Happy Saturday everyone! over the last couple weeks I’ve been doing a casual study/read of Elizabeth Moon’s awesome space opera novel, Trading In Danger. This is the first book in the Vatta’s War series. Ms. Moon is a master in this genre, and this series is worth the study for writers and Space Opera fans alike. Most importantly, she has a new book in the series coming out in April which I’m very excited about, and is what’s prompting this read.
I’ve been breaking it down chapter by chapter, and reading one chapter a day, so it’s very easy to catch up and read along with me if you’d like!
Below are links to all of the posts so far for easy access:
“Were you planning to wake sleeping beauty?” Ky asked. “Or were you waiting for a prince?”
I would have expected that the big attack was coming from the mercenaries, but it didn’t. This chapter shows that there’s some down time between when the merc cruisers get in range and as the Glennys moseys off into space. We see the crew eat, talk about the quality of such food, go to the rec hall, share some stories about their past, then Ky gets some sleep, oversleeps some, and we’re back at it again, now Ky wants to contact the mercenary ships and see what’s up, after all, they still have to get out of this jam somehow and can’t jump.
If I wrote this, I wouldn’t have taken this tack. I would have, like a lot of writers, probably continued on with the action build build build build until it became overwhelming. But… I see the merit of taking the time out chapter here just as I was getting amped up as a reader. It reminded us of characters, and also connected me to crew characters I hadn’t gotten to spend background time with yet. It also had a side effect of feeling realistic. I haven’t been in combat myself, but I imagine that like many tense things, it’s a lot of waiting, a flurry of craziness, and then more waiting if you come out of it alive. The book holds a bit more authenticity here because that feels very real.
Right before that though, Ky checks in with all the stations, gives orders, gets status updates, solidifies herself again as a good Captain. I trust in Ky at this point, as much as her crew does. Love that!
“There are two warships insystem, mercenaries.”
Last chapter, the ansibles were blown, cutting off communication. Ky has decided to take precautionary action to undock from the station and run, in case someone is coming to shoot up the station and destroy it. That decision proves effective, as we learn there are warships in the system, which is told to the crew in an in-ship communication that begins with the sentence up at the top. These Mercenaries have rules, and tell civilian ships exactly what to do, so Ky follows to the letter, broadcasting her whereabouts and who they are, hoping that they will be honorable and not raid her helpless trading vessel. Continue reading
I don’t listen to much Christian music. I find, like most Christian-centric entertainment that often it is cheesy, shoddily produced, focused on shoehorning a Bible verse in rather than telling a compelling narrative or creating good characters we can relate to. I said most, before people start emailing me with links to different Christian music/books/comics/films.
However, I stopped and listened to Toby Mac’s song “When Love Broke Thru” this evening, and watched the accompanying video. I’m skeptical of Toby Mac in general, as most of his work in the past has, in my opinion, fallen in the category above. That said, I found this song to be poignant, and the video to be even more so. Continue reading
Wrote an article over on Athletics Nation yesterday. I am not in the know enough to have conclusive evidence, but something doesn’t smell right. http://www.athleticsnation.com/2017/1/17/14303188/why-arent-we-talking-more-about-steroids
Trading In Danger Ch7
“—an emergency like this,” she heard. “Unprecedented, we simply have no idea what will happen now.”
I’ve tried to find a good quote that exemplifies each chapter, and so far I’ve been able to do so very easily. Ms. Moon’s writing is clear, crisp and easy to follow, which is part of the reason I chose this book for an in depth study. Continue reading
Chapter 6 opens with Vatta heading to the embassy at Sabine Prime. We learn that the situation between the planets in the situation is much more unstable than we thought. The embassy has Slotter Key residents who require passage to get off planet, as they’d been abandoned before. Ky agrees to take them aboard, which solidifies her as someone who’s both compassionate and loyal to her home planet, giving the reader yet more reason to like and empathize with the character. That there are citizens panicking to try to get off planet quickly tells us how bad the situation is as well, of which is repeated over and over in the chapter. Continue reading
As much as I of course want to nominate myself for such an award, with so few categories and as a “book blog”, I’m going to recuse my own work from this vote, which I may not do for other awards later so do stay tuned, friends and readers!
Without further ado, here’s my Planetary Award nominations:
- Shorter Story. I had a few thoughts for this but the story that sticks out in my mind the most as most memorable because of its cool characters, high stakes conflict and interesting concept all alike is Brad Torgersen’s novella, “Purytans” which appeared in Analog’s July/August 2016 issue. This was science fiction at its best as it provided a perspective that actually felt alien as genetics of this world had been so mucked with in the future, and also provided a look into truly alien social structures. It takes some current social thoughts to extremes that really shows the absurdity of accusing others of wrongthink.
- Longer Story. This is something that didn’t get a lot of press, doesn’t have a lot of attention and it’s a crying shame and speaks to the sorry state of the publishing industry that someone hasn’t scooped this series up. I’m talking about Hel’s Bet by Doug Sharp which came out in December of 2016 and is available at https://www.amazon.com/Hels-Bet-Book-II-ebook/dp/B01N0QSYRN/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1484507847&sr=1-1&keywords=hel%27s+bet. Doug’s writing can only be described as Robert Heinlein on acid. It’s so incredibly well-written, so cool conceptually sound and so laden with Spider Robinson style word humor that you really cannot go without this book. Doug’s personal story is one that’s so inspirational it drives me to work harder on my own writing as well, which you can read about here: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/09/10/the-big-idea-doug-sharp/
Please look into these works and read them and consider for the Planetary Awards.
Team Covenant this week put up a pretty interesting video from a gaming business perspective. It’s a bit dry if you’re not interested in the topics, but they interviewed Fantasy Flight’s CEO Christian T. Petersen about the Asmodee merger last year, what it means, and Fantasy Flight’s direction going forward. I love Team Covenant’s videos, especially the one where I walk in the background at Gencon 2016 because it has my pretty face on it. I’ll let you find that one yourself if you haven’t seen it. The info from this video seems to be from Nov 2016 as there is some dated material, but it’s still worth the watch as it’s been posted this week. Continue reading