Hammerfall by C. J. Cherryh
(Gene Wars 1)

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One of the most renowned figures in science fiction, C.J. Cherryh has been enthralling audiences for nearly thirty years with rich and complex novels. Now at the peak of her career, this three-time Hugo Award winner launches her most ambitious work in decades, Hammerfall, part of a far-ranging series, The Gene Wars, set in an entirely new universe scarred by the most vicious of future weaponry, nanotechnology. In this brilliant novel -- possibly Cherryh's masterwork -- the fate of billions has come down to a confrontation between two profoundly alien cultures on a single desert planet.

"The mad shall be searched out and given to the Ila's messengers. No man shall conceal madness in his wife, or his son, or his daughter, or his father. Every one must be delivered up." -- The Book of the Ila's Au'it

Marak has suffered the madness his entire life. He is a prince and warrior, strong and shrewd and expert in the ways of the desert covering his planet. In the service of his father, he has dedicated his life to overthrowing the Ila, the mysterious eternal dictator of his world. For years he has successfully hidden the visions that plague him -- voices pulling him eastward, calling Marak, Marak, Marak, amid mind-twisting visions of a silver tower. But when his secret is discovered, Marak is betrayed by his own father and forced to march in an endless caravan with the rest of his world's madmen to the Ila's city of Oburan.

Instead of death, Marak finds in Oburan his destiny, and the promise of life -- if he can survive what is surely a suicidal mission. The Ila wants him to discover the source of the voices and visions that afflict the mad. Despite the danger sof the hostile desert, tensions within the caravan, and his own excruciating doubts, Marak miraculously reaches his goal -- only to be given another, even more impossible mission by the strange people in the towers.

According to these beings who look like him yet act differently than anyone he has ever known, Marak has a slim chance to save his world's people from the wrath of Ila's enemies. But to do so, he must convince them all -- warring tribes, villagers, priests, young and old, as well as the Ila herself -- to follow him on an epic trek across the burning desert before the hammer of the Ila's foes falls from the heavens above.

Written with deceptive simplicity and lyricism, this riveting, fast-paced epic of war, love, and survival in a brave new world marks a major achievement from the masterful C.J. Cherryh.


About C. J. Cherryh

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A multiple award-winning author of more than thirty novels, C. J. Cherryh received her B.A. in Latin from the University of Oklahoma, and then went on to earn a M.A. in Classics from Johns Hopkins University. Cherryh's novels, including Tripoint, Cyteen, and The Pride of Chanur, are famous for their knife-edge suspense and complex, realistic characters. Cherryh won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1977. She was also awarded the Hugo Award for her short story Cassandra in 1979, and the novels Downbelow Station in 1982 and Cyteen in 1989.
Published March 17, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 464 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Luz offers Marak a way to save himself and many others from the bombardment that will shortly destroy everything but a protected enclave around the silver tower: he must return to Oburan to persuade the Ila and all her people to march into the desert.

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SF Site

All the techniques that Cherryh has perfected and used in order to draw us into her characters she here uses to pull us into the landscape of her world.

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The Best Reviews

After a long arduous trek, Marak reaches a tower where he meets Ian and Luz, Ila's peers, claiming that the world is coming to an end.

Jul 07 2001 | Read Full Review of Hammerfall (Gene Wars 1)

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SFReader is THE place for both fans and authors of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror genres to come together and share!

Jan 19 2013 | Read Full Review of Hammerfall (Gene Wars 1)

SF Reader

SFReader is THE place for both fans and authors of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror genres to come together and share!

Dec 27 2001 | Read Full Review of Hammerfall (Gene Wars 1)

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