History Literature / Foreigner

15th Nov '16 6:57:25 PM KhymChanur
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Two hundred years later, there are two factions of the descendants of the original humans, and tensions between the factions have reached the breaking point. One faction builds jerry-rigged landing vessels and use them to land on the planet on the island of Mospheira, while the other faction takes the refueled ''Phoenix'' off into space, intent on finding long lost Earth. The humans who landed make contact with the atevi (who were just entering their Steam Age) and the humans and atevi seem to be getting on well. However, each species makes the mistaken assumption that the other species has the exact same sort of government and power structures as they do, leading to lots of misunderstandings. Twenty years worth of misunderstandings lead to the War of the Landing, which almost wipes out the LostColony. Fortunately, the leader of the largest atevi government struck a deal with the colony, which came to be known as the Treaty. According to the treaty:

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Two hundred years later, there are two factions of the descendants of the original humans, and tensions between the factions have reached the breaking point. One faction builds jerry-rigged landing vessels and use them to land on the planet on the island of Mospheira, while the other faction takes the refueled ''Phoenix'' off into space, intent on finding long lost Earth. The humans who landed make contact with the atevi (who were just entering their Steam Age) and the humans and atevi seem to be getting on well. However, [[FirstContactFauxPas each species makes the mistaken assumption that the other species has the exact same sort of government and power structures as they do, do]], leading to lots of misunderstandings. Twenty years worth of misunderstandings lead to the War of the Landing, which almost wipes out the LostColony. Fortunately, the leader of the largest atevi government struck a deal with the colony, which came to be known as the Treaty. According to the treaty:
23rd Oct '16 6:29:18 PM KhymChanur
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* FirstContactFauxPas: When humans first land on the atevi's planet they make the mistaken assumption that, just like humans, the atevi equivalent of governments have borders. The led the humans to ''think'' they were dealing with a single government when they were in fact double-crossing and triple-crossing multiple governments, a misunderstanding that eventually led to the War of the Landing.
27th Sep '16 1:20:21 AM PaulA
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* BlueAndOrangeMorality: If an atevi contracts with the [[MurderInc Assassin's Guild]] to kill someone, the target is informed of the fact ahead of time. If, in spite of the warning, the target is killed, it isn't considered to be murder.

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* BlueAndOrangeMorality: BlueAndOrangeMorality:
** The atevi can't understand the concept of friendship, but have their own biologically-based, heirarchical system of loyalty called man'chi.
**
If an atevi contracts with the [[MurderInc Assassin's Guild]] to kill someone, the target is informed of the fact ahead of time. If, in spite of the warning, the target is killed, it isn't considered to be murder.



* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: All the titles in the series are one singular noun ending in "-er" or "-or".



* MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels: A not-quite-fluent professional translator between humans and the alien atevi says, in the atevi language, "pregnant calendar" when she means "urgent meeting", and [[spoiler:"disintegrate and abase your weapons" when she means "surrender and throw down your weapons"]].



* TeleportationMisfire: The Hyperspace version of this happens at the start of the series: some malfunction with the Hyperspace engine sends the human starship to a completely uncharted region of space.
* TokenHuman: Bren Cammeron. Being a diplomat who's the only human allowed off the human enclave of Mospheira, he spends most of his time in the company of the alien atevi.



* TheXenophile: Bren has a rather large fascination and affection for the Atevi and their culture. [[spoiler: So much so that he eventually drops any pretense of taking orders from Mospheira and openly becomes Tabini's agent instead, and begins living permanently on the Mainland. Certain humans are... not happy about this.]]
** Cajeiri the 8 year old kid of Tabini is obsessed with Human Culture, and can speak fluently several languages. This is not however a good thing as Cajeiri has difficulty relating to his own kind.

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* TheXenophile: {{Xenofiction}}: The Foreigner novels are borderline examples, since they largely follow the human interpreter to an alien race, but the focus is the alien psychology. Later books add an alien as a second viewpoint character.
* TheXenophile:
**
Bren has a rather large fascination and affection for the Atevi and their culture. [[spoiler: So [[spoiler:So much so that he eventually drops any pretense of taking orders from Mospheira and openly becomes Tabini's agent instead, and begins living permanently on the Mainland. Certain humans are... not happy about this.]]
** Cajeiri the 8 year old kid of Tabini is obsessed with Human Culture, and can speak fluently several languages. This is not however a good thing as Cajeiri has difficulty relating to his own kind.kind.
----
26th Sep '16 9:37:25 PM PaulA
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* CallASmeerpARabbit: This is (unsuccessfully) [[DefiedTrope defied]] by one of the first human biologists to land on the world of the alien ''atevi''. The biologist argues that though there are things on the atevi's planet that look and act a lot like grass/trees/etc from the old Earth of the humans, ''calling'' them grass/trees/etc could cause humans to assume that they're exactly like the Earth lifeforms when there might be important, yet-to-be-discovered differences. The biologist is ignored and the human colonists wind up calling them grass/trees/etc.
* CentrifugalGravity: All starships and space stations use this, as the sci-fi is on the "hard" end of the scale.


