Spoiler Thread for Neogenesis

Neogenesis, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the 21st novel in the Liaden Universe®, is available as an eArc, that is an electronic advanced reading copy at Baen.  eArc are basically the page proofs of the novel — they typically do have errors, and — this time, at least — y’all can have the extra fun of reading Neogenesis while Steve and I are proofing that same file to get it read for setting as a final book.

For those who have read the eArc and wish to discuss it with like-minded, and like-read people, I provide this space for spoilers.

For those of you who will be waiting for the hardcover to be published in January, or the mass market, sometime in 201819— if you do not want the story spoiled:  DO NOT READ THE RESPONSES TO THIS POST.

You have been warned.

 

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39 thoughts on “Spoiler Thread for Neogenesis”

  1. I am astounded and delighted !
    Such a wonderful book.
    I read ’til I finished, sleep be damned.

    I only now made the connection to Menolly vas’Anamac. Many of my predictions came true. The contents of the cases was quite the surprise. The growing of alliances a subtle surprise. The new clan format so well done it seemed inevitable. Will ‘the Light’ get its own
    scion of the tree ?

  2. My only concerns in reading this book are that 1) I read it too fast, and 2) it almost brought too many of the many and varied story arcs together. That said, I enjoyed it tremendously, and
    will happily await the next book in this wonderful series. As I was telling my daughter this morning when she asked me to describe the book, “It has great dialogue, believable characters, fantastic world building and more”. OK.
    I loved going back to Tinsori Light, though I was a bit confused about Uncle’s sister. Not sure why her thread threw me, but it did. Also interesting to know that he built it originally before it was taken over by The Enemy. So happy for Anthora. Maybe Daav and his sister will now have a chance at a new relationship. Only the next generation (Padi etc.) were left out, but more about the Bedel. Wow! Thank you.

  3. @Kathleen Fernando (not sure how to do links for reals here) — Yes, like you I bought and finished it in one day (well, two days if after-midnight but before-sleep counts) and it’s clear I’ll need to re-read (re-re-read, etc., like all of them).

    I was definitely intrigued by the additional glimpses of the Uncle’s past, and fascinated by his having some link to the Bedel (of some sort). I am sad for Tinsori Light Mark 1 (pre-Enemy) and even for Mad Tinsori Light in a way — it was trying so very hard. Curious, of course, about what will come of Tinsori Light Mark 2 and of Tocohl (et al).

    @Terry Larsen, at first I thought you meant the Light that Ren Zel was defending! 🙂 I think I’m going to have to be careful about calling Tinsori Light Tinsori Light, lest that confusion spread 🙂 That said, would one of the Trees be able to grow to fullness on a space station? How connected are they to the biome (?) they’re growing in? We have some evidence that a Tree can and will connect to technological systems as well (from the first, when the Tree interferes in Uncle’s systems to protect Cantra’s ship’s security, right up to that same tree later arranging for Ren Zel to have entrance to Koral’s House to meet Anthora). What would a Tree-enabled Station look like??

    Inquiring Minds Want To Know! (If only our gracious hosts could write as fast as I can read…. 😉 ) ((patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue, patience is goddammit I want to know!!))

  4. Loved it but will need to read again to pick up anything I missed in first reading. I really liked the fact that so many threads were included in this book but of course want the next book NOW.

  5. This book was deeply satisfying. It brings together many of the different plot threads in previous books returning many of the characters to one place and moving the story forward dramatically. I had to pace myself and take breaks from reading it so I could enjoy it longer.

    I hope someone will share the previous mention of Menolly vas’Anamac because I don’t remember her.

  6. It occurred to me, reading this: were all Complex Logic Admirals named after fictional English butlers? We have Jeeves and Bunter so far…

  7. I am wondering what names Daav and Aelli will assume.
    Also I still have hopes that Padi will be Bechimo’s trader.
    This book is nearly a follow on to Gathering edge.
    Perhaps fifth of five will follow up Alliance of Equals.

