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.


74 thoughts on “Spoiler Thread for Neogenesis”

  1. I devoured this latest entry in the Liaden Universe. It tied up story threads in satisfying conclusions while leaving more than enough questions to be answered in the next book.

    My greatest worry is for the Tree. It took wounds in its final action against the Enemy, and the authors left it disheveled, tired, but seemingly satisfied until such time as the Fifth of Five is completed and published. How did I become emotionally invested in a Tree? Yet another incidental consequence of really good writing.

    One nagging question, which is nitpicky and pedantic (and I admit that) — Who is funding the Liaden Scouts? How much of the organization remains on Liad? As I recall, Korval was a generous funding source, which will have had to dry up with the Clan’s banishment by the Council. So, who exactly are these Liaden Scouts?

  2. I’m just saying …
    Jela-soldier + Cantra-aelantaza = clan Korval
    Hazenthul-soldier + Tolly-aelantaza = ???

  3. Yes I have wondered about the funding as well. Can’t see the Council of Clans being overly generous – which may eventually resolve the conflict between the two centers of Scouts!
    The tree may end up having enjoyed the exercise – and it has its new relative from the old universe for additional company – and the two other trees rooted from its branches on Surebleak.
    The planet may end up with quite a forest!
    And there are other trees with Korval’s allies -can they draw strength from each other?

  4. Also nice to see the mellowing of Kareen now that she has real and challenging work to do. And Kamele will be fun to follow.

  5. @pence I did wonder if the Tree had decided that Surebleak would be a nice new home planet for it’s own kind. Surely it’s time for one. It’s been alone for far too long.

    I’ve found myself liking Kareen much more in the latest arc. Perhaps what she needed was to be challenged by a new situation. She *is* a yos’Phelium after all.

    I hope we see more of Kamele, as well. She too has found that leaving the safety and comfort of the known isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  6. Thank you S&S!! The hard cover version is so much more enjoyable to read! Being the fourth read I can take my time and enjoy meshing what is new with what has gone before.
    Also thanks for Theo, Tocohl, Jeeves, Kara, Miri & Val Con, Aelliana & Daav, Anthora & Ren Zel, … and all the others. The list gets to long. Looking forward to Hevelin re-meeting the new and younger Daav and Aelliana. Will Vepal arrive at Surebleak with four Yxtrang already on planet? Will Padi be the trader on Bechimo? Will Korval embrace the running of Tinsori Light? What help does the Clutch require?
    Disappointed that ‘Agent of Change’, as a hard cover, is not in the publishing schedule thru August.

  7. What happens if Chernak and Stost offer their knives to
    Hero captain Miri Robertson Tiazan.
    Would the Delm turn them down ?
    The clan’s numbers are low.
    It would seem to add quality assets.

  8. Baen decided to re-imagine the Agent of Change anniversary volume as a mass market paperback, which they will issue in November. That’s the latest information that I have.

  9. After one brief comment “Theo should get the tree out of Spiral Dancer *soon*” there is no more mention of it. Will it be addressed in the next book?

    Because like so many others, I am emotionally invested in the Tree and its ultimate satisfaction, not just survival.

    This was an incredible journey – so many threads woven together; so many yet to explore. I congratulate the authors on yet another tour de force!

  10. Lovely book, brings together resolutions to many problems, yet leaves them free to develop into new arcs of their own, and leaves enough unresolved so that there will be no shortage of things to do in fifth-of-five.

    One thing, Neogenesis mentions at least twice that some people have forgotten what “nor” means. I’m guessing that this refers to the “nor” in norPhelium. Are we going to be told in upcoming books what it means, or is it fair to ask here if anyone smarter than I am has already figured it out?

  11. nor is the designation for house troop.
    nor Phelium means soldier of line Yos Phelium.

  12. Cantra’s child was half M-class descent, and every sixth generation a yos’Phelium and a Clan Erob scion intermarried producing a child for Korval, every third generation a Clan Korval scion intermarried with Clan Erob and produced a child for Clan Erob. Miri therefore has a significant share of M-class genetics, along with all Korval descendents of Cantra (Val Con’s and Shan’s, Nova’s, and Anthora’s grandmothers were twins produced by the cross of a yos’Phelium and a yos’Galan, who were allowed to leave the clan with the production of the two children) and Theo, whose father was a direct descendant of Cantra’s child.

    The first cross between Erob and Korval was with the surviving yos’Galan, producing ISRT twins, one went to Erob, the other to Korval, neither had Jela’s genes, but Cantra’s child had Jela’s M-class genes (and of course Cantra’s child, had Cantra’s genes… which the Uncle could identify all those many centuries later in whatever gene map or sample he had of Theo’s, however he got it… I’ve kept wondering about that, what if any connection might he have had to Hugglelans, which had taken a sample of Theo’s blood).

