Tag Archives: toasted cheese sandwiches

Dragon Ship – Chapter 14


In which Theo explores the shopping district and her options.

That’s two different ways the authors have signalled the correct pronunciation of “Bechimo” this book, when most of the names in this series are lucky to be accorded one. I remember thinking when I got this far the first time that the authors must have fielded a lot of queries about it, or had to put up with a lot of mispronunciations, to expend so much effort on making it clear. Or maybe only the first time was for the benefit of the readers, and this time is an acknowledgement that if people who are unfamiliar with the name are liable to get it wrong in the real world the same is true of characters in the story.

I’m going to make note of the bit about the Department being able to implant a hidden course of action into a person’s mind, in case it comes up again later. Well, it has at least once, I guess, if that’s what Agent bar’Obin used to reel in Rys in the written-later Necessity’s Child. And, of course, we might already have seen it in action without knowing it. Though I figure they didn’t use it on the guy they sent to assassinate Miri at the party, or he wouldn’t have been deflected by his personal qualms.

The sections of the story told from Theo’s point of view are increasingly including explicit references to Theo’s temper and the effects it has on others, which indicates an increased amount of self-awareness on her part.

Another interesting moment reflecting Theo’s personal evolution is when, without apparently thinking anything of it, she uses the phrase “back home” to refer to returning to Bechimo.

Fledgling – Chapter 12

Cultural Genetics Program
Bjornson-Bellevale College of Arts and Sciences
University of Delgado

In which Theo has dinner with her father.

So, like I was saying, after that brief moment of peace and domestic harmony, comes… more peace and domestic harmony? Whatever storm this is the calm before must be really awful.

With Kartor getting a surname this chapter, all of Four Team Three are now equipped with names both fore- and sur-.

The uncharacteristic clumsiness of Theo’s father is definitely suggestive to a reader familiar with the wider Liaden universe; we saw his old teacher pull the same trick back in Scout’s Progress.

It also brings on an observation which I’m sure is influenced by me remembering things that haven’t happened yet, but I’m going to pass it on anyway: Theo was able to catch both the objects Professor Kiladi dropped without any difficulty. Conversely, every incident of her supposed clumsiness we’ve seen has involved colliding or tangling with a person — a trend reinforced by her self-description in chapter nine. This doesn’t mean that Theo isn’t the problem, since she’s still the common thread among the incidents, but it does suggest that the problem isn’t so much a lack of control of her own movements as a flaw in her understanding of the movements of others. Put her in the middle of a crowd of people and trouble is bound to follow, but give her an inanimate object moving according to the basic laws of physics, and she’s fine.

Fledgling – Chapter 5

City of Efraim

In which Theo goes shopping.

This is a quiet chapter in terms of what actually happens, but it introduces a lot of details that will crop up again later, especially during Theo’s bus trip.

Theo’s memories of her father in this chapter contain several call-backs to Scout’s Progress and Mouse and Dragon, with his ring and the toasted cheese sandwiches.

Mmmmm, toasted cheese sandwiches. I haven’t had a good toasted cheese sandwich in ages. I don’t seem to be able to find cheese that toasts well, lately.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 28

In which there is a Mouse in Aelliana’s new lodgings.

This is in some ways a chapter of pausing and taking stock of where things stand, with Master Kestra delivering her assessment of how far Aelliana has developed since they last met, and Aelliana telling Mouse the cat what she has learned about being a mouse.

I like the description of Mouse’s attitude when he first appears, which, speaking as one whose family has always had cats, strikes a very familiar chord: “There was something about the long muzzle that suggested at least temporary resignation; the very tippiest tip of the scruffy tail was twitching. Slowly.”

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 21

In which Hevelin is employed and Jen Sar Kiladi is recognised.

The fame of the Revisor of the ven’Tura Tables is spread far and wide; not even by travelling into Terran-held space has Aelliana avoided being greeted as that Caylon by the pilots she meets. (That implies that there are underlying principles shared by both the Terran and the Liaden methods of space travel, if the ven’Tura Tables are of use to both.)

The norbear with the rusty streaks in his fur is named Hevelin, in tribute to the authors’ friend Rusty Hevelin, who by all accounts was that happy person mentioned in the chapter quote who found a friend at every port.

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.