Tag Archives: Festival

A Visit to the Galaxy Ballroom

In which Lina yo’Bingim does not wish to be part of the problem.

I’m fairly sure the merc who says “Efning” to Lina is attempting to wish her a good evening, but in the first moment I always think he’s offering his name.
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Accepting the Lance – Chapter 35

Blair Road
Boss Conrad’s House

In which Mrs kaz’Ineo has an idea.

The mention of the Gilmour Agency’s human resources manual as a recent acquisition places this chapter not long after the opening scene of “Block Party”, in which Luzeal had just made the discovery, although perhaps not after the entire story, which covers a period of several weeks.
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Degrees of Separation – Chapter 3


In which Don Eyr fails to persuade Serana to leave him.

I was actually kind of surprised by how useful Don Eyr and Serana found the melant’i plays as a guide to Liaden behaviour; people who have tried that in other stories have had mixed success due to their source texts being unrealistic, melodramtic, or outright fraudulent.
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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 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 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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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

Code of Honor

In which Tommy Lee goes home.

It can be tricky placing a story in chronological order without reading it first, as we’ve seen already in this project, but I think I did all right with this one. It’s definitely set somewhere during Ghost Ship; a bit further on than where I’ve put it, I suspect, but we were already stopping here to read two other short stories, so doing “Code of Honor” as well means that after this we can finish off Ghost Ship without any further interruptions.

Putting it next to “Kin Ties” also produces a nice bit of synchronicity, since this story, too, turns out to be concerned with the question of bad delms and where duty lies for those burdened with them.

I have my doubts that it’s within any clan’s reach to take Korval’s proverbially unique place aside-but-not-among the Fifty High Houses; surely the fact that Korval is in a class by itself is the very point of the proverb. (For that matter, I would think that no clan would want that place, if they’d really thought about what it meant to be aside but not among the High Houses.) But I suppose that when ambition talks there’s always somebody willing to listen.

I appreciate the detail that Tommy needs his aunt to point out a flaw in his plans for his future. He’s clever enough to think his way out of a very difficult situation, but he doesn’t think of everything.

Tomorrow: We resume Ghost Ship at Chapter 24.

Daughter of Dragons

The Grand Lake Townhouses

In which Lady Kareen is offered an attractive prize at a price she is not willing to pay.

It’s striking, in view of their many differences, that Kareen’s reply to the Department’s offer is so much the same as her son’s.

This is the single largest, if not the only, part of the series to be told from Kareen’s point of view, and offers several clues to how she ended up the way she did. We get her perspective on being abruptly (though not, I think, with anything like deliberate cruelty, for what difference that might have made) downgraded from highly-favored only child to second-place to a kid brother who doesn’t want the preferment she can’t have. It’s also mentioned that she’s been married multiple times; since Korval is not among those clans who find such things a financial necessity, the implication is that it took her several attempts to get Pat Rin, a circumstance which casts light on her relationship with him.

At that, she’s mellowed somewhat since she last appeared, way back in “A Day at the Races”. She’s got more respect for Val Con’s quality as a delm (which probably started then, come to think of it). And she seems better disposed toward Daav than used to be the case; perhaps a quarter-century of his absence has given her room to admit his good points without being constantly reminded of their points of difference. Part of it might be that the unusual nature of recent events have caused her to see things in new lights, the way she’s recently come to find value in Luken bel’Tarda and in Jeeves.

Perhaps, although this seems very unlikely, she’s softening in her age: she’s nearly eighty Standards now, and although that’s not as old for a Liaden as it would be for a Terran, it’s not young.

(It also means that she and Her Nin yo’Vestra have been close for something like fifty or sixty years.)

I don’t think yo’Vestra’s postulated situation actually applies to Korval, which departed its holdings in accordance with a plan agreed to in advance and did in fact notify all its members appropriately; even the one they weren’t sure was still alive got the message, let alone the one yo’Vestra is trying to position as having been abandoned. To be fair, of course, yo’Vestra doesn’t know that Pat Rin was notified, since none of his colleagues have yet had a chance to discuss the matter with Pat Rin — and anyway, that whole question falls to the wayside if no other clan member lives long enough to contradict his proposed account.

Timing: Anthora and Jeeves have already shifted to Jelaza Kazone. yo’Vestra’s remark about having found and then lost Pat Rin suggests that this is after Pat Rin’s encounter on Teriste. That puts it at least three days, and probably a day or two more, after Nova gave the scatter order. Which is not too unreasonable, on consideration, since most of that is probably down to the amount of maneuvring it would take to get five children, including two infants, out of their usual routines and off the planet without anybody noticing where they went.

It’s an interesting detail that one of the things saving Kareen, in the end, is that whatever the lofty personages of Liad might think of Korval, those who are employed by them know them to be dependable and fair in their dealings.

Tomorrow: back to I Dare.

Fledgling – Chapter 21

EdRec Level
Pet Library

In which Cho sig’Radia offers a warning.

It’s interesting that the pet librarian doesn’t attract any norbears. One is tempted to wonder if he was chosen for norbear duty specifically because he doesn’t, and if so what that implies about the pet library’s attitude toward their charges.

The word Win Ton can’t think of a Terran equivalent for, cha’dramliz, is composed of familiar parts: “dramliz” is the Liaden word for people with supernatural abilities, while the “cha'” prefix is usually translated as “heart” when it appears in endearments like cha’leket and cha’trez. (It’s also a component of the word denoting “daring” in Korval’s motto.) That gives us “heart-wizards”, with “heart” having an emotional rather than an anatomical connotation, which suggests that here is the Liaden word which the series usually renders as “Healers”. And that’s obviously a translation convention, rather than a proper equivalent, so it’s not surprising that Win Ton was not able to lay his hand on the word.