History Literature / LiadenUniverse

15th Mar '16 8:21:39 PM PaulA
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* GettingHighOnTheirOwnSupply: The BigBad in ''Conflict of Honors'' is involved in a variety of shady dealings, including drug smuggling. He gets hooked on one of the drugs he's running, which affects his judgment and contributes to his downfall.
14th Mar '16 1:10:04 AM PaulA
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* RemittanceMan: Vel Ter jo'Bern, a minor character in ''Dragon in Exile'' is a BlackSheep who travels about drinking, gambling and having a good time, supported by an allowance from his family on the condition he stays away from the homeworld and anybody the family would be embarrassed for him to meet.
13th Mar '16 7:35:42 PM PaulA
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* DoomedHometown: Tor An's homeworld is destroyed at the beginning of ''Crystal Dragon'', sending him on a quest for explanations that gets him tangled up in the rest of the plot.
13th Mar '16 3:20:25 AM PaulA
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* WhipSword: The "shib", a weapon wielded by Jela in ''Crystal Soldier''. It can take a person's arm off, and he wears it as part of his belt when he's not using it.
26th Feb '16 1:16:02 AM PaulA
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* CoincidenceMagnet: One of the recurring themes of the Liaden universe is that ThereAreNoCoincidences. The Korval clan comes in for special attention from fate (or "the Luck" as the characters themselves have it), perhaps due in part to Cantra's role in leading humanity to that universe. It is demonstrated repeatedly that members of Korval's families are magnets (or "nexuses" as the characters have it) for strangely unlikely chance. This tends to result in members of the family ending up in impossibly coincidental situations that can leave other characters shaking their heads (and often, quite reasonably from their perspective, seeing conspiracies where only coincidence exists).

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* CoincidenceMagnet: One of the recurring themes of the Liaden universe is that ThereAreNoCoincidences. The Korval clan comes in for special attention from fate (or "the Luck" as the characters themselves have it), perhaps due in part to Cantra's role in leading humanity to that universe. It is demonstrated repeatedly that members of Korval's families are magnets (or "nexuses" as the characters have it) for strangely unlikely chance. This tends to result in members of the family ending up in impossibly coincidental situations that can leave other characters shaking their heads (and often, quite reasonably from their perspective, seeing conspiracies where only coincidence exists).exists).
** For example: what are the odds that a half-brainwashed Agent of Change disengaging from a mission would meet, become companions with, and eventually [[spoiler:lifemate]] a woman who happens to be [[spoiler:the granddaughter of a missing member of a long-lost clan with whom his is allied—a woman who grew up on the planet that his cousin is shortly going to civilize so Clan Korval can move to? And that this woman's own clan's world is about to be invaded by Yxtrangi, bringing with them the very member of that race he had encountered ten years before]]? The entire Agent of Change sequence is one long chain of increasingly unlikely coincidences. (It drives the Department of the Interior, and more than a few people who are actually ''in the know'' about Clan Korval's history with the Luck, right up the wall.)
** The Crystal duology has the striking coincidence of [[spoiler:Tor An deciding to fly to Landomist for the first time and showing up just as Cantra's scholar alias is in need of a pilot with certain information]].



* GambitRoulette: Aware of the Department of the Interior's machinations, Liaden's Scouts hatch a cunning plan: [[spoiler:they will destroy the [=DoI=] from within by ''feeding Val Con yos'Phelium to it'' without giving him any forewarning or preparation, counting on his line's WeirdnessMagnet nature to throw a monkeywrench into its schemes]]. Given the way ThereAreNoCoincidences in the Liaden Universe, this effectively turns a Roulette Gambit ''into'' a BatmanGambit.

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* GambitRoulette: Aware of the Department of the Interior's machinations, Liaden's Scouts hatch a cunning plan: [[spoiler:they will destroy the [=DoI=] from within by ''feeding Val Con yos'Phelium to it'' without giving him any forewarning or preparation, counting on his line's WeirdnessMagnet nature to throw a monkeywrench into its schemes]]. Given the way ThereAreNoCoincidences in the Liaden Universe, this effectively turns a Roulette Gambit ''into'' a BatmanGambit.



