Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part I


In which Surebleak has more visitors.

A whole lotta people arriving on Surebleak in one clump, with at least one more bunch expected soon, and all of them having business with Korval. It remains to see how much more complicated things are going to get when they start (as I expect they will, sooner or later) interacting with each other as well.

It took me a couple of pages to twig who the unnamed ship was, but I got it at the first mention of the comm officer not being physically present on the bridge. (Which is another of those details that sounds unremarkable if you don’t already know what it means.)

This chapter gives us the second reminder this book that Miri carries a hideaway gun, when I don’t recall or have record of it having much attention drawn to it before. I’m consequently suspicious that its existence is going to become immediately relevant at some point before the book is over.

Miri’s reflection on the state of the Department of the Interior and its agents is another thread in the running thematic strand about core imperatives.

The Uncle’s arrival alone — which is to say, unaccompanied by Daav — must, of course, be concerning to the delm. Speaking of Daav, the fact that he’s left waiting while the delm gets presentable reminds me of the time in Scout’s Progress where another delm came calling on Korval with a complaint and had to wait while Daav cleaned up from gardening. I wonder if the Uncle will be more sensible about the consequences of arriving unannounced than that delm was.

According to my notes, we’ve never seen Korval’s Yellow Salon before, but we have seen the Yellow Salon in Erob’s clanhouse — it’s where Val Con and Miri were left to wait when they visited, having announced to the doorkeeper that Korval’s Second Speaker wished to speak to the delm regarding a daughter of the house. So that gives us some kind of idea what quality of person rates the Yellow Salon.

If the Dayside Portmaster and the Nightside Portmaster are both at the welcoming reception, who’s minding the store?

10 thoughts on “Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part I

  1. Skip

    In this chapter (Surebleak, part 1) Miri reflects that “it didn’t matter that Korval had prevented a hostile takeover of Liad itself.”

    When did Korval do that?

  2. Paul A. Post author

    The Department of the Interior was already well advanced in the process of gaining control over Liad’s governing processes when Korval struck against its stronghold on Liad. It wasn’t an overt takeover; many people hadn’t noticed it beginning, and likely many people would still not have noticed it after it was complete; but hostile it certainly was.

  3. Skip

    Ok. Yes. I thought maybe I missed something in Alliance of Equals (I’ve only read that book quickly, once, and rapidly, some few years ago)

  4. Ed8r

    The arrival of the unnamed ship is perhaps more suspenseful because the authors are using the same technique as we saw in the Prologue, only this time it is gradually revealed who they are.

    PA: Speaking of Daav, the fact that he’s left waiting . . .

    Isn’t the pronoun he intended to refer to Uncle here, rather than Daav?

  5. Paul A. Post author

    Yes, I meant the pronoun to refer the subject of the preceding sentence, the Uncle. I see now that it’s not as clear on the page as it was in my head.

  6. Paul A. Post author

    Something I noticed on this re-read: At the reception for the survey team, Miri wears a coat bearing a subtle pattern of dragons, and Val Con wears a green coat bearing a subtle pattern of leaves. In other words, he’s representing the Tree and she’s representing the Dragon.

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