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Rimrunners [Mass Market Paperback]

C. J. Cherryh
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 12.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Jan 1990
A new novel from the author of "Downbelow Station", "Merchanter's Luck" and "40,000 in Gehenna".
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (Jan 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0445209798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0445209794
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 651,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living with the Enemy 27 Nov 2002
Format:Hardcover
This is yet another of Cherryh's books set in her Alliance-Union universe, but told from a rather different perspective than most of the others in this series.
Very little of this book is actually about the war, instead choosing to focus on a middle-aged female warrior, Bet Yeager, who has been effectively marooned on one of the Rim stations, and living from hand to mouth while avoiding detection by any cognizant authority. Finally left with no more options on the station, she takes a new berth on a 'shadow' spy ship belonging to what to her is the 'enemy'. Once on board, she has to earn the respect of her shipmates, put up with sadistic officers, and keep a clamp on her history from 'the other side'. With this as a basic outline, the story really revolves around her continuing growth as a person, stretching herself to perform actions she didn't believe she was capable of, and the (sometimes strange) friendships she makes as she learns the ins and outs of her new shipboard comrades.
Told in Cherryh's typical breathless style, often with incomplete sentences, a frequent recourse to alphabet-soup acronyms, and backgrounds that are often only sketched in, the story ripples rapidly towards its climax, making for quick reading. Perhaps a little too quick, as there is a little bit of a rushed feeling to the climax. And as always with Cherryh, this style takes some getting used to, and readers unfamiliar with some of other books in the series may feel a little lost.
There is some real action here, of the type that Cherryh is known for, but filtered through Yeager's perceptions.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read It! 1 July 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Real. Life at the gritty end, on space stations, on the lower decks of military spacecraft, on the rim of known space. This book is set in C. J. Cherryh's 'Merchanters' universe. A female crewmember who has been marooned on a station on the Rim signs up in desperation with a cargo ship with shady military connections to a former enemy nation. The vocabulary, the ships, the technology, the people and the story are all so convincing that it comes as rather a shock to find oneself back in the 20th century at the end of the book! Yes I'm biased. C. J. Cherryh is my favourite author in any genre. Read her - she'll soon be yours too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong but isolated book 15 Oct 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
C.J. Cherryh has produced one the most underrated entries to SF with her Alliance-Union series. This book is a good example of why it is underrated. Rather than continuing with plot or characters from another book, Cherryh jumps into the sad and sorry aftermath of events in "Downbelow Station" and other books in the sequence, and relentless forces the other side of the coin on us. It's a strong, compelling tale, but not actually very pleasant to read at times.

Bett Yeager is stranded and destitute on a space station that itself is badly isolated and in danger of bankruptcy. She is an uncompromising and unwelcoming character, but Cherryh's real skills come to the fore as she fascinates you with this character and slowly brings you to understand her a little. Yeager is hiding things from everyone, including the reader, and even herself. In desperation, she signs up with a very shady ship that claims to be a honest trader, but fools no-one. Instead, it haunts the black market that supports the remainder of the defeated Fleet. The crew is jumpy and withdrawn, and Yeager tries to find a place, with limited success.

Cherryh is brilliant at showing the social consequences of technology, and the atmosphere of the lower decks of the ship feels real. The amusements of people trapped with each other for months are obviously limited, so she gives us a culture of drink, sex, vids, backbiting and plotting.

As usual, the "big plot" seems to come in late in Cherryh's books. In this case, there is a tense and dangerous sequence that shows a minor consequence of the war with intense detail, whilst satisfyingly bringing together the personal relationships of several characters.

You will miss little in the wider Alliance-Union sequence by skipping Rimrunners, but it's well worth picking up for the experience of craft, plotting, and character that is Cherryh's forte.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it! 25 Aug 1997
By dbrose@quarry1.agric.za - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Real. Life at the gritty end, on space stations, on the lower decks of military spacecraft, on the rim of known space.

This book is set in C. J. Cherryh's 'Merchanters' universe. A (female) crew tech who has been marooned on a station on the Rim signs up in desperation with a cargo ship with shady military connections. Her misgivings are not without foundation!

The vocabulary, the ships, the technology, the people and the story are all so convincing that it
comes as rather a shock to find oneself back in the 20th century at the end of the book!

