Tag Archives: Sinner’s Carpet

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 26

Office of the Road Boss
Surebleak Port

In which Val Con pays an educational visit, and Miri has a visitor who just won’t learn.

Val Con is interrupted twice as he gets to saying “Now, I wonder–“, so we never do find out what it was he was wondering.

I think it might be too much to expect that all Val Con will find at the Road Boss office when he arrives is Miri grumpily shutting down her computer. Even if Smealy wasn’t inclined to push matters, his shadow is likely to have something to say (although whether that means that Val Con will arrive to find Miri under attack, or just to find Smealy bleeding out on the front doorstep, I’m not sure).

I Dare – Chapter 40

Day 31
Standard Year 1393

Surebleak Spaceport

In which good intentions sooner or later need cash to back them.

A whole month has passed since we last saw Pat Rin and company, so it’s now only a few weeks before Val Con and Miri are going to start worrying about them. The way things are, though, there’s still a lot might happen in a few weeks.

If anyone ever compiles a book of advice for people caught up in adventure stories, one of those pieces of advice will surely be to never, ever, under any provocation, ask the question “What harm can it do?”

I Dare – Chapter 22

Day 309
Standard Year 1392

Blair Road

In which the new boss gets to know the territory.

One of the many victims of the epidemic Pat Rin is told about in this chapter was Miri’s grandmother; she mentions it to Val Con back in Agent of Change.

Ms Audrey thinks she’s joking about Pat Rin deciding it’s too cold and installing central heating in the streets, but he’ll be making plans to very similar effect by the end of the book.

I Dare – Chapter 20

Day 308
Standard Year 1392

Blair Road

In which the people meet the new boss.

Following on from what I said last time, I note that when telling Ms Audrey about the Sinner’s Carpet Pat Rin is again selective with the details, and selects a different set than when talking to Jim Snyder.

On a subject I’ve been keeping track of: Ms Audrey’s guess is that Pat Rin’s preferred game is dice, rather than cards, but his reply is exquisitely uninformative.

I Dare – Chapter 18

Day 307
Standard Year 1392

Blair Road

In which the new boss is not the same as the old boss.

One hazard of reading a series like this in chronological order like this is that one occasionally encounters two stories that are set within a few days of each other but written years apart, and then it can be difficult to avoid noticing discrepancies.

The difference between the implication here about the carpet’s creator and the explicit description in “Persistence” is, I think, clearly a deliberate creative decision by the authors, and can be easily explained in-universe as a deliberate creative decision by Pat Rin, who would not misinform a potential buyer as to the value of a carpet but also knows the value of tuning the details to fit the audience. I can’t see any such clear-cut explanation for the fairly large difference between the price Pat Rin paid for the carpet in “Persistence” and the price he remembers paying here.

On the other hand, there are good juxtapositions, too. Snyder taking Cheever at face value is extra amusing coming so soon after Beba seeing right through him.


In which there is a victory for persistence.

Pat Rin’s new name, Conrad, doesn’t ring any particular bells for me; I can’t tell whether the joke about it being “the same as the carpets” is a reference to something in-universe that I don’t recall or something out-universe that I don’t know. (There’s a classic SF novel called And Call Me Conrad, but it’s one of the lamentable gaps in my knowledge of Roger Zelazny’s works, so I don’t know if this is one of the authors’ references to classic SF.)

Speaking of names, Charleschow doesn’t particularly sound to me like a place that would have high prices and private seating, but maybe different cultures have different naming standards. Or maybe it’s come up in the world, but keeps the original name because of tradition.

And speaking of names that might have reason to sound familiar, Caratunk, which appears in this story as a surname, comes up a couple of times in the Jethri books as the name of a planet that’s home to some significant trading families. And Vashtara, the cruise ship Beba and Joshu leave on at the end, is the same cruise ship Theo and Kamele travelled on in Fledgling. (Which is surely not a coincidence, since the two were written around the same time, and I can see themes and ideas they have in common.)

I noticed on this re-read, which I didn’t the first time I read it, that the place Beba and Joshu light out for at the end is the same as the origin of the other carpet Conrad took a particular interest in. There’s probably a significance there I’m not getting; maybe next time.