* ThereAreNoCoincidences: In the Liaden universe, fate often seems to be an active agent with a will of its own. Characters refer to it as "event" or "the Luck," and it is said to move in strange ways around those of Clan Korval and Line yos'Phelium in particular, making them the ultimate WeirdnessMagnet. Individuals who are smart enough to recognize it (including those of Korval themselves) make allowances for it in their plans—[[spoiler:Bechimo's builders who warned him to steer clear of Clan yos'Phelium]] in ''Ghost Ship'', and [[spoiler:Zaneth Katrina who wishes nothing to do with Clan Korval at the present time because the Luck is too unsettled]] in ''Dragon Ship''. Those who don't believe in the Luck or the powers of the ''dramliza'' end up puzzled by the way Korval is always at the nexus of extraordinary happenstance and often assign human intentions to utter coincidence. (Or what ''would'' be utter coincidence if it weren't for the Luck causing it.)
** For example: what are the odds that a half-brainwashed Agent of Change disengaging from a mission would meet, become companions with, and eventually [[spoiler:lifemate]] a woman who happens to be [[spoiler:the granddaughter of a missing member of a long-lost clan with whom his is allied—a woman who grew up on the planet that his cousin is shortly going to civilize so Clan Korval can move to? And that this woman's own clan's world is about to be invaded by Yxtrangi, bringing with them the very member of that race he had encountered ten years before]]? The entire Agent of Change sequence is one long chain of increasingly unlikely "coincidences". (It drives the Department of the Interior, and more than a few people who are actually ''in the know'' about Clan Korval's history with the Luck, right up the wall.)
** The Crystal duology has the striking "coincidence" of [[spoiler:Tor An deciding to fly to Landomist for the first time and showing up just as Cantra's scholar alias is in need of a pilot with certain information]].

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* ThereAreNoCoincidences: In the Liaden universe, fate often seems to be an active agent with a will of its own. Characters refer to it as "event" or "the Luck," and it is said to move in strange ways around those of Clan Korval and Line yos'Phelium in particular, making them the ultimate WeirdnessMagnet. Individuals who are smart enough to recognize it (including those of Korval themselves) make allowances for it in their plans—[[spoiler:Bechimo's builders who warned him to steer clear of Clan yos'Phelium]] in ''Ghost Ship'', and [[spoiler:Zaneth Katrina who wishes nothing to do with Clan Korval at the present time because the Luck is too unsettled]] in ''Dragon Ship''. Those who don't believe in the Luck or the powers of the ''dramliza'' end up puzzled by the way Korval is always at the nexus of extraordinary happenstance and often assign human intentions to utter coincidence. (Or what ''would'' be utter coincidence if it weren't for the Luck causing it.)
** For example: what are the odds that a half-brainwashed Agent of Change disengaging from a mission would meet, become companions with, and eventually [[spoiler:lifemate]] a woman who happens to be [[spoiler:the granddaughter of a missing member of a long-lost clan with whom his is allied—a woman who grew up on the planet that his cousin is shortly going to civilize so Clan Korval can move to? And that this woman's own clan's world is about to be invaded by Yxtrangi, bringing with them the very member of that race he had encountered ten years before]]?
The entire Agent of Change sequence is one long chain of increasingly unlikely "coincidences". (It drives the Department of the Interior, Interior and more than its agents have a few people who are tendency to see conspiracy and collusion in everything Korval does, when actually ''in the know'' about it's just coincidence (or "the Luck") 99 times out of 100. (To be fair, though, Clan Korval's history with Korval is a huge ConspiracyMagnet that the Luck, right up things that happen to them by coincidence would stretch the wall.)
** The Crystal duology has
credulity of even someone who wasn't as incorrigibly paranoid as the striking "coincidence" of [[spoiler:Tor An deciding to fly to Landomist for the first time and showing up just as Cantra's scholar alias is in need of a pilot with certain information]].Department.)
26th Feb '16 1:04:24 AM PaulA
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* ConditionedToAcceptHorror: As a result of their brainwashing, Agents of Change will unblinkingly do terrible things to people -- including themselves -- if it will serve the Department's Plan.
26th Feb '16 1:02:05 AM PaulA
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* BattleButler: Jeeves

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* BattleButler: JeevesJeeves, Trealla Fantrol's robot butler, is powered by a retired military AI and is also in responsible for House Security. (Not to mention [[spoiler:taking control of the entire planet's security net in the event of a Captain's Emergency]].) After Korval [[spoiler:migrates to Surebleak, leaving Trealla Fantrol behind]], Jeeves is officially reassigned as the clan's head of security full-time.



** The Yxtrangi also have a very codified caste and honor system[[spoiler:—to Nelirikk's sorrow]].



* BrainWashed: Val Con (and, for that matter, every other Agent of Change).

