Tag Archives: contract marriage

Trader’s Leap – Chapter 9 (V-IX)

Dutiful Passage
Millsap Orbit

In which Padi has a long day.

Shan has a plan: to visit the Redlands, which it turns out is not one country, or even one planet, but a system with three inhabited planets.
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Degrees of Separation – Chapter 2


In which Don Eyr learns a new recipe.

The spell-checker for this story appears to have been uncertain whether Don Eyr’s friend is named “Serana” or “Serena”.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 8

In which Chi yos’Phelium’s son is born.

Good morning, Daav. Welcome to the world. It’s going to have its ups and its downs, but that’s life for you, I’m afraid.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 7

In which Fer Gun thinks before he signs.

I think this is the most detailed explanation we’ve had of how there came to be so few people in Korval.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 4

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra gets married.

And so here is the context for the things that had puzzled me about Chi’s behaviour.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 2

In which Petrella yos’Galan is diligent.

I had some things I was going to say about how I still didn’t understand why Chi is going to these lengths, but they’ve been rendered moot by the helpful person in the previous post’s comments who wished to spare me the trouble of waiting for the story to explain itself. So.

I like the discussion of the difference between offending nobody and offending everybody.

The thing Petrella thinks she remembers about Line pen’Uldra, which has not yet been revealed, is I suspect likely to be connected somehow with the fact of Fer Gun being the last of the Line.

Due Diligence – Chapter 1

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra is given an offer he can’t refuse.

I was right: I did know the protagonist’s name from somewhere. I was also right when I decided it would more entertaining trying to figure out where as the story went along than it would have been to just look up the answer.

In fact, I enjoyed having no idea where the first chapter was going so much that I’ve decided to do this novella a chapter at a time, to make the enjoyment last a bit longer.
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 1

Dutiful Passage

In which yos’Galan has reason to contemplate the future.

It looks like this is going to be Padi’s book for dealing with the aftermath of Runig’s Rock, the way Necessity’s Child was Syl Vor’s.

Over on Shan’s side of the chapter, we have reminders of Shan’s encounter with Lute, and of Lomar Fasholt and the disturbances in the political structures of those who follow the Goddess. I’m hoping that’s a sign that there’ll be more Lute and Moonhawk in this book.

Pale Wing is not a ship name we’ve encountered before; from context, it’s clearly a Korval ship, and probably one of yos’Galan’s trading fleet. The ship that Tor An yos’Galan brought away from the death of the Ringstars was named Light Wing; perhaps this ship was named after that one, the way yos’Galan’s flagship is named after Quick Passage.

(It’s not strictly part of the chapter, but I couldn’t help noticing that the Acknowledgments feature a thank-you to Dr Linebarger, otherwise known as the SF author Cordwainer Smith. I look forward to finding out why that’s there.)

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


In which Vertu dea’San decides that somebody ought to do something.

This story is, among other things, a valuable reminder that while Korval were happy enough to be thrown off Liad for their part in the Battle of Solcintra, there are others served similarly for whom it might not be so pleasant.

Reading a story featuring “galan’ranubiet” (Treasure of the House) and “galandaria” (compatriot), I find myself wondering after the meaning of “yos’Galan”.

I said a few days ago I was going to have something more to say about taxis. The bulk of this story takes place at a time when there’s only one licensed taxi driver in Surebleak Port City, and even at the end of the story the number has only grown to three, with some consideration being given to a fourth. That sets it before the climactic sequence of Necessity’s Child, which contains at least three active taxis and likely more.

(So why have I scheduled it after? We’ll come back to that.)

Now let us consider the other major indicator of when it’s set: the passing of the seasons. The main section of the story takes place in local winter, at some point after Korval came to settle on Surebleak, with the last section taking place early in the following spring. That’s straightforward enough.

Now we have two choices:

Ghost Ship tells us that Korval settled on Surebleak before winter turned to spring, that Theo’s visit occurred during late spring (this point is made on multiple occasions), and that the event which kicks off the plot of Necessity’s Child occurred a few weeks before the onset of summer. This seems to fit: Vertu arrives during Korval’s first winter, joins Jemie in the taxi business, and they spend the spring building up the business to a point that will account for the flock of taxis bringing people to the new school when it opens in early summer. The bit near the end of this story, with Vertu and Jemie in early spring considering diversifying into the ground-courier business, meshes nicely with Jemie’s cameo in Ghost Ship, in late spring, delivering a courier message.

However. Necessity’s Child itself claims to begin in late winter, which would put the school opening in early spring, and allow little if any time for the building of the taxi fleet.

After due consideration, I have decided I prefer the timeline suggested by Ghost Ship, and not just because it’s more insistent about it. (Ghost Ship, as I said, mentions the season repeatedly, while the beginning of Necessity’s Child does so only once – and, for that matter, the school opening scene has a mention of how warm the day is, which might be taken to mean that even the end of Necessity’s Child disagrees with the beginning about what time of year it is.)

There are still a couple of more short stories and a novel set on Surebleak which I haven’t read yet because they all came out after I began the re-read; I’ll be interested to see when they claim to be set.

(When I was scheduling the re-read, the one detail I remembered from all this confusion was that Ghost Ship was set in spring, but I forgot that it said Korval had been there since winter, so I thought Vertu’s first winter on Surebleak must be after both Ghost Ship and Necessity’s Child, and scheduled “Skyblaze” accordingly. If I were doing it now, I would definitely put “Skyblaze” before Necessity’s Child.)

Tomorrow: “Roving Gambler”, one of those stories set on Surebleak that I haven’t read yet.