[[caption-width-right:200:“Science fiction is a dialogue, a tennis match, in which the Idea is volleyed from one side of the net to the other. Ridiculous to say that someone 'stole' an idea: no, no, a thousand times no. The point is the volley, and how it's carried, and what statement is made by the answering 'statement.' In other words — if Burroughs initiates a time-gate and says it works randomly, and then Norton has time gates confounded with the Perilous Seat, the Siege Perilous of the Round Table, and locates it in a bar on a rainy night — do you see both the humor and the volley in the tennis match?”.]]

American SpeculativeFiction author, fairly prolific. She was a Classics teacher before working full-time as a writer, with a degree in Latin and a Masters in Classics. Unsurprisingly given the humanities background, her works tend more towards examining the social implications of things. Has written a fair amount of fantasy, but she's best known for her science fiction, having won two [[HugoAward Hugos]] for novels and one for a short story. Most of the science fiction elements in her stories tend to be of the "[[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard]]" variety, with FasterThanLightTravel generally being the only major deviation from currently understood physics, but, her works fall more in line with social science fiction.

Her real name is actually "C.J. Cherry," with no "H" on the end. [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/H/h.html This was added by her first publisher]], who felt that "C.J. Cherry" did not [[AsLongAsItSoundsForeign look exotic enough]] to grace the cover of a science fiction book.

Has [[http://www.cherryh.com/ her own extensive website]].
!!! Works with their own page on this wiki:
* ''Literature/AllianceUnion'', which contains many sub-series, some only lightly connected:
** ''Literature/{{Cyteen}}'' / ''Regenesis'', the story of the young clone of Ariane Emory, one of the founders of Union.
** The ''Literature/ChanurNovels'', in which the viewpoint characters are alien [[CatFolk lion-like creatures]].
** The ''Literature/MorgaineCycle'', essentially fantasy novels but with a tenuous tie-in to the ''Alliance/Union'' chronology
* The ''Literature/{{Foreigner}}'' 'verse, dealing with the troubles of Bren Cameron, liaison between a [[LostColony stranded human populace]] and a world of aliens with [[RubberForeheadAliens deceptively humanoid appearance]] and very [[InhumanEmotion nonhuman psychology]].
* ''Literature/ThePaladin'' -- LowFantasy martial-arts story set in essentially medieval China, in which pig-girl Taizu turns up on exiled swordsmaster Saukendar's doorstep to learn the skills she needs for revenge.

!!! Other works include:
* The ''Faded Sun'' trilogy, aka ''The Mri Wars'', set in the ''Alliance/Union'' 'verse, and centered around a desert-based alien warrior race
* The ''Rider/Finisterre'' novels, a planet-set adventure with a number of WildWest elements. Cowboys on alien horses.
* The ''Fortress'' series, HighFantasy centered on the friendship between Tristen, a reborn ancient king and Cefwyn, the current ruler of his lands.
* Russian series, a magical ghost story set in a Slavic (vs generic European) setting
* ''The Dreaming Tree'', HighFantasy with elves.
* ''Lois & Clarke: A Superman Novel'', a licensed novel based on the TV series, ''Series/LoisAndClark''.
* ''Hunter of Worlds'', science fiction about an alien man named Aiela who is taken as a servant by a powerful member of the predatory iduve race and technologically mind-linked to two other people (one of them human) for the purpose of resolving an iduve political conflict.
!! Her works display examples of:
* ActionGirl: Taizu from The Paladin.
* ArrowsOnFire: employed by Shoka from the Paladin.
* AmnesiacDissonance - It's pretty clear that Tristen fell under GoodIsNotNice at ''best'' in his previous life.
* AutomatonHorses: Adverted strongly in multiple works. Her characters fall off horses, get horses shot out from under them, switch remounts to prevent exhaustion, have trouble going through thick woods after people on foot, and spend a tremendous amount of time feeding, brushing, and caring for their mounts. Strongest in the Morgaine, Paladin and Finisterre novels, but it even shows up in the conventional SF works.
* BattleCouple: Taizu and Shoka from The Paladin.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor - In the ''Rusalka'' fantasy trilogy, a wizard's wishes will come true -- all of them. Somehow. Not always in a way that's good for the wizard. Wishing a stone to fly won't make it levitate -- it'll cause ''something'' to come along and fling that stone through the air. "Wish a stone to fly -- and then beware the whirlwind."
** Tristen has to watch this, because his wishes have a lot of power.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality - The Atevi in the ''Foreigner'' series who don't have the concepts of love or friendship, but do have something called "man'chi". Bitter experience has shown that humans and Atevi shouldn't mix except through the one authorized translator-ambassador.
