Speaking of Vlad and Kiera

Mark A Mandel mam at theworld.com
Thu Feb 20 09:45:12 PST 2003

On Thu, 20 Feb 2003, Steve Simmons wrote:

#If one assume that Sethra is telling a minimal truth in her reply,
#all we've really found out is that whoever gave the vial to Sethra
#(as Sethra?  or as Kiera?) was female.

If Steve wants it, we don't even know that much. Somewhere in Cracks and
Shards (sorry I can't get you the cite right now) I look at the names of
Zerika's parents; in one place Brust says that X is her father and Y her
mother, and in another place he says the opposite. (Steve said, "Yeah,
that was a major fuckup.) Well, we know that Dragaeran third-person
singular pronouns are sometimes non-gender-specific -- that is, there's
a word that means "he or she" -- and I noticed that the passage in FHYA
is unambiguous about their sexes, but the other one is vague, and I
suggested that Brust-the-translator had to guess in the latter case and
guessed wrong. Steve liked that so much he made it the official
explanation. So we can't rely on the gender of an English pronoun.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   a Steven Brust Dragaera fan website