Tag Archives: The Gazette

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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Dragon in Exile – Chapter 33

Jelaza Kazone
Surebleak

In which the Tree reaches out to a visitor, and Quin decides to go for a walk.

kin’Joyt professes to be offended that Korval is (supposedly) charging money for viewing the house, instead of having a free open day like properly civilised people, but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to her to protest by, say, refusing to buy a ticket. Then again, I get the impression kin’Joyt is willing to embrace an opportunity to be offended by Korval’s behaviour.

The mode of captain-to-passenger is an interesting choice; technically, that’s no longer an option that lies within Korval’s melant’i, since the Contract that made Korval the Liadens’ captain was concluded. It efficiently announces the delm’s identity, though; everybody still remembers, and if it’s no longer within Korval’s melant’i, there is yet nobody else who can lay claim to it.

“Lefty” pen’Erit’s new name follows the existing Surebleak pattern of This Is What Your Name Sounds Like To Me, though I had to go and look his personal name up to be sure because it’s been mentioned less often than the other examples we’ve seen.

I Dare – Chapter 55

Solcintra
Liad

In which the Captain acts for the safety of the passengers.

The mode of Ultimate Authority, which is referred to twice in this chapter, has, perhaps unsurprisingly, not come up much before: three times in the series up to this point. Priscilla adopts it briefly when putting Sav Rid Olanek in his place at the end of Conflict of Honors; Commander of Agents is said in Carpe Diem to use it when dealing with his underlings; and Val Con, greeting the Tree in Plan B, places the Tree in the position of ultimate authority.

The fact that it’s used twice in this chapter, and by whom, is the central conflict in a nutshell: the first is Commander of Agents again, and the second is Miri when she takes on the melant’i of Liad’s Captain. And I think it says something that, whereas Miri adopts the mode temporarily and in a situation where she is in fact the duly-appointed ultimate authority until the emergency is resolved, the Commander is not only self-appointed but apparently expects to be regarded as the ultimate authority all the time.

There’s a leap near the end of the chapter that I’ve never been able to follow. After the doomsday weapons are activated, ter’Fendil says he can deactivate them if Val Con gives him the control device, and Val Con does. Then it cuts to another scene, and when it cuts back everybody’s running for their lives and talking about the urgent need to do something before the weapons break out and start killing everybody. Is there something missing, or is it just me missing something?

I Dare – Chapter 33

Liad
Jelaza Kazone

In which Anthora has an announcement to make.

Things are moving quickly now, in more ways than one. Nova appears to have been correct to a fear a vogue for precipitate lifematings, at least as far as her kin are concerned. This one sets a record for precipitate that’s going to be hard to beat.

The fact that Ren Zel was cleared to open locked doors and wander through secured areas floated past in the dreamlike nature of that scene, but in daylight one does have to wonder how the house computer ended up with instructions to admit him. Anthora doesn’t seem to have done it, and Jeeves’ phrasing suggests he didn’t do it. Anthora seems to suspect Merlin, but – and I know I said Merlin and the Tree seemed to have been stage-managing the meeting – I find it hard to believe either a cat or a tree could have been able to access the house computer. Surely?

On the other hand, I do wonder how much Jeeves knows. The enquiry as to how well Anthora slept might be more than just a routine pleasantry, and I find myself wondering about the remark about the new napkin being “appropriate to her station”: does that mean he is aware of her station having changed? The idea of Merlin having recruited Jeeves as an accomplice is only slightly less bemusing than the idea of Merlin having updated the house computer personally, but Jeeves has indicated in the past that he understands what the cats tell him…

This House

In which Mil Ton Intassi tells a story, and it has an effect.

