Talk:Tongues of Serpents
Does anybody have a guess who is the dragon on the cover next to Temeraire? Natli 00:27, 16 August 2010 (PDT)
Fairly certain it is Kulingile. In fact I think NN said so in the Facebook chat... YEP. Found it. http://t-lyrical.livejournal.com/130762.html -- 06:42, 16 August 2010 (PDT)
Great :D Natli 08:06, 16 August 2010 (PDT)
Part 1: chapters 1-6
December 1808: Laurence, Granby, and Tharkay venture out into Sydney fisticuffs, after "eight months aboard" (p4) the Allegiance, which left England in April 1808. Emily Roland remarks on the strangeness of summer hours "when it is almost Christmas" (p8).
Bligh previously picked up in Van Diemen's Land, "a full year gone" (p16) after being deposed as governor-- retroactive travel time for "last leg" (p18)? "Eight months at sea" repeated p19.
"Three subsequent weeks"(p21) after arrival in Australia = return to ongoing narrative, soon after the brawl from the first few pages. Laurence returns to the Allegiance to talk with Bligh. MacArthur comes to the barracks the next day after breakfast (p27), when the Beatrice arrives with Rankin et al. (p31).
The Beatrice left England "two months after the Allegiance" (June 1808); it dumps Rankin and the others onto the Allegiance and sails away again. Jane Roland's letter says that Rankin's family has been "squalling[...] for nigh on Five Years now" (p32). Levitas' death cited as "in the year 'five" p36.
Indeterminate intervals; no definite mention of new year 1809?
Caesar hatches and chooses Rankin (pp45-46). Caesar chows through lotsa livestock in his first week (p49).
MacArthur invites Laurence to dinner and suggests the Blue Mountains expedition (p60). Tharkay and Granby agree, despite the prospect of "pickaxing through solid rock for a month in the worst heat of summer" (p62); they leave "the very next morning" (p63) w/ Caesar and his crew and "some dozen convicts" (p64).
"Fifth day of surveying attempt" p69: Jonas Green bit by vermin p71, Caesar gets heatstroke p72. That evening, Tharkay talks to Laurence about smugglers p80.
Day 6: we can has cows p88, egg iz gon p91. --Wombat1138 17:45, 21 August 2010 (PDT)
Part 2: chapters 7-12
p117: "nearly three weeks" since the start of the Blue Mountains expedition. Riley/Iskierka fly back to Sydney. (Est. travel time rather less than three weeks, due to direct flight back through known pass location-- assume that he reaches Sydney ~4-5 weeks after the expedition began?)
p125: Rankin on courier duty since age 12, Levitas' DOB? Temeraire injured by firestorm smoke.
137: Kulingile hatches and chooses Demane.
158: salt lake (modern name Lake Eyre for English discoverer in 1840; needs different name in Novikverse-- there doesn't seem to be a single name for the lake in the local aboriginal languages)
163-172: quicksand, Kulingile's airsacs inflate for the first time, Iskierka/Granby return from Sydney and rejoin them.
174: "a week ago [Kulingile's] imminent death was certain"-- total age since hatching?
Lung Shen Li spotted w/ stolen egg at Uluru (181)
Part 3: chapters 13-17; epilogue
188: Shen Li estimated to have a 4-5 day lead 1 week later (188) as they head nearly straight north.
191: Caesar "now three months out of the shell"-- present datestamp ~late March/early April 1809? Temeraire wonders "had they really been traveling so long?"; Laurence replies, "Longer than that[...], and a fortnight more to reach the coast at this pace"
(Problematic passage here-- obviously they can't've been travelling "longer than three months" to date, since Caesar was born before they left. However, imho the other obvious interpretation-- that instead of simply taking another fortnight from here to reach the coast, Laurence thinks it'll take another 3mo+fortnight from here-- doesn't seem to mesh w/ later info about their return journey.)
197: Laurence estimates Demane's age as 14 -> DOB ~1795?
204: British aviators reach north coast-- April 1809? Tharunka ~1 week hatched.
206-207: North coast settlement is "two weeks without land" from China via Lung Shen Li, who is still at the pavilion and was bred "almost three years" after Yongxing's death (1806)-- DOB late 1808/early 1809?
209: return trip to Sydney estimated as "another two months"
229: sea-serpents take 1 month to travel from north coast to Guangzhou or vice-versa
232-233: Shen Li brings letters from the Emperor and from Lung Tien Qian-- aviators have been on north coast at least one month: 2 wks flight time in each direction, plus 2 days waiting in China for Jade Dragon. Current datestamp ~May 1809?
235-236: HMS Nereide and HMS Otter arrive.
254-255: straight return flight from north coast to Sydney "consumed half the autumn": confirmation of "two months" from 209. "[L]ong fortnight's flying" toward salt lake, presumably marked from Uluru rather from north coast. Datestamp by continuous reckoning ~July 1809?
(check historical context: a.) did NSW retain British notions of seasons despite contrary antipodean climate? and b.) were seasons considered to begin/end on the solstice/equinox, or on cross-quarter days? Current Oz seasonal start dates are the first days of March (autumn), June (winter), Sept. (spring) and Dec. (summer).)