  8. I love the idea of Rikki being such a great storyteller. It’s hard to picture him being so voluble!

    All the family reunions made me happy, I’ve been tense waiting for some of these for several books now.

    I wonder what it’s going to take for Kara to accept that Korval really is not Theo’s Delm.

    I’m also really relieved that the old universe is shut off. With the flotsam Bechimo has been finding, I’ve been a little worried about the Sheriekas in this universe … assuming that Ren Zel and the Tree did their job properly.

    Wondering if Bechimo’s wyrd space is still accessible? Or if that got “turned off,” too?

    I cheered when Theo pointed out the scout’s having used Uncle’s machine for Win Ton and now trying to imply she was unreliable because she had worked for Uncle for about five and a half minutes.

    Loved Stost’s mental note, upon seeing Korval’s Tree, that Captain Theo really needed to move her tree before it got much bigger.

    Has anybody off-ship met Baby Tree yet?

  9. I’m only 65% through it on Kindle so there’s no discussion to be had from me. But I just laughed out loud at “Stupid vegetable” from Miri.

  10. M Traven, apparently Uncle has access to the M genome and
    is not loathe to manufacture one.

    Will there a scout base/outpost at the new improved
    Tinsori Light ?

    Loved the dedication, bring on the Leewitt

  11. I do wonder what happened to the three pods that Theo picked up at Cresthaller. She only had Cantra’s ship when she landed on Surebleak.

  12. I am about halfway through and already mid-laughter at how the entire AI crew are now all headed, for their own separate reasons, for TL.

    Awaiting Theo landing feetfirst in the entire mess.

  13. Particularly loved a few phrases “And as you see. I’ve gotten better”

    Really laughed out loud at “I regret sire, but it would appear that Jen Sin yos’Phelium was merely temporarily misplaced…” I hope the pun was intended.

    I had wondered when we first met Uncle’s sister if this was the bedel’s ship arriving – clearly not exactly but perhaps more related than I had realised. Explains a lot about their use of new/old technology and if they are another offshoot of Uncle’s work.

    The thought of Crystal and Korval working more together should be enough to frighten any universe. Now perhaps I wonder if we may see a stronger relationship between Lyre and DOI and even more knots can be tied since we seem to be seeing a link back to the old universe tanjelyre. Thought we might have seen more of the Xtrang ambassador but I guess that thread will have to wait for 5 of 5.

    Great read and I found it flowed well (the multi-stranding worked fairly smoothly for me).

  14. BTW the content of the cases is interesting as I think I recall a reference to decreasing viability and success rates of the batches in the troop. There’s definitely some room for something to happen with the xtrang ambassador, Uncle etc. What I’m less sure is if there is room in only ONE more book in the arc but eager to find out.

  15. through it forced me to go to bed very very late, I like this new book.
    Please go on writing, it seems I like what You like
    Next one within 2019?.

  16. Thanks S & S for another fabulous 8 to 18 hours of reading pleasure! Defiantly enjoyed the fruits of your 2,000 to 3,000 hours writing it! (Note: you can fight it out with Steve whether the above means Sharon & Steve or vice versa.) Enjoyed all the comments to date.

  17. All of the family reunions were extremely satisfying and a great contrast to all the times in the first half of the book when I caught myself uttering, “Oh, shit!” under my breath.

    The only reunion I wish could also have been included was Daav, Aelliana, and Hevelin.

  18. I just finished the book. I loved it. It is wonderful. It is clear why you seemed to have some juggling difficulties while writing it. I have no idea how many balls you had to keep in the air to get the story to this terrific point. Of course, I am now anxious to read Fifth of Five.

    I also got a lot of fun out of watching for “borrowed phrases”. “Mad, bad and dangerous to know” “Live Long and Prosper” are my favorites. Of course it slowed down the reading because I didn’t want to miss any. I probably did anyway. It will make the audiobook so much more fun.