“This House” is one of a very few Liaden stories that have no connection with Korval and their doings, and few indications of where it fits relative to the other stories. (Though, speaking of relatives, Mil Ton Intassi has the same surname as someone who has appeared in connection with Korval, a fact which went right past me when I read the story in isolation but hit me straight between the eyes as soon as I started reading it this time.) The only time cue is that it must be set some time after “A Day at the Races”, since skimmer racing was a new thing then and is an established thing in “This House”. At that, it’s probably set further after “A Day at the Races” than I’ve placed it, but since it doesn’t connect with any other story, I decided that grouping the skimmer stories together would be more appropriate than being strict about chronology in this case.

The story was originally written for an anthology in which each story was inspired by a song, and is itself inspired by the song “This House” from Janis Ian’s album Breaking Silence. The lyrics of the song are on Janis Ian’s web site, if you’re interested in comparing them. (But watch out; that link goes to a page that autoplays music.)


Tomorrow: Conflict of Honors, picking up from the second chapter. (The first chapter/prologue, we did already, last week.)

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 32

In which the lives, the hearts, and the souls of Daav yos’Phelium and Aelliana Caylon are joined.

Did I say Kareen’s schemes had gone flat? I think “flat” is not sufficient; they have not only gone flat, they’ve sunk so deep into the ground as to be a convenient height to be used as stepping stones. The end result of all Kareen’s scheming has been to smooth Aelliana’s path.

Apart from that, I have (as apparently is becoming traditional for this point in each Liaden novel) not much else to say except “Yes!”.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 17

In which yos’Galan advises Korval, for the good of the clan.

Ah, Daav’s famous toasted cheese sandwiches.

On this readthrough, it strikes me that they’re toasted cheese sandwiches, because the word that’s been used up until now has been “handwich”. (At the risk of self-incrimination, I admit that this is a thing I’ve been actively tracking.) Perhaps it’s a translation convention, where “handwich” is the Terran word and bears some etymological connection to “hand” and “sandwich”, but the Liaden word is so completely different that one might as well translate it as “sandwich” and have done.

I like the idea that every toasted cheese sandwich is a unique work of art, and that there is therefore no wrong way to make one.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 7

In which Daav and Aelliana take a scenic route out of Solcintra.

Another incident underlining the idea of Mizel’s house as a foreign and dangerous port is Solcintra Port Control welcoming Aelliana home. It makes sense as a greeting, considering that it’s the port she flies out of, and I don’t expect they’re aware that she’s just come from the place that ought to have been home to her, but I reckon she’ll have noticed the irony of it.

Jon’s twitch at the news of Aelliana accepting Korval’s protection is interesting. I suspect it’s because it’s not the offer he’d been expecting Daav to make and Aelliana to accept, after the way they were the last time he saw them together.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 3

In which Daav and Aelliana are reunited.

It occurs to me that, even had nobody noticed the Jump ring on Ran Eld’s finger during the confrontation, it would have been surrendered to Mizel along with the rest of his finery when he died, so it would not have been necessary to pursue him to Low Port to get it back. I can understand that chain of thought not coming to Aelliana’s mind, though.

It appears that Daav and Aelliana do possess the lifemate bond to some degree, but that it only works at full strength when they’re in close physical proximity, as they are here, or as when they were dancing at the celebration.

This chapter includes the final four sentences of Scout’s Progress, all that was left from last chapter, with a few tweaks to punctuation and word choice but no substantive changes.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 1

In which dead women do not need new clothes.

And the sequel starts, straight out of the gate, by picking holes in the happy ending of the previous book. Which is unexpected, perhaps, only in how quickly it gets down to it, since if there were no holes in the happy ending it would not be necessary to have a sequel.

(I do wonder whether the authors were aware all along of the issues Daav and Er Thom lay out here, and glossed over them for the sake of a tidy ending, or if they only realised them after further thought, during the time between publishing Scout’s Progress and beginning to write Mouse and Dragon. I do not mean this as a slight, to suggest that it may have taken them a while to realise what Daav realises almost immediately; after all, they are authors, not Delms, and have not spent thirty years learning to think like a Delm the way Daav has.)