Tag Archives: bowli ball

The Gathering Edge – Chapter 29

Minot Station

In which Bechimo‘s exec and chief technician are in conference.

I agree with Kara that there’s something here not quite adding up, but I’m not sure yet what it is.
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The Gathering Edge – Chapter 26

Bechimo
Crew Lockers

In which news is received of absent friends.

There I go again: the question I asked last entry is immediately answered, and not in the way I expected.
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The Gathering Edge – Chapter 15

Bechimo

In which some important things are learned.

I like Stost’s reaction to the promise of being kept safe.
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Dragon Ship – Chapter 37

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop

In which the Galactic Trade Commission makes Theo an offer she can’t not refuse.

Something funny here: the outfit that gave Theo trouble in Ghost Ship was the Federated Trade Commission, not the Galactic Trade Commission. Maybe its name comes out differently in Trade than in Terran? Anyway, Theo says it’s the same group, and she’d presumably know. If it is the same, then it’s beginning to look like it has some kind of ongoing connection with the Department of the Interior, and Tokeoport wasn’t just a one-off case of a Department agent taking their name in vain.

Is this the first time B. Joyita has allowed anyone to see him stand up?

Dragon Ship – Chapter 31

Ynsolt’i Incoming

In which Bechimo finishes with its detour and arrives at Ynsolt’i.

And the narrative jumps forward, so we get no more information directly about what the norbears have to say or ask about Joyita. Whatever it is, it seems like it’s not a mark against Theo or Bechimo, seeing as they’ve been selected to host the Embassy Mobile to Norbears.

I wonder how much actuality there is behind the Embassy Mobile. It seems clear from the way Master Peltzer talks that it was genuinely Hevelin’s own idea to go travelling with Bechimo, but is the Embassy itself just a legal fiction to keep him out of trouble in systems that don’t like norbears, or are there actual formal diplomatic relations between norbears and the Clans of Men? Was the point of meeting Sinaya that the business required the approval of a higher-ranking norbear? It seems kind of unlikely – not, I should say, because I’m in any way doubting the intelligence of norbears, just that they don’t seem temperamentally inclined toward formal structures and hierarchies – but stranger things have happened.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 26

Bechimo

In which Theo introduces Kara to her ship and crew.

I’ve been passing up several opportunities to comment on earlier, more subtle hints, but it’s pretty obvious now that there’s something going on between Theo and Kara. Good for them, though it’s not entirely consistent with the way their friendship was depicted in Saltation.

Perfection, the ship Asu is serving on, is now revealed to have the full name Asu Perfection. Or is “revealed” the wrong word? The obvious assumption is that its crew habitually shorten the name, in the manner of Shan and the crew of the Passage, but another possibility is that the ship was actually renamed to recognise a member of the Diamon family taking charge.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 25

Codrescu

In which Theo is reunited with with two old comrades.

The fact that cadets from Anlingdin are actively involved in the action against Codrescu brings back the worry of Theo having to be in direct conflict with somebody she knew personally. Although, after two years during which most of Theo’s age-mates would presumably have graduated, if the authorities didn’t get them out of the Academy some other way, I’m not sure how many friends she’s likely to still have in the current student body.

There’s a moment, when Theo is suggesting to Hevelin that he stay put and out of the way, when her speech pattern sounds like Rig Tranza’s. Which makes sense, and probably indicates that on some level she’s drawing on a memory of him as a model of politely but firmly suggesting a course of action.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 14

Tradedesk

In which Theo explores the shopping district and her options.

That’s two different ways the authors have signalled the correct pronunciation of “Bechimo” this book, when most of the names in this series are lucky to be accorded one. I remember thinking when I got this far the first time that the authors must have fielded a lot of queries about it, or had to put up with a lot of mispronunciations, to expend so much effort on making it clear. Or maybe only the first time was for the benefit of the readers, and this time is an acknowledgement that if people who are unfamiliar with the name are liable to get it wrong in the real world the same is true of characters in the story.

