Tag Archives: Hero

Shout of Honor – Chapter 4

In which Erthax exercises his creativity.

From some authors, I would say that Vepal and Sanchez are obviously being herded in a particular direction. From these authors, I tend to be more cautious of expecting obvious and tidy conclusions.
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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 20 part III

In which Val Con and Miri are not getting much sleep tonight.

Chapter 20 is shaping up to be a long chapter, to the point that I’m almost wondering if I need to subdivide the sections even further. Makes sense, though, since this is the chapter where a whole bunch of plot strands come together, not just from this book but from the four books preceding it.
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The Gathering Edge – Chapter 17

Arak ek zenorth
En route

In which there is breakfast.

I wonder if Vepal renamed the ship when he acquired it, and if so what “arak ek zenorth” means. I suspect we’ll find out at the dramatically appropriate moment.
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The Gathering Edge – Chapter 10

Seebrit Station Speakeasy

In which hospitality is extended.

So of course instead of proceeding to the explanation, the story cuts to a completely different scene.
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I Dare – Chapter 51

Day 54
Standard Year 1393

Dutiful Passage

In which various people spend time in transit.

I haven’t been noting it every time a relevant detail has come up, but I think by now we have to acknowledge that in the Liaden universe cats are sapient and capable of dramliz-type abilities. Some cats, anyway. Merlin, at least. (Come to that, I wonder if Val Con knew how appropriate the name was when he chose it…)

I feel like I should say something about the scene with Hazenthull and Nelirikk, but nothing particular is coming to me.

It’s good to see Trilla again.

I Dare – Chapter 17

Mercenary Encampment

In which two Explorers discuss their situation.

We learn the outline of Hazenthull’s recent history here, enough to understand the decision she has made, although there are details that she chooses not, or finds herself yet unready, to speak.

I’m not sure what significance to attach to the fact that the name of her senior is one of those details. It could just be that protocol calls for him to introduce himself, but other explanations suggest themselves.

Tomorrow: Another short diversion, via “Persistence”.

I Dare – Chapter 6

Day 50
Standard Year 1393

Erob’s Grounds

In which collecting Yxtrang may be a genetic trait.

Because the sentry’s challenge is followed immediately by Diglon Rifle breaking cover, I thought at first that the sentry had spotted him, but if he and his seniors were keeping so quiet even Nelirikk didn’t notice them that seems unlikely. On further consideration, I think the sentry was challenging Nelirikk and the scouts, approaching openly on the path, but Diglon Rifle thought he’d been spotted and panicked. (I notice that Hazenthull Explorer did a much better job of keeping her head and keeping hidden, as is perhaps to be expected.)

It’s good to know that Explorers still exist. I remember Nelirikk worrying about that in the previous book, since it had been so long since he’d had word of their activities. (He doesn’t seem to give it particular note at the moment, probably because there are more immediate issues to attend to. Possibly also because the issue is not quite so personally important now; back then, the loss of the Explorers would have meant the loss of all he had in the way of comrades and family, which is no longer the case.)

Plan B – Chapters 7 & 8

14th Conquest Corps

Liad: Department of Interior Command Headquarters

In which Nelirikk No-Troop sympathizes with a squirrel, and Lytaxin is defended by a ship orbiting Waymart.

I’m getting the idea that the Yxtrang are very concerned with saving face, to the point that they insist on appearing effective even at the expense of actual effectiveness: their response to making an error, here as at the end of Agent of Change, is to cover it up, even if that means nobody gets to learn from the situation and avoid future errors. When Nelirikk offers unsolicted advice — which, worse, turns out to be correct after the General ignores it — the General is more concerned about having his authority undermined than about finding out what other advice Nelirikk might be able to offer. And, as Nelirikk himself notes, the whole thing might have been avoided if the Yxtrang Command had chosen to learn from his previous encounter with a Liaden Scout, instead of shoving that under the carpet too.

(And then there’s the incidental business of Over-Technician Akrant, whose career is ruined because his carelessness ruined the General’s big entrance, even though the big entrance was, as far as I can see, entirely ceremonial and made no actual difference to the progress of the campaign.)

That’s an interesting detail about Yxtrang high command being situated at “Temp Headquarters”. I wonder if it’s genuinely temporary, or if by now it’s become settled and retains the name only by tradition.

It didn’t occur to me the first time it was mentioned, but here is the Department of the Interior sending Tyl Von sig’Alda out in a ship that frequently if not continually reports its status back to Headquarters by pin-beam — and, as we have been recently reminded, pin-beam is generally regarded as expensive and only for use in particularly important circumstances. So that says something about the Department’s priorities, even if the pin-beam beacon is just another of the special accoutrements attaching to sig’Alda’s special mission, like the deputy badge and the code phrase. (If all the Department’s ships are similarly equipped, that says something else again.)

Crystal Dragon – Chapter 24


In which Cantra receives a message from Jela.

I’d wondered how much vel’Anbrek had figured out of what was going on, so it’s good to have that established.

Cantra hadn’t grasped how much Jela regarded her, and perhaps had been resisting letting it count for anything; there’s a bit in one of the earlier chapters where she reflects that he doesn’t really know her, only her Rimmer pilot facade. In that I think she underestimated him: we know he’d seen through the grumpy part of the facade to the motivation underneath; what else might he have seen?