    Meanwhile, there’s Yuri the Uncle, he’s been scheming away for a long time. He was no spring chicken in the Crystal books.

    There’s Theo who has a -long- life ahead of her, if misadventure doesn’t do her in (the former Scout in her crew, too, and anyone else in the crew who decides to use the on-board autodoc for “healing”).

    Then there are Trees, Erob was not the only Clan gifted with one, are there Trees left behind on Liad, and where else might there be trees?

    Also, I wonder if Joyita has any interest in trading…

  13. Tee Hee!
    I’ve been wondering for a loooong time if the name of Uncle’s ship was in fact a Spock/Star Trek reference. Well, now in Neogenesis we’ve had another hint dropped on that subject. In the somewhat,… er, confused conversation at Jelaza Kazone, as Uncle and his sister are about to depart, when Aelliana wishes them, um, well, I think I’ll let you all go look it up, right after this:

    He bowed.
    “Pilots. Long life to you both.”
    “Sir,” Daav said, bowing in return.
    Aelliana bowed in her turn.

  14. I have the chap book stories written in my dead tree copies at the appropriate places. Otherwise can’t remember exactly what fits where

  15. I was interested that Aelliana thought that the Uncle was “Uncle Arin” – when did their paths cross???

  16. Have been re-reading my way from Local Custom back up to Neogenesis. Seriously hoping that 5th of 5 (Passing the Staff???) resolves the stories of Kareen, Kamele, and Nova. All three deserve more adventure and a story (even if only a short story!). Perhaps in its depleted state, Clan Korval will begin to better utilize its existing resources???? Balance!

  17. I keep wondering what the long-term ramification of the Lyre Institute is? The Korval heir who is “suddenly” found, supposed dead, what was it — a century hence?

    So, was the “racial purity” the Terran Party (remember them?) wanted funded by LI? Or are they sheirkas in disguise? Or…?

    I don’t know. I just let the authors lead me from one point to the other, and on reflection say, “Oh! Of course! I should have seen that.” It’s the reason I love the books.

  18. Pinbeams seem to have mutated over the course of the series.
    In Neogenesis (and Theo’s earlier “come home” messages) they seem to be an email equivalent which doesn’t require knowing the recipient’s location:

    [“Yes,” Jeeves agreed. “I did ping Tocohl when Hazenthull’s message arrived, and did not receive an answer. Of course, that could merely mean that she is in Jump. I have, therefore, composed a pinbeam which I sent directly to Tocohl’s address. It will be waiting for her when the ship she is on emerges from Jump.”]

    which is a big change from Plan B, where they appear to be more of a targeted broadcast to a particular location; Val Con says

    [“Alas. I was offered use of the House’s pin-beam so that an answer to when? might be achieved quickly. Unfortunately, one must know the position of the beam’s target, and Shan has all the galaxy at his beck-and hyperspace, as well.”]

    Not quite sure how you’d manage the current email version… maybe the ships pinbeam a home base server when they come out of jump to see if there’s anything waiting for them and update their current location for new messages (Though I’m not sure Bechimo would consider that a safe thing to do…)

    Now we have the Lyre Institute in the picture, it looks as though there may have been more survivors from the old universe than we’d previously seen… I wonder if the Department of the Interior will turn out to be run by an old universe great work AI (or a successor running on more recent hardware..)

  19. I am thinking that Joyita will manage to find a body.

    Curious about Nova’s remembering on Spiral Dance.

    The Lyre Institute is a replacement enemy for the DOI?

    The partnership of Uncle Yuri and Korval sounds interesting as Korval becomes a planned clan, including a nice variety of sentient beings.

    And Uncle Yuri’s people? They are becoming interwoven with the clan.

    I will attempt to be patient (fooling nobody).

  20. One of the most interesting paragraphs in all the Liaden works,
    it to me the first paragraph of chapter 19 of Dragon Ship.
    The implications for dramliza and the ‘Others’ has got me
    pondering. Re-reads do that to me.

  21. Curiosities:
    A Ssussdriad forest on Surebleak?

    The tree from Cantra‘s ship. At Tinsori light or staying on Bechimo? Would fit well with the Gathering Edge on Bechimo.

    How Rys manages to derail the DOI through downloading a new commander?

    Perhaps the AI Joyita will use some of the genetic material In Uncle‘s Archive to get a body?

    Will Daav and Aelliana fly Cantra“s ship?

    Tinsori“s future will be interesting.

    And of course, what is the Clutch necessity?

  22. @Fred Smith,
    would be fun if we found out that it’s supposed to be nor’Bears instead of Norbears. 🙂
    But then it is supposedly Terrans naming those companions – but tell you what – that’s just another block in Anne Davis, ähm Professor tel’Bana’s Theory of the Common Root-Tongue.

    Second that – all 3 need a more active part – whether it’s separately or a combined effort.

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