SPOILER Discussion for The Wrong Lance

This is a place where those who wish to do so may talk over The Wrong Lance.

Since The Wrong Lance is, at heart, a Splinter, I’m unclear in my own mind whether spoilers, as such, might be a danger.  However, I think it fair to say that if you are avoiding The Wrong Lance, or are waiting to read it until the final chapter has posted, or until there is an ebook compilation — then you may not want to venture into comments.

For those who want to Talk About It — the Comment Section is yours.  Have fun!



  1. Dorothy’s avatar

    I can understand why the book stopped being written or Val Con stopped it being written to have him go back to the DOI, especially with the previous setting up of Rhys and his team. It felt wrong.

    I did like the Kareen plot line in the story. That did feel right. I hope that she will be able to break through in a different story. Her evolution over time has been fascinating.

    Thanks for sharing all of your writings with us. I return to your books again and again when I need to relax and de-stress. I always find new layers when I re-read your books.


  2. Jack Mitchell’s avatar

    I wonder whether some of the background material on E12 might end up making its way into a short story one day, giving the Clutch side of the story of her waking and the mission she was sent on.

    I loved the increased action from the start, much like the opening of Agent of Change (though AoC still wins for first lines….) but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss Rhys’ team’s mission and all of the things that wouldn’t have been if this was the final story. So many wonderful moments in here though, and I’m so glad to have gotten to read them!


  3. Laura in So Cal’s avatar

    I would have to wonder if Val Con becoming Commander of Agents would have worked…His brain is different after the Clutch healing. It might have been difficult for the DOI software to impose itself…maybe. I do have to say that Kareen has grown on me. I think part of that is the character development we’ve seen. I very much liked the Short Story “Daughter of Dragons” as an insight to her viewpoint.


  4. Othin’s avatar

    Wow, great reading. I really like your afterword. And I would have enjoyed Kareen securing the Clan.

    On the other hand I’m glad that Ryth and the others have not failed. And I’m really glad that Val Con wasn’t reattached – there is only that much that a person can take and stay sane. It feels better that not all depends on Korval and that others also play important parts. – In a way – as Miri says – a communal effort, others are allowed to contribute as much as they can.

    After the first chapter I didn’t ask myself how important E12 would become, but how important not giving Theo and Daav other tasks would make them for the end fight. But there are many more aspects that I only now start thinking about.


  5. PJ Shute’s avatar

    Loved this story. I didn’t see a problem with Emissary 12, she’s a girl! Have the other shells been girls? No. She’s a fast courier. Fast being a relative term, clutch ships arriving before they physically do…..I think the elders saw a problem for their brother with the DOI hatching a plan to snatch him and so dispatched the emissary. They instructed her to talk to the tree to get the skinny. After that the tree gave Miri all those pods !!!! Lots of help for the future there. Or meddling. I think Kareen was charged with the care of the clan children , seeing them safe to Surebleak. And I think the pilot of the children’s ship was Pat Rin’s son.
    Who we’d like to hear more about…please! Thanks for a wonderful story.


  6. Gareth’s avatar

    Wonder who all those pods would have been for. Presumably Rhys and his teamnif former DOI operatives.
    Looking forward to authors final comments and summing up.
    I feel there have been a few too many ‘I didnt know that was possible (even in the Liaden universe) moments in thie wrong lance. Didnt feel quite as believable as the ‘real Lance, but that wpuld probably have improved with editing.


  7. Julie Cherry’s avatar

    I am so happy to have had a chance to meet Emissary 12 as she appears in The Wrong Lance. And I never get enough of the Tree. As I read these chapters I found myself giving up on comparing the splinters with Accepting the Lance and just enjoying the added richness of seeing more of characters I already love. I’m only sorry that I won’t see more of the rescue mission that Miri and Emissary 12 are beginning to stage in the last chapter.


  8. Tomji’s avatar

    Big fun. Thanks S&S.

    I am intrigued by Kareen stepping into the role of Korval in Trust and by her inner dialogue. Looking forward to the author(s) wrap-up. Hopefully it will shed light on Kareen.

    I liked the duocycle chase scene and Bechimo giving Theo shielding from a distance. And Theo kicking-ass when she was faced with rape. Though the scene of her cleaning up afterwards seemed a bit odd to me.

    Quite satisfied with the resolution of the DOI in the mainline Lance. I wonder how S&S would have resolved the capture of Korval? Would that resolution have been different?


  9. Gareth Griffiths’s avatar

    I think a lot of the issues we see with pacing etc would probably have been resolved later in the writing process. I get the feeling a lot of times the book gets smoothed out later in the reviewing process and scenes sometimes move around or new scenes get added to round off rough edges. We don’t normally get to see things at this stage – hats of to Steve and Sharon for allowing us to see it. Splinters are great fun – wonder whether the splinter of when Van Con got re-attached would have been revised and re-purposed…


  10. DC’s avatar

    While I agree that E12 doesn’t act like the other Clutch, she does remind me of The Watcher on AoC in that she is young and doesn’t have the best judgment yet, or the Clutch Mother in the short story. This alternate draft is interesting and I was seeing possibilities until Ch 9 when too many characters broke characterization. Please keep the chapters coming.