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* GoingNative: Bren Cameron essentially does this. Which is not taken too well at first by the (human) government he was supposedly representing, or the people close to him he now is not able to see except very occasionally.
26th Sep '16 8:18:19 PM PaulA
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* InterspeciesRomance: DoubleSubverted with Bren and Jago, since Jago is incapable of understanding what romance is. [[spoiler:They still end up sleeping together.]]


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* PowerOfFriendship: Averted, or even inverted, since Bren will generally pay for feeling that way.


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* TactfulTranslation: A central trope of the Foreigner verse, where Bren's tact and diplomacy has resulted in him being the paidhi, the only one allowed to translate between the humans and the aliens, even when he is no longer the only person who can speak to the aliens.
* TooDumbToLive: Bren Cameron's reaction to his temporary replacement [[spoiler:turns out she's a NotSoHarmlessVillain]].
20th Jan '16 9:14:47 PM digitalsidhe
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* ChekhovsGunman: In ''Inheritor'', [[spoiler: Rejiri, "the boy from Dur"]] begins as a minor nuisance and distraction. Near the end of the book, he suddenly gains everyone's undivided attention when he notes that, [[spoiler: as a resident of the isle of Dur, he knows the currents in the Strait of Mospheira and can predict where Yolanda-paidhi will wind up when she tries to cross it]].



** The reverse also applies, since the atevi feel an emotion unknown to humans, ''manchi''. Humans can ''sort'' of understand it, since it's sort of like loyalty and sort of like a flocking instinct, but humans can never fully understand it, never grasp it at a gut/intuitive level, and never ''ever'' actually feel it.

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** The reverse also applies, since the atevi feel an emotion unknown to humans, ''manchi''.''man'chi''. Humans can ''sort'' of understand it, since it's sort of like loyalty and sort of like a flocking instinct, but humans can never fully understand it, never grasp it at a gut/intuitive level, and never ''ever'' actually feel it.
30th Jun '15 10:08:59 AM callsignecho
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* UnreliableNarrator: Though it's not Bren's fault, and serves to underscore the fact that if an empathetic, mathematical and linguistic genius like Bren can't decipher the Atevi mind, overcoming an such immense communication gap would be simply impossible for 99.9% of the human population. The audience is told Atevi don't have words for love or friendship because they don't ''have'' those feelings, and it's accepted as an indisputable fact for several books. It's not until well into the series that Bren begins to question this, noting that while they don't have ''general'' terms like humans, they have very ''specific'' names for different kinds of relationships, and these relationships can be as binding as any human friendship or marriage. Even humans acknowledge there are many different kinds of love, despite using the catchall term more than any other...so do the Atevi feel "love"? They would say no. Bren would say...
24th Jun '15 7:52:53 PM Micah
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* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: ''Peacekeeper'', the fifteenth novel in the series, centers around major character Cajeiri's ninth birthday party and wraps up a number of plot threads that have been dangling since about book seven. It has several remarks to the effect that "the next wholly auspicious number after nine is fifteen" in the numerology of the atevi. In-universe, it's Cajeiri noting -- or someone noting to him -- that this is the most significant birthday party he's going to get for quite a while. But it also reads as meta-commentary; since Cherryh didn't manage to wrap up these particular plots by book nine, she needed to drag them out through book fifteen if she wanted the structure of the series to respect its character's numerology.
14th Nov '14 8:55:37 PM Sabreur
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* RubberForeheadAliens: The only visible difference between humans and atevi are that the atevi are taller, have gold colored eyes, pitch black skin (darker than even the darkest human skin, and shading to grey as it gets lighter), pointed ears, and no facial or body hair. Oh, and their sweat smells like petroleum products. This actually causes a lot of problems - atevi <i>look</i> human-like, but they <i>think</i> [[BlueAndOrangeMorality much differently]] - assuming otherwise causes... [[HilarityEnsues problems]].

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* RubberForeheadAliens: The only visible difference between humans and atevi are that the atevi are taller, have gold colored eyes, pitch black skin (darker than even the darkest human skin, and shading to grey as it gets lighter), pointed ears, and no facial or body hair. Oh, and their sweat smells like petroleum products. This actually causes a lot of problems - atevi <i>look</i> ''look'' human-like, but they <i>think</i> ''think'' [[BlueAndOrangeMorality much differently]] - assuming differently]]. Assuming otherwise causes... [[HilarityEnsues problems]].
14th Nov '14 8:53:32 PM Sabreur
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* RubberForeheadAliens: The only visible difference between humans and atevi are that the atevi are taller, have gold colored eyes, pitch black skin (darker than even the darkest human skin, and shading to grey as it gets lighter), pointed ears, and no facial or body hair. Oh, and their sweat smells like petroleum products.

to:

* RubberForeheadAliens: The only visible difference between humans and atevi are that the atevi are taller, have gold colored eyes, pitch black skin (darker than even the darkest human skin, and shading to grey as it gets lighter), pointed ears, and no facial or body hair. Oh, and their sweat smells like petroleum products. This actually causes a lot of problems - atevi <i>look</i> human-like, but they <i>think</i> [[BlueAndOrangeMorality much differently]] - assuming otherwise causes... [[HilarityEnsues problems]].
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