Gathering Edge Spoiler Discussion

The comment section below this post is for the Early Adopters of The Gathering Edge by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

If you have not read the eArc and/or intend to wait for a later publication, and you don’t want the story spoiled for you, for the love of ghod, please do not read the comments.


115 thoughts on “Gathering Edge Spoiler Discussion”

  1. …and I turned the page to see what happened on leaving Lefavre to find that that was where the story ends for this year, darn it – more cliffhangery than I’d like.

  2. Bechimo crew numbers research update

    Ghostship Chapter 21:
    3 – 12 crew and family, up to 12 extra.

  3. Spiral Dance cords set Chapter 2

    Can they be reconciled by referring to Quick Passage ?
    She resides under Jelaza Kazone @ Dragon in Exile Chapter 37 .

  4. Just wondering–if the Pathfinders DID know Jela (since evidence seems to imply they did, what with the shibjela reference, even if it was mostly by reputation and possibly in person when being given their orders). And if never did make it into Spiral Dance for a thorough examination and also quite possibly never made it into the room where Baby Tree was recovering from its journey … would they recognize the Tree. I gather Jela had a reputation for carting around that vegetable of his.

    I further wonder if the Baby Tree had had a chance to meet Jela before being sent on its way?

    Because the idea of people (which in this case very definitely includes sentient trees) who had physically met him having a chance to meet NOW just tickles me to no end. I’m still so touched at the vision of Jela’s trek that Theo dreamed–because to Baby Tree, it’s obviously so recent.

    (Why, yes, I keep getting hung up on the idea of all these family reunions just LURKING there, waiting to spring on the unwary … because these are some pretty amazing reunions pending!)

    I wonder what Uncle is going to think of all this, too.

  5. Trang = Troop

    In the books explicitly sated types are :
    M series, X strain, Y stain and K grade.
    This implies that there may have been others types.
    Was there ever a F series, strain of grade of Trang ?

  6. To OBA’s ( our beloved authors

    Are there any topic(s0 you would particularly like to have
    addressed/discussed here ?
    I think we all want to be of service.

  7. Actually, no. I create and set aside a Spoiler Discussion page for each book so that people who have just read the eArc (mostly, but the same applies for the hardcover edition, since some folks only buy in mmp), and who are bubbling! over! with a need to talk about All! The! Cool! will not inadvertently spoil the story for those who have not yet read it.

  8. 8 pods ripening= Recipients; Theo, Clarence, Win Ton, Kara,
    Hevlin, Podesta, Chernak, Stost
    BTW the isolation of Podesta seems slightly cruel.

    Chapter 27 Jotita “… since all of the crew is not yet bonded”
    More bonding ceremonies, how many and who ?

  9. I hope someday we will hear from Alya Tiazan again.
    She is my favorite Tiazan cousin, ‘wistful sigh’
    The more so from rereading Plan B.

  10. Theo never disappoints! She is truely “of the line”. And I LOVE Win Ton’s statement that describes what the title refers to. A richly woven tapestry of characters, duly evolving; story arcs continuing with points introduced in the first books; plot hooks for the next edition to the universes continuing saga’ not to mention rollicking action and entertaining dialects; philosophical musings that explain backstory and universe principles worth a study all on their own; and …
    Looking forward to the next edition, and the one after that. Since I also (Cantra’s influence I’m sure) take the long view – please feel no pressure from your readers and do whatever it takes to take excellent care of yourselves. Health is a resource for living. I’d rather you got to the end of the story than get the next one a few months early. But I’m sure the cats are taking good care of you.

    And to have had to untangle this story from Padi’s without losing anything along the way I know required herculean effort. As a long time fan, I applaud a true Master Work!

  11. Guess I am hoping Podesta was on board.
    No text about her current whereabouts.
    My reasoning is that she might benefit from pod(s).
    No text about pod(s) and cats eating them that I could find.

  12. I think on the third reading, I may have stumbled on a glitch. This is near the 70% point:

    “Have you considered how you’re going to visit Pilot Tranza?” Joyita asked.

    In context, I think you may have meant Clarence rather than Joyita, as it goes on to mention his “native accent.”

