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ColdFusion

coldfusionforkindle

And ColdFusion. Again, ask. I’ll also be posting my thoughts on the books here as my brain settles.

And if you’d like to leave a review on Amazon, here’s a link!

14 comments to ColdFusion

  • Hanneke

    I think this book is better-balanced too; I still cried for Stephen but the wider view is worked out more as well. It’s impact is very different as it doesn’t feel like the final wrap-up-everything-emotionally-important book, it clearly leads into Homecoming Games.
    I’m glad the writing on that is going well, as I now really really want to read it!
    I did like thinking about the implications in and on the world you’d written in Harmonies, but that was more free speculation; now there is clearly more story to come.

    There are some interesting points raised that are still quite open, e..g. the fossil shells (did the Cocheta seed lots of worlds with life, aeons before? Then they were a very long-thinking species – longer than I’d think they do, from their short-term thinking regarding exhausting their hosts!), and Stephen’s eyes – apparently he had those from birth or close after, long before he put on a Cocheta-hat; but they aren’t something he got from either Paul or Stefan – in this version, apart from the unusual eyes, I don’t see a clear indication of who his genetic father was; it might even be Stefan, and Stephen’s conviction he wasn’t based on something said while Stefan was ‘taken over’ by his Cocheta – if in that situation he threatened the boy his mother might well have said something like ‘he’s not yours to do with as you please’. They might have been a ‘genetic experiment’ of Paul’s, or a side-effect of engendering a child while on his longevity-virus, but their response to his being in Nexus-space seem to indicate he is bodily/genetically specially suited to going there or working directly with that energy-state. I wonder if that’s something that might be handed on to Anevai’s child, as a dominant or recessive gene, or if it’s a unique not-germline adaptation?

    I don’t want to say too much about my impressions of Wesley and Stephen in this book and at this point, for fear of influencing your writing. Their development-arc is not only central to this book, but to the next as well, I’d think.
    Maybe better to let CJ read the next post and ask her if it’s useful or if it’s better not to contaminate your thinking and/or creative flow with my speculation.

  • Hanneke

    The not-the-final-book means the development of both Wesley and Stephen isn’t finished, and you know your own characters best, so I’ll just leave it at that it’s very clear that Wesley needs to do something about his demonization of JP Beaubien, and especially about letting that spill over onto ‘his tool’.
    I can see there’s self-preservation going on in his keeping his distance, but it seems un-Wesleyish to have no sympathy for a young victim.* His reactions feel sort of like a trapped animal biting at anyone who comes near, not like the humane person we’ve come to know in the earlier books.
    * I know (almost certainly) in this version he hasn’t looked beyond the bloodwork so hasn’t seen Dr.McKenna’s photo’s of Stephen ‘before’, and that makes a difference, but… even if he couldn’t guess quite how bad it’s been, he generally has such humanity and interest in the development of the intelligent younger ones, *and* enough knowledge of the world to realise at least some of what might go on in Vanderaux with a helpless young Recon child… it doesn’t quite fit.
    Maybe he (Wesley) blocked out too much of his memory when he left, maybe it’s a result of (if he does!) him getting some of the feelings-feedback from Stephen’s history as Stephen now gets from him (thanks for the sneak-peek!), which would be very threatening as he doesn’t recognize it as external/what it is…
    I just don’t know yet, and it feels like a very important emotional loose end.

    As a result of Wesley’s flailing about, Stephen feels to me very much as if he’s floating, unanchored – not at all safe and settled, even though both physically and emotionally he’s in a better and healthier place than he’s ever been (except maybe his first year, too young to experience anything but his direct family – before the wider society and the Invisibibbles got into that dynamic it feels as if both parents and his older cousin loved him).

    Anevai is a good friend and a good person (I like her a lot), and so are her grandparents, but she doesn’t (yet) feel to me as a true wife to him, as if she could be his emotional anchor, even though having a good friend is very good for him. Maybe because I don’t quite feel as if Stephen is ready for a commitment like that – he’s still very much tied to ,and sort of not yet balanced enough in himself to be an equal give-and-take partner in loving someone and being loved back.
    I could see her as the stabilizing influence on the Wesley-and-Stephen dynamic, the point on the triangle that keeps the base on the ground: that might work very well, as all three like eachother a lot, and none of the three seem the jealous type. I guess that’s what I’ll hope for, then, while waiting for Jane to write the real resolution. There’s enough growth and change potential in these people that it could still develop in ways I can’t guess now, I do realise that; and I trust Jane enough to know she’ll find a satisfactory solution for them.

  • Hanneke

    **One final loose end: in this version, I don’t think Stephen has seen McKenna’s ‘before’ pictures, *and* no-one has told him about her removing the scars. He had that panic-attack doubting all his memories about those incidents, when he saw the scars were gone, but he hasn’t asked about them and no-one has talked to him about them since, that I recall. I was reading quite furiously so maybe I overlooked it, and Stephen is much calmer now, but that is a very serious self-doubt I’d not like to have hanging around in the back of his mind for long. It worries me.

