Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Legacy Systems (Adventures in the Liaden Universe #19), by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

Pinbeam Books, ISBN 9781935224921, February 2012

Two more Liaden stories, looking into the past, prior to the "current" stories where Val Con and Miri are together Delm Korval.

"Intelligent Design" features Val Con as a boy, with Shan just a few years older. They're heading off on what will be Val Con's first trip as cabin boy on Dutiful Passage, with Er Thom as captain, and Shan as apprentice trader/cargo hand. They're setting off just after Jelaza Kazone has lost its butler due to the butler's clan Delm having no good opinion of Er Thom having married a Terran, Anne Davis. The possibility of more service clans withdrawing from Korval is a background worry as Dutiful Passage sets off.

On one of their port stops, Val Con is allowed to join Shan as he is given a few hours to look around for possible private items of trade, to start developing and demonstrating his own judgment and building his own account. In the course of their rambles, Val Con gets one of his hunches, which Shan already knows are better trusted than ignored. In the warehouse Val Con leads them to, they find a crate that's part of an estate sale. Its contents are labeled as an environmental control unit. When they get it on board the ship, it becomes clear that it isn't, and strange things start to happen.

"The Space at Tinsori Light" is further back in the history of Clan Korval, and Jen Sin yos'Phelium Clan Korval is running a risky mission for his Delm, delivering an important packet for her to an ally. It goes very wrong, indeed, has already gone wrong when he reaches what should be his contact, and in his escape from the scene of the disaster with that packet, both he and his ship are damaged.

When he makes a desperate jump, with the ship selecting from any of a number of preprogrammed destinations presumed to be safe and able to render assistance. He winds up at Tinsori Light, where he meets the Keeper, who is friendly and helpful and gets him into a well-equipped autodoc, and the Light itself, which repairs his ship but may have its own agenda in doing so.

These are both enjoyable short stories, giving us more of the background of Korval, and characters we know or, going on comments the authors have made, may be about to get to know.


I bought this book.

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