krait: Ilisidi riding her mecheita (Foreigner - mecheita)
[personal profile] krait
I hope you all enjoyed chapters 3 and 4!

Let the discussing commence!

Re: First impressions

Date: 2011-06-09 10:23 pm (UTC)
cheyinka: An ateva riding a mecheita through the snow. (atevi)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
1) You're right, you'd think the paidhi should at least have close ties to the culture he's representing with the atevi, wouldn't you? Hmm.

2) I had totally missed that Phoenix was humanity's first colony ship. Huh. It's definitely not the Alliance/Union universe, then. (If Bren meant regular spaceflight instead of "first human in space", it's even later than 3800 right now, though.)

And yeah, quite a cliffhanger - falling asleep (or into a coma?) after meeting the awesome Ilisidi.

Re: First impressions

Date: 2011-06-14 07:48 pm (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Foreigner)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
Bren seems really isolated from human society
He does, and it's one of the reason I find it hard to relate to him, the more so when we learn towards the end of the story how little interest he has in spending time with his family or semi-girlfriend/fuckbuddy - he really just wants to be all by himself :o/

So the Phoenix was humanity's FIRST colony ship!
Unless I misunderstand you, I disagree - c.f. e.g.:
Humans explored and intruded against [the silence of the universe], and built their stations […]

[…] the first-built trading station to develop down this chain of stars, Earths latest and most confident colonial commitment, with all the expertise of past successes.

(Emphasis mine)

Re: First impressions

Date: 2011-06-14 08:51 pm (UTC)
cheyinka: An ateva riding a mecheita through the snow. (atevi)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
So it seems more like Earth's "colonial commitments" were one at a time, and with (much)FTL travel not generation ships, either - but it doesn't seem like there's FTL communication, so Earth must not expect to hear back from its colonies right away. (Cherryh's FTL seems to be "cross a fold in space" FTL rather than "go really, really fast" FTL, so it's not a matter of a hundred years passing for Earth between sending and arriving, at least.) Still, you have to wonder if Earth is wondering what happened to the Phoenix!

Date: 2011-06-09 10:20 pm (UTC)
cheyinka: An ateva riding a mecheita through the snow. (atevi)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
So apparently humans don't have servants, and it seems like just being born on Mospheira gives you either money or a place to live - it's how Cherryh's spacer families and stationer families work, but it doesn't make a lot of sense on a planet, especially not generations removed from living in space / on a spaceship!

And apparently Bren really needs his sleep, because he's calmly thinking things like, "Paidhiin are expendable. Mospheira isn't," upon being told he's "traveling to the country". He also accepts Tabini's explanation that going to Mospheira could endanger his relatives a little too easily - it might be true, but, still, he could say he's going to the cabin and then hole up with police escort or something until the unlicensed assassin has been caught, right? (Do we know whether Mospheira even has police? I assume they have to, and have to have a jail, even if their solution to crime is psychiatric Adjustment like in the Alliance/Union universe.)

He can't really remember his behavior during "the incident" - how much of that is from shock, like he thinks, and how much of it is because he hasn't really slept since then? It's the second day after, and he's gotten very little sleep either night; that's not psychologically healthy!

"He knew, as every paidhi before him had known, that, if someday the Treaty broke down, he'd be the first to know." And he's not thinking that it might be happening right then? Seriously, the aiji teaches you how to shoot, gives you a gun, and then hides you in the interior of the continent with no word to your office and you don't wonder "am I the only human he likes, and he's keeping me safe while he wrecks Mospheira?"?

Then he gets to Maidingi and his concern is that they're taking a van to Malguri rather than "hiring a bus" or "taking the rail" (oddly, it's those two expressions that really make me remember the Mospheirans are foreign humans to me!), rather than, you know, "I haven't slept in days and no human knows where I am"? :p

I forgot that Malguri predated human entrance into space - so the 4200s, atevi reckoning, is probably the 1800s, human reckoning. Bren discovers later that the first fortress on the site was built "two thousand years ago", so that sets the books in the 3800s, or, at least, after 3960. Nice.

aghaghaghah "clip of shells" - I have to keep telling myself that atevi pistols could use clips instead of magazines and it isn't helping. (I know that being pedantic about terminology will cause me only pain, but, uh, this is me being pedantic.) Still, his servants, sent by Tabini, make sure he's armed, and his thought is that he's in "cold storage", not that, you know, Mospheira is in trouble?

The first meeting with Ilisidi is even weirder than the first prolonged conversation with Jago - she really does seem completely insane, and Bren is huddled on a footstool afraid she's going to hit him with her cane. On the other hand, her prurient interest in his sex life is... no, that's still weird and creepy too.

He worries that the tea won't be safe, but after one sip he goes ahead and has another? Oh, Bren. And, of course, now we have the moment for which I was waiting - bam! poisoned tea. The description of the poison is really horrifying, I have to say, not to mention the antidote and the vomiting. :(

And then Banichi scolds him while he's still sick, which is just mean. Shouldn't Bren have been warned about this before he started eating food in a strange house? I mean, he never saw his supper or breakfast prepared, so that could have been poisoned just as easily!

Date: 2011-06-13 05:41 pm (UTC)
cheyinka: An ateva riding a mecheita through the snow. (atevi)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
I was thinking more "Tabini feels fondness for Bren and thus wants to keep him safe while he does away with Mospheira" or something, though as I type that out it seems silly since atevi don't feel feelings like that one. Heh.

Date: 2011-06-14 08:54 pm (UTC)
cheyinka: An ateva riding a mecheita through the snow. (atevi)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
Actually... I had a spoilery thought just now re: why, assuming Tabini were planning to wreck Mospheira, he might want to keep Bren around, but I am pretty certain it's for the very newest book. Should I post it to #3-spoiler? I think I'm the only one who's read Betrayer, so...

Date: 2011-06-15 09:46 pm (UTC)


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