  • Hanneke

    Thinking more about Anevai and relationships, I realise that being their point of stability might not be best for her, with Stephen and Wesley so strongly focused on each other. She might do better with someone like Hono’s flute-playing friend (Nigan? it’s the middle of the night, I’m not going to look it up). They are both good people, very loyal, kind, love their world and their culture enough to not leave it (at least not forever) but are interested in space at least enough they have a good chance of being able to succesfully raise a child with special aptitude for handling space and/or N-space, and Anevai knows enough about N-space and Stephen to recognise what that kid might be aiming for, if he/she shows (s)he inherited that aptitude.
    They’d probably make for a more stable parental situation than the combination with the two volatile guys, if there was anything more than friendship between them; though I haven’t twigged to anything but that they, who are both very caring people, do care for each other as friends.
    So: I’ll leave it to Jane to resolve as she definitely knows best, and stop spamming up her blog with my ramblings.

  • Actually, again, this is great feedback because you’re really right where you should be, which means I did my job!!!! 😀 Yippppeeee! Re: Stephen and the scars…ummm…oh-oh. I think there’s a little bit where he overhears Wesley and Anevai talking….But I certainly don’t remember that I ever handled it in a direct way. Hmmm….

  • Hanneke

    Another line of speculation that might get a bit close to what Jane is writing about, so I’ll try to keep it short; but it’s something I find very interesting: maybe Stevie’s parents are still alive?
    Their bodies weren’t found on Rostov, they’ve not been relocated, and they were likely living in the Rostov Cocheta caverns when the SecOne spaceship showed up to check on things after the massacre, and declared Rostov off-limits. As we know those caverns can hide themselves from SecOne spaceships like the Cetagandan, they were probably alive at the time.
    Their Cocheta may have drained them dry by now, as when Stevie went CommNet walking they were quite casually profligate with their hosts’ energy; in which case they’re dead after all; maybe even as a result of their Cocheta draining them to stop Stevie from exiling them (and I hate to think what that would do to Stevie, if he ever found that out).
    On the other hand, if they’re still alive, and Stevie has just exiled all the Cocheta (except for the Other, who may be Cocheta or Seneca) to their own separate and unconnected piece of ‘N-space, I wonder what will become of the people to whom they were connected. The people on HuteNamid were under their influence for a shorter time, and I get the impression only Najati had the very strongest connection (enough for them to take him over completely). The remaining people of Rostov have been under that influence a lot longer, and were more recklessly committing to it when they started, so I’m guessing those remaining there will have been people with very strong connections. Now the Cocheta are banished from human ‘Nspace, I see several possibilities there:
    1- the people with the strongest intertwining between their Cocheta and their human personalities may have lost some or most of their own minds as well when the Cocheta were exiled (like Hono flying with his Cocheta) – this bodes ill for anyone remaining alive on Rostov.
    2- where the Cocheta can take over a host, (a copy of) the Cocheta personality gets ‘downloaded’ into the host, and this downloaded copy has remained behind when the ‘Nspace Cochetas were exiled – the remaining Cocheta-hosts retain an amalgamate personality and the knowledge of their individual Cochetas. Would these also retain the Cochetas abilities to reach and manipulate ‘Nspace?
    This would create a lot of interesting potential, but it doesn’t seem as if Stevie (the only one who might know) might have considered this a possibility; and most of the HuteNamid Cocheta-contacts seem to have lost their Cocheta – though maybe only Najati had a deep enough connection there to get a complete ‘download’.
    3- the Cocheta patterns are gone, and the Cocheta-hosts get thrown back into their own human minds – with or without the memories of what they did while Cocheta-influenced (from dr.Paul I get the impression that unless these memories were deliberately wiped before, the human host retains them). The ex-hosts will have to deal with the loss of their ‘mental other half’ as well as with the memories of the awful things they did while under that influence, like the Rostov massacres of the ThinkTank scientists, the spacestation personnel, and the not-Cocheta-influenced colonists – a lot of psychological pain to work through, especially for any hypothetical Rostov survivors.
    4- An unlikely option: the only Cocheta Stevie exiled were the unconnected ones. As the HuteNamid hosts appear to have lost contact with their Cocheta, this doesn’t seem likely.

  • Othin

    @ Stephan’s scars
    Herzog confirmed the missing scars – that’s how indirect you dealt with this. It is easy to overlook. Since McKenna send some new nanos for Stephan I’m certain she also spoke to Anevai’s grans about this. But it’ll be nice if someone spoke with Stephan directly or McKenna wrote a letter to him. It is about respect – a doctor’s respect toward his patient if nothing else.

    • Othin

      That is to say McKenna would want to make sure Stephan understands exactly what she did and why, especilly since she can’t explain in person. Everything else wont be in keeping with her understanding of beeing a doctor.

  • Othin

    @Cocheta’s banishment in their own part of Nspace
    I don’t think that Cocheta experience time the way their hosts do. Maybe they don’t experience it at all – only through their connection with their hosts. Since the connection of the Other and Stephan still allows them to link and Stephan believes Nayati to get his old connection back I don’t think that communication with the Cocheta gets shut down. To me the pushing the Cocheta into a subdirectory seems to refer only to what the Cocheta can do in Nspace, not to their other attributes or to what the Cocheta machines can do.

