The Ten Reasons Game

So, there are all these “Ten Reasons to. . .” articles going around the barn, again.  You’ve seen them:  TEN REASONS to visit Acapulco.  TEN REASONS to skip high school.  TEN REASONS to eat ice cream for breakfast.  TEN REASONS not to read TEN REASONS articles.

. . .anyway, I’m feeling a bit beleaguered by all of these reasons to do things I wouldn’t even have thought of except that I saw the headline of a TEN REASONS article, and!  I think it’s time to fight back.

I mean, why shouldn’t we compiled a list of TEN REASONS to read the Liaden Universe® — and then release it into the wild?

I’m going to need your help, of course.  So! You don’t have to hold it inside any longer!  Give me your Very Best Reason for Reading the Liaden Universe®  in comments — no more than three per respondent, please — and we’ll compile a list of the ten best.   If we get more than ten, well. . .why shouldn’t we escalate?

TWENTY REASONS to read the Liaden Universe® has a nice ring to it.

Everybody ready?



40 thoughts on “The Ten Reasons Game”

  1. I really can’t think of any reason other than the fact that they’re the best darn sci-fi books I’ve read.

  2. To explore local custom-many local customs-on many worlds, as a xeno-sociologist…as a “first-in scout.”

    [Long-winded explanation:
    One of the things I love best is the rich and well crafted cultures presented-complete with vast histories, complex causes and often uncomfortable repercussions. And then we are asked to examine these cultures, not just from our own point of view, but from the point of view of another equally well-developed and complex culture.

    And the authors don’t hold always hold your hand. You are often left to struggle, to makes sense of actions, words and events, just as the characters are. OK, perhaps with a far lower chance of injury or death. 🙂

    I began my Liaden journey with Theo in Fledgling on a whim (I liked the cover), knowing nothing of Professor Kiladi’s background or Liad or the Delm of Korval. I was fascinated by Delgado-with scholars, “non-ack”, and the Chapelia-then the space liner and Liadens, scouts, pilots and “non pilots” -and the contrast of Melchiza’s narrow control, and the nebulous “off-world” enemies. I felt that there was so much more to know-I’d glimpsed only a corner of a vast, vast universe – with so much more left to explore. By the time I reached Local Custom, I was so enmeshed in the cultures, so bonded to the characters, I could barely read through the tears as I watched two people struggled to accept love against ‘custom’. (Still cry with every re-read, actually.)

    With each visit and revisit to each novel and story, I see more. More connections, more conflicts, more implications. I want to know what happened to Bar Jan, clan-dead on a Terran world, supported by Terran charity. Better yet, what of Khana vo’Daran trapped on this same world with Liaden service to Bar Jan and his like his sole purpose to date? What happened to Inas Bhar between her home world and becoming a Juntavas sector judge? And what, if anything, has happened on her home world sice she left? How did the faith develop on Sintia from Moonhawk’s stories to Priscilla’s time? Is there any connection between the generation ships in the Tomorrow Log (supposedly non-Liaden universe) and those referred to in Jethri’s stories? What role did Uncle, Arin, and his ilk have in the development of the Terran culture?]

    The Liaden Universe challenges me to THINK, really think, about the effects of the future on societies…while making me laugh, cry and love. It makes me wish I lived in Maine and could shovel snow for the authors…so the writing could happen faster 🙂

  3. A great reason to read the Liaden Universe series is that this truly amazing series is now available on Audible and can be listened to. As I am blind, I would have never had access to your books if not for Audible and a review posted by an audible member, which caught my attention and I’ve been completely hooked ever since.

  4. Dragons
    And who doesn’t need another healthy reading addict fix?

  5. Interesting characters and plots
    They get even better on re-reads
    They give a feeling of hope for humanity

  6. Fully developed characters and a universe both believable and alien.
    Complex, nuanced plots and situations
    Written in an elegant, graceful style

  7. Because the universe will draw you in until you look up at 2 am and realize you need to be at work in a few hours.

  8. 1> The universe is so real, it is easy to suspend belief and “travel” there
    2> The characters are believable and real, with depth and breath. So very 3 dimensional.
    3> It’s Space Opera dammit!

  9. Talking turtles!! From the time I saw the cover for Agent of Change, I was hooked. The illustration of two people and a really big turtle made me buy the book. Love Edger and co. All the other personalities kept me coming back.

  10. Balance. Both sexes are equally capable, talented, foolish, and stubborn. Their character defines them, not their plumbing.

  11. These are all really good!

    One of the things I love about the Liaden Universe is that it is *not* utterly predictable. The stories, plot, pacing are original. I am *very* good at predicting the flow and direction of stories, but the Liaden Universe keeps me on my toes. So, Original storytelling you won’t find anywhere else!

  12. You can learn how life works,
    it’s complicated but solvable,
    the details are important,
    you’re responsible for you,
    good people come in all shapes and sizes,
    cats are special friends,
    the best relationships are forever,
    and love is much more than physical.

    Also reading Liaden is fun.

  13. Cats who pass through time and space
    Where magic, space travel and manners all have their place
    Sentient Trees
    8 foot Turtles who hear music in sirens and alarms

  14. Because there is something for everyone. You like military strategy? check. Politics? check. Romance? Math? Psi? Xeno? Business? All of these are present.

