In which Val Con receives a letter from an old family friend.
Timeline sorting: The last two Surebleak chapters of Neogenesis each focus, as this chapter does, on half the delm starting the morning’s work. This one appears to fit between those two; it’s the morning after the first of them, in which Val Con receives the news from Tinsori Light. The second, in which Miri receives an unexpected visitor, appears to yet be in the future. Continue reading →
I feel like there’s another small gap in the narrative here, between where we last saw Tocohl, in control but struggling, and where we find her now, of the kind where I feel there should have been something in between even if it was just a form of “and everything went according to plan”. Continue reading →
It looks like we’re done with dramatic confrontations for now, and are into the part of the book where things are wound down and tied off. There were a couple more dramatic confrontations I was expecting, but maybe they’re being saved for next time. Continue reading →
I wonder if shutting down life support on the docking area is going to be a problem later. It might make things difficult if they have to evacuate in a hurry — or if more help arrives. Continue reading →
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.) Continue reading →
I found the jump from where Tolly and Haz were at the end of the previous chapter to where they are when they show up in this one so jarring that I actually flicked back a few pages to make sure I hadn’t accidentally skipped a chapter. Maybe it would have been a short chapter, and amounted to “Everything went according to plan for once”, but it still feels to me like its absence leaves a perceptible gap. Even a sentence or two from Tolly or Haz about what they’d been doing since the end of last chapter would have helped. (Maybe we’ll still get that in an upcoming section, and I just haven’t got to it yet because I stopped to write this entry.) Continue reading →
In which matters proceed with unexpected swiftness.
We were discussing pacing in the comments a few posts ago, and I said that I have trouble judging it because I only read one chapter a day. This isn’t entirely true; although I usually do read one chapter and write one blog post a day, I sometimes get ahead of the schedule if the story is exciting enough to pull me forward. (The record is the end of Scout’s Progress and beginning of Mouse and Dragon, where I burned through at least a dozen chapters as quickly as I could write the blog posts between.) The reason I mention this is that there have been a couple of places in Neogenesis, including this chapter, where I’ve started to feel that pull forward, only for it to be cut off as the story switches to a different set of characters. Switching to a new storyline every time the current one gets exciting is a way to keep suspense, but it also means that each storyline has trouble building momentum. Continue reading →
In which the light keeper shares the gift of his knowledge.
Last time, I mentioned two things an experienced Liaden Universe reader might know about the light keepers that someone coming to this novel cold wouldn’t, and already both have been brought out in the open. Which is fair enough, because they’re both important things to know. Continue reading →