[LMB] Children

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 25 05:19:39 GMT 2019

From: <pouncer at aol.com>

So, how is Hawthorne going to get his education?? Is Berry
going to apprentice him as a boat builder and boss,
in the way her father taught her? Or will HE become a healer
or assistant patroller for the Lakewalker side of? his tent;
and if so, what sorts of skills must he acquire?? His problems
mirror Fawns: how much healing can he master without
ground sense -- and how much will either Farmers or
Lakewalkers pay for that help? (Whit can train Hawthorne on
the financial end, I suppose.)
Oh well. My point: children, and the investment in them.?
An under-explored aspect of adventure novels.
Along with the distribution of the burden of that
investment, and the allocation of the rewards FROM that
investment ... quite the can of worms.?
I'm so eager to see what _Knife Children_ brings into the

Gwynne:  There doesn't seem to be any kind of school system in
the SK world. And no expectation of widespread literacy. Children
are taught by their parents (and in the case of literacy, probably
more by their mothers.)  Lessons are probably more of a winter
thing, when there's time to sit for a while - in the other seasons
there'd be too much work outdoors to allow much learning time.
Other skills would be taught by the relevant parent, and later in
some cases a teen would possibly be apprenticed to someone with
specific skills, if the child shows promise (and is a spare younger son).

Offspring are often ignored by writers, unless they need one for a
plot point. The whole social structure needed to produce, maintain
and support children - which is pretty much all of society, and why
it exists - isn't interesting enough, it just goes on in the background.
Lois likes to explore how and why things are organised as they are,
and the strengths and weaknesses of each system.

In SK both main cultures are set up to produce and nurture children:
the Lakewalkers need to breed new patrollers, to keep on saving
the world. And the farmers need children or there's no point to what
they do; the farmers who lost all those children to the malice also
lost their future. The book that each family has, listing births, deaths
and marriages, symbolises that.

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list