Tag Archives: coffee toot


In which Geral Jethri believes in the Envidaria.

If someone had asked me what I expected future Liaden Universe stories to be about, I don’t think I’d have picked “what Jethri’s descendants are doing in the present day” as a possibility, but now that it’s happened it seems like an obvious question to explore.
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Shout of Honor – Chapter 7

In which Vepal and Sanchez go for a walk.

Commander Sanchez’s “easy security job on Panore” rings a bell; in “Quiet Knives”, Panore is the holiday planet for rich people that the protagonists were always saying they’d go visit some day.
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Shout of Honor – Chapter 5

In which Commander Sanchez offers her assistance.

Of course, there’s also something to be said for being obvious.

(Though I stand by my distrust of obvious and tidy conclusions. We’re still some distance from any kind of conclusion, and if Vepal’s suspicions about his own emotions are correct, this development at this time makes the situation less tidy rather than more.)
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Block Party

In which good neighbours become good friends.

No very specific indications of when this story is set, only that it’s after “the Lady and the Perfessor” have embarked on their project of documenting Surebleak’s social history.
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Cutting Corners

In which Therny Chirs comes to Eylot.

I think I made the right call, for me, to leave this story until after the novel, even though it doesn’t directly relate to the plot. If I had read the story first, I’d have spent most of the novel trying to figure out how it connected, which would have been distracting.
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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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Dragon Ship – Chapter 27

Codrescu Station

In which more help arrives.

It’s not clear yet how many of the new arrivals are here following Bechimo‘s example. It might be that some of them were coming anyway, but didn’t have Bechimo‘s head start of already being outward bound when the call came; maybe they had business to settle before they could leave, or thought of useful things to round up and bring with them. (I’m thinking of Varthaven, for instance: do they always have doctors and a clinic on board, or was that something they had to arrange before they came?) Or it could be that every one of them is here because Asu was not only inspired but decided to share the inspiration around. Certainly the way they all arrive at once suggests some level of organization.

As of this chapter, Dragon Ship agrees with Ghost Ship (as one might expect) in declaring that it is currently summer on Surebleak.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 14


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.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 9

Chaliceworks Aggregations

In which Theo counts her blessings.

The placement of the scene with Kamele says something about the authors’ priorities. If it had appeared a few chapters ago, it would have contrasted obviously (perhaps a bit too obviously?) with the scene at Jelaza Kazone which reminds us that the person Kamele is going to Surebleak to see isn’t there, and nobody knows when he’ll be back. Placed here, it instead invites the reader to compare and contrast the strong-mindedness of mother and daughter. It also gives context, for readers who didn’t know it or had forgotten, for Theo’s musings about her family in the following scene.

Roving Gambler

In which Quin yos’Phelium finds occupation.

Oh, so that’s what a nerligig does.

It strikes me that “Roving Gambler” is very much about what the Code calls “proper conduct”. It’s full of people facing the question of what would be the correct thing to do in the circumstance, and as like as not finding that it’s not an easy question on a world like Surebleak, which is continually being challenged on what answers it did have. The kinds range from small domestic questions involving a father and his son to big policy issues involving the Boss of Bosses (and in classic melant’i fashion, the extreme ends of the spectrum involve the same people wearing different hats).

Korval has it particularly bad, as Pat Rin points out at the end, because they’re used to living on Liad and having the Code to consult on questions like this, but now they’re on Surebleak and the answers are different. (Something that’s foreshadowed all the way through the story, as Quin keeps finding moments where proper Liaden behaviour doesn’t quite fit the circumstance.) I’m not surprised that it was Kareen who’s been given the job of figuring out their situation; if anybody knows about proper conduct, it’s her. It’s interesting, though, that she’s specifically stated to have been ordered by the Delms to study the question: Is that just them putting an official stamp on the enterprise, or did they find that she was unwilling to get started?

I suppose if there’s any course of study that might help prepare one for running a planet, Generalist might be it. It’s been a while since we’ve encountered a professional Generalist; I’m pretty sure the last one was Quin’s many-times-grandfather Jela.

On the question of Surebleak’s seasons, I find this story inconclusive; all we hear about the weather is that it’s recently turned good after a long bad stretch, which doesn’t say much on a planet with weather like Surebleak’s, and anyway it’s not clear precisely how long after Ghost Ship it takes place, so there’d be no way of comparing.

Tomorrow: “The Rifle’s First Wife”