[LMB] GJ&RQ - Chapter 8, part 1

Katherine Collett kcollett at hamilton.edu
Mon Aug 22 17:27:07 BST 2016

This chapter seems to be mostly following the progression of the romance.

Jole and Cordelia are kept busy by their jobs and hardly get to see each other on the anniversary of Aral's death.

The next weekend, they do fit in a day-trip to Lake Serena, to go sailing, and, um, sailing.  Reality doesn't live up to his fantasy, but seems to be more fun.

They dine out together, and notice Cordelia's ImpSec bodyguard -- Cordelia points out that even though the bodyguards are nice,  she would sometimes like to drop them in an oubliette.  "Why don't I have an oubliette?  I could have designed one into the Viceroy's Palace ... easily enough."  Which leads to Jole's telling her that people call her the Red Queen.

So, what do people make of the Red Queen name, both for Cordelia and in the title?  Jole points out that the bloodthirsty playing card is the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland; "the chess queen [in Through the Looking Glass] was known for her sprinting", i.e., having to run as fast as she could to stay in the same place.  (But aren't chess pieces usually white or black, not red?  Still, it's Lewis Carroll who names her the Red Queen.)  And Cordelia seems to agree that she has to run as fast as she can to stay in the same place.

But then there's the Red Queen hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen_hypothesis).  I'm sure Lois has talked about this, but I can't lay my hands on where.  Does anyone know?  I thought it would be in one of the spoiler threads on Goodreads, but I'm not finding it there.

More about the chapter later.

Katherine, pondering Red Queens

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