Tag Archives: Little Jump

Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part I


In which Surebleak has more visitors.

A whole lotta people arriving on Surebleak in one clump, with at least one more bunch expected soon, and all of them having business with Korval. It remains to see how much more complicated things are going to get when they start (as I expect they will, sooner or later) interacting with each other as well.
Continue reading

Neogenesis – Chapter 12 part III

In which Inki and Tocohl take a first look at their destination.

The circumstance of Inki having information locked away inside her head, so that she doesn’t even know she knows it until the time is right, keeps things unpredictable. Where there’s one such packet, there might be another to come forth at any moment and change the state of play for better or worse.

(It reminds me a bit of the Tree’s seed pods, waiting until the time is ripe, although I don’t know if that’s a fair comparison.)

Neogenesis – Chapter 12 part I


In which Tocohl and Inki discuss the next step.

I am looking forward to seeing Tocohl’s thoughts on recent events.
Continue reading

Dragon Ship – Chapter 24

Codrescu Station

In which Theo consults with the Guild Master.

It occurs to me that the publication dates of Dragon Ship and “Skyblaze” are close enough together that the authors were probably working on them around the same time. The reason it occurs to me now is that the reaction of the pilots at Tradedesk brings to mind the discussion in “Skyblaze” about the phrase “somebody ought to do something”, and the idea that some people feel that their responsibility ends once they’ve uttered the phrase, while others feel that uttering the phrase gives them a responsibility to be the somebody.

I Dare – Chapter 50

Day 47
Standard Year 1393

Surebleak Port

In which Pat Rin need not suffer the indignity of having his license pulled.

And now Pat Rin has about caught up with the end of Plan B. Specifically, this chapter is in the six-day gap between the climactic penultimate chapter and the final epilogue-sort-of chapter. In fact, these last few Pat Rin chapters from the arrival of the Juntavas courier on, this section which might be regarded as the climax of Pat Rin’s subplot, fits so neatly into that six-day gap that one might believe it was designed that way. (Especially if one vaguely recalled having heard somewhere that Pat Rin’s subplot was originally intended to be part of Plan B.)

I Dare – Chapter 48

Day 47
Standard Year 1393

Surebleak Space

In which Boss Conrad defends Surebleak.

Interesting that the Department’s demand to prepare for boarding is given in Trade instead of Liaden. My interpretation is that they wanted to make sure the pilot could understand it, and, presuming that Cheever was the pilot, didn’t expect him to be able to understand Liaden. (And just now I can’t remember whether Cheever actually can.)

I wonder who named the asteroid mining ships. There’s a striking amount of variety in the names.

I also wonder, now I come to think of it, who added armaments to Fortune’s Reward. They seem to have come as a surprise to Pat Rin and to Natesa, which argues against them having been added during the preparations for the project at hand, at the same time the ship was being renamed. That the weapon controls announced themselves when the ship accepted Pat Rin as pilot suggests that Fortune’s Reward has been armed all along and nobody saw fit to mention it while there wasn’t a pilot of Korval at the controls; that seems like a Korval sort of precaution.

Breath’s Duty

Leafydale Place
Standard Year 1393

In which Scout Reserve Captain Daav yos’Phelium returns a favour.

Speaking of first published appearances, this is Kamele’s, brief as it is, and it gave me entirely the wrong impression of her until Fledgling came out. I blame the translators’ decision to use “mistress” as a substitute for whatever word they use on Delgado, because while it has the advantage of bypassing a lengthy explanation it fails to capture the actual spirit of Kamele’s relationship with Jen Sar. On the other hand, I admit there were also some failings of comprehension on my part, regarding (a) the actual likelihood of Daav getting in the kind of relationship that “mistress” implies, and (b) the fact, which is mentioned right there in the story, that they’ve been together long enough for her daughter to be grown up.

This may also be, even more briefly, the first published mention of timonioum.

One of the purposes of this re-read was to see what new associations would come out of the stories by reading them in a different configuration: what would come out of a story by reading it near another story I maybe hadn’t read it near before? In this case, a new thing that struck me was the first dissonant detail: after a couple of pages of Jen Sar Kiladi getting ready for a fishing trip, just as he always does, he pauses to run through the Rainbow pattern. Reading the story so soon after Carpe Diem, with everything it has to say about the Rainbow and about the Rainbow being a Scout thing, that really jumped out at me as a sign that Professor Kiladi isn’t the groundhugging academic he appears. It says, if one didn’t already know, a great deal about his background in a very few words.

Another association that I don’t think I picked up before this re-read is that Acting Scout Commander sig’Radia has the same surname as Senior Scout Cho sig’Radia, the friend and mentor of Daav’s daughter. Probably a relative, not the same person; “Phoenix” has established that sig’Radia has a history of producing Scouts, and this story says straight up that Daav doesn’t know her. (I wonder, though: I don’t think Kiladi ever actually met Cho sig’Radia other than through written correspondence, and if he did notice the connection Daav wouldn’t make anything of it while he’s keeping the Kiladi connection quiet; conversely, of course, Cho sig’Radia knows Theo’s father only as Kiladi and has no reason to suspect he’s Daav. And one who was a Senior Scout a few years ago might have progressed far enough to become Acting Scout Commander now — especially since the “Acting” suggests that the Department’s recent actions have resulted in some rapid movement in the line of succession.)

I’m pretty sure I got the significance of the Richard A. Davis Portmaster Aid Foundation first time, though.

I seem to recall there being something I wanted to say about the bit where L’il Orbit casts shade on Kiladi’s piloting skills, but the only thing that’s coming to mind now is that it was never Kiladi, in the old days, who was called “schoolteacher”. And that there’s a bit of an irony in Daav yos’Phelium being named as a reliable pilot considering what happened the last time he was seen piloting a spaceship.

Scout’s Progress – Chapter 37

In which there is a death in the family.

I do really appreciate the glimpses we get in this novel of Birin Caylon, the human being behind Delm Mizel. Possibly the more so because there are so few of them.

Scout’s Progress – Chapter 29

In which Aelliana frames and tries a piloting addendum under stringent field conditions.

I have to admit that the details of Aelliana’s course addendum go straight over my head. But it certainly sounds impressive.

The quote at the beginning of this chapter is the fragment that eventually grew into the short story “The Space at Tinsori Light” (which, chronological order being what it is, we have already had). Here, its purpose is only to add another angle to the introduction of the pilot’s ring.

Scout’s Progress – Chapter 23

In which Aelliana receives the fruits of her previous day’s work.

A relatively quiet chapter, after all the excitement, though perhaps the calm before a storm. It worries me that I can’t remember what it portends that Aelliana has been left undisturbed, nor why the house is so quiet.

“She thought the tables had been revised fifty or sixty years ago!” I suppose when eight years is half one’s lifetime, the difference between eight years and fifty is not so significant as all that.