Date: 2019-03-05 04:49 pm (UTC)
cgbookcat1: (giraffe)
From: [personal profile] cgbookcat1
I love this series but this particular book is not my favorite. You might have better luck with the books narrated by Cantra and Jela in the previous universe, Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon.

Date: 2019-03-05 06:44 pm (UTC)
dsrtao: dsr as a LEGO minifig (Default)
From: [personal profile] dsrtao
Those are the books in which the backstory is explained, too.

(Very briefly: the Liaden and the Yxtrang are refugees from a universe where space-time was being altered by machine intelligences to improve its suitability as a computing substrate. This has sadly unavoidable genocidal side-effects for biological life. In addition to the Liaden and Yxtrang fleets, some others from the Old Universe managed to come through into the current one. The current universe is supposed to be a possible future of the one that the reader is in, but there is clearly an infinite sheaf of multiverse, so it might only be related.

There's common descent for "Terrans", Liaden and Yxtrang, even though two of those are from another universe entirely, which means that this one is also under possible threat of crystallization into computing space... and that looks like the longest of the long-running threats.)

In the meantime, people like these books because they are chock full of understandably alien politics, relationships, derring-do, death, grief, consolation and occasional miracles. I think.

Background spoilers

Date: 2019-03-05 08:32 pm (UTC)
mindstalk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mindstalk
> where space-time was being altered by machine intelligences to improve its suitability as a computing substrate

There's more specific than I remember. If we're doing spoilers:

That universe had posthumans who had had ideas about 'improving' the human race, but gone beyond that. I think they were psychic energy beings more than machine by the time we see them, and they'd taken to 'crystallizing' the universe for reasons unclear beyond hostility to anything they didn't control. They did use machine intelligences a lot.

> There's common descent for "Terrans", Liaden and Yxtrang, even though two of those are from another universe entirely

I'm not really clear on whether the local 'Terra' is actually native or another planet settled by the cosmic refugees, and "Terrans" as a multi-planet polyphyletic group seems like it would include some of the refugees.

Re: Background spoilers

Date: 2019-03-05 08:48 pm (UTC)
dsrtao: dsr as a LEGO minifig (Default)
From: [personal profile] dsrtao
Crystallization: I am interpolating from my memory of 20+ books. I think it's reasonable to call the psychic energy beings machine intelligences... built on psychic energy machines. At that level of psitech things are wibbly. Certainly the key material technology (tiles) is a bridge between electronics and psitech.

The local Terra is not *our* Earth, but it has people with recogizable traces of Celtic and Slavic cultures. Far in the future of a related alternate history seems to me to be the best capsule description.

Date: 2019-03-05 08:47 pm (UTC)
sraun: portrait (Default)
From: [personal profile] sraun
I think that the Terrans are also from the other universe. Cantra ends up with a lot more spaceships following her that do not seem to make it to Liad.

Ships as numerous as the stars themselves rose from those planets which had yet escaped the Iloheen's kiss, equations were filed into boards, velocity was sought.

That would easily account for Terran, Liaden, Yxtrang, Sintian, and all the other worlds we've seen that may or may not have been colonies.

Date: 2019-03-05 08:35 pm (UTC)
mindstalk: (robot)
From: [personal profile] mindstalk
I can't help viewing the books as candy, but definitely enjoyable. Memorable and enjoyable characters, symmetric romance (most of the books are romances, told from His and Her POV, both He and She will be emotional and actiony), superpowered aristocratic wish-fulfillment, an elegant alien culture combined with a rejection of its worst aspects.

I also view them as basically fantasy with spaceships and guns and toilets.
Edited Date: 2019-03-05 08:36 pm (UTC)

Date: 2019-03-05 10:29 pm (UTC)
melita66: (japanese fruit)
From: [personal profile] melita66
Okay, no more Lee/Miller sponsored reviews!

Date: 2019-03-06 12:21 am (UTC)
sethsellis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sethsellis
Many years ago my mother described these as what she read while she was waiting for the next Miles Vorkosigan book. Ever since then I've thought of them as sub-Bujold. (I looked at them briefly but wasn't too interested, so I have no idea if that's fair).

Date: 2019-03-06 12:35 am (UTC)
mindstalk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mindstalk
I first heard of them from the Bujold list, where there were a lot of fans. I guess there could be some overlap in liking Aral/Cordelia romance and Barrayar and liking Liaden romances and Liad. I would rank them below Bujold but I'd rank Bujold near the top so that's not saying much. They're more prolific than Bujold, especially now, so that helps with the "read while waiting".

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