Yes I'm biased. C. J. Cherryh is my favourite author in any genre. Read her - she'll soon be yours too.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living with the Enemy 27 Nov 2002
By Patrick Shepherd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is yet another of Cherryh's books set in her Alliance-Union universe, but told from a rather different perspective than most of the others in this series.
Very little of this book is actually about the war, instead choosing to focus on a middle-aged female warrior, Bet Yeager, who has been effectively marooned on one of the Rim stations, and living from hand to mouth while avoiding detection by any cognizant authority. Finally left with no more options on the station, she takes a new berth on a 'shadow' spy ship belonging to what to her is the 'enemy'. Once on board, she has to earn the respect of her shipmates, put up with sadistic officers, and keep a clamp on her history from 'the other side'. With this as a basic outline, the story really revolves around her continuing growth as a person, stretching herself to perform actions she didn't believe she was capable of, and the (sometimes strange) friendships she makes as she learns the ins and outs of her new shipboard comrades.
Told in Cherryh's typical breathless style, often with incomplete sentences, a frequent recourse to alphabet-soup acronyms, and backgrounds that are often only sketched in, the story ripples rapidly towards its climax, making for quick reading. Perhaps a little too quick, as there is a little bit of a rushed feeling to the climax. And as always with Cherryh, this style takes some getting used to, and readers unfamiliar with some of other books in the series may feel a little lost.
There is some real action here, of the type that Cherryh is known for, but filtered through Yeager's perceptions. Beyond the action, the item that makes this stand out from the run-of-mill works is the strong character development of Yeager in the face of multiple difficult situations, some of which would have a direct correspondence to the problems of women in the American workplace. Some of Yeager's solutions to certain of her situations will put a new face on casual sexual relations on a mixed gender ship, an item of relevance now for the Navy. But this is not a strident call to the feminist movement, but rather a statement in story form of the real power and necessity of independent women, of women living up to (and being allowed to do so) their full potential.
A different viewpoint, a strong female role model, perhaps a little too short and rushed, but still a strong work.
--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The strongest woman hero ever to appear in science fiction! 11 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you have ever wished for a "classic" science fiction action adventure novel with a female lead... this is it. Bet Yeager (our hero) is a combat soldier who has been separated from her unit and must find her own way in enemy space. From the very first pages, Yeager is relentlessly focused, unshakeably stubborn, and merciless in the face of attack. She finds allies, but needs no one to rescue her. She can be friendly, but she has never simpered or batted her eyelashes in her life. Yeager is the strongest woman character I have ever met & the book is worth a read for that alone. As always, Cherryh's writing gives you a world (and a character) to fall into. This is my favorite of all of Cherryh's science fiction novels.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites... 23 May 2010
By N. Trachta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Something that I love is a good space opera where the characters are strong and the action is good; and Rimrunners is one of these. Ahhh, I love it, Ms. Cherryh expands her Alliance Space Universe by telling us the story of a former Company Fleet Marine (Elizabeth Yeager) who's trying to get back to the Fleet. However Bet is at the armpit of Alliance Space, Thule station, and she's looking for anyway off station that will take her closer to The Company Fleet. What makes for a strong story is that Ms. Cherryh takes a slightly different approach from other writers with this story by having Bet Yeager being homeless (she's living on the docks of Thule, in the bathrooms we're told) and describes Bet's situation and feelings almost like you're traveling with her. Merging Bet's "situation" with an opportunity to escape Thule on an Alliance ship (Loki, she's "more than she seems") makes for an interesting set of situations for Bet who has to confront her past with her present.

Rating wise this one's a very solid 4.5-5 star book for me. I love the action and the set-up. The characters are nicely done with Ms. Cherryh breathing so much life into Bet Yeager, NG, and the other characters. When you find tertiary character (Mr. Finch, , or even Wolf) who add their print to a book, you have to love it. Merging this with the strength of Ms. Cherryh's Alliance Space Universe make this a space opera that I love to come back and read again and again. Five stars for me or anyone who enjoys CJ Cherry's stories.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grand read overall 29 May 2010
By Nina M. Osier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Elizabeth "Bet" Yeager finds herself a refugee, stuck aboard a space station that is gradually being wound down for decommissioning. After 20 years as a marine aboard the military vessel Africa, the space-born Yeager refuses to eke out a living by taking station work. She shows up at the registry every day, even after she's reduced to eating nothing and sleeping in a public restroom, because she insists on waiting for a berth aboard a ship. Any ship - including the one that finally has work for her. A "spook" ship, the Loki. Which no crew member leaves except by dying.

Bet knows how to get along just about anywhere, as long as she's in space. She starts making friends aboard the Loki, and the last thing in the universe she wants them to know about her is that she got separated from Africa by the chances of war - because most of Loki's crew members have the best of reasons to hate the military in general and ships like Africa in particular. A former merchanter like NG Ramey, one of Bet's new "mates" in Engineering, probably has more reason than most. So finding herself drawn to Ramey, the Loki's pariah, distresses Bet on more than one level. Yet no man she's ever known has made her feel the way he does...and besides, she understands about being an outsider. So she takes on the lost cause that is NG Ramey, and with him his worst enemy: the Loki's XO.

Bet Yeager could just as easily be a pirate on an ancient Terran ship, and I think it highly likely that such ships formed the model for Cherryh's Loki crew. The future universe depicted here has Humans operating just as we always have on Earth, and while that is frightening it also makes for top-notch adventure and plenty of dramatic tension. My one dissatisfaction with the story is its abrupt ending. I normally enjoy being left with enough loose ends hanging to make me use my imagination; but this time I closed the book feeling that I didn't have enough information to do that. Still, a grand read overall! 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of 2005 science fiction EPPIE winner "Regs"
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