Astral LocationEdit

  • Surebleak is a planet in the Daiellen Sector, avoided by pilots due to lawlessness [4]
    • Plus it's cold, Boss!" [5]
  • "end-of-the-spiral-arm planet" [6]
  • The planet has two Tidal moons: Triga and Toppa.[2]
  • “the double-star Chuck-Honey is barely a light year away” [2]

Trade Loops?Edit

  • Shan yos'Galan says the planet is "off the beaten path but there are three solid mid-level routes through that sector" so a trading loop is conceivable[5]
  • including a possible loop from Tradedesk after Theo talked with the Carresens[7]
    • Janifer Carresens-Denobli, one of the three ranking traders and a senior trade commissioner, sends his 'First Thoughts' to Shan for a Trade Loop including Surebleak.[8]

Spaceport DefenseEdit

  • Dayside Portmaster Claren Liu and Nightside Portmaster Etienne Borden
  • “Surebleak is a low tier port. We have two weather satellites to back up comm traffic and a comm satellite that backs up the weather satellites. We’ve got one space-going tug. What we don’t have is defense.”[9]
    • So Pat Rin obtained eight interconnected asteroid miners from Korval’s ship-stack in the Sherzer System, helped by Cheever McFarland, "Colonel" Andy Mack, Flyer Shugg, etc,
    • Place the asteroid miners in orbit to form a planetary security-net[10]
  • And Commander Liz Lizardi, retired from The Mercs, became Chief of Port Security[11]


  • sea, swamp, river: “The weather had been unrelenting, windy and cold, for the past seven-day now, and the forecast for the morrow was much the same. The night winds would move over the seacoast, pushing moisture into the swamp-regions, where it would gather energy from the barely frozen rivers, then push to and over the bowl of the city as the winds changed.”[12]
  • H2O: plenty of snow, sleet, and slush, mixed in with fog (snow fog), rain, mist -- and occasional sun
    • Yet in a short story (RFW) Diglon reflects on the planet's original condition, which couldn't sustain human life: "after their [the original colonists] hard work Surebleak had breathable air, drinkable water, and land that could support farms and a spaceport."
      • So this implies only the territory surrounding the timonium quarry, the city, and the spaceport is habitable. But there are rivers, sea coast, swamps, hills, etc??[6]
  • Road Boss will build the road out to the sea[2]
  • Island, owned by Yulie Shaper[13]
  • Hills, valleys, coast: “A safe road out to the coast and back! another one up into the hills and back!” [14] (Melina Sherton)
  • “I got an interest in the border farms and some trade further in.”[15] (Melina Sherton)
  • Korval hired master meteorologist Ichliad Brunner (see Misfits) to improve the climate with orbital mirrors and a weather satellite[16], [17]

Port RoadEdit

  • Runs from the Spaceport out to World's End, where the timonium diggings used to be (and Jelaza Kazone now is).[2]
  • Travelling by the Port Road, there are five tollbooths between the Spaceport and Penn Kalhoon's turf, then a further five tollbooths between there and Jelaza Kazone. The first turf near the Spaceport is Boss Vine's. The next turf out from Boss Kalhoon's is Boss Whitman's, and the next turf out from that is Boss Conrad's. The last turf before the end of the Road is Melina Sherton's.[18] The next turf in from that is Ira Gabriel's.[2]


  • Settled about 150 hundred years ago by a mining company -- The Gilmour Agency -- which abandoned the planet when a newly discovered, richer, and more accessible timonium source became available in an asteroid belt. [19] and [2])
  • Gilmour Agency may have left Surebleak about 175 years ago. Rebus Marks, an older man himself, shows the ID card for his grandpa's grandpa, an economist for Gilmour Agency. [20]
  • The Gilmour Agency had an evacuation plan that could have got everybody off the planet, and all the equipment, but the suits decided it would be an unjustifiable expense, so they left behind the equipment and everybody below Grade Six.[21]
  • Yulie Shaper's Grandfather, pilot Captain Shaper, sued the Gilmour Agency for breach of contract and got a large settlement of land and equipment[2] (see Moon on the Hills)
  • The abandoned settlers dubbed the planet Surebleak (find citation)


