When you say you’ll be reading the stories in chronological order, what exactly do you mean?
Good question, hypothetical reader!
There are two problems that must be faced when attempting to put the Liaden stories in chronological order. The first is that not all of them are clearly dated, and the second is that some of them overlap.
Eight of the short stories, and two of the novels, don’t have any clear indication of when they’re set. Some of them can be dated approximately (by the ages of recurring characters, for instance), while others could be set at any point within a span of several centuries.
If necessary, I’m not above arbitrarily assigning them positions (if all else fails, I’ve got positions picked out based on grouping with stories concerning similar themes), but if there is any useful dating information about any of these stories that I’ve overlooked, I’d appreciate hearing about it.
The stories are: “Eleutherios”, “Intelligent Design”, “Landed Alien”, “The Space at Tinsori Light”, “A Spell for the Lost”, “This House”, “Where the Goddess Sends”, and “The Wine of Memory”.
The novels are Fledgling and Saltation.
A not-insignificant number of the short stories are set inside novels, between chapters or addressing chapters from an alternative viewpoint. For that matter, some of the novels overlap other novels; there’s at least one place where three different novels are occurring simultaneously.
The question here is: How do I deal with this? Should I treat novels as indivisible, read them straight through from beginning to end, and fit in the overlapping stories before or after as seems appropriate? Or should I feel free to chop them up and shuffle chapters into whatever order is most chronological?
Your thoughts on this are invited.