  13. Thank you for the book!

    I was kind of hoping for a MMA match between Theo and the scout captain – but no such luck. Maybe in the next volume. Val Con could set them to fight for Win Ton’s service…

    Also, it feels like almost all characters in the book are left in mid-stride. Kara’s discomfort – unresolved. Win Ton’s treachery – unresolved. Tranza’s retreat- not reviewed. Hevelin’s mystery – unexplained. Pathfinder’s target – not clear. Lefavre – abandoned, without even setting him on a path somewhere. Scouts are suddenly the bad guys…

    It is all great reading, but I am really looking forward to seeing the end of all those stories.a

  14. Pocured and read the eArc. Thanks for the early treat. Couldn’t stop smiling at the scene where Theo thinks: (not quite exact):
    1st priority. Disarm the norbear.

  15. Number of ‘Trees’ extant
    4 on Surebleak
    1 in Bechim
    1 on Litaxin

    more are implied from Plan B “… and Korval does occasionally
    seal-certain-contracts with the gift of a seedling”

  16. I really do hope that the Korval cousins get Theo and Bechimo to give them a sim tape of the bug rescue.
    Also, I wonder whether Theo ever learned to write letters. Currently, it looks like she is not going to announce herself, her trouble and her cargo before Bechimo sets down in the snow of Surebleak. One wonders what she has a pinbeam for.

  17. Will the DOI take on Edgers clan because they’re allies/kin of
    clan Korval ?
    Should the clutch be given a seedling of Jelaza Kazone ?

  18. Loved Gathering Edge… except if the honored authors don’t get Daav, the Caylon and Prof Waitley in a room together to resolve their tangled triangle my frustration will be immeasurable. Really my slowest growing tree the curly bark maple has grown 3 feet while we have been waiting. Besides it is past time for the founding of SUPA, Surebleak University and Piloting Academy. Sure the Caylon and
    Jen Sar will be the headliners but can you imagine Val Con as the guest music lecturer, physics from a clutch turtle or military history from a certain butler.

  19. Hmmm…maybe Uncle should have used 3 blanks, one each for Daav, Aelliana, & Jen Sar. That assumes Uncle knows of Jen Sar…don’t remember if they’ve met/been introduced tho he’s described as “meddler with a finger in everybody’s pies”. Personally would hate for our favorite people be brought down by a love triangle, likely more effective than anything the DOI could think up.

    Also curious how the pathfinders ultimately integrate into the mix, not to mention Vepal

    I barely managed to complete The Expanse series book 3 before gobbling down Gathering Edge. Now wondering if I’ll get T.E. book 4 completed before 2nd read of G.E. Argh!

  20. Minor copy continuity edit:
    Grakow’s eyes are gold when he first meets Clarence in chapter 10 , but they are mentioned as green in chapter 13 upon waking up between Chernak and Stost.

    To Vythe:
    I would quibble at calling it Win Ton’s “treachery” as treachery implies intent, a deliberate betrayal of trust. Yet he has been quite clear to Theo and Bechimo that he was returned to them in a compromised state, in health and obligation. Truly, Theo and Bechimo should be glad the DOI simply sought to break Win Ton rather than reprogram him.
    It should be noted that the Scouts- as an organization (as well as certain individuals)- are also compromised. Any organization as large as that would naturally encounter a confusion of purpose/mission goal, even without the DOI’s “helpful” destabilizing influence, so it feels quite natural that there be a fracturing of the various Scout commands along already well acknowledged lines of conflicted purpose.

    Looking forward:
    What I find interesting is the comparison drawn between Ing Vie and Win Ton. Both are rule-breakers, but the reasons behind which rules they break and why appear to be fundamentally different. In boarding Bechimo the first time, Win Ton demonstrates a mind-set that rules are available for guidance and safety, but that personal judgement (in this case curiosity) can be exercised if safety is not perceived as a significant factor. Ing Vie on the other hand, in actively soliciting the Uncle and his forbidden technology, uses rule-breaking as a lever, a tool for gaining what he wants (in this case, Bechimo), demonstrating a mind-set that rules need only apply to other people but not to him. Thus I find myself asking, what is it that Ing Vie truly wants? And what is he going to do if he doesn’t get it?

    Blargh!!! I am skewered upon a need for patience!