  19. Did anyone catch the reference of Nova/Cantra? Was Nova able to open the ships hidden files? Lot’s of unanswered threads still to go. I also wondered if Bechimo was/is the Bedel ship or are they waiting for the Admiral? No intrusion in this book from the DOI, are they building for a big strike or has Rys & his team shut them down?

  20. I am really intrigued by the idea of a ‘clan by design’.
    My hope is that the tribe of the Tree expands to include Erob
    at least by association and hopefully more.
    I’d also like to know Kareen and Kamale’s take on the idea.

  21. I absolutely loved it 🙂 Just finished a first reading. Thanks!!!

    Finally a clarification to when Bechimo was build (around the time of Naratha’s Shadow, and properly before Pod 77 bestowed on Clan Erob – so only about 270 years and not some 500) and when Tinsory Light happened. Building Bechimo as a reaction to the Envidaria just makes so much sense.

    A highly packed few days! I loved Prof. Waitley’s explanation of why she won’t call Theo home! And her comparing Theo to Shan.

    Also the scene of Bechimo arriving in Surebleak space. Theo just might love piracy to much!

    Now that we know the Uncles involvement with the Bedel – I just wonder what’s the Bedel have to say about it. Especially how Silian views this “set them in motion.”

    I’m not sure which l loved more – the Uncle and his sister discussing Korval’s luck – and then being tutored by Daav – or Daav and Alliana deescalating the Uncle and Val Con’s confrontation about missing relatives and their treatment.

    Did anyone else also catch the mentioning of the universal conversation not only by Kamele Waitley but also by Seignur Veeoni? (I was right – Alliana’s not jet published work is going to be important. Since Allianas later work has been quoted as being quite esoteric I just hope that her subspace theories will be more understandable – at least to pilots.)

    The pathfinder cases contents were a big surprise. As well as their disposition into the Uncles safekeeping. Even with the DOI and the Institute I don’t think the Uncle will see a need for their use – no matter what Ambassador Vepal might come up with. The Yxtrang are due for a change. Although I don’t see all of them going to it willingly. There is bound to be opposition and division.

    While I’m happy for Anthora, Ren Zel’s survival threw me. It just seems unlikely that there was no price to pay and the tree just magiced everything to be ok.

    And all Korval family has still quite a lot on their plate. Even not counting turtels, Yxtrang ambassadors and port upgrade.

    When and how will Kamele Waitley resign her EdHist chair on Delgado? Will she take up Theos offer of transport to personally resign and explain to her friend Ella ben Suzan? Or will she just write? I somehow can’t envision her not explaining to Ella. And a visit to Delgado would open up opportunity for recruiting teachers for the secondary school system, maybe even recruiting Theo’s first husband Bek as dancing teacher. Delgado would also be a good place to receive a copy of Yxtrang language and protocol, may be even of old Yxtrang.

    I also would like to see the Delms reactions to Kara’s worry about her mother and Delm. As Kara’s Clan are “pilots the lot of them” and Korval is “ships and pilots” that trouble with Eylot should go into Korval’s hands. Mrs. dea’Gauss would love it. And Kara needs to lose some of her nervousness toward Korval.

    Regarding Stost and Chernak – to me there is something wrong with them leaving Korval’s orbit long-term. I’d much prefer them to enlist with Surebleak scouts or stay on Bechimo as ambassador guards.

    And last but not least I’d like to see Val Cons and Daavs reaction to the recording of Theos pick up of the repair bug. In fact all Korval pilots should see it. Shan will be interested.

  22. @ Terry Larsen
    I second that. Spiral Dancer will fit Alliana and Daav just fine.

    Regarding the open Trader positon on Bechimo – I believe Paddy to be unlikely for the next few years. She is still in training as a trader and also as a Dramliz. But how about Gordy? Or – if less obvious Korval connections are required someone of the Uldra-Joenz family on Fetzer’s World?

    @ Katrina
    Hevelin still has lots of people to meet. Beside Daav and Alliana – and meeting Clutch Turtles – I would love him lecturing that survey team member Peitr Velos.

    @ -Deb
    Rikky and his storytelling – I’m not sure which I loved most – the picture of him doing it or of Miri finding out.