  11. Rick Boatright’s avatar

    I look forward to part 11 and more so to the author’s afterword.


  12. Mary Terry’s avatar

    Love the duo cycle chase and Theo’s jump.


  13. Nickola’s avatar

    I find this fascinating reading, especially as I am caught between really enjoying the writing – as always, it is compelling – and finding the pace just far too quick – it reads as though everything is on fast forward.

    In addition, I agree with the other comments about Emissary 12 behaving in a non-characteristic Clutch way.

    Can I re-iterate that I am enjoying reading the splinter anyway – it may not be what happens in the actual Lance, but it continues to round out the characters.
    Keep up the good work!


  14. kat.’s avatar

    And you just had to leave us dangling from a cliff, didn’t you?!
    Have thoroughly enjoyed The Wrong Lance, but agree the published version is a better story.
    Nonetheless…that cliff!


  15. Fred Smith’s avatar

    in Chapter ten, I find this, right up at the top:

    The frigid wind slapped his face until it burned; his nose went numb, and his eyes teared, despite the googles,

    where can I get some googles like his? ;}


    1. Sharon’s avatar

      Well, yanno. It was spelled right. Will fix.


      1. Fred Smith’s avatar

        And I found another instance of the same misspelling later. if you just search for google you’ll find it.

        Looks like a spellcheck-o to me.

        Thanks, Sharon, I’m enjoying reading this!



        1. DC’s avatar

          Very interesting turn of events in Ch 11 with Miri following ValCon to a hoped-for rescue. Miri was sure trusting if Em 12 suddenly. I really liked seeing more of Kareen here as she has grown as a person after the move to Surebleak. Thanks for sharing S&S!


        2. David’s avatar

          Interesting experience reading this. This would seem to have been leading to major conflict with the Clutch, possibly an internal civil war for them, which would go over oddly. I’m enjoying reading it, but the right lance fits the rest of the story better.


        3. David Daily’s avatar

          I just found The Wrong Lance and am fascinated by the differences with the actual Lance. This is a much darker version of Liad than the published series. I think I prefer the version published tho I find what you originally wrote to be very thought provoking and offers insights into some characters that were left out. I am looking forward to reading more chapters.


        4. Phyllis Shute’s avatar

          I’m enjoying chapter 8. Theo finally engaged in clan affairs. I wonder what the pathfinders come up with in the way of rescue…a group effort…. recipe for success.


        5. Mary Allen’s avatar

          This direction would have made Theo a much more central character, as a victim rather than as a logic driven mediator. I appreciate being able to read the wrong lance and agree that Emissary 12 doesn’t act like previous Clutch.


        6. Drammar’s avatar

          Yes, that was where it went away from what I expected as well. And then the very idea by Emissary Twelve that cats may be enemies was jarring to me — will have to go back and read the real Lance to see if it really happened that way.

          I wonder what will become of Miri’s “conversation” with Val Con?


        7. Othin’s avatar

          I’m very glad to have the wrong lance experience. Thank you!

          There are a lot of differences and in most chapters I find something that gets better handled in the right lance.
          For example 2. Chapter left me feeling rushed. The action was picking up to much speed too early, imho. And that was entirely done by placing the Chapter so early.

          Also comparing the variations of Emissary 12 – I find the diplomat in the right lance far more believable and in tune with what we know so far about the Clutch. The right lance also avoids the question of how the Clutch elders got their Emissary not only woken but also to Surebleak in 1 day. That’s awfully fast for their kind of drive. And truly, a possible conflict with the Clutch elders feels quite unnecessary. Emissary 12 (in the right lance) also seems quite capable of gathering discreetly additional info for the elders – so if the destroying of one universe has to come up again – that’ll be still an option.

          Getting the Strongarms back on Bechimo is a similar situation. Having them first interviewed by a mercenary captain and explained why that placing isn’t going to work before re-joining them with Theo and her crew is a far more satisfying scenario.

          Another, thing I find interesting is, that while some chapters differ very much, others don’t.


        8. justdave’s avatar

          Interesting and quite different

          to me I began seeing it “go off the rails” with a very different Emissary 12 scenario, would the Elders treat Edger this way? Val Con is a clan brother.

          going to be interesting, in a Chinese way, to see what Bechimo does next!


          1. Tomji’s avatar

            I wonder what you mean by ‘in a Chinese way’?


            1. Sharon’s avatar

              Obviously not justdave, but for informational purposes: “May you live in interesting times” is said to be a(n English translation of a) Chinese curse.



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