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* BrainWashed: Val Con (and, for {{Brainwashed}}: The Department of the Interior's agents have all undergone a long and painful brainwashing process that matter, every other Agent of Change).conditions them to unquestioningly accept the Department's goals and their assigned role as an expendable cog in the big machine.



** In ''Crystal Dragon'', [[spoiler:Cantra sends her starship off on a decoy mission, with an offspring of Jelaza Kazone at the controls, to draw the enemy's attention away from her exodus fleet of starships]]. Half a dozen books later, in ''Dragon Ship'', [[spoiler:that ship found its way into the new universe, with the same tree still at the helm]].
* CallASmeerpARabbit: Borrill, Zhena Trelu's "dog" on Vandar, doesn't look anything like a "dog" as Val Con or Miri know them, but is called a dog by the narrative (and Val Con theorizes that it fills the same ecological/cultural niche on that world). Borrill is only described in the most general of terms, but he has ''head ridges'' and is never pet, he just his ''ears pulled'', suggesting he isn't a dog we know either.
** The local "cows" are likewise said to be weird. The primitive humans, OTOH, are pretty much standard.

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** In ''Crystal Dragon'', [[spoiler:Cantra sends her starship off on a decoy mission, with an offspring of Jelaza Kazone at the controls, to draw the enemy's attention away from her exodus fleet of starships]]. Half a dozen books later, in the final chapter of ''Dragon Ship'', [[spoiler:that ship found its way into the new universe, with the same tree still at the helm]].
** ''Plan B'' has a single-book use of the structure: Very early in the book is a scene where a character far from the action learns what is going on and starts pondering what to do about it; then there is not so much as a hint of him until he shows up on the final page.
* CallASmeerpARabbit: Borrill, Zhena Trelu's "dog" on Vandar, doesn't look anything like a "dog" as Val Con or Miri know them, but is called a dog by the narrative (and Val Con theorizes that it fills the same ecological/cultural niche on that world). Borrill is only described in the most general of terms, but he has ''head ridges'' and is never pet, he just his ''ears pulled'', suggesting he isn't a dog we know either.
**
either. The local "cows" are likewise said to be weird. The primitive humans, OTOH, are pretty much standard.



* TheCaptain: Shan and Priscilla especially, but any of the pilots, really.
** Also noteworthy: Theo in ''Ghost Ship'' and (especially) ''Dragon Ship''.

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* TheCaptain: Shan and Priscilla especially, but any Priscilla, consecutive captains of the pilots, really.
** Also noteworthy: Theo in ''Ghost Ship'' and (especially) ''Dragon Ship''.
CoolShip ''Dutiful Passage''.



** The Masters of Agents of the Department of the Interior imagine Val Con as some kind of chessmaster, when in reality Korval is simply a huge CoincidenceMagnet. (Though that doesn't mean Val Con can't ''also'' be a chessmaster…)

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** The Masters of Agents of the Department of the Interior Interior's analysts and Commanders of Agents imagine Val Con as some kind of chessmaster, when in reality Korval is simply a huge CoincidenceMagnet. (Though that doesn't mean Val Con can't ''also'' be a chessmaster…)chessmaster...)



* CliffHanger: Many of the books end with either real cliffhangers with the characters in danger, or the authors piquing readers' interest in some other way…then the book ends. Sometimes several books can go by between their introduction and resolution.
** The series has been this way from the very start—the first-written book, ''Agent of Change'' ended with [[spoiler:Val Con and Miri trapped in a crippled space ship, playing jump-drive chicken with a Yxtrang]]…and then the authors wrote ''Conflict of Honors'', a backstory novel about ''entirely different characters'', before revisiting the cliffhanger in ''Carpe Diem''.
** Most recently, some fans are annoyed that ''Dragon Ship'' has a relatively unresolved ending but at least two more unrelated Liaden books are scheduled to be published before a sequel can be written.


