Azi are a fictional race of human clones developed by science fiction and fantasy author C. J. Cherryh. They appear in various books in Cherryh's Alliance-Union universe. The word is used for both singular ("one Azi") and plural ("two Azi") references to members of the race.
In the stories, the Azi are first developed by the Union side of the Alliance-Union conflict just prior to the "Company Wars" period in the early twenty-fourth century. Although derived from human gene sequences, they are both genetically engineered and psychologically conditioned to occupy specific social positions, such as soldiers and farmers.
Because of these modifications, Azi are seen as an abomination by many on Earth, and this revulsion served as an exacerbating factor in the start of the Wars between Earth Company and Union forces. During the Company Wars, Union was able to produce large numbers of Azi soldiers and support personnel, plus use Azi to augment its civilian population and thus stimulate economic growth. In large measure, the Azi were therefore responsible for Union forces winning a war of attrition against the Earth Company Fleet led by Conrad Mazian.
To some degree, the Azi are also controversial in Union itself. As mentioned in Cherryh's book Cyteen, there is on Union's home planet, Cyteen, an active abolitionist party which regards them as being slaves and therefore seeks to emancipate them, but it seems marginal.
Azi characters are featured in the following Cherryh books:
- Cyteen (1988)
- Downbelow Station (1981)
- Forty Thousand in Gehenna (1983)
- Port Eternity (1982)
- Serpent's Reach (1980)
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