    @old universe shut off.
    I second that. So Migration has finally ended. That is – I hope that Tinsory Light really was the last thing keeping the two universes connected.

    @ baby tree – I’m not even sure anyone mentioned baby tree to those off-ship yet. And it surly should get mentioned – and visited. Mama-Tree knows of course but her communication is prone to misunderstandings.

    @ Kathleen Ferrando
    Daav noticing the changes in his sister was a nice touch. I’d love to see their relationship changing as well.

    @ Michele Cox
    Regarding the new Clan politic of adopting Tree kin – Tinsory Light should have its own tree and Keeper Lorith as well as Mentor Tolly Jones should be offered membership into Korval. Becoming part of Korval should bring additional safety to Tolly, the tree might even work enough changes on him to lessen or negate the institute’s way of influencing or controlling him as well as negate any proof of him being just an institute’s product. Since Korval still bears a grudge toward the institute for Cantras line edit I just don’t see why they shouldn’t also take on responsibility to keep Tolly out of the institute’s hands.

    And with all the Tree is able to it should also be able to limit or slow its growth. I’m not sure the Tree distinguishes much between organic and technologic systems – not differentiating between Jeeves and other Korval members. With Bechimo’s bonding we saw an AI-Organics partnership – it’ll be fun exploring that theme on the extended level of a Tree – Tocohl environment. (With three craniums and the fratcin sets Tocohl is a much larger and complex AI than a mere ship – as is the Tree compared to a mere human).

    @ Phill Nelson
    Jep – I wonder what memory Nova picked up on? The hidden compartment with the first aid kit comes to mind. Another possibility is Rool Tiazen and his Lady making their apology to the Tree and getting Jela’s promise of liberating Liad dea’Sol’s math.

    Regarding the Bedel ship – it’s still a mystery. It can’t be Bechimo – he was built about 170 – 150 years earlier. And the admiral wasn’t ever planned on being his own ship.

  23. Was hoping this eArc would be out before we left on our vacation so I could read it on the plane. Unfortunately it came out a few days into the vacation, and I had trouble downloading it, so I read it online. It was worth every curse and lost hour at night. As one who has read the entire series since the beginning, I feel ALMOST sated: this one novel is the most satisfying I have ever read, here or anywhere. Considering I read it in the context of exploring Scandinavian museums and countryside, and discussing prehistoric and historic cultural change with my archaeologist husband and librarian/historian friend, on about four hours sleep a night, I am punchdrunk. I think I may feel like the tree did after his trip to Surebleak. Fifth of five is going to be like the Big Bang. Glory, glory.

  24. @ Theo being life-mated with Bechimo
    The bonding and sharing of senses between the two seems quite like the description of life-mating. This leads me to thinking that Theo doesn’t really understand what Val Con is exactly asking when she denies a life-mating with Bechimo. I wonder where this misunderstanding is leading up to – and what consequences it’ll have. Would Val Cons field judgement have been any different if Theo had affirmed it? Would Kara and Win Ton worry less if they could understand the bonding in the terms of a life-mating?

  25. Like Terry, I could see Padi as master trader for Bechimo.

    Like Deb, I cheered when Theo pointed out the hypocrisy in the Scout captain’s argument. I also liked Theo’s surprise and appreciation for Val Con’s research on Complex Logics.

    Jeeves scolded Theo for her treatment of Admiral Bunter, and Bechimo listened with some anxiety. Nice scene!

    Business at Tinsori Light could add greatly to Korval’s piggy bank. All those free ships needing berth and service…A hospitable hotel for Free Logics like Jeeves, Tocohl, Joyita, and the cyborg Tocohl and Inki dealt with at Edmondton Beacon.

    I wonder if Tinsori Light can still move around, as Mock 1 could? That could come in handy…move it closer to Surebleak! Bring business their way. And add some more light to the planet. It had capacity to make weather, in the short story.

