Tag Archives: Pilots Guild card

Due Diligence – Chapter 4

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra gets married.

And so here is the context for the things that had puzzled me about Chi’s behaviour.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 1

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra is given an offer he can’t refuse.

I was right: I did know the protagonist’s name from somewhere. I was also right when I decided it would more entertaining trying to figure out where as the story went along than it would have been to just look up the answer.

In fact, I enjoyed having no idea where the first chapter was going so much that I’ve decided to do this novella a chapter at a time, to make the enjoyment last a bit longer.
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Dragon Ship – Chapter 26


In which Theo introduces Kara to her ship and crew.

I’ve been passing up several opportunities to comment on earlier, more subtle hints, but it’s pretty obvious now that there’s something going on between Theo and Kara. Good for them, though it’s not entirely consistent with the way their friendship was depicted in Saltation.

Perfection, the ship Asu is serving on, is now revealed to have the full name Asu Perfection. Or is “revealed” the wrong word? The obvious assumption is that its crew habitually shorten the name, in the manner of Shan and the crew of the Passage, but another possibility is that the ship was actually renamed to recognise a member of the Diamon family taking charge.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 23

Codrescu Station

In which Bechimo reports a ship lost with all hands.

I don’t have anything to say about Theo’s half of the chapter; it’s one of those occasions where I feel the situation calls for something to be said but I don’t have the words for it.

I neglected to comment on Ban Del ser’Lindri’s first appearance, a few chapters back. I was suspicious of him immediately, the first time I read the novel, but I don’t know if that means anything because I had a predisposition: I’d heard a few things about the plot before I got around to reading it myself, and one of them was that Kamele was going to encounter somebody who meant her ill. Since she’s kept to herself on this trip, we’ve only seen her interact with two people, and I can’t bring myself to suspect the waitress at the Ice Cream Shoppe.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 16


In which Theo is separated from her ship.

The woman with the too-large jacket and the too-large gunbelt harks back to the previous chapter, where the two robbers saw Theo’s too-large jacket and speculated that it was a “trophy”.

In the news report, a car containing a driver, cook and gardener in the employ of Korval returned “immediate fatal return fire” to a hostile action involving a former under-boss and an unspecified number of “backers”. Unless the driver was particularly fast on the draw, I suspect that means the cook and the gardener were also armed.

Saltation – Chapter 37

Conrad Café
Pilots Guild Hall

In which Win Ton has overstepped.

This is one of those chapters where I’d probably have had a lot to say the first time I read it, but now it’s so familiar that I don’t remember my first reaction.

One thing I definitely didn’t think of the first time, since Trade Secret hadn’t been written then, is the way certain things that happen or are mentioned in that novel strike familiar echoes in the description of Bechimo‘s creation.

Incidentally, I’m intrigued by the name of the café. Obviously it’s not named after Boss Conrad of Surebleak, but perhaps piloting history contains some famous Conrad they’re both named after.

Saltation – Chapter 36


In which Theo meets Win Ton again.

Now it’s definitely after the Battle of Solcintra; not long after, because the news has arrived at Volmer within the last few hours, while Theo was resting.

It took me a moment to get why Theo gets the more friendly greeting the second time she visits the Guild, but of course it’s because this time she’s wearing her jacket.

More foreshadowing of the news from home that’s awaiting Theo: although she doesn’t know it, she does have a personal interest in news of Ride the Luck and its pilot. But that’s still not the news of the moment… yet.

(It’s an amusing bit of outsider viewpoint that Pilot Vitale considers Korval “the most Liaden you can get”, especially considering the opinion Liad itself has recently expressed on that point.)

Saltation – Chapter 35

In Transit

In which Theo receives several more things unexpectedly.

Theo’s remark about Mayko being afraid she’ll lose the contract is, I think, a joke about Theo physically mislaying the contract before she has a chance to sign it, but in another sense I think Mayko actually is afraid that she, that is Mayko, will lose the contract — in these present unsettled times, it’s possible that a good pilot might find opportunity or necessity leading her down a path away from Hugglelans. And the more so if she’s given formal recognition as a first class pilot before those other paths are closed off.

Rig Tranza’s song about “the ship Jonny B” is perhaps a space-age descendant of the old folk song about the misadventures of the sloop John B. The one about having enough cooks for an army isn’t specifically familiar in the same way, but does sound appropriately folk-song-like.

Theo’s worry about urgent bad news from home turned out to be unfounded — this time. But if this is after all that eventfulness on Lytaxin, there is bad news from home that’s got to catch up with her some time.

Saltation – Chapter 31

Hugglelans Planetary
Conglomeration of Portcalay

In which Theo shakes the dust of Eylot from her feet.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and I really don’t think “Theo’s annual discovery that she’s underestimated Hugglelans” is going to become a running joke, if only because there’s not much further it can go. (“Really, Theo? Did you think Hugglelans was just this universe? Listen: there’s a very nice universe next door…”)

Aito in this mode really does remind one of Theo’s father, and his family somewhat of Theo’s father’s family. I’m pretty sure House Hugglelans is Terran — surely something would have been said by now if they weren’t — but it seems like they’ve picked up a thing or two by living this long on a half-Liaden world. The fact that, as we now learn, they too are a family of ships and pilots, likely also has something to do with it. (Though, at that, they’re not ships and pilots in precisely the same way; I can’t see Theo’s father’s family ever adopting the strategy of making a paying business out of their support structures, because it would mean tying themselves to stationary infrastructure, and their fundamental ethos is basically a large-scale version of the pilot packing rule about being able to depart at short notice without leaving anything important behind.)

Saltation – Chapter 30

Administrative Hearing Room One
Anlingdin Piloting Academy

In which Theo is pushed out of the nest.

I’m not sure which is a less fair event to claim as evidence of Theo’s “continued association with violent activity”, the one where she was attacked unprovoked or the one where her entire “association” with the activity was to get out of the way as it went past and do her level best not to get involved. I’m inclined to think the latter, with the additional note that the actual violence on that occasion was being done by official representatives of the lawful authorities, which makes it particularly unfair for those same lawful authorities to count it as an inappropriate event to be involved with.

(Although… was it these same authorities? There’s clearly been a shift in power since then, and it may well have gone as far as a complete change of government. We never did find out what cause Hap Harney was a martyr to; for all we know, the people who are now tarring Theo with his death were his people.)

Either way, they’re definitely being disingenuous in claiming the general unrest as justification for tightening their grip on things, considering who the actual restless people have been.