Monthly Archives: June 2013

Starting date

Based on all the feedback I’ve received over the last couple of weeks, I’m leaning toward a starting date of Thursday, July 18.

(This means that Balance of Trade will begin on the first day of a month. I have a weakness for meaningless congruencies.)

I’ll post a reminder about a week before the start date.


Something I’ve noticed come up in online discussions of the Liaden stories is the problem of finding details when one needs them: details of character backstory or appearance, useful quotations, whatever.

And it occurs to me that, since I’m going to be blogging my way through all the stories anyway, it might be an opportunity to make notes that could help someone, some other time, faced with having to comb through them in search of information.

(I know I’d have been grateful if somebody had ever compiled an index of all the places where specific dates are given. Just for instance.)

Creating an index could just be a matter of tagging each entry with relevant information about the story or chapter in question. (Names of all the relevant characters, for an obvious possibility.)

Does this seem like a useful thing to do? What sorts of things might I look for, either specifically or in general?

(There will in any case be things I’ll be looking out for, just for my own interest. Just when the scions of Solcintra started displaying knowledge of Bach and Shakespeare, for one thing.)

Phase 1 – Schedule and Availability

Or: “When does it start?” and “Where can I get the stories?”


When it starts depends on when we want it to end. The general aim is to finish Balance of Trade at a good time to move on to Trade Secret, but this could do with some refinement.

The official release date for Trade Secret is November 5. Personally, I’m aiming to get hold of the e-book as soon as possible after that, but what about the rest of you? Do we need to add time to allow for pre-ordered print copies to be posted, or other things of that nature?

Meanwhile, I figure as follows:

  • Short stories: 6
  • Crystal Soldier: 32 chapters
  • Crystal Dragon: 37 chapters
  • Balance of Trade: 40 chapters
  • Total: 115 days

(Crystal Dragon has a Prologue and an unnumbered “Interlude” in addition to the numbered chapters; but two chapters are less than a page each, and I’m figuring on bundling them each with its preceding chapter, so the number still works out to 37.)

If we’re aiming to finish Balance of Trade on November 5, the start date is July 14.


The novels in Phase 1 are Crystal Soldier, Crystal Dragon, and Balance of Trade.

These are all currently in print in a Baen collected edition titled The Crystal Variation, which is also available as an e-book.

(Baen also offers the old separate e-book editions of Crystal Soldier, Crystal Dragon, and Balance of Trade.)

The short stories in Phase 1 are “Dragon Tide”, “Necessary Evils”, “Eleutherios”, “Where the Goddess Sends”, “A Spell for the Lost”, and “The Wine of Memory”.

“Eleutherios” may be read (free) on Baen’s website, or in the (also free) Free Stories 2013 e-book.

If you have some or all of the Adventures in the Liaden Universe® chapbooks put out by SRM Publisher, “Dragon Tide” is in #13 (Dragon Tide), “Necessary Evils” is in #11 (Necessary Evils), “Where the Goddess Sends” and “A Spell for the Lost” are in #2 (Fellow Travelers), and “The Wine of Memory” is in #4 (Certain Symmetry).

The chapbooks are out of print now, but they’re all available in e-book form via Pinbeam Books, whose Adventures in the Liaden Universe® page is also a convenient reference for which story is where.

Baen offers in e-book form the Liaden Unibus I and Liaden Unibus II, which collect #1-6 (including “Where the Goddess Sends”, “A Spell for the Lost”, and “The Wine of Memory”) and #7-12 (including “Necessary Evils”) respectively. If you don’t have any of the chapbooks already, these may be a more efficient option than obtaining individual issues.

(Baen is also working on updated collections, to be available in print and e-book form. A Liaden Universe Constellation, Volume One is due this July, and will include “Where the Goddess Sends”, “A Spell for the Lost”, and “The Wine of Memory”, among others. Volume Two, which will include “Necessary Evils” and “Dragon Tide”, isn’t due until next year, though.)

For searching out second-hand print editions, the authors’ web site recommends Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore, The Missing Volume, and White Unicorn Books.