Tag Archives: Jemie

(sometimes spelled Jemmie) Taxi driver on Surebleak, co-proprietor with [[Vertu dea’San]] of [[Jemie’s Taxi]].

The Gate That Locks the Tree – Act 8, Scene 2

In the Hall of the Mountain King
Enter Joey

In which the guests are settled for the night.

Joey, despite being in the stage directions, is not listed in the dramatis personae. But then again, neither are any of the other cats, except Chelada.

Vertu started out the story thinking of the unregulated cab drivers as something that might need to be addressed at some point. Now, having seen how much trouble an untrained driver can get himself and his passengers into, it’s become pressing business for Boss Gotta. Or, no, not quite for Boss Gotta, if we take Boss Gotta as being the person who’s gotta do it because they happen to be present when there’s nobody around whose job it is; as Vertu says to Jemie, in this situation they are the people whose job it is.

The Gate That Locks the Tree – Act 6, Scene 2

In the shadow of the Tree

In which the number of Vertu’s passengers increases again.

“Salmo’s Fire” is St. Elmo’s Fire, a weather phenomenon related to lightning; Yulie’s description of what it is and how it happens covers the basics. He doesn’t mention, since it’s outside his experience, but on Earth it’s particularly associated with the masts of ships, which is why it’s named after the patron saint of sailors.
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The Gate That Locks the Tree – Act 1, Scene 3

In Vertu’s taxicab, on the Port Road. Outside, a blizzard.

In which Vertu’s passengers see signs of other travellers.

Speaking of things I’ve never heard of because I live somewhere that it never snows: graupel. I thought from the context of it being something on the road surface that perhaps it was “gravel” being mangled (like the “Salmo’s Fire” later in the story) by Surebleak dialect, but it turns out it’s a particular type of thing that falls from the sky, something like a cross between a snowflake and a hailstone.
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The Gate That Locks the Tree – Act 1, Scene 1

In the house of the taxi driver
Enter Vertu and Cheever

In which Vertu Dysan greets the new day.

The story is subtitled “A Minor Melant’i Play for Snow Season”, which offers a hint at what it’s likely to be about. Melant’i plays involve dramatic consquences revolving around points of correct behaviour; the examples we’ve had described seem to generally end with dead bodies, and sometimes with buildings burning to the ground.
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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.


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.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 24

Jelaza Kazone

In which Delm Korval receives a letter.

It feels a bit weird, having spent the last while reading short stories, to come back to a chapter that’s only six pages long and doesn’t have a proper beginning or ending. Which is, no doubt, one of the reasons that sensible people don’t take breaks in the middle of novels to read short stories.

I find myself sidetracked by the mention of Kareen moving back into the rooms she once occupied, which apparently haven’t been put to any new purpose since. The same was said about Daav’s rooms a few chapters back, but it’s actually more impressive in Kareen’s case; she left Jelaza Kazone years before Daav did, even if she didn’t go so far as to leave Liad entirely. (Come to think of it, the fact that a yos’Phelium made her home away from Jelaza Kazone says something in itself about Kareen’s relationship with the clan.) I suppose that the house has enough rooms, and few enough occupants, that it’s possible for rooms to be kept as Father’s Room and Great-Aunt’s Room and so on, until every room is occupied by either a warm body or a memory, by which time some of the memories might be faded enough to be displaced by the next warm body to come along.