the least surprising to think that there wouldn't have been a follow up. During the Merchanter novels, how many ships go missing, and how much follow up is there? I've alwasy thought that they just wouldn't follow up because "jump" was something iffy, and a number of the stories mention ships that drop off "the radar" (Tripoint, among others.) Bo-Lingua 15:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
The central question here is, did the humans have FTL ships? That helps place the story on the A-U timeline. Notwithstanding the quote, my interpretation of the story is that the humans could not have had FTL capabilities, based on my argument above. --Bruce1ee 06:25, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
My interpretation has always been that the human ship was indeed FTL, but that the humans were waiting for additional transmissions or something else before coming into the system in force. In other words, since the Shonunin are not FTL-capable, they present no real threat to humans, and so the humans can more or less let them develop naturally and monitor the situation without sending in new forces. This would be essentially consistent with the Gehenna doctrine, which certainly dates from after the beginning of the FTL era. Fairsing 04:25, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
My reasoning for placing it later (post-FTL, Company War, Era of Rapprochement): If it were early on, and messages were being sent through the "ether" I would think that there would be a significant blip in the timeline, since Pell caused such furor on Earth, and FTL was developed essentially just before the "Cold" Company War got started into a full blown interstellar war. It would've been fuel to the flame, if you will.
Granted, not even Cherryh herself has definitively placed it, but with the understanding of her universe, I would say that it would be post-Bok, post-Company Wars and definitely fall into and be explained away by the Gehenna Doctrine as suggested by Fairsing, if that were the timeframe it falls under. Bo-Lingua 08:55, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
OK, it seems clear that this story can be interpreted in many different ways. It's told from the alien's point of view and we never know what the humans are up to, or what technology they have, and Ms. Cherryh leaves it to the reader's imagination to fill in the blanks. So in that respect, perhaps it is best not to attempt to place it on the A-U timeline. --Bruce1ee 13:58, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Or we could state that because this story is told from the alien's perspective and beacuse Ms. Cherryh uses a very tight third person, we don't ever know when exactly it takes place, but we do know that it takes place at some point in the A-U Universe, because she herself has placed it there. How does that sound? Bo-Lingua 21:07, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm happy with that. --Bruce1ee 05:23, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

I added the category 1980s science fiction novels. Transcendentalist01 (talk) 22:21, 28 February 2014 (UTC)