** Also almost all the alien races in the Chanur novels.
** Even some of the human cultures in the Alliance/Union universe.
** Tristen just doesn't think like a human.
** In ''Hunter of Worlds'', the iduve are this. They don't understand love or friendship--the closest they can get to saying they like someone is to say that the person has "chanokhia" (which is roughly equivalent to "virtue" or "artistry"). And they see nothing wrong with destroying an entire planet just to kill one person. And the person they want to roast sees nothing wrong with [[spoiler: essentially marrying the woman who was going to kill him.]]
* BoardingParty - The power-armoured marines of ''Rimrunners'', and other armed groups boarding stations and taking control in the Literature/AllianceUnion series.
* BondCreatures - the night horses in her ''Rider'' series.
* CameBackWrong - Tristen. Mauryl wanted a {{Badass}}, but got someone with the mind of a child. Even after he TookALevelInBadass, he's still a FriendToAllLivingThings CloudCuckooLander trying to figure out HowDoIShotWeb instead of a ruthless MagicKnight conquerer.
* CrystalDragonJesus[=/=]CorruptChurch - The state religion in the Fortress series.
* DysfunctionJunction - ''Finity's End'': A boy abandoned by his family to the plight of an addict mother for two decades. ''Tripoint'': A boy raised by an abusive mother, the product of rape and kidnapped by his father's ship. ''Cyteen'': A woman raised to be her own clone and having to fight off her own predatory sexuality and deal with the raped clone of a man she wanted to rape... twice, while growing up. If there was a happy family in her universe, Cherryh killed it with fire.
* EldritchAbomination - What Tristen was called back to fight. [[spoiler:And probably Tristen himself is a HumanoidAbomination, although a very nice one.]]
* FantasticRacism:
* FriendToAllLivingThings - Tristen, especially regarding horses and birds. [[spoiler:[[KickTheDog Killing his birds]] is used to get to him more than once.]]
* GreyEyes - Tristen, and any human with enough Sihhe blood to be a potential wizard.
* GrimUpNorth - Tristen's ultimate origin... probably.[[spoiler: Although Mauryls thought as he prepares to shape Tristen that one man had reached the skill of shaping in the days of the Old Kingdoms,]] combined with Tristen's thought [[spoiler: in Dragons about whoever had Shaped the Sihhe originally]] implies that the five Sihhe had an origin even further back.
*HappinessInSlavery: In ''Hunter of Worlds'', Isande and all the other noi kami are essentially slaves to the iduve--while they're allowed to live mostly as they see fit, disobeying an iduve is unthinkable, there's no way for them to leave, and nobody does anything if a pissed-off iduve kills one of them (unless the dead nas kame happens to be a favorite of another, more powerful iduve). But most of them seem happy and content, and Isande looks down on Aiela for being world-born, finding her own ancestry of service to the iduve far more impressive than his important politician father.
* HonorBeforeReason - Pyanfar sheltering Tully
* HumansThroughAlienEyes - ''The Pride of Chanur'' and ''Hunter of Worlds''.
* IAmXSonofY - The amaut introduce themselves as X son of Y son of Z son of A of karsh (clan) A. In especially formal circumstances, they will list their ''entire pedrigee''.
* IntrepidMerchant - Pyanfar Chanur
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: Iduve fight before mating (not that the actual mating is much gentler).
* InterspeciesRomance - DoubleSubverted with Bren and Jago, since Jago is incapable of understanding what romance is. [[spoiler:They still end up sleeping together.]]
** Pops up again in ''Hunter of Worlds'', almost exactly the same way. Margaret (human) is in love with Tejef (iduve). This confuses and sometimes distresses him because he has no idea what it ''means''. Iduve will also sometimes engage in mating for pleasure with their hereditary bond-servants.
* KingInTheMountain - There are legends of this in the Fortress series: the rulers of the second major country are called Regents explicitly because of this.
* LongRunningBookSeries - the ''Foreigner'' series. Also the Literature/AllianceUnion universe, if "stories in the same '{{verse}} by the same author" counts as a "series".
* ManofSteelWomanOfKleenex: Played with. Iduve are much stronger than every other species in the setting, but when they engage in pleasure-mating they're usually able to keep themselves under control and it's not a problem. However, Margaret treats Tejef like her equal since she wasn't raised to be a nas kami, so he sometimes gets the urge to respond to her as he'd respond to an iduve woman--ie, violently and with his full strength, since iduve having sex beat the crap out of each other first and during. He's able to repress it but he has to get away from her first.
* MustBeInvited - Human dwellings are guarded by lines. Making sure that those lines aren't weakened either by carelessness or enemy action is a major concern in the Fortress series.
