With Toragin’s solution, the authors are doing a thing they’ve done a few times before: establishing the outline of the solution, but leaving the details to be filled in later in case a later story should suggest a particular detail. Continue reading →
The Tree Court is warm and there is no snow on the ground, which is noteworthy because during the storm there was explicit mention of clumps of snow falling from the Tree’s branches and collecting at its base. The Tree has tidied the place up a bit to be hospitable to its guests, and perhaps specifically in response to Toragin telling it earlier that the kittens will need a warm place to sleep. Continue reading →
In which Vertu and her passengers make it within the gate.
Jarome, it turns out, is another character who is in the cast list twice, once for his first appearance in person and once for when he becomes someone known by name to the viewpoint characters.
I don’t know if it’s because she’s in the middle of a conversation between Liadens when it happens, or if she’s still Liaden enough in her head that it would have happened anyway, but I note that when Vertu’s viewpoint refers to Miri it names her as “Miri Tiazan” and not “Miri Robertson”.
There have been several occasions in recent stories where Val Con, or someone else, has raised the question of how the Tree actually regards the creatures that live under its branches. Part of what this story is about, and particularly this chapter, is giving an answer to that question. Continue reading →
In which the number of Vertu’s passengers increases again.
“Salmo’s Fire” is St. Elmo’s Fire, a weather phenomenon related to lightning; Yulie’s description of what it is and how it happens covers the basics. He doesn’t mention, since it’s outside his experience, but on Earth it’s particularly associated with the masts of ships, which is why it’s named after the patron saint of sailors. Continue reading →
In which Toragin doesn’t believe in adventures but does believe in promises.
There’s something going on with Toragin. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s something to do with her having been taught that she’s Not Supposed To Get Angry. And being “not of the usual type”, in a way that’s “barely socially acceptable” and which “the Healers would not heal”. And believing in social bonds as absolutes. And being “good at research”. Something on the autism spectrum, maybe? Continue reading →
We have not previously encountered Finifter’s Shave, the ship that brought Toragin and Chelada to Surebleak, but the planet Finifter has been mentioned a couple of times. It’s one of the stops on Tan Sim’s trade route in Trade Secret, and one of the planets discussed in Culture Club in Saltation. Continue reading →
In which the number of Vertu’s passengers increases.
Toragin’s remonstration at, presumably, the Tree gives us the outline of her cause: Chelada was promised that she could have her kittens under the Tree, which must have seemed an easy thing to promise when Jelaza Kazone was just down the road from Lazmeln’s clanhouse, and then when the distance suddenly became much greater, the promise still existed but was much harder to claim, and the Tree apparently didn’t find it necessary to ease the way at all. Continue reading →
From the fact that he (or she) got a mention in the dramatis personae, I was expecting Boss Gotta to have a more prominent appearance than just a single name-drop and then never mentioned again. Although I suppose metaphorically Boss Gotta continues to be present and active. Continue reading →
In which Vertu’s cab reaches the scene of the accident.
From context, Boss Gotta (“Boss Gotta, a metaphor”, according to the dramatis personae) is a Surebleak version of the philosophy Vertu embraced in “Skyblaze”: if you find yourself saying “somebody’s gotta do something about this”, and there’s nobody around with a clear claim to the problem, that means you’re somebody.
This time, when Anna speaks soothingly to her dog in the language that slips by Vertu’s ears, the narration does report one of the words she uses, which we know the meaning of though Vertu doesn’t.