    Enjoyable scenes on Surebleak, for sure. I just knew / hoped Yulie Shaper was going to finally breathe easier and even relax under Tree’s care ( big tree and little). Hooking him up with Memit and Udari/Nathan felt like a solid fit — but their kin relationship to Uncle didn’t totally fit, at least not at first. I thought the Bedel might be descendants of Song Woman People from book 1.

    For book 5, the Bedel still await a ship. Yes? I’m guessing it’s the timid self-aware ship Bechimo occassionally ran into in that debris-strewn system (Pathfinders).

    Tocohl really pulled on my heartstrings, when Inki isolated her. I teared up when Jeeves appeared in her darkest hour.

    Fun comedy farce scene when Uncle came knocking on Korval’s door. The yellow saloon…

    Did feel surprised and dismayed by the resolution concerning Pathfinders (join the mercs?) and, even stranger, their briefcases (placed into Uncle’s uncertainly-motivated and super-secretive hands??) No wonder Chernak stiffened. I still haven’t forgotten what Uncle tried to do to Jela and Cantra in book 1.

    Daav and —-Alliana!!!!— came home! This calls for a celebration!

    I was really glad Theo came home. 🙂

    Good resolution to Sherieka threat. We can close the book on that plot thread.

    But something must be done to stop Lyre Institute and Dept of Interior. And maybe to help the dying race of Trang? Nah! At least the Trang Ambassador, Vepal.

  26. @ Norbear mystery
    Did anyone else catch it? With all the literature searches about norbears and their intelligence I wonder about Korval’s knowledge about them. It was somehow odd. Val Con and Miri behaved as if the norbear library of persons and contacts was the most normal thing. It can’t be some scouts only knowledge, since Win Ton didn’t say anything. So from where does Val Cons knowledge come and what exactly does he know?

    Regarding Hevelin – I would just love a scene with Hevelin meeting Theo’s mother Kamele – almost as much as him meeting Daav and Alliana again. And Hevelin meeting Aunt Kareen would be also most interesting.

    @ Ship wreck Orbital Aid 370
    Korval might be most interested in Salvage. If trusting that location to anybody it should be to Korval. And with this wreck arrival Bechimo might be persuaded that the location is compromised anyhow. Especially if he gets the coordinates for Tinsory Light.

    @Arin’s Envidaria
    I wonder when Theo will finally read it. She had gotten it from the Carrenses specifically. Val Con mentioned that Bechimo was specifically build as a reaction to the release of the envidaria. She believes needing a Trader because she doesn’t know how to think about Trading. How many more clues does she need?

  27. I loved it! Thank you, both, for sharing with all of us.

    So glad about Kamele’s new passion and how accepting she seems about Daav and lifemate… I hope we see something of the struggles with new Surebleak culture that will be developing in a future book. And the partnership with the Uncle is intriguing even if unwanted!

    Also… Very neat tie-in for Tinsori Light. That short story makes a lot more sense now.

    I am also interested in Nova & Spiral Dancer, and the Yxtrang Ambassador, who at last report, in a previous book, was headed to Surebleak also.

  28. It feels as if the new edition of Ren Zel has lost his unmaking the
    universe powers. Not a bad exchange for a new life.

    Bechimo not only needs a trader he might need a dramliza.too.

  29. I am glad that I reread THE GATHERING EDGE FIRST.

    This was a marvelous book . Thanking the authors. The authors have got their braiding skills down. Now what was that ivy twist that I remember? Possibly another author.

    Thank you for the homage via Menolly vas’Anamac. I once wondered where authors came up with the names, and then needed to save those names someplace.
    I am also glad when a character in a short story (Jen Sen &
    Tinsori Light), perhaps a story not fitting in the main arc, suddenly fits in.

    I wonder f Bechimo will have a ships cat when he next takes off.

