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C. J. Cherryh

answers the Usual Questions

photograph: C J Cherryh (from

C. J. Cherryh

C. J. Cherryh has a wide range of interests including languages, genealogy and history, science, and archaelogy. She watches a lot of science, history and other documentary programs.

She admits that she once lost a trivia contest about her own books.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Generally it's been positive. At times when I've had a hard time with my publishers [schedules, conflicts, etc] a kind word from my readers goes a long way.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Well, there was the chap who yelled at me in a very loud voice about being a dastardly sumbitch who didn't care about the readers because I'd killed a character, and then the chap asked me to sign his book.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

I like Moorcock, Leiber...the Grey Mouser, the Eternal Champion, and I enjoy Tolkein. Now, that's different from who influences my writing...although Fritz has had a considerable influence there, too. He's one of the most seamless craftsmen in the field. You don't see his hands move.

Jack Williamson was one of my starts in the field, for what-I-read at the right moment.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Probably Fancher and Abbey: we get along realtime. I think we could survive that.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

I decline to answer. But I will tell concoms who propose to put me on another panel with him.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Lots of coffee.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Mostly I enjoy telling myself stories. I figure while that's true I will more likely please others.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Hearing that someone recommended it to the next generation.

submitted by C. J. Cherryh

April, 1997

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: September 1, 1942, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Resides: Spokane, WA
Bibliography/Awards: Bio and Bibliography

Web site:


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