* OfThePeople - ''Faded Sun''
* ObfuscatingStupidity - A lot of people accuse Tristen of this, and even his best friend gets paranoid about it on occassion. Subverted since Tristen just really has that little clue about the world he's found himself in, complicated by the fact that he perceives reality differently.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: in the Tree of Swords and Jewels the plot is driven, although for a long time it's not clear, by Nathair Stheach, imprisoned under the roots of the titular tree, who Arafel stayed to guard against. He's been driving the conflict, manipulating the Drow, and breathing distrust and poison in everyone's ears, to set him free.
* OurElvesAreBetter - She uses several varieties. Wood Elves are common. Tristen is a subversion: he's a CloudCuckooLander who spends a lot of time needing help and advice from the older and wiser humans around him, as opposed to giving them advice, and while he does give advice, it's not condemnation of human culture and so on but practical stuff like [[SeriousBusiness 'Remember to close the windows.']]
** Her novelette "Pots" was published in Janet Morris's anthology "Afterwar"...and was submitted after Morris complained that she was getting a lot of (unwanted) post-apoc stories about elves. Morris took the story anyway - probably because these elves had spaceships, AI moonrovers, and rayguns.
** "Scapegoat" (a Hugo nominee) uses 'elves' in-universe as slang for the aliens.
* PhysicalGod - Tristen, pretty much.
* PowerOfFriendship - Averted in the Foreigner series, or even inverted, since Bren will generally pay for feeling that way. Invoked in the Fortress series, where Cefwyn is told that about the only option he has for dealing with a PhysicalGod who was probably brought back in order to overthrow him is to get Tristen to like him too much to want to. It works.
* PregnantBadass: You ''do not'' piss off a pregnant iduve. The hormones turn their natural strength and viciousness UpToEleven, and they become wildly unpredictable even by the standards of their own kind. When a clan ship's leader is pregnant, other ships avoid them like the plague.
* RapeIsLove - In ''Tripoint'', Tom has to deal with a ''nightwalker'', who shows her loneliness and desire for any sort of human contact by repeatedly and sadomasochistically raping him.
* RealityWarper - Tristen, in the Fortress series.
* RescueRomance - Tristen and Ninevrise are sort of set up to have one of these. [[spoiler:She marries Cefwyn instead.]]
* RightfulKingReturns - Tristen, who doesn't want any.
* RitualMagic - In the Fortress universe, complicated by the fact that a lot of ordinary actions have ritual magic significance and modern people don't know this. A SealedEvilInACan nearly escaped because [[spoiler:the church had been remodeled and the priests started walking the wrong lines,]] messing up the GeometricMagic. It works for perfectly normal people, but better for HalfHumanHybrids [[spoiler:and it's amazing how many descendants Tristen and his fellows have running around]]. Tristen eventually becomes savvy about this, leading to some CassandraTruth and CassandraDidIt moments when people don't take the warnings seriously.
* RuleOfThree - SeriousBusiness for Tristen, because the RitualMagic of the setting means that repeating something three times puts magical power into making it true, and Tristen has a lot of power to throw around. Most people, on the other hand, don't get that it is that important.
** Invoked often in the Dreaming Tree, where to know a name and call it three times is to call or bind the one it belongs to. Arafel gives the children the name of a water horse, who aides them during the final battle.
** Also a felicitous number to the [[Literature/{{Foreigner}} Atevi]].
* SamusIsAGirl - ''The Paladin''
* SpaceFighter - ''Hellburner'' centers on a fairly realistic SpaceFighter -- the eponymous Hellburner. Being essentially a carrier launched missile-firing-missile it is exceptionally difficult and physically punishing to fly.
* 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.
* TheVerse - Most of Cherryh's works fit somewhere in her Literature/AllianceUnion universe. Note that her website doesn't necessarily show all the linkages, considering only the novels on the "direct line" in that universe; afterwords and appendices link many of the others in, including some of the seemingly-fantasy works.
* TheWoobie - Tristen. Mentally very young, he loses the only father he's ever known to a nameless evil and [[AndIMustScream sees his face locked in the walls]]; then there's the identity issues and how likely they are to cost him his new home and family, and the fact he keeps getting abandoned by people ''especially'' when he really needs them. And the fact the forces of evil [[KickTheDog kill his birds]] a lot. [[WhoWantsToLiveForever Then he starts noticing that Uwen is aging.]]
* TitleDrop: "Hail, ''Ashanome'', hunter of worlds."
* TooDumbToLive - Bren Cameron's reaction to his temporary replacement [[spoiler:turns out she's a NotSoHarmlessVillain]] and the several times in the Fortress series when Tristen tells people that they really do need to do something that seems utterly trivial or like an enormous headache and they think it can't be ''that'' important.
* WildMagic - Tristen [[spoiler:and the real BigBad are sort of avatars of it.]]