    Because of the writing style. Wordings that are slightly different from standard prose, which make you pay attention just a little closer – and which emphasize the alien-ness of the cultures it describes. Oh, and which excells in subtle jokes, irony, and sarcasm.

    Because of the intricately threaded universe. every re-reading will point out another tie-in between things you didn’t think were related.

  15. Liaden Universe pulls you in with all the wonderful twist and turns in the weaving of this Universe. I read and listen to the whole series over and over again! Sharon Lee and Steve Miller continue to make the series better and better! THE VERY BEST SPACE OPERA! Leaves you wanting more and more!

  16. 10. Juntavas
    9. Dramliz
    8. Life-mates
    7. Ships
    6. Leather Jackets
    5. Meddlesome tree
    4. Pilots
    3. Scouts
    2. Balance
    1. Necessity!

    Ten is not enough! Cats, Melant’i, Clutch Turtles (more, please!), M-series, Yxtrang… I keep changing the order, and which are included in the ten. I’m arbitrarily cutting it off, I could keep this argument going with myself forever.

  17. 1. Riveting 1st read
    2. Even better each re-read
    3. Can’t help re-reading 2 or 3 times awaiting the next
    4. Fascinating characters
    5. Fascinating interactions between characters
    6. Fascinating interactions between cultures
    7. Intricate interwoven plots over various time scales
    8. Hints of magic interwoven with advanced technology
    9. Hints of galactic-level problems awaiting our unsuspecting heroes/heroines
    10. Hints of subtle plot twists awaiting we advertant readers

  18. Cantra Yos’Phelium
    Daav Yos’Phelium
    Er Thom Yos’Galan
    Miri Robertson
    The Edger
    Regency language and manners in a space opera

  19. For me, there are just two really important reasons:

    The Characters – lots of depth to them, so much so that I really feel like I know them, and would recognize them if I could meet them.

    The Language – neither the characters nor the narrator use language the way modern Americans do. I have never quite been able to put my finger on this, but from the first page of the first book I read (it was Agent of Change), I KNEW this was a very different world.

  20. The dialogue. The different “voices” of each of the several characters are fantastic. Once you are familiar with the characters, you know without asking whether it is Shan or Miri or Daav or Val Con or Priscilla speaking (to say nothing of the turtles).

    However, there is one question I have wanted to ask Sharon and Steve, and I hope this is not presumptuous. I have noticed that the love stories seem to follow a pattern. It is always a female human (or mix, if the term is not insulting) falling in love with a male Liaden (or mix). I do not believe there is a single example of a female Liaden falling in love with a full human. (Maybe Jethri? But his story does not seem to be over yet). Is this purposeful or simply coincidence?

    Please note I AM NOT CRITICIZING THIS. However, I think it would be interesting to see how a romance between a female Liaden (Nova?) and male human would play out. I would appreciate any insight Sharon could give into this.

  21. I think that the Clans of Men are all human, or else they wouldn’t be able to interbreed. We here at Author Central prefer “Terran” and “Liaden” and “Yxtrang” as designations for the various races.

    Well, let’s see, what “love stories” have we?

    Cantra and Jela
    Er Thom and Anne
    Daav and Aelliana
    Aelliana, Jen Sar, Kamele
    Val Con and Miri
    Shan and Priscilla
    Pat Rin and Natesa
    Anthora and Ren Zel

    Couple of Liaden/Liaden pairings, there, but no Terran/Terran center stage, either. *Shrug* It’s a pattern, if you like. Probably born of following one family who has had the misfortune to kick out too many boys over the last couple generations. And this habit of bringing Terran lifemates into the family only started one generation back — something the characters themselves remark upon. Given Korval’s Luck, there may be a reason for this. Or not.

    But here’s a thing. A love story between Person A (female) and Person B (male) will “play out” . . .in a way that’s unique to that couple. A love story between Person A (male) and Person B (male) will “play out”. . .in a way that’s unique to that couple. And so on.

    People not being interchangeable, it stands to reason that their love stories would not be interchangeable, either. If we’ve been doing our jobs, as authors, then the characters’ love stories ought to be unique to each couple (or trio) — just like their voices, which you mention.

  22. Sharon, you are right. I should have said Terran, not human. Thanks for the correction.

    And obviously, each romance or love story is unique to the characters involved, which is why I enjoy your books so much. Daav and Aellianna’s story (which breaks my heart, every time) is very different than Val Con and Miri’s, or Shan and Priscilla’s.

    (Priscilla, by the way, fascinates me. I love whenever she takes center stage.)

    Thanks for your insight. I really appreciate the response. I didn’t want to seem rude and to be telling you how your stories should be written. : )

  23. Character-driven non-military science fiction with the manners of Regency fiction, the suspense of Horror and the old-fashioned violence of a good space battle (or two).

  24. I’m not at all sure what there is to add to the reasons already mentioned, but I just finished Dragon In Exile eARC, and my immediate reaction was that you guys just keep getting better. With each book, the world becomes more rich and diverse, the characters more complex and real, and the tale more compelling.

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