Tag Archives: Loopers

Neogenesis – Chapter 6 part II

In which Admiral Bunter and Tolly discuss necessary action and acceptable risk.

A nice piece of narrative judo, here. By having Tolly explain things to Admiral Bunter, the reader is informed of matters that will be relevant to the ongoing adventures of Inkirani and Tocohl, who couldn’t have handled that bit of exposition themselves without it coming down to them telling each other things they already know. As a bonus, there’s the little touch of irony that Tolly and the Admiral consider going to the place where they would have met again with their former companions, and then decide not to.

I also like the bit where Tolly is telling Admiral Bunter about the rumour regarding the Carresens-Denobli long-looper. He says that there is this rumour; he doesn’t say what he knows from his own experience of its accuracy. Of course that’s something he doesn’t need to be telling Admiral Bunter at this point in their relationship; all the Admiral needs to know is that there may be other people like him out there.

Due Diligence – Chapter 2

In which Petrella yos’Galan is diligent.

I had some things I was going to say about how I still didn’t understand why Chi is going to these lengths, but they’ve been rendered moot by the helpful person in the previous post’s comments who wished to spare me the trouble of waiting for the story to explain itself. So.

I like the discussion of the difference between offending nobody and offending everybody.

The thing Petrella thinks she remembers about Line pen’Uldra, which has not yet been revealed, is I suspect likely to be connected somehow with the fact of Fer Gun being the last of the Line.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 8

Chessel’s World

In which the authorities act against an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Okay, so it’s “The trade goes wrong, launching more plot”, then. I didn’t expect it to go wrong this way, though in retrospect perhaps I should have.

Did the portmaster’s office know, when they invited Shan to a reception later in the day, that he was involved in an ongoing criminal enterprise? As Shan says, the specification that he should come alone isn’t necessarily sinister.

Shan’s reflection on the reception he received in Dayan port keeps another of the story’s balls in the air — Dayan port being where Lomar Fasholt used to live and trade. (And it occurs to me for the first time that it may not be coincidence that the planet Dayan and Sintia’s port city of Dyan have such similar names.)

I like how we have Padi trying to figure out why Shan chose to offer the goods he did, followed later by Shan reflecting on why he did.

We now have the third mate’s name: Dil Nem Tiazan. This is a name we’ve encountered before; he was one of the relatives to whom Miri was introduced at her first dinner under Erob’s roof.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 3

Dutiful Passage

In which Padi has a lesson to learn.

I raise an eyebrow at Padi’s dismissal of things that serve no purpose other than looking pretty. Apart from the error she’s making of assuming that “I see no purpose to this” is the same as “There is no purpose to this”, it seems shortsighted for one who aspires to be a trader: even if a thing’s only value lies in looking pretty, it still has value that may be usefully leveraged or may cause problems if ignored. People value the things they value, for whatever reason.

(That said, being unreasonable isn’t all that unlikely for someone Padi’s age.)

I’m wondering if the Carresens Syndicate is going be part of the “alliance of equals” referred to in the title. When the family (and Pilot Janifer Carresens-DeNobli) was last mentioned, in Dragon in Exile, the delm summed them up by saying they were very like Korval. (I somehow doubt the Uncle is going to be part of it; has he ever recognised an equal?)

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 2

Dutiful Passage

In which Padi tends to the growth of the garden and Shan tends to the growth of his heir.

That’s an interesting word choice by Padi in response to the suggestion that she might have Healer abilities coming on. Not that she hasn’t seen any evidence of it (and I notice she doesn’t say that she hasn’t), but that she’s determined not to be a Healer — as if determination has ever made any difference in the matter. I wonder why she’s so firm on the subject. It surely can’t be that she thinks being a Healer would prevent her becoming a Trader, since her own father is proof that a person can be both.

Possibly there’s a clue to be had by considering Shan’s timing in raising the matter: He does it as an apparent tangent off the discussion about Padi’s motivation in her self-defence training, which suggests that he sees some connection. Perhaps he’s thinking that a Healer might be reluctant to harm others and that this could lead to overcompensation.

