Tag Archives: menfri’at

Trader’s Leap – Chapter 9 (V-IX)

Dutiful Passage
Millsap Orbit

In which Padi has a long day.

Shan has a plan: to visit the Redlands, which it turns out is not one country, or even one planet, but a system with three inhabited planets.
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Trader’s Leap – Chapter 9 (I-IV)

Dutiful Passage
Millsap Orbit

In which Padi and Shan commune with inanimate objects.

This is a surprisingly long chapter and I’m up against a deadline, so I’m going to do it in two parts.
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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.
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Neogenesis – Chapter 14

Vivulonj Prosperu

In which a change of course is called for.

I don’t yet understand how the failure of the Catalinc Project could result in everything that is ascribed to it, but I note that it sounds very similar to the potential bad future Ren Zel has foreseen.
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The Gathering Edge – Chapter 20

Among the Sweet Growing Things

In which a situation develops in the hydroponics bay.

I like the description of Kara tending to the plants: three paragraphs on the value of talking to plants, with, as an afterthought, one sentence acknowledging a possible more hard-headed take on the subject.
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 31

Admiral Bunter

In which the bombshell is dropped.

I’ve been going back and forth on the cover illustration: at first I assumed it depicted Dutiful Passage, more or less because that was the only ship I knew would be in the novel, then later I thought perhaps it was Admiral Bunter. Now it looks like I was right the first time.

When Shan and Higgs went out, leaving Padi behind at the hotel, my first thought was that they’d been lured away so that someone could attack Padi. Then the attack on the Passage happened, and now I think it’s that Padi’s going to get wind of that and have to deal with it without Shan around to offer guidance.

It could still be that Shan was deliberately lured away. (In-story, I mean. It’s pretty obvious that it was deliberate on the part of the authors.) Perhaps it’s a two pronged attack. Perhaps it’s coincidentally an attack from Plishet with no connection to the attack on Priscilla. On the other hand, perhaps it’s just that Shan found conversation with Master Rusk congenial and lost track of time.

(Perhaps it’s good news that keeps him – it suddenly struck me as I was writing this that maybe she has news to impart of Lomar Fasholt. Although I don’t really have anything to back that up with beyond the flimsy observations that she’s female and it would be nice to have news of Lomar by the end of the book.)

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 5

Dutiful Passage

In which there are uncomfortable awakenings.

So now we know what Padi’s secret is. Poor kid. Of course it didn’t occur to her, while she was taking great care not to let the others see how much afraid she was, that the others might be doing likewise.

Given the bit about how Padi’s found herself thinking of the milaster scheme as if it might somehow make or break her trading career, I see two ways that might go, depending on how far into the book they get to Chessel’s World. It might be a disaster, and that be a launching point for more plot. Or it might be that they get to Chessel’s World only at the end of the novel, after many adventures, and it’s a success but by then Padi has other bigger things to think about.

Another change in Dutiful Passage‘s roster becomes apparent: It appears that, after so many years, Ken Rik yo’Lanna is no longer the cargo master.

I said, back when it was first made clear, that I didn’t understand why Tolly hasn’t been told it’s Korval he’s working for; I think I’m getting the idea now. One thing I hadn’t borne in mind was just how much trouble Tocohl’s mere existence could cause her creators, given the Complex Logic Laws, if the identity of her creators became known. And I think what Shan said about it being bad-mannered to burden Lina with Korval’s secrets unnecessarily also applies to Tolly.

I’m beginning to really wonder who it was who served as the connection between Tolly and Korval for employment purposes. It seems to me like Tolly started to say a name or designation beginning with “The” before he thought better of saying it out loud. I don’t think it’s the Uncle, given the way Tolly thinks about him later in the conversation. It’s definitely not Theo, both because she doesn’t know people like Tolly and because if Korval had contact with her they’d doubtless be requiring her to aid the situation in a more direct manner.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 4

In Jump

In which there are consultations on matters of healing.

Yay! We’re getting more of Tolly and Tocohl and Haz already! I’d assumed that it would be another whole book before we found out what happened to them next. (I see that Hazenthull, like Nelirikk, has traded in her Explorer designation for a “nor’Phelium”.)

When Tocohl speaks of her mentor, I think she’s referring to Val Con. Strictly speaking it was Jeeves who oversaw her awakening (and isn’t that a thought to horrify the framers of the Complex Logic Laws, an AI being taught how to be human by another AI), but he said that to save time he basically gave her a direct download of what he’d learned from his own mentor. And while he must have had another mentor back in the long-ago time that he was first activated, much of what he knows about smooth social interaction he learned from Val Con. The specific trick of pausing as if to consider is one we see Val Con teaching him in “Intelligent Design”.

This is the first mention of ‘mite since the Jethri books. I wonder if that’s a sign other elements from the Jethri books will be reappearing.

There is definitely something up with Padi, but not yet enough clues to start guessing about what.

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?