Ask me questions!

Coming soon: a giveaway of the paperback of The Maker’s Mask. I’ll open the post for that as soon as I’ve, er, opened the post from Lulu and the book’s in my hands. I don’t think there’s likely to be a postal strike or similar, but I just don’t want to be offering to give something away until I know I’ve got it.

In the meantime, I really enjoyed Sarah Monette’s Doctrine Of Labyrinths books (well, the first three: I’ve been told by people I trust that I will like the fourth one, but to be honest at present I’m still in a state of ‘I can’t deal with anything else terrible happening to these characters I love, so I will pretend there are no more books’ about it. I only get this way about characters I really care about and root for, the most recent being Barbara Hambly’s Benjamin January) and I was very happy when someone tipped me off that she’d done a series of Q and As on her LJ in which she talked about the world and its backstory.

So, since some of you have read the books by now: ask me questions! I warn you in advance that the answer may well be ‘I don’t know’ or ‘It runs on handwavium’ or ‘I’ve forgotten’ but I’ll do my best to answer. 🙂

14 thoughts on “Ask me questions!

    1. It was a theologian the Order disapproved of. They had a crackpot idea that her views might cause social instability. Which they might have done, except that four people at most read her work and only two of them understood it.

    1. If Latinus hasn’t noticed by now I don’t think he’s ever going to, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Tzenni did. Probably when she was eight months pregnant or at some equally inconvenient moment.

  1. What is You Imbecile’s real name? Does Kjarten grow up to be a reasonable human being? Who ends up stuck with Sorszenna as a wife?

    1. a) Rhun Davenant. He had pressing reasons, which had to do with the night he got his scars, to stop answering to that and to get out of Ailebroc. As is clear from the text, You Imbecile was not always a gentleman’s gentleman. 🙂

      b) There may well one day be a Kjarten book, and… yes, he gets better, though it’s not an easy process for him or anyone else. Poor Kjarten: he really should have fallen into the hands of an author who would love him unconditionally and think he was adorably tortured, or forgive him everything for the sake of his eyelashes.

      c) I strongly suspect it’s Karely Mukhtar, poor man.

      1. a) If you ever decide to write that as a short, it sounds like a very eventful night!

        b) That’s as it should be, I think. Kjarten needs an author like you to make him the complex character he is. Even though I feel sorry for him, letting him away with all the things he has done scot-free would be highly distasteful.

        c) Poor man indeed! I imagine he will have a lot more grey hairs and frown lines very soon; I suspect rather than feeling old enough to be her father, he will feel old enough to be her Grandfather after not very long spent married to her!

        1. Yeah, just because Kjarten had some horrible things happen to him, it does not negate the fact that he was the cause of some horrible things happening to other people. I think Majed did his best in his Majed kind of way, but around the time Kjarten really started acting out, Majed had just fallen in love with an unsuitable poor connection of the family and had other things on his mind.

      2. I was going to ask about Kjarten! I think you do a good job of indicating that he has the potential to grow up, even though he’s behaved fairly badly up to now.

        Karely seemed to be quite open to his doom.

        Is there a map of the various Spires? I was wondering about distances and so on, particularly at the end with the Mukhtars going off to Ailebroc, and how fast they could have got there without the portable.

        1. I do have a map, but it is a very, very basic one and doesn’t have distances on. I think the Mukhtars were banking on stealing one of the Calinda-class drones and using that and the antigrav meshes to get to Ailebroc in time: I don’t know whether it worked or not, though I suspect not given that Ligeia didn’t spend the last two chapters fuming about the theft. I suspect, therefore, that they attached the antigrav meshes and set off for Ailebroc like a pair of enormous free-floating hovercraft, frantically adjusting the course with teams of vrykols as and when. It’s a shame they couldn’t have rigged up the remaining suncloth and sailed there, but I don’t think weather patterns in canyons allow you to do that.

          Karely has spent the entirety of his life trying to keep Coronath in the black and attempting to thwart his evil old father (I now realise that Karely is basically Harold Steptoe. Oh dear) and has never encountered anything like Sorszenna before, much less been in the firing line. Numair and Latinus, who she’d previously tried it on with, had been coping with people trying to hit on them all the time for at least the last twenty years, whereas Karely… really hadn’t.

    1. It had to be something that incubated slowly enough to be spread by Couriers and Carriers moving between Spires, so my best guess is either influenza or something like it, given that influenza got from Uzbekistan to the Americas in a couple of months in the 1890s.

      On the Doylist level, the plague of 411 was… mostly due to me needing a reason for various people I’d put on the family trees *not* to be around by 432 because I already had a cast of hundreds and I didn’t need a cast of thousands, but you knew that. 🙂

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