Tag Archives: Ride the Luck

Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part VI

In which Val Con and Miri offer their solutions.

The distinction Val Con makes between those who count themselves to be Scouts and those who count themselves to be Liaden Scouts is one I was reaching for yesterday but didn’t manage to wrap words around. (And reminds me of Eylot, forcing its pilots to decide whether they were pilots who happened to be Eylotian or Eylotians who happened to be pilots.)

It also, come to think of it, suggests the possibility, if not the certainty, that at some point in the future the Scouts headquartered on Surebleak are going to accept non-Liadens into their ranks. Once you’ve reached the conclusion that being a Scout and being a Liaden are not necessarily linked, it’s an obvious consequence. (There have been hints in that direction already, too, with people mentioning that the Scouts have been providing educational opportunities on Surebleak, usually followed by commenting that Scout teachers always treat their students as prospective Scouts.)
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Neogenesis – Chapter 4

Vivulonj Prosperu

In which Daav and Aelliana explore the boundaries of their new situation.

It is a good question, how the Tree knew they’d need those particular seed pods; we’ve had cause to ask similar questions before, though usually not involving such a complicated and unpredictable chain of events. I don’t find the suggestion that the pods would never have ripened if they hadn’t been needed reassuring, because it suggests that the pods are themselves aware of their surroundings and capable of interpreting events, which is a disconcerting attribute to ascribe to (a) a small lump of vegetable matter with no apparent nervous system, and (b) something one has recently eaten.
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 15

Jemiatha’s Jumble Stop
Berth 12

In which an alliance of equals begins its work.

Tolly’s got a job on his hands, here. It will be easier to set Admiral Bunter straight once he’s in a proper installation where he can think properly and has more room for new ideas, but I suspect Tolly’s going to have to manage some straightening out before he can even get the Admiral to agree to the move. If I were the Admiral, I’d be suspicious about being moved into a new body, and worried about what might happen while I was in the middle of moving and not able to concentrate. Not to mention that what ships Inkirani might find to move him into presumably aren’t armed, or Bechimo would have stuck the Admiral into one of them in the first place, and the Admiral might object to being put in a body that makes it harder for him to carry out what he knows to be his job.

I wonder if it would be possible to do a partial move to begin with — say, perhaps just the bits that are crammed into extra and unsuitable computers like the commissary computer someone mentioned, so that he went from being split between thirteen comps on seven ships to being in eight comps on eight ships. That way he’d still have access to all the capabilities of his existing ships, but be less fractured, and have room to think in the new ship, so he could properly consider what he wanted to do next.

It strikes me that there’s a commonality of theme across the two halves of this chapter, speaking of being suspicious about being moved into a new body. Daav has been moved into a new body without being consulted first, and he’s suspicious of what might have been lost — or added — in the process.

(I keep thinking of the pilot who visited Tinsori Light, and who destroyed his ship and himself with it because he couldn’t trust either not to have had any nasty surprises installed in them, and hoping Daav’s situation is not going to come to a similar end.)

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 25

Boss Conrad’s House
Blair Road

In which the Juntavas make Korval an offer he can refuse.

I’m not sure I understand the motivation behind the Juntavas’ offer to bring Korval into the family. If even an ordinary alliance would be risky, why go so much further? The only thing I can think of is that someone hopes to be able to envelop and gain control of Korval, in which case it’s only polite of Val Con to have given warning. Korval doesn’t really do “enveloped and controlled”.

I’m impressed by the Juntavas’ information-gathering if they’ve learned that Aelliana is still around. Maybe it’s explained by the fact that they’ve obtained detailed information about Daav’s visit to Nev’lorn, since Daav did mention to a few people then that Aelliana was with him. Perhaps more impressive is that the High Judge seems pretty casual about it, Aelliana being still around so long after she was declared to be really most sincerely dead. Could be that this time it’s a case of not having learned everything; if he doesn’t know how definitely dead Aelliana was, he might fall back on assuming reports of her death had been exaggerated, which I expect is something a High Judge of the Juntavas would be familiar with.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 12

Spwao System Arrival

In which there are several updates on Daav’s condition.

