It looks like we’re done with dramatic confrontations for now, and are into the part of the book where things are wound down and tied off. There were a couple more dramatic confrontations I was expecting, but maybe they’re being saved for next time. Continue reading →
The distinction Val Con makes between those who count themselves to be Scouts and those who count themselves to be Liaden Scouts is one I was reaching for yesterday but didn’t manage to wrap words around. (And reminds me of Eylot, forcing its pilots to decide whether they were pilots who happened to be Eylotian or Eylotians who happened to be pilots.)
It also, come to think of it, suggests the possibility, if not the certainty, that at some point in the future the Scouts headquartered on Surebleak are going to accept non-Liadens into their ranks. Once you’ve reached the conclusion that being a Scout and being a Liaden are not necessarily linked, it’s an obvious consequence. (There have been hints in that direction already, too, with people mentioning that the Scouts have been providing educational opportunities on Surebleak, usually followed by commenting that Scout teachers always treat their students as prospective Scouts.) Continue reading →
I found the jump from where Tolly and Haz were at the end of the previous chapter to where they are when they show up in this one so jarring that I actually flicked back a few pages to make sure I hadn’t accidentally skipped a chapter. Maybe it would have been a short chapter, and amounted to “Everything went according to plan for once”, but it still feels to me like its absence leaves a perceptible gap. Even a sentence or two from Tolly or Haz about what they’d been doing since the end of last chapter would have helped. (Maybe we’ll still get that in an upcoming section, and I just haven’t got to it yet because I stopped to write this entry.) Continue reading →
Tolly seems to have accepted something he’s been fighting shy of for about a book and half. Things will hopefully go smoother when he’s not constantly trying to persuade Haz not to watch his back.
Haz seems to have accepted something she’s been struggling with, too, although perhaps it’s just that she’s become more comfortable talking about it. (Even then, that she finds in Tolly someone she’s comfortable talking about it with is promising.)
I wonder if Tolly’s ever going to learn that Haz isn’t as easy to manipulate as he keeps thinking she is. (I wonder if he’s not letting himself learn it, because the thing he keeps failing to take into account is her connection to him, and processing that would mean thinking about the implications.) Continue reading →
I was a bit harsh about the switching between storylines last time, and as it turns out unfairly so: this time, though I was expecting it to, the pull to continue didn’t cut off when the story switched. It could be that we’ve now reached the point where every storyline’s got going, so even when it switches away from a storyline where things are exciting, things are just as exciting in the storyline it’s switching to. Continue reading →
In which matters proceed with unexpected swiftness.
We were discussing pacing in the comments a few posts ago, and I said that I have trouble judging it because I only read one chapter a day. This isn’t entirely true; although I usually do read one chapter and write one blog post a day, I sometimes get ahead of the schedule if the story is exciting enough to pull me forward. (The record is the end of Scout’s Progress and beginning of Mouse and Dragon, where I burned through at least a dozen chapters as quickly as I could write the blog posts between.) The reason I mention this is that there have been a couple of places in Neogenesis, including this chapter, where I’ve started to feel that pull forward, only for it to be cut off as the story switches to a different set of characters. Switching to a new storyline every time the current one gets exciting is a way to keep suspense, but it also means that each storyline has trouble building momentum. Continue reading →
Looking back over my past posts, I apparently never got around to remarking on the fact that Nostrilia has almost the same name as Cordwainer Smith’s most famous planet in the universe (as seen in the novel Norstrilia, the short story “Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons”, and others). I’ve been waiting nearly two years for the story to reach Nostrilia so I can see if the two planets have anything in common beyond their names. Continue reading →