Tag Archives: ‘mite

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 50

Six of Us
Daiellen System

In which Sye Mon and Bon Vit are brought up to speed.

The Daiellen Sector is Surebleak’s neighbourhood, so these two haven’t travelled all that far — or else they headed back once they discovered where the war machines had been sent. Either way, it means it wouldn’t take too long for them to join in with the convocation at Benoo Three if for some reason their presence was required in person.
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Accepting the Lance – Chapter 2

In which two negotiate.

The Six are going for a multi-pronged effort: one remaining in sight as a decoy, two making the preparations described in this chapter, and the final three preparing to attack from a different direction that will presumbly be described in the next chapter.
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Neogenesis – Chapter 18 part II

In which Tolly suggests a straightforward approach.

Tolly’s plan seems sensible and well-thought-out — as long as the universe obliges him to the extent of the outpost being occupied by the people he expects.
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Neogenesis – Chapter 16 part I

Admiral Bunter

In which Hazenthull is observant.

I was a bit harsh about the switching between storylines last time, and as it turns out unfairly so: this time, though I was expecting it to, the pull to continue didn’t cut off when the story switched. It could be that we’ve now reached the point where every storyline’s got going, so even when it switches away from a storyline where things are exciting, things are just as exciting in the storyline it’s switching to.
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 23

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop
Berth 12

In which Tolly has an ally at large.

All things considered, Inki has given Tolly more chance than I was expecting of her. Though I notice she’s managed to arrange things so that whichever of her comrades Haz decides to go in aid of, that will leave one of Inki’s projects clear to proceed uninterrupted.

I was trying to decide whether Haz would be the type to call home with a status report before haring off after — I’m guessing probably Tolly, if she can figure out where he’s being sent — and then I was trying to figure out whether she has a method available for calling home; probably Tocohl’s been handling the status reports, and since she was probably communicating directly with Jeeves she might have been using a channel not accessible to Haz.

Where Tolly is being sent is Nostrilia, which is almost but not quite the name of the most famous planet in the galaxy in Cordwainer Smith’s science fiction stories. It will be interesting to see how far the resemblance extends.

There’s a moment, when Tolly is talking to Haz about people “believing that something that’s manufactured is artificial”, where I get the impression that he’s speaking of himself as much as he is of Tocohl or the Admiral.

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.

Trade Secret – Chapter 29

Arrival on Hatalan

In which Jethri Gobelyn regains his birthright.

Hah. I did wonder if they were just going to let the ex-Scout walk off with the Envidaria, but of course Captain ter’Astin had a plan.

Interesting that Jethri’s lucky fractin ended up in the deal. I wonder whose idea that was: just yos’Belin’s, to sweeten the pot? or did ter’Astin suggest it, knowing that Jethri would get to keep all, as a roundabout way of making a start at apologizing for bringing him all this trouble?

I like the bits where the Scout is describing the world they’re visiting: more of those bits of background detail that aren’t absolutely necessary but add to the richness of the story. (And then you get further on in the chapter and realise that there was, after all, a plot-relevant detail hidden in there.)

I’m not sure I grasp all the details of the extract from the Envidaria, but one thing I get is that it’s talking about shifts that cause Jump points to change, with some routes to become safer and others more dangerous, which sounds like the foundation of the explanation for why, a few centuries from now, it will be necessary to revise the official Jump tables. (And that the example of “more dangerous” is a Jump point moving hazardously close in to a star reminds me of the tale, near the end of Mouse and Dragon, of a certain pilot coming to grief through using the unrevised tables.)

Another thing I get is that he’s saying that in a particular area of space the result will be that the big Combine-backed cargo ships won’t be able to pass through, so trade there will be left to smaller ships, like the Market and Balrog. And this will continue for four or five hundred years, so it’ll still be the case in Val Con’s time and for some time after. (Say, I wonder where Bechimo rates on the scale of “small enough” to “too large”…)

And now, they’re for Ynsolt’i, which gives the idea of a nice tidy ending of the story at the place where it began. I was wrong when I predicted a geographical appropriateness for Jethri and Freza (although come to think of it, I was right that Jethri would have better luck on that visit, just not about who with); I wonder if I’ll be wrong again if I predict now that Jethri’s first return to Ynsolt’i since he left the Market will coincide with the Market‘s first return to Ynsolt’i since Jethri left.

Trade Secret – Chapter 27

Port Chavvy

In which Bar Jan chel’Gaibin gets what he traded for.

What little eloquence I normally have deserts me, and I have just one thing to say: Yes!

I like Jethri’s response when chel’Gaibin doubts that he is covered by the Code.

“All I ask is an honest advantage” has a polished sound to it, but if it’s a quote from somewhere else I’m not familiar with it.

Trade Secret – Chapter 26

Port Chavvy

In which there are many secrets.

This is another chapter that calls for the reminder that I do appreciate the emotional parts of the Liaden stories, but I’m not very good at talking about them.

Some of the things Freza tells Jethri about the intent of Arin’s Envidaria remind me again of the conversation Theo has with the Carresens of her time. (Though that doesn’t help as much as it might, because I don’t quite recall what the Carresens actually said.)

When the dateline said “Port Chavvy”, I said to myself, “That sounds familiar, has someone mentioned it earlier this book?” – and then there was Dulcimer, and Klay Patel Smith sitting by the equipment rack. So apparently I was wrong when I guessed “Out of True” was set earlier than the Jethri books, having underestimated how unfamiliar a sight Liadens are in parts of Terran space. In fact, there are several things about “Out of True” I understand better having read (this much of) Trade Secret, and I think I would recommend to a new reader that they read Trade Secret first and then “Out of True”.

Trade Secret – Chapter 18

Tradedesk, Gallery 770

In which it is always good to have news of kin.

The red bar, it appears, indicates a person who’s been invited to the traders’ after-dinner. That number includes, apart from Jethri and Grandma Ricky, Samay pin’Aker and Infreya chel’Gaibin, but not Bar Jan chel’Gaibin. With Infreya chel’Gaibin, instead of her son, is a pilot Jethri doesn’t recognise – perhaps Former Scout yos’Belin – wearing her red badge tag “slightly askew”, which may be an indication that she’s been adjusting the number and colour of tags from those to which she is properly entitled.

Jethri gets to learn some more of the things about his father that people assume he knows already. In this case, it’s about Uncle and Dulsey, and the fact that Arin looked as much like Uncle as Jethri looks like Arin. Which, as Jethri himself notes, is interesting.