I’m going to make note of the bit about the Department being able to implant a hidden course of action into a person’s mind, in case it comes up again later. Well, it has at least once, I guess, if that’s what Agent bar’Obin used to reel in Rys in the written-later Necessity’s Child. And, of course, we might already have seen it in action without knowing it. Though I figure they didn’t use it on the guy they sent to assassinate Miri at the party, or he wouldn’t have been deflected by his personal qualms.

The sections of the story told from Theo’s point of view are increasingly including explicit references to Theo’s temper and the effects it has on others, which indicates an increased amount of self-awareness on her part.

Another interesting moment reflecting Theo’s personal evolution is when, without apparently thinking anything of it, she uses the phrase “back home” to refer to returning to Bechimo.

The Rifle’s First Wife

In which Diglon Rifle does what he may to help a teammate.

Poker was one of the first new things Diglon was taught after he came under the dragon’s wing, and he showed an immediate aptitude for it, so it’s good to see he’s continuing to develop it. In general, it’s pleasing to see that Diglon is thriving in his new environment – and a bit worrying that Hazenthull apparently isn’t, even now.

I say “even now” because the internal evidence suggests that it’s been over a year since the two of them came to stand with Korval: baby Lizzie, who was not yet born then, has progressed to standing up under her own power.

Lizzie’s development also means that although it’s early spring – “winter having been gone some weeks now” – it’s the spring after the one in which Lizzie was born, and so doesn’t tell us anything useful about that contested spring I’ve been worried about lately.

(It also means that I’ve scheduled this story too early, which is an acknowledged hazard of scheduling a story without reading it first. The actual position would be some time after Dragon Ship – and possibly one or two more novels as well, but since I haven’t read those yet either I’m not going to attempt a definite pronouncement.)

It’s nice that Alara has found a chance to make an alliance with somebody whose company she enjoys and who she has an attraction to, but I do wonder how she’s planning to explain her choice to her delm. It’s all very well saying that Diglon isn’t an Yxtrang any more, but is she going to be able to get away with not mentioning that he was? The delm did specify a “long lineage” as one of the criteria to look for, which means he’s going to want to know about Diglon’s antecedents.

One thing that might help is that, Clan Silari having made the decision to leave Liad, Alara and her clan are themselves, in a sense, no longer what they were either.

Incidentally, I notice that Diam, one of the two people who entertained Diglon on his evening off, is another of those for whom the authors have chosen not to constrain the reader’s imagination by specifying pronouns.


Next: Dragon Ship

Ghost Ship – Chapter 34

Jelaza Kazone
Surebleak

In which the party becomes unexpectedly exciting.

More unnamed party guests. I’m particularly interested in the “buxom, jolly lady whose face was older than her hair”, because that amount of description implies that we’re expected to recognise her, but it’s not ringing any bells.

The idea that Theo’s ability to see pilots is her touch of Korval strangeness has been sneaking up gradually since it started in Fledgling. The early examples were often of her identifying pilots in motion, where it was plausible it was just a case of recognising something about how they moved. It’s developed gradually from there, to the point where in this novel she’s capable of not only identifying a pilot on sight but instantly assessing what grade they have attained or could attain, and now the definitely non-straightforward example of identifying a pilot who hasn’t even been born yet. Another thing that camouflaged the nature of the gift, which Theo alludes to, is that it came on her when she was seeing pilots for the first time after living her entire life on a planet with no pilots that she knew of, so it would make sense that she’d be alert to the differences. But another way of looking at that, which I think Daav alludes to, is that it was the period of her life when her half-formed instincts were shaking out and getting into adult shape, the period where one might expect a psychic gift to manifest. (Though without the trip to Melchiza she’d perhaps have been restricted to noticing that certain people were different in some way without being able to name the difference, just as I suspect she wouldn’t have been able to distinguish grades of pilot now without her education at Anlingdin.)