Macquarie installed as new governor in Sydney, having "arrived a little while after Granby's second departure". Historical sources cite arrival from England in the frigate Hindoostan, reaching Sydney 28 Dec. 1809 and beginning governance 1 Jan 1810-- can this be retained w/in Novikverse chronology?
274: Temeraire hopes to have pavilion "up before the winter". --Wombat1138 16:04, 22 August 2010 (PDT)
I'm not sure if the seasons are referred to properly in ToS. I'd certainly go by Novik's description of the weather rather than someone saying "Winter" or "Autumn" because they might just mean the Autumn months or whatnot. The party seems to being their journey during the build-up to the wet season. Then they are probably flying and being attacked by bunyips during the wet season (October and April) itself, as evidenced by the rain storm that nearly kills them all. And they fly back to NSW during the late 1809, because I believe the dry season of Australia is "May to October". And it's made a point that several lakes are dry when they are returning? http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/weather/ I don't know if that helps or not. -- Strangerface 16:53, 22 August 2010 (PDT)
- According to this page (end of page, middle column), the wet season in the Lake Eyre basin is indeed Jan-April. The "worst heat of summer" reference is def'ly more climate-based than calendar-based, so I think they must've set out in February at the latest, capping p191 ~May 1809 if Caesar hatched slightly over a week before the expedition began. If I'm correctly tracking everything, it took them ~4 mo (Mar-Jun?) to travel from Sydney to the north coast, where they spent at least one month (Jul?) in residence before the two months' return trip (Aug-Sep?) in "autumn" (by the Northern hemisphere calendar?)... does that sound right? --Wombat1138 17:30, 22 August 2010 (PDT)
- Sounds about right to me? Any Australians out there who could help narrow things down? -- Strangerface 18:02, 22 August 2010 (PDT)
I think NN may've mistaken the date of Macquarie's appointment as governor (April 1809) or his ships' departure from England (May 1809) with his actual arrival (not until the very end of December 1809) or entering office (1 Jan 1810)-- it's the only way I can reconcile that part of the timeline at the mo. --Wombat1138 14:08, 23 August 2010 (PDT)
- Or it's possible in the Temeraireverse, a decision was made to send him sooner. (Because of Laurence and Temeraire? Maybe?) I still the get the feeling that the book ends around the end of 1909? Although how he was supposed to have been there since around the time Granby left doesn't make sense to me. It's possible Laurence is misrepresenting the facts there, and he only arrived more recently? (I mean, how would he know?) -- Strangerface 14:22, 23 August 2010 (PDT)
- Surely MQ's earliest departure date would've been based on whenever word reached England of Bligh's troubles in NSW? It looks like he was originally deposed and arrested in January 1808, and word first reached England in Sept. 1808-- if we're assuming 6-8 months each way and that Macquarie was already in England (historically, he was abroad until Dec. 1808), then perhaps he could've reached Sydney by March 1809 at the earliest? ...oh dear, it looks like Bligh didn't sail from Sydney on the Porpoise until Feb 1809, and didn't reach Van Diemen's Land until 29 March 1809, which in itself seriously throws off the timeline. --Wombat1138 14:57, 23 August 2010 (PDT)
- This isn't the first time that events have happened sooner than their historical counterparts did; The Siege Of Danzig in book 3 happened several months early due to Lien's involvement. This could just be another instance of something like that happening again, but we could always say as much in the "Deviations from History" section. Almaron 15:33, 23 August 2010 (PDT)
- Yes, but the Danzig siege is explained in the text. However, another possible meta explanation is that time is getting kind of tight. In 1810, France's Empire is at it's largest and the Penninsula War is at a stalemate. But in 1812, Napoleon invades Russia which goes south in less than a year. Also in 1812, there's war between American and Britain. Prussia is going to come back into the war in 1813. Then Napoleon will abdicate in April 1814. It might be necessary to speed up some events just so Temeraire and Laurence can be where they need to be when they need to be for the "big" dates? Besides us who is going to notice that Lachlan Macquarie arrived like six months early? -- Strangerface 16:30, 23 August 2010 (PDT)
- Personally, my main interest is in just adding some 1810 events to the wiki timeline :b my initial impression (before taking any notes or checking the historical background) was that the entire plot of ToS takes place in a fairly compressed period from mid-December 1809 to early/mid-June 1810, to fit all seasonal references to the local solstice/equinox dividers. This is still theoretically workable, but meh. --Wombat1138 17:36, 23 August 2010 (PDT)
- The note at the back of the book mentions that time was sped up a bit so that Nesbit Willoughby could be present at the battle at Larrakia, so perhaps the same thing happened with MacQuarie. Almaron 13:19, 29 October 2010 (PDT)
Are there any appendices for Tongues Of Serpents? The UK paperback has no appendices at all, save for a note regarding the change of timeline to allow Nesbit Willoughby to make an appearance, but I've seen notes on this wiki mentioning a map of the journey across Australia, and something about a book written by Sipho about the journey. I've nearly finished writing the synopsis for this page, but I won't be able to complete that section. Almaron 02:25, 24 October 2010 (PDT)
- The map was in the beginning of the US hardcover. It is supposed to be from Sipho's book. I'm sure other users can fill in this information if your edition doesn't include it. Strangerface 08:42, 26 October 2010 (PDT)