Tag Archives: pilots in peril

Dragon Ship – Chapter 35


In which Kamele receives news of her daughter.

I like that the news of Theo’s activities comes from news sources that show a range of degrees of reliability and accuracy, where a writer less committed to worldbuilding might have just had one. (I particularly appreciate the detail of the biased summary on the Eylot situation saying “Eylot threatened with interdiction; vessel destroyed”, which makes it sound like somebody threatened Eylot for no reason and then destroyed a ship, instead of Eylot destroying a ship and being threatened with consequences.)

Joyita has acquired a fourth ring since last time they were mentioned, which was at Velaskiz Rotundo, just before Kara signed on as crew – and putting that way makes me wonder if that’s the key. Perhaps the fourth ring represents Kara, and the original two represent Theo and Clarence… or Theo and Win Ton, the holders of the first two ship keys, and the third was added at the point when Bechimo accepted Clarence as a crew member and not just a temporary nuisance. (It appears, I think, at about the same point that Bechimo stops objecting to being addressed as “Chimmy”.)

Dragon Ship – Chapter 32

Ynsolt’i Approach

In which Ynsolt’i is back off the agenda.

My response to the Department’s claim of being “proper representatives of Liad” is a rude noise, but I wonder how much the Ynsolt’i authorities believe it.

The pilot from Metrose is another addition to the gallery of one-off characters who make an impression in a single brief appearance, the more impressively for appearing only as a voice. (That sentence was slightly trickier to put together than I expected when I began it, because I realised partway through that the pilot also belongs to the set of characters whom the authors have not burdened with gendered pronouns.)

Dragon Ship – Chapter 28


In which Bechimo leaves Codrescu.

There are some intriguing hints in Bechimo’s flashback. Joyita being removed from the project early. The Uncle seeing things differently from the Builders (and perhaps an implication that he too has been removed from the project?). Another mention of that subetheric communication method. And, more prosaically, the origin of Bechimo’s habit of referring to “mere ships”.

This is not an occasion for petty point-scoring, so if anybody noticed it’s wise of them not to say so, but it amuses me that Eylot Control call Theo “First Class Pilot Theo Waitley”, when in less fraught circumstances they would likely have said that they don’t recognise Theo’s qualification.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 27

Codrescu Station

In which more help arrives.

It’s not clear yet how many of the new arrivals are here following Bechimo‘s example. It might be that some of them were coming anyway, but didn’t have Bechimo‘s head start of already being outward bound when the call came; maybe they had business to settle before they could leave, or thought of useful things to round up and bring with them. (I’m thinking of Varthaven, for instance: do they always have doctors and a clinic on board, or was that something they had to arrange before they came?) Or it could be that every one of them is here because Asu was not only inspired but decided to share the inspiration around. Certainly the way they all arrive at once suggests some level of organization.

As of this chapter, Dragon Ship agrees with Ghost Ship (as one might expect) in declaring that it is currently summer on Surebleak.

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 24

Codrescu Station

In which Theo consults with the Guild Master.

It occurs to me that the publication dates of Dragon Ship and “Skyblaze” are close enough together that the authors were probably working on them around the same time. The reason it occurs to me now is that the reaction of the pilots at Tradedesk brings to mind the discussion in “Skyblaze” about the phrase “somebody ought to do something”, and the idea that some people feel that their responsibility ends once they’ve uttered the phrase, while others feel that uttering the phrase gives them a responsibility to be the somebody.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 22

Codrescu Station

In which Bechimo arrives at Codrescu.

Theo’s verbal fencing with Eylot Control is very amusing – from a safe distance.

Eylot’s demands are several kinds of unreasonable, of course. The one that particularly strikes me is the newly-promulgated law against close approach to the planet without prior permission, the penalty for a first offense being impoundment and confiscation. Granting that Bechimo didn’t announce their arrival in a properly official way, I still find myself wondering whether, if they’d made a normal approach, Eylot Control would have thought to mention the new law before they came near enough to break it.

There’s a minor continuity lapse in this chapter, with Joyita announcing Bechimo‘s affiliation to the station as “Lucky Cat” instead of “Laughing Cat”. (I can’t think of any in-story reason for him to have got that wrong, either inadvertantly or deliberately.)

Dragon Ship – Chapter 21

Codrescu Station

In which the occupants of Codrescu live in interesting times.

Guild Master Peltzer, Arndy Slayn and Qaichi Bringo were all, as we were reminded last chapter, present for Theo’s last visit to Codrescu in Saltation, which was exciting enough that they surely remember her name. (The cheerful comment that “The lady’s dangerous” is specifically a call-back to a conversation from that visit.)

We’ve seen more of Peltzer and Bringo since then, during Kara’s exciting time on the station in “Landed Alien”. That was also when we met Codrescu’s official station master; I noted at the time that “Landed Alien” goes out of its way to avoid establishing any personal details about the station master, including gender, so I’ll add that this chapter does at least tell us that he’s male (and that we’re unlikely to be seeing or learning any more about him in future).

Dragon Ship – Chapter 20

Departing Tradedesk

In which there are pilots in peril.

I think it’s probably for the best that the Guild Office wasn’t open when Theo went to see about advertising for a captain for Theo. It might be a good way to find a captain for a normal ship, but Bechimo‘s kind of a special case and I’m not convinced there’d be a good chance of finding a good match without broadcasting just how special in more detail than would probably be wise.

That’s an interesting moment when Theo and Bechimo are butting heads over going to Eylot, and Joyita seems just as amused by the situation as Clarence does.