Wednesday, November 30, 2022

From Every Storm, by Sharon Lee (author), Steve Miller (author)

Pinbeam Books, ISBN 9781948465212, November 2022

This a collection of three stories from the Liaden Universe, all focused on coming through a human storm to a happier place in life.

"Standing Orders" reaches back to this universe's past, the time when the AI Wars have just recently ended, and the ban on complex logics (which created so much trouble for the intelligent ship, Bechimo, during what I think it's fair to call the main time period of the series) has been enacted. The decommissioning of the Admirals, and of other complex logics, including those designed to look like humans, and to think and act as much like humans as possible. Meggie Rootfir and her team have escaped from their former allies, and fled to a system where they can set up a hospital for other fleeing and wounded/damaged AIs and any human team members who accompany them. It's rewarding, successful work, until a hijacked Admiral arrives carrying an AI instance of an officer assigned to decommission all the AIs--and he's got a hostage he thinks will let him control Meggie.

"Songs of the Fathers" is set in the main time period, on the planet Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza--Shan yos'Galen's lifemate--came from. The religion of the Mother Goddess has been growing more acquisitive, more rigid, more intolerant. Men have been banned from studies, disciplines, and occupations they were previously allowed. This is becoming steadily more dangerous for the household of Lomar Fasholt, her eight or so husbands, and her daughters. Shan, whom she traded with regularly until trading with households not headed by women was banned, had urged her before leaving for the last time to get her family out, and offered her support in reestablishing herself if she did. She delayed because she felt she had to carefully liquidate assets and have everything ready to move. Now, though, there have been some very unpleasant incidents, and the Temple may be about to move decisively against her. At the same time, one of her husbands being attacked and injured during an activity still allowed for men has caused stress and conflict in her household. She may have left her departure till too late.

"From Every Storm a Rainbow" features Aelliana Caylon's sister, Sinit, who after years of hardship trying to restore Clan Mizel's fortunes, has now discovered the full extent of her absent, and officially dead, brother, Ran Eld's treachery. They have a debt Ran Eld created and hid, the household that has been fostering her younger siblings has a new Delm who is now making threats about their status, and she doesn't see how she can muster the resources to rescue both the clan and its children.

All of these stories feature the importance of character, friendship, and honor. Terrans, Liadens, or Complex logics, these characters have major challenges to face, and can only do it by living by honor, decency, and friendship. The stories are exciting and fulfilling, and well worth reading.


I bought this book.

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