  30. Wow! Just when I thought the story couldn’t possibly get any richer or more compelling, it does. It feels like the threads are converging to a new plateau without precluding more indepth spin-off and back stories. Book 5 of 5 will probably be analogous to “I Dare” in this series arc. A masterful accomplishment. My only worry would be how it’s received by total newcomers to the universe – are there too many threads coming into the weave from seemingly out of left field? I can’t see how the situation could be improved, there are transitional lead-n paragraphs that are succinct summaries, but may not be sufficient. As I’m a long standing fan, I can’t judge with newbie eyes.

  31. I don’t have anything new to add, but both Sandy & I were of the “put book down, and savor what just happened” readers with this one.
    As a long time reader I was amazed at all the threads deftly weaving together. Fantastic read, so enjoyable.
    We both accepted Ren Zels death as so believable and unfortunately necessary, and couldn’t be happier that the tree was meddlesome once again.
    I think one of the most impressive things Sharon & Steve accomplished in this series was making a tree, with no dialog and very limited interactions such a compelling and intriguing character.
    At least there will be a short story on Baen with the hardcover release, the wait for 5 of 5 will seem forever.

  32. The Clutch Turtles need a Tree! The Elders and all the turtles would take great care of it and they are related to Korval.
    I too waited for the exiled ambassador to arrive and chat with the Pathfinders, oh well maybe next book.
    Thanks for a great read

  33. So wonderful, of course, to see so many story lines come together at last! Yeah, Theo! Welcome home, Daav & Aelliana!

    And a new “alliance” with Uncle? Wonderful tie in with the old Tinsori Light short story. Too many delightful complications to name.

    On second reading I’m even more convinced that Ren Zel & the Tree’s effort to repulse and banish the Shadow correlates to Tocohl and Mentor Jones reconfiguration of Tinsori Light and “destruction” of the old, Enemy universe – one on the metaphysical plane, one in mundane reality, truly a team effort.

    I was also very intrigued by the reference to Jethri Gobelyn with regard to the building of Bechimo. We know the Uncle was already there and involved with Jethri’s family. Here’s hoping for a sequel to Balance of Trade and Trade secret!

    And OMG, what would cause the Clutch to come to Korval in “unseemly haste” and pleading “necessity”!?

  34. Turtle’s ‘need’ a scion of the tree. My first choice would be Edger’s clan second choice the elders This has been in the back of my mind since
    Plan B showed us Erob’s tree. I personally, would LOVE to see Edger’s clan become tree kin.
    When will we see Sheather and Edger again ? ( Hint, hint !!!)

  35. Thank you !

    The last book felt partial and unfinished, and I needed to trust the autors to solve in good time. Very good bits in it, I found the cohabitation (?) on Theo’s ship, and the learning of each other despite mistrust and fear very moving and rich. But no feeling of ending or solving any of the arcs there, rather adding and adding more complexity to the story.

    This book is rich in resolutions, and good endings (or rather, good momentary endings) of threads, I liked that. Things fell into good places, and the world got even bigger, all good.

    And still enough questions and wishes for things to come in 5 of 5.

    I am surprised how good this jumping around from person to person and place to place worked. I only was irritated one time, when Inki got shot and we got pulled elsewhere. Otherwise, it felt like a symphony that just gave someonein the orchestra else the leading strand of notes, it really flew together. Great Art!

    The reunions and scenes at home also all worked well, not too much and some gems, like Theo’s landing, or the Uncle’s visit. Even Aunt Kareen was wonderful, she seems to soften a lot.

    A few threads were just left hanging, or seemed strange to me, like the port review team, but they will certainly get their place next.

    Surprising to me, that there was no DoI at all – but then, if I got it right, the whole action was over a very short time, so that might explain why they were not active just then.

    I was a bit surprised why the Lyre Institute had no operatives coming to Tinsori, and they were only mentioned re: attack on the Uncle’s sister, I would have thought that they were in all out assault to get Tindori first, and would not only rely on Inki and the search for the sister.

    In all, very happy this time, feeling sated for now, and looking forward to more. A lovely state.

    Big question:
    From where should I best start a good reread?
    Necessity’s Child?
    Dragon in Exile?
    Fledgling? Or Ghost Ship/Dragon Ship?
    The tough decisions… 😉

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