Although the narrator seems to be making a point of not referring to the pilot in the Uncle’s care as “Daav”, or by any other name – the only time he’s named is when the Uncle uses the name by which he knows him – which is interesting, though I’m not sure what the point might be.

Olwen sel’Iprith is another familiar name from the past. As she says, she’s an old colleague of Daav’s who knew him very well indeed; she appears or is mentioned in both the Daav-and-Aelliana books, and plays an incidental but unknowingly influential role in Local Custom.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 7

Jelaza Kazone

In which the delm of Korval receives bad news at breakfast.

It probably goes without saying, but I can’t think of anything else to say about this chapter, so I’ll take this opportunity to point out that Dragon Ship, like Necessity’s Child, picks up at the end of Ghost Ship, so the events of Necessity’s Child are going on somewhere in the background the whole time. The situation Val Con mentions, which is being permitted to develop, might even be one of the situations that are described in Necessity’s Child, though it might be something entirely different; it’s not as if the Scouts have a shortage of Department-related situations to concern themselves with.

Ghost Ship – Epilogue

Pod 78

…even this, in its own way.

Given that it’s already something of an effort for Theo to convince herself that things are going well with Win Ton, it’s probably just as well she’s not aware her father is likewise going to be spending the indefinite future in a heavy-duty medical unit.

There was apparently some controversy about this ending when the book first came out, but for myself I think it’s a reasonable cliffhanger, though I’d probably have thought differently if I hadn’t already known there would be another book coming along to pick up the loose threads. I’d also have been less well-disposed if there hadn’t been this epilogue – not that I’d have believed for a moment that Daav was really dead, but I’d have been annoyed if the authors had made us wait for the next book before they admitted it.

And of course the Uncle, being right there and, as we’ve been reminded recently, in possession of certain methods of cheating death, is the obvious explanation for why Daav isn’t out of the game just yet. Though I realised more on this reading that it’s not nearly so obvious from the Uncle’s point of view – after all, he’s notoriously self-centred and Daav yos’Phelium isn’t anything like a friend or an ally – and that the authors have done quite a bit of work in this chapter and the last few the Uncle has been in to put him in a position where he wants to help Daav.

The cliffhanger will remain hanging for a while longer, however, as tomorrow is “Prodigal Son”, filling in the details of what Val Con’s been doing lately, and after that Necessity’s Child.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 42

Pod 78

In which Pod 78 draws blood.

I don’t think I’ve observed before, and given the events of this chapter there’s not going to be another chance, that Daav flies Ride the Luck from the co-pilot’s chair. There’s probably more to that than simple force of habit.

There have been a number of moments over the past few books when Daav has felt Aelliana’s presence and forced himself not to look because he knows he won’t see her, and they pay off in the moment at the end of this chapter. Which is a neat trick, really, considering that when the authors started including those moments they had no idea this scene was in their future.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 30

Boss Vine’s Turf

In which Theo is offered a trade route and a seed pod.

One advantage of re-reading is that when you know where the story’s going, it can be easier to make out what the foreshadowing is trying to tell you. For instance: Here is Clarence, who’s made himself unpopular enough that somebody came to shoot at him, and probably hasn’t helped his case much by being so unobliging as to shoot the person who came to shoot him. Might be he’ll soon be in a situation where a job that takes him offworld for a longish while will be just the thing he needs.

And Clarence’s visitor is interesting: Seems to have known him from when he was working on Liad, and got on the wrong side of him then. An independent operator, not a fellow Juntava, is my impression. It’s not just Korval’s friends who are making the trip to try their luck in the new land of opportunity.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 21


In which Theo has a few things to say about Bechimo‘s priorities.

Interesting that Uncle is on Bechimo‘s Disallowed List, when he told Theo he saw the ship when it was under construction. Did he start out working with the Builders, and do something that caused a falling-out? Or maybe the Builders already didn’t like him, and he only got to see the under-construction Bechimo briefly and had to sneak in to do it. (Either way, it might be support for the idea that Uncle’s shipyard in Trade Secret isn’t the yard that produced Bechimo, but a later attempt by Uncle to replicate the achievement.)

Because I need to imagine it looking like something, and because it seems appropriately science-fictional, I always picture Bechimo‘s discovery looking like the Utah teapot.