  21. On another note, the art for Neogenesis cover is superb.
    My guess/speculation is that the Ship is Bechimo and
    the station is Tnisori light.
    Both are ‘foreshadowed’ in Gathering Edge.

  22. When will Prof Waitley be singing in a choir again? Will there be any musical collaboration of Val Con, Prof Waitley and the Hopper?

  23. The slow build of tension and multiple plot lines! I think that Korval will have to rule in Bechimo’s favor (and Theo’s). The Scouts may appear in force, but Korval has Juntavas, Clutch Turtles, Surebleakers, Pilots and others to draw on for allies – as they care for Ships and Pilots – Korval is Ships and Pilots!! And as pointed out the scouts are likely also a divided body. I do wonder where Daav and Aeilli are – and when they will re-appear at Surebleak or cross paths out in the stars with Theo and Bechimo and the Pathfiinders :). I suspected when I saw the cover of NeoG that it was the space at Tinsori Light/the Light and the ship was Spiral Dancer crewed by a Korval contingent. Or possibly, Bechimo. ? Perhaps it is the Light itself that has generated rumors of an AI awakening? Or is that Admiral Bunter? Either way the mystery is why they would go to the space near Tinsori Light? And how will the “keepers” of the light hold the Light “in check”….in the face of its ambitions and inimicality (sp) to Life. I can’t see the norbear going there, nor any sane cat or other life form! Unless of course the need was dire. But I get waaay ahead of mself here. I am still looking forward to the scenes when Bechimo and Theo pop up in Surebleak with Spiral Dance and 2 original pathfinders who might just have know Jela plus the origial Jela’s tree! Ha ha ha. How Val and Miri will deal with that will be interesting…and what will Jelaza Kazone say (the big tree) to its parent tree?? Interesting reading there. Then there’s Vepal and what his reactions will be. I am a bit lost at the Eylot troubles – could not quite focus on what the problems are. Can someone sum it up for me? I am sure it was laid out, but I think I’ve missed clues and information to make it utterly clear. Now once I get NeoG (whoo boy the ARC may come out this Fall? Yes please please say yes Baen!!) I’ll re-read the 3 books to make more sense of things. 🙂 Always a few steps behind as benefits a dedicated reader!

  24. PS to previous comment. 8 pod on Jela’s tree on Bechimo – and Jen Sin’s pin beam message said….. “Send one of ours and 8 cantra to redeem my pledge. Send them armed. In fact, send two….” I always did like that short story.. One of my favorites…

  25. @Meow Lady – Eylot Troubles
    Eylot is a Planet with roughly parity between the Liaden and Terran populations, (termed by proper Liadens as outworld). It’s official Language is Terran.

    For at least 300 years Eylot has been houseing the Anlingdin Piloting Academy where Theo starts her pilot training. At this time the political climate is changing to a national Terran orientated one, where non Eylot Terrans are less and less tolerated and more and more oppressed. Non-Eylot-Terrans are not only Liadens (which ought to be roughly half the Eylot population) but also Terrans with non-standard culture as well as all Terrans not speaking Standard-Terran. Not to mention Xytrang or Clutch Turtle of course. There are resentments and hostilities, at least partly fomented by the government, as well as new laws of control and oppression.

    Whether this political movement against outsiders is totally the idea of a part of Eylot’s population or whether they have had help (like the Terran Party) or whether Eylot’s politics are part of a larger movement and which and how many planets might be included remains open to speculation.
    There are other planets mentioned with worrisome politics that bear watching – according to the scouts, like Ibenvue.

    The charges against Theo and Kara – a symptom of Eylot politics – might not withstand interplanetary laws. It seems at least debatable if Theo’s expulsion from Academy was legal. And I bet Academy missed some payments for use of Theo’s tape (the glider landing). Mrs. dea’Gauss should have some fun devising charges for a counter attack – maybe with an extradition request for members of Clan Menlark as well as a solid payment for expropriated Menlark property. There could also be the possibility of involving the Juntavas – especially with secret extradition of Liaden people as well as other not tolerated minorities from Eliot – assuming they haven’t been murdered outright.

  26. I really think the Tree should go to the Clutch Turtles as allies and as guardians of the tree. I really can see them honoring the tree for what it is..

