Tag Archives: Ethics module

Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part VI

In which Val Con and Miri offer their solutions.

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.)
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Neogenesis – Chapter 18 part I


In which Tolly and Haz clear the air.

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.)

Neogenesis – Chapter 6 part I

Admiral Bunter

In which the topic of ethics recurs.

And in this chapter we get a direct reference to the events of “Wise Child”, described in sufficient detail to assist anyone who hasn’t read it already. I wonder if that portends that Disian is going to be showing up in this story. It might not, it might just be mentioned for the light it sheds on the present circumstance, but I’d like to see Disian again and learn how she’s getting on.
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Neogenesis – Chapter 5 part III

In which Tocohl explores the boundaries of her new situation.

An interesting narrative embellishment here: this chapter is set before the previous one, ending around the time it starts. The authors had a choice what order to reveal this information to the audience, and didn’t go for the obvious option. One consequence is that when the audience is reading about Inkirani preparing to tackle Tocohl again, they know that it’s not going to go how she expects but they don’t know any more than she does exactly what she’s going to find waiting for her.

Neogenesis – Chapter 3 part II

In which Tolly does some housecleaning.

There’s a moment, when Tolly is reflecting on the horrors of being forced to do things against one’s will, when I get the feeling he’s recalling a specific thing from his own past. I wonder if we’ll be hearing more about it, at some point when he has less urgent things on his mind. (And I wonder if it has anything to do with the question of how Thirteen-Sixty-Two became Tolly Jones.)
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 33

Admiral Bunter

In which things are concealed.

Padi has finally had an opportunity to do the thing she was too-ready to do at the beginning of the novel, and found that she doesn’t like it.

As I follow Tolly’s reasoning, the problem is that there’s no certainty about what Admiral Bunter will do once the core mandate is removed. The Admiral says, now, that he trusts Tolly, and he might even mean it, now – but once Tolly has restored his freedom, he’ll be faced with the immediate situation of another person in a position to do him over the way Inki did, or worse, which is a definite problem. And, as Tolly says, the Admiral’s toolset for dealing with definite problems has historically tended toward immediate lethality as the best and only solution.

I’m a bit bemused that Tarona Rusk fell for Shan’s false compliance so easily. Partly, I suppose, it’s that she sees what she wants and expects to see; and also that what she sees of Shan is only what he wants her to see. I get the feeling that, for all she mocked him for being only a Healer, it’s his Healer training that’s giving him the advantage here.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 31

Admiral Bunter

In which the bombshell is dropped.

I’ve been going back and forth on the cover illustration: at first I assumed it depicted Dutiful Passage, more or less because that was the only ship I knew would be in the novel, then later I thought perhaps it was Admiral Bunter. Now it looks like I was right the first time.

When Shan and Higgs went out, leaving Padi behind at the hotel, my first thought was that they’d been lured away so that someone could attack Padi. Then the attack on the Passage happened, and now I think it’s that Padi’s going to get wind of that and have to deal with it without Shan around to offer guidance.

It could still be that Shan was deliberately lured away. (In-story, I mean. It’s pretty obvious that it was deliberate on the part of the authors.) Perhaps it’s a two pronged attack. Perhaps it’s coincidentally an attack from Plishet with no connection to the attack on Priscilla. On the other hand, perhaps it’s just that Shan found conversation with Master Rusk congenial and lost track of time.

(Perhaps it’s good news that keeps him – it suddenly struck me as I was writing this that maybe she has news to impart of Lomar Fasholt. Although I don’t really have anything to back that up with beyond the flimsy observations that she’s female and it would be nice to have news of Lomar by the end of the book.)

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 28

Admiral Bunter

In which the student considers how to proceed.

Another chapter with thematic echoes between the two plot lines. Admiral Bunter and Padi are both being mentored, and both by mentors who choose at times to teach indirectly, by making space for the student to figure out the lesson for themself.

With the introduction of the second mate, it becomes apparent that the Passage‘s first, second and third mates are all new hires, and all relatives of Shan’s — not close relatives, but from distant branches of the family tree not usually involved in yos’Galan’s trading — which strongly suggests that Shan and Priscilla needed to call in some favours to get the command staff for this voyage. They lost a significant chunk of crew when Plan B was invoked, and after how that turned out I guess there was some trouble finding people willing to step into the gaps.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 20

Admiral Bunter
Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop

In which Admiral Bunter returns.

I like the byplay about Padi using glancing-at-the-notepad as a way of providing appropriate pauses in the conversation, and the way it offers an explanation for her father’s ubiquitous glass of wine. (The glass of wine has a potential strategic advantage over glancing-at-the-notepad, in that the latter might make it look like one doesn’t really know what one is doing.)

It’s also another example of how two plot lines parallel each other within a chapter, because over in the other plot line we have Tolly thinking about how Admiral Bunter needs to learn about providing appropriate pauses in his conversation.

Thematic parallels aside, I still have no idea how, or if, the three plot strands are going to meet up. What has the progress of Dutiful Passage to do with Admiral Bunter, or either to do with the Uncle and Daav and Aelliana? Maybe Padi will accidentally stumble upon the ancient AI that the Uncle and Tocohl are each so interested in finding?