“You know when August will have his first tape?”
“Today. Right Now. They put him in a cradle and it has a kind of tape going, so he can hear it.”
She was impressed. Jealous, even. August was a threat if he was going to be that smart.
“Why didn’t I do that?”
“Because you were going to be a CIT. Because you have to learn a lot of things the old-fashioned way. Because tapes are good, but if you’ve got a maman or a papa to take care of you, you learn all kinds of things August won’t learn until he’s older. CITs get a head start in a way. Azi learn a lot about how to be good and how to do their jobs, but they’re not very good at figuring out what to do with things they’ve never met before. CITs are good at taking care of emergencies. CITs can make up what to do. They learn that from their mamans. Tape-learning is good, but it isn’t everything. That’s why maman tells you to pay attention to what you see and hear. That’s why you’re supposed to learn from that first, so you know tape isn’t as important as your own eyes and ears. If August had a maman to take him home today he’d be a CIT.”
“Why can’t Mary be his maman?”
“Because Mary has too many kids to take care of. She has five hundred every year. Sometimes more than that. She couldn’t do all that work. So the tape has to do it. That’s why azi can’t have mamans. There just aren’t enough to go around.”
Chapter 5 – Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh
About this time, I was getting a real Where the Sweet Birds Sang vibe. While it took a good deal of time before Cyteen got any good, once it developed, it was real good. Nothing like Downbelow Station. Grammar cleaned up a lot. Fewer, but more interesting characters. More SF goodness.
I know, I know this should have been a really late post for last week’s book, Ender’s Game. I finished EG last week, but I went right into hitting Cyteen with everything I had and I’m happy to say there is a high probability I will finish it this weekend. I had actually attempted to write my review for Ender’s Game earlier this week and it turned into garbage so I abandoned that and just went to bed with Cyteen instead. If all goes according to my evil scheme, this weekend I will finish my review For Ender’s Game AND finish reading Cyteen AND shortly after that hopefully get a review for Cyteen up. Of course this meant that I put off Speaker for the Dead but that is okay, because it’s another audiobook and I’ll listen to that in the car and while running and read next week’s book at night. Hey, I might actually be caught up in another week or so!
Also, if I ever had two cats, I think I’d name them ‘Cyteen’ and ‘Ender’. For it? Against it? Other good SF related pet names?