The interlude with the Uncle places the timing of this story with some precision, within the timespan of Dragon in Exile, and raises the prospect of the Uncle and Dulsey playing a larger part in this novel. And perhaps their two guests as well?

Ghost Ship – Chapter 22


In which Bechimo has doubts.

There are some interesting details about Bechimo‘s background in this chapter. The Builders clearly gave some thought to the question of what might happen if the AI running their more-or-less autonomous ship, with full control over the airlocks and life support systems and all, turned out to be the kind of AI that sci-fi horror movies have warned us about.

Also, we get what I think is the first mention of Bechimo‘s preferred gender.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 21


In which Theo has a few things to say about Bechimo‘s priorities.

Interesting that Uncle is on Bechimo‘s Disallowed List, when he told Theo he saw the ship when it was under construction. Did he start out working with the Builders, and do something that caused a falling-out? Or maybe the Builders already didn’t like him, and he only got to see the under-construction Bechimo briefly and had to sneak in to do it. (Either way, it might be support for the idea that Uncle’s shipyard in Trade Secret isn’t the yard that produced Bechimo, but a later attempt by Uncle to replicate the achievement.)

Because I need to imagine it looking like something, and because it seems appropriately science-fictional, I always picture Bechimo‘s discovery looking like the Utah teapot.

Saltation – Chapter 39


In which Theo meets a Dulsey and an Uncle.

It’s not clear whether this Dulsey and this Uncle are the same Dulsey and the same Uncle that Jethri ven’Deelin knew a few centuries ago, but if they are that might have something to do with Theo finding them both indeterminate of age. (Win Ton described this Uncle as “one who fell heir to the title”, which could be interpreted several ways, particularly bearing in mind the whole business back then about Uncle Yuri’s “younger brothers”.) I notice that the description of the Uncle, when he appears, carefully avoids any of the details – height, build, eye colour, hair colour – that might give a basis for comparison with descriptions we’ve previously been given of Uncle(s).

Balance of Trade – Chapter 15

Day 106
Standard Year 1118

Tilene Trade Theater

In which Jethri has unexpected news of kin.

So much happens in this chapter, I’m not sure where to begin.

Why is it that things always go wrong just after somebody’s thought something like “I got through the day without doing something irrevocably stupid”? Though to be fair, Jethri didn’t do anything stupid, unless it’s stupid to do that thing he does of trusting people to be straight with him. Irrevocable, on the other hand, it certainly was. And it says a great deal for how highly Norn ven’Deelin regards Jethri that she was willing to take the irrevocable step she took to get him out of trouble.

I was amused to notice that Jethri gets to use the bow acknowledging a debt truly owed for real in this chapter, the more so since the narrator just says he bowed, “very precise indeed”, and leaves it to the reader to realise from context which bow he must have used.

I like Tan Sim pen’Akla, and I’m glad we’ll be seeing more of him. (One of the things I’m hoping for from the sequel is an improvement in his situation.)

Balance of Trade – Chapter 6

Day 42
Standard Year 1118

Gobelyn’s Market

In which there are secrets in all families.

With Paitor and Grig wanting to let Jethri know a few things, there’s a lot of background filled in here, not all of which ends up being noticeably relevant in the rest of this novel.

Allowing for a bit of linguistic drift, it seems likely that the blusharie the three of them share is the same kind of drink as the blusherrie Niku and Friar Julian drink in celebration at the end of “Eleutherios”.

Speaking of things returning under new names, the fractins – the Fractional Mosaic Memory Modules – seem likely to be the same as the data-tiles that were all over the place in Crystal Dragon. (Interesting that we get more description of what they look like and what they’re made of in this book than we ever did in the one where they were all over the place. I suppose when they were all over the place, none of the viewpoint characters paid them much attention.) And the suggestion that within a few years something is going to start happening to them is one of those bits that isn’t picked up in this novel, but might be in the sequel.

I’m not sure what to make of the business about there possibly having been more than one Terra.