  27. If I read everything as it was intended, Theos small tree is a seedling or cutting of Jelaza Kazone, grown before the Exodus. So Jelaza Kazone *is* the eldest Sussudriad in all the universe(s). Theos Tree is theoretically only a few years younger than its parent. Due to the circumstances of its travel between universes, it is definitely younger than any of Jelaza Kazones offspring but for the cuttings the Korval Tree produced in Dragon in Exile.
    But all that relativity aside, Theos Tree is one of the two Sussudriad in the universe that have firsthand experience of the Sheriekas/Iloheen.
    By right of spiritual inheritance, Shan/Lute, Priscilla/Moonhawk, Ren Zel/Rool and Anthora/Rools Lady might get some strong hints, but in their current incarnations, they never met the Enemy.

    Going too far ahead, I am really sure that Bechimo and Theo go (with the small Tree onboard) to rescue Tocohl and get a bite of way too much trouble at Tinsory Light, old relatives with crystals in their hair included.

    I do not think that the Clutch turtles would be too interested in a young creature of no name coming from another universe. They might be more interested in a “native” specimen of some respectable age like Jelaza Kazone itself.

  28. @ Dorothea
    Ah, you caught the “Shan/Lute, Priscilla/Moonhawk, Ren Zel/Rool and Anthora/Rools Lady” connection too. But reading your comment I now wonder how the Daaz-Aelliana pair fits into this. – Might all or most true lifematings be incarnations of such old Dramliz pairs – no matter how reduced – compared to their true form before they became enslaved by the Iloheen?

    Moonhawk and her weavers made ready 14 templates – 1 for Lute, 1 for herself and 12 for her sisters? So non of the other submissives were included? – I suppose those 12 are for the other weaving Dominants that also took names, in order to resist assimilation and channel action through.

    Also how does Priscilla’s goodness fit into this?

    On another note, what happened to Simbu and his Dominant? Did they achieve their goal of deposing the Iloheen and taking up dominion of the old galaxy? If so – might they or their descants be a worth enemy?

    @ strong hints
    Lute/Shan and Moonhawk/Priscilla have both been to the war room to arm themselves and Lute/Shan took up the War Lore. Rool/Ren Zel also knows he is designed for some terrible fighting.

    @ tree of respectable age for Clutch
    I’ll second that.

    @ rescuing Tocohl
    There is also Admiral Bunter, Tolly Jones and Hazenthull.

    @ AI’s
    What happened to Disian? The family ship Tolly Jones mentored and freed – now properly with Captain Elzen Carresens-Denobli (Wise Child).

    Also what happened with the Serpent of Knowledge AI on Delgado? Will Theo remember?

    Is Serpent AI just a name for a very sophisticated program or is it a real AI like Jeeves and Bechimo, and its existence therefor in violation to the Complex Logic Laws.

    What happened to the Serpent AI after the Conspirators were arrested? Did the Chapelia dissemble it? Or did it manage to survive again?

  29. Hm. Did I break some unwritten rules? My last admittedly long posts seem to have disappeared, and I would like to know how I transgressed.

  30. I don’t know what happened, either, since I approved your comments. Looking around the attic here, though, I don’t find them in Approved, nor in Spam. Possibly we hit a limit on replies? I really don’t know.

  31. That’s sad. Since I wrote on my telephone while carrying around cranky offspring, I did not make copies of the posts. On the other hand I am relieved that I did not run unseeing into some obvious code of conduct. 😉
    Have a nice evening.

  32. So, second try.

    @ Dramliz pairs over the ages
    Since I only started reading the whole series after I got sick in December, the coincidences of Names and powers just jumped out of the page for me.

    I can’t place the part you mention about “templates”, but in my reading, the rebel dramliz dominants were not that concerned about the well-being of their submissives. So I vote for “all girls plus Lute” for rebirth templates. The law of conservation of power would just about do for the submissives – if a dominant is there, the submissive would most likely also turn up.
    It would explain why Moonhawk and Lute still meddle with their later reincarnations, while Ren Zel seems to carry Rools power without dragging the luggage of Rools meddling around. I think in this case, Ren Zel comes off way better than Shan and Priscilla.

