Tag Archives: pilot and ship

Dragon Ship – Chapter 1


In which the pilots conduct a ship wipe.

Clarence deciding to address Bechimo as “Chimmy” serves two purposes, one for the readers and one for the characters.

Outside the story, it lets the readers know how “Bechimo” is pronounced. I can think of at least three ways to pronounce the “ch” in “Bechimo” (and I apparently chose the wrong one the first time I read Ghost Ship), but there’s really only one way to pronounce the “ch” in “Chimmy”.

Inside the story, it’s a signal from Clarence about how he intends to interact with Bechimo, a signal which Bechimo seems to be pointedly declining to take note of. (I don’t for a moment believe that he wasn’t capable of figuring out who Clarence was talking to; pretending he didn’t get it was his own signal, and one I expect Clarence cheerfully to ignore in his turn.)

The part of the signal Bechimo’s probably objecting to is the part that says Clarence isn’t going to let him get away with being formal and high-handed. They’ve got to work as a team if it’s going to work at all, and that means every member of the team has to be open to input from the others; especially since it’s been demonstrated that even though Bechimo knows things about the ship and the Builders that the rest of the crew doesn’t, on practical matters there are times he’d do well to pay attention to the experienced pilots.

There’s another part of the signal which Bechimo maybe genuinely isn’t getting or appreciating: Clarence tends to interact with people in a casual, friendly sort of mode, the kind where nicknames are appropriate, so doing it with Bechimo shows he accepts Bechimo as a person.

(I find myself wondering whether there ever was an original Chimmy, or if that’s merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.)

Necessity’s Child – Chapter 3

In which Syl Vor is certainly not having trouble sleeping.

Our third viewpoint character is, for a change somebody we already know, though not yet well: Syl Vor yos’Galan, Nova’s son.

A couple of other people we know, but not yet well are Syl Vor’s cousins Mik and Shindi, who sleep through the entire chapter and even so get more characterisation than in the entire series up to this point. Though that’s fair enough, considering they’re only about a year old and their life to date has largely consisted of their family trying to keep them away from the exciting things the readers are interested in.

On which note, we also learn this chapter that, although all the children survived Plan B physically untouched, the pressure of having to always be prepared for the other possibility has left its mark on Syl Vor.

(And an intriguing side-note: in Syl Vor’s thoughts, Lady Kareen is appropriately “Grandaunt”, but Luken bel’Tarda is “Grandfather”, without even as much justification as when Quin did it. Perhaps it’s been decided that Luken is Grandfather to all the children, since the clan has no other grandfathers to offer them.)

Hidden Resources

Runig’s Rock

In which the treasures of the Clan are brought home.

The youngsters of the clan start to become involved in events, and show individual personalities. (Some of them, anyway. Though Shindi and Mik can probably be excused, considering their age.)

The obvious question is: what was that other ship waiting for? My guess is, it was waiting for Natesa. That is, not for her specifically, but for whoever might come to bring news of Korval’s situation, thereby increasing the number of Korval’s children who could be captured in one swoop.

(Another possibility is that there was some reason why they needed to watch someone actually pass through the outer defences before they made their attack; perhaps to check that they’d identified the number and location of all the defences. Against that is the fact that they apparently didn’t hang around to watch Natesa pass through the outer defences, but left to avoid being caught hanging around – which is interesting in itself, because it suggests they had some way of knowing she was coming.)

Another question is: If they hadn’t waited, and had attacked the Rock before Natesa arrived, would they have had any better success? I’m not sure they would; Luken is no Natesa, but it wouldn’t do to underestimate him.

Tomorrow: “Kin Ties”

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 25

In which Aelliana takes decisive action in response to Mizel’s message.

I said in an earlier entry that one of the things worth noting about Scout’s Progress was the way it wasn’t a story about Aelliana being rescued, but a story about Aelliana rescuing herself. Even though she is now, for the most part, rescued, Mouse and Dragon has continued to be a story in which Aelliana makes the decisive moves in her own life. She was the originator and driving force of the idea of going for courier, and each time her personal relationship with Daav has tightened a notch, it’s been her making the move. (Which is an important thing, for a person whose life was for so long out of her control.) That continues here: the proposal that they cry lifemates comes from her, unbidden, when she’s ready and not before.

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 32

In which Nadelm Mizel demands to see Master Binjali.

I had not noticed on earlier readings how much Ran Eld was bothered by Clonak’s facial hair. (Nor, consequently, that when Clonak strokes his mustache he’s probably deliberately playing up to see how much more bothered he can make him.)

Frad’s remark that Ran Eld doesn’t appear to appreciate Aelliana’s flight points out another aspect of Ran Eld’s blinkered view that I hadn’t considered previously. It’s not so much that he doesn’t know how impressive the piloting was, since I can see where a non-pilot might not grasp that — but there’s no indication, in the last chapter or this, that Ran Eld has even noticed that Aelliana helped save somebody’s life. As far as Ran Eld is concerned, this is apparently an entirely irrelevant detail.