    But you are right, Hanneke, the situation on Rostov is open and the Cocheta banishment can be seen in the way you describe. That would open up a lot of possibilities. People with strong Cocheta links could be missing some part that they believe to be a part of self. Hunger for it and go creasy or unable to life without it. This might also make them act out of character like an addict during withdrawal. So if a ship checks on them and finds them they might act quite aggressive and unreasonable. Depending on their own character strength and the strength of the Cocheta bond, maybe even the character of the Cocheta their might even be a variety of very different situations. And then there is the question whether all Rostov’s survivors were bonded to a Cocheta. Maybe there weren’t enough Cocheta for all the persons on Rostov (depending on birthrate) – or just no right ones. Can a Cocheta bond only to 1 person? Or can a Cocheta bond to more than 1? Will this influence the bond?

    After Stephan was on the machine – he could allow the Cocheta bond at will – or rather put the bond was there as soon as he relaxed his will. So serving a Cocheta seems a kind of non-action, without even the need to meditate or something like that.

    @option 3:
    I’m still not sure that the Rostov attack on its think tank was unprovoked. Just imagine Stefan finding out what Herzog did. Surely raping Zivron wasn’t his only activity. I suspect a lot of dirt coming up, if the Rostov issue gets reopened.

    And jes, to me the situation on Rostov is a big open question, too. Maybe it is buried from Councils VP – but enough questions have been raised to reopen that chapter, properly by someone who has already some Cocheta experience. That is – if people did the sensible thing. And there are many who prefer buried or who are very ambitions. So maybe it’s not the sensible thing that’s done.

  • I’ve purposely left the whole issue of the fate of the Rostov IndiCorps up in the air because I wasn’t sure exactly what happened to them and wanted to leave my options open. There’s a lot getting solidified in HG, which is one reason it’s so hard to write. It closes off certain possibilities and I have to make sure I’m not leaving something nifty out in the cold. 😀

    But, yes, the issue of what happened to Rostov is definitely part and parcel of the denoument.

    McKenna had planned on explaining to Stephen about the scars at the same time as she told him about her repair job on his reproductive capability…but he jumped ship before she had the chance to broach so delicate a subject. As I recall, she says she’d planned on some extended therapy with him on the trip back to Vandereaux.

    • Hanneke

      Yeah, that’s what I remembered about the McKenna situation too. And in the new version I really don’t remember Wesley getting that information yet (and it’s important enough in the effect it’s likely to have on the W&S interaction that I can’t believe I’d overlook it, never mind how late it was when I was reading), so Stephen can’t have overheard it from him. So, to not leave Stephen hanging in serious self-doubt I think some communication from McKenna either direct to Stephen or to his onworld physicians (Anevai’s grandparents) seems the best resolution.
      His jumping ship without knowing what she did for him, nor about her views on the necessity for further therapy, would be a very good reason for such a communication I’d think? I’m not a doctor and don’t quite know where the lines regarding patient confidentiality and sharing among a patient’s doctors and potential therapists lie; but the first at least seem to be less strictly adhered to in this universe if the doctor sees a need to communicate (e.g. with the captain) in the best interest of her patient and/or the ship. There wasn’t very much time, but enough if she’d wanted to: Cetacean didn’t depart immediately, but in the morning, and even after they were under way and it was clear Stephen wasn’t going with them it would have taken a little time to leave the system, enough to send a message back. McKenna knows Stephen doesn’t know all that she’s done to him, and I think she’d regard the danger to her patient from leaving him behind in ignorance as an urgent enough reason to send an urgent message back – and if she considers him unstable enough that she daren’t broach these delicate things in an email, she’d be very likely to contact his therapists, whom she already knows from treating the two deleted scientists.

      I’m very happy to hear about your progress on Homecoming Games – even if it’s hard to get all these threads working nicely together, it’s great that the words are coming. Never mind you’ld like them to come even faster – it’s logical that a well-thought-out solution to such a complex story-world needs a lot of thinking-time.

  • Othin

    Jep she did. But since she has no chance to do that in person I believe the kind of doctor she is requires her to do ensure Stephan gets his information some other way and as clearly as possible. Especially since she sends down the equipment and nanos for Stephans and possibly Anevais treatment. But I wouldn’t know wether she chooses to mail Shephan or asks Anevais grans to speak with him. Mabey a combination of both.

  • Hanneke

    Sorry Othin, I cross-posted you, but ‘great minds think alike’ as my gran used to say.

  • As I recall the ending…I’m not going to hunt it specifically at this point as it’s way off for me…the implication is that there’s been plenty of communication between McK and the Grans and that proper professional care of Stephen, mentally and physically, is going to happen. There is a break between CF and HG. I’m just assuming that all of that is cleared up in a professional manner.

    I can say that the fate of Rostov definitely plays a role in HG! 😀

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