    @ She Who Would Rule in Place of the Iloheen
    I never doubted that the Simbu dominant was Priscillas goddess. It just fits too well. The impression I got was that She Who Would Rule was interested in the top job in the new universe, not in the old decrystallized one. Given that Moonhawk promised allegiance and (going by the short stories) almost single-handedly formed the Sintian belief system, She Who Would Rule seems to have collected handsomely. Many lives over.
    On the other hand, I expect that She Who Would Rule really is not interested in Iloheen competition in her very own sandbox. So, if Tinsori Light and its loyal Iloheen Great Work are moving center stage soon, I expect Priscilla to get her marching orders, provided something similarly important is not burning down to ground in another place.

    @ Daav and Aelliana
    I note that we never saw Daav or Aelliana display a dramatic Dramliz gift. Aellianna is a crack mathematician, and she might just use powerful Sight to fuel the insights she explains within the language of Mathematics.
    Daav has a high empathy rating, but he never played in the league even of Shan in Conflict of Honors.

    So, if a lifemating occurs between people that share a certain part of a Dramliz’ gift, the intermarrying of Korval and Tiazan should be excuse enough. Additionally, Korval outcrossed to Liaden society several times in each generation, so the genetic potential to develop a Dramliz gift should by now be spread over all of the Liaden population.

    @ Serpent AI
    Theos story followed Theo, so there was no big need for the readers to know what Theo never knew, either. If Bechimo should raise Delgado somewhen, this might change in a hurry.
    I don’t think Daav ratted on the Serpent AI. He had a deal with the Advertancy prof to keep it quiet. And I do not think the Chapelia have the know-how to successfully go after an AI. At least, not officially, and why should they seek revenge on the AI? Their problem was the outworlder, neatly disabled by aiming Daav at her …

    @Bechimo and Carresens-Denobli
    I do not think that a planet-based enterprise/clan/family really is in need of an intelligent ship. Korval rebuilds its flagship “xxx Passage” in intervals, retires the old ship and shows off its shiny new toy. That is what you do with a tool. They have a home with a big tree growing in its center, where they just shut the door on the world if needed.
    Bechimo on the other hand was not built to be a tool. He is a safety fiend like none other. He frets himself to pieces over the safety of his crew (and most likely, passengers). He was built to be a home. A space-based family has other calls on its ship than for it to be a transport, and there a friendly AI might be what stands between crew, elders and children and absolute desaster.
    I shall be very surprised if Bechimos original crew did not display at least once the last names of Thomas, Carresens or Denobli.

    The Carresens-Denobli should have their arms to the elbow in smart ship developments, and I think the Uncle does likewise. They all took pains to meet Bechimos destined, acting and later bonded captain. Theo is part of their internal communications – yes, it runs along family lines, but I also think this is more than mere gossip.

  33. I really wonder what the data is that Stost and Chernak got from the library in Loadzt.
    Microfiche of the old universe’s secret history?
    The fight against the Sheriekas, 55th revised edition?
    Anti-Sheriekas weapon manufacture manuals?
    Genetic survey of all the people and creatures of all the known worlds, with frozen tissue samples?

  34. I think the eight pods is Bechimo’s current embodied crew. Theo, Clarence, Win Ton, Kara, Hevelin, Grakow and the two Yxtrang.

  35. Tinsori Light and the DOI

    If someone stumbled upon the Light and was ‘reprogramed’
    and sent out, it could be how the DOI was started.
    Additionally it would explain their interest in ‘old tech’.

  36. Dang cliff hangers.
    Deb 2/17/17
    There is an indication that the SMALL TREE has some racial memory of the disasters that overcame the TREES and the rescue of Korval’s Tree by Jela.
    Whether shared memories or current “real time” interaction unknown.

  37. I liked the song code to gain entry to Primadonna and the really strange drift in the lyrics.

  38. wiwi

    may 4, 2017

    enjoied the reading, found the end too abrupt, maybe I am used to be spoiled by these autors.

    Looking forward to the xtrang spotting Korwal M origin and following alliance with Korwal

  39. I am happy to see that Win Ton is doing better. Curiosity is not enough to make him lose all that was so important to him.
    Ps have pre-ordered Neogenisis but it is so hard to wait.

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