Thoughts from halfway point of A Fire Upon the Deep
In such a large idea story, the characters from the various faction are holding their own and helping to drive the B story (to the A plot of the Blight spreading in the Beyond).
The idea elements of family and consciousness are handled delicately while maintaining scale.
The packs of lupine aliens are effectively imagined, from their appearance, desires, interaction with each other and environment and the alien humans, and their multiple consciousness form.
This pack mentality (and their additive single consciousness) is an idea I’m experimenting with further in Sound of Stone through Avatlis’s character, which is two parts ceph and one part human. The Cephs think in an aesthetic frame different to humans. But I can further play with this (even if I don’t use Avatlis as a POV character).
I’m also paying attention to the language and speech. The lupine aliens use various frequencies of sound to think. They don’t hear too much from the humans initially, and are confused about their ability to think and to what level of consciousness they may have reached.
Alright! About 10/20 hours to go in the audiobook.