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* CliffHanger: Many of the books end with either real cliffhangers with the characters in danger, or the authors piquing readers' interest in some other way... then the book ends. Sometimes several books can go by between their introduction and resolution. The series has been this way from the very start--the first-written book, ''Agent of Change'', ended with [[spoiler:Val Con and Miri trapped in a crippled space ship, in orbit around an uncharted planet]]... and then the authors wrote ''Conflict of Honors'', a backstory novel about ''entirely different characters'', before revisiting the cliffhanger in ''Carpe Diem''.
25th Feb '16 8:55:46 PM PaulA
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* AcademyOfAdventure: A number of examples (not least because Lee & Miller have worked in academe themselves).
** Most closely matched by the piloting school Theo attends in ''Saltation''. A great deal is going on behind the scenes -- though not enough to qualify as a SchoolForScheming, as the scheming is being done ''around'' the school not as part of it. Not ''quite'' a NinjaSchool, but close.
** The university planet of Delgado from ''Fledgling'' is a "Safe World" -- which means that order is kept with BigBrother-like security. There also seems to be some kind of [[SchoolForScheming conspiracy]] going on behind the scenes...
** The college seen in ''Crystal Dragon'' features a unique method of defending one's theses. (It involves swords.)
** The Terran university from ''Local Custom'' seems largely tame -- until a bomb takes out an entire department.



* AlienAmongUs:
** The Clutch Turtles' trade delegation.
** Inverted in ''Carpe Diem'', when Val Con and Miri crash-land on a 1940s-equivalent human world and try to blend in until they can work out how to be rescued.

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* AlienAmongUs:
** The Clutch Turtles' trade delegation.
**
AlienAmongUs: Inverted in ''Carpe Diem'', when Val Con and Miri crash-land on a 1940s-equivalent human world and try to blend in until they can work out how to be rescued.



* AnimalSuperheroes: okay, this is a stretch, but ''don't mess with [[TurtlePower the Clutch.]]''



* AsteroidMiners: Terence O'Grady. Also, the reason why Surebleak was abandoned by its corporate founders.

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* AsteroidMiners: AsteroidMiners:
**
Terence O'Grady. Also, the reason why O'Grady, in ''Agent of Change'', was an asteroid miner.
**
Surebleak was abandoned by its corporate founders.founders after new deposits of timonium were found in an asteroid belt where they could be mined more cheaply than on Surebleak.



* HumansThroughAlienEyes: The [[AlienAmongUs Clutch Turtles]] are perpetually bemused by the strange behaviors and values of the "hasty" humans, and often misinterpret social cues (as in the AccidentalMarriage entry just above). It is only when they begin to perceive that Val Con and Miri are in trouble that one of them starts to develop a remarkable level of empathy for the way humans think in order to figure out how best to help them.

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* HumansThroughAlienEyes: The [[AlienAmongUs Clutch Turtles]] Turtles are perpetually bemused by the strange behaviors and values of the "hasty" humans, and often misinterpret social cues (as in the AccidentalMarriage entry just above). It is only when they begin to perceive that Val Con and Miri are in trouble that one of them starts to develop a remarkable level of empathy for the way humans think in order to figure out how best to help them.
25th Feb '16 8:34:30 PM PaulA
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* AbusiveParents / MyBelovedSmother: Kareen towards Pat Rin [[MaternallyChallenged (not necessarily consciously,]] but enough for the family to decide to have him fostered against her will).

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* AbusiveParents / MyBelovedSmother: AbusiveParents: Kareen towards Pat Rin [[MaternallyChallenged (not necessarily consciously,]] but enough for the family to decide to have him fostered against her will). will).


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* MyBelovedSmother: Kareen towards Pat Rin.
25th Feb '16 8:23:33 PM PaulA
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** For example: what are the odds that a half-brainwashed Agent of Change disengaging from a mission would meet, become companions with, and eventually [[spoiler:lifemate]] a woman who happens to be [[spoiler:the granddaughter of a missing member of a long-lost clan with whom his is allied—a woman who grew up on the planet that his cousin is shortly going to civilize so Clan Korval can move to? And that this woman's own clan's world is about to be invaded by Yxtrangi, bringing with them the very member of that race he had encountered ten years before]]? The entire Agent of Change sequrence is one long chain of increasingly unlikely "coincidences". (It drives the Department of the Interior, and more than a few people who are actually ''in the know'' about Clan Korval's history with the Luck, right up the wall.)

to:

** For example: what are the odds that a half-brainwashed Agent of Change disengaging from a mission would meet, become companions with, and eventually [[spoiler:lifemate]] a woman who happens to be [[spoiler:the granddaughter of a missing member of a long-lost clan with whom his is allied—a woman who grew up on the planet that his cousin is shortly going to civilize so Clan Korval can move to? And that this woman's own clan's world is about to be invaded by Yxtrangi, bringing with them the very member of that race he had encountered ten years before]]? The entire Agent of Change sequrence sequence is one long chain of increasingly unlikely "coincidences". (It drives the Department of the Interior, and more than a few people who are actually ''in the know'' about Clan Korval's history with the Luck, right up the wall.)
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