Balance Of Trade

Title: Balance Of Trade
Author: Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Genre: SF
Series: Liaden
Copyright: 2004
Ranking: Good
Binding: Hardback
LibraryThing: Title:Balance Of Trade WorkId 12626
Type: Owned
Read: 2004-03-11
  • (6) Balance Of Trade completed M Start:2012-9-2 End:2012-9-4 (sf liaden)
    I like space-traders

Today I finished reading "Balance of Trade" by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the latest Liaden Universe novel, just out in hardback.

Those who are already Liaden fans (or fanatics) may find the opening few chapters familiar, because they are essentially the same (with some revision and introduction of more of the supporting characters) as the story of the same title in the 5th "Adventures in the Liaden Universe" chapbook, "Trading in Futures". This, however, is not a dissappointment, because while that story told us how Jethri Gobelyn, Terran, ended up being apprenticed to the Liaden Master Trader Norn ven'Deelin, the rest of the book tells us what happened next, and what complications ensued, both expected and unexpected.

I liked this. It had the feel of a good old Andre Norton novel, though more subtle and aimed for a more intelligent audience. (Note I didn't say "an older audience" or "a more mature audience" because that would imply that there were things of an "adult" (ie erotic) nature in it, and there weren't, bar a blush or two. Thank goodness. They say that sex sells, but it doesn't sell to me.) I am beginning to realize that not only do I have a soft spot for stories with psi in them, but I'm rather fond of space-trader stories too. There's something fascinating about a canny bargainer. Excitement without bloodshed, perhaps? A battle of the minds? Yet a battle where both sides can be winners, which is even better. Cool! But it isn't only trading here; we have full-blown Liaden manners, the almost-obligatory cat, a guest-showing by a dramliza, and, something new for the Liaden universe, the mystery of Ancient Technology.

(Original version at my livejournal)