  • After the Gilmour Agency abruptly evacuated, Surebleak government began to fall apart. Social systems eventually failed, including medical care when 'Bleakers couldn't pay the renewal fee for the galaxy-wide Health Net. Government completely collapsed when a plague struck the city, causing fear, death, chaos. [22]
  • So the city was divided into turfs, overseen by Bosses. Each turf ran through the Port Road at some point.
  • Taxes: Bosses used tollgates to block access to the Port Road, allowing passage upon payment. Bosses also collected "insurance" fees from all businesses within their turf. In some turfs, the mandatory insurance payment was punitively exorbitant. [23]
  • Systemic problems: In rough turfs, folks tended to seize control by killing the seated boss. Thus, bosses and their "hands" were those most willing and able to take and hold power -- regardless of whether they knew what to do with it.
    • Some bosses (Melina Sherton, Penn Kalhoon, Ira Gabriel, etc.) sincerely tried to care for their turfs, providing limited schooling, local health care, water treatment, etc. But with the Port Road blocked at each turf boundary, it was difficult for responsible bosses to communicate, much less collaborate.
  • There has recently been some improvement since Boss Conrad brought about the establishment of the Affiliation of Surebleak Bosses.
    • Jonni Conrad (Pat Rin yos'Phelium) wanted a council-based leadership system, but the associated bosses promptly made him the Boss Boss: "His fellow bosses, however, had insisted that there must be one Head Boss...and he had bowed to that, seeing that this was the model they understood."[24]
  • When Clan Korval settled on Surebleak, the Delms agreed to protect and repair the Port Road. Val Con and Miri are the "Road Boss" with a "newly constructed office at the port."[25]


(an incomplete list)

  • Abram[3]
  • Victor Armhaut (M) - Conklin (before Conrad started cleaning up)[26]
  • Jonni Conrad (M) - Blair Road
  • Josh Cruther (M) - Arcadja Alleys[26]
  • Deacon (M) - a turf neighboring Blair Road (before Conrad started cleaning up)[27]
  • Engle[28]
  • Fortunato[29]
  • Ira Gabriel (M) - turf near the far end of the Port Road, next in from Sherton's[30] - turf produces crops of wheat and oats[31]
  • Goyan - turf neighboring Rinehart's (before Conrad started cleaning up)[32]
  • Henrick - one of the Bosses who donated part of their turf to create Blair Road Turf[33]
  • Iverness - one of the bosses cleaned up by Conrad, according to Lionel Smealy[34] (possibly he's thinking of Boss Ivernet?)
  • Ivernet (M) - Industry Street (before Conrad started cleaning up)[35]
  • Voral Jene (F) - Gough Street (before Conrad started cleaning up)[26]
  • Penn Kalhoon (M) - Hamilton Street
  • Latimer - Hamilton Street (a predecessor of Boss Kalhoon)[3]
  • Marriot[36]
  • Nort Moran (M) - Blair Road (Boss Conrad's predecessor)[33]
  • Ostay - Hamilton Street (Boss Kalhoon's immediate predecessor)[34]
  • Peterman - Hamilton Street (a predecessor of Boss Latimer)[3]
  • Randall - Blair Road (Boss Vindal's predecessor)[33]
  • Rinehart - turf neighboring Goyan's[32]
  • Fran Schomaker - Gilly Street[37]
  • Schroeder (M)[38][28]
  • Melina Sherton (F) - turf at the far end of the Port Road, where the city meets the farmland[30] - turf produces meat, fruits and vegetables, as well as handling import of goods from further afield[31]
  • Tiede - one of the Bosses who donated part of their turf to create Blair Road Turf[33]
  • Torin[21]
  • Tourin (M) - Blair Road (first Boss of Blair Road Turf; Boss Randall's predecessor)[33]
  • Wentworth (M)[39] - Jopha Road[40]
  • Whitman (F) - turf on the Port Road between Conrad's and Kalhoon's[18][41]
  • Elva Whitmore[42]
  • Vindal (F) - Blair Road (Boss Moran's predecessor)[33]
  • Vine (M) - turf nearest the Spaceport[43][18]


  • Al's Hardware Store on Rendan Road, what was once Boss Moran's turf [33], [40]
    • discrepancy: "on Blair Road, directly across from Al's Hardware"[44]
  • Andy Mack's Repairs, at/near the port[12][45]
  • Audrey's House of Joy, Blair Road[44]
  • Bakeries
    • Algaina's unnamed bakery near The Wayhouse in "Block Party"[21]
    • BrickOff Flourpower Bakery in "Skyblaze" (baker Granita)[12]
    • Joan's Bakery, preferred meeting place for The Bedel. [46], [47], [48]
    • Quill's Bread Bakery: "Vessa Quill had been among the first to move into Boss Conrad's turf. She had immediately set up a bread bakery in a storefront half a block from the Boss's house"[49]. Beck says Quill "delivers hot bread right to the kitchen door" (at Nova's house on Blair Road)[50]
  • Bazaar -- Surebleak Bazaar: a variety of shopping markets and a large common room: "There were things here that the Troop would pillage for; that soldiers would duel to possess." [11]
    • "the Bazaar there at the port, where all the best things off Surebleak get offered." [51]
  • Bentler's Brewery[40]
  • Blair Road Booster, news-sheet[2]
  • Blair Road Building Committee: Constituted the night arsonists destroyed the bakery[52]
  • Bob's Grocery [53]
  • Carpet Emporium (Conrad, bel’Tarda) -- "advertisement, announcing the grand opening sale at the Carpet Emporium on Blair Road, directly across from Al's Hardware"[44]
    • Ajay Naylor’s hand-tied rag rugs, on commission[54]
  • Consolidated School, located at the meeting of four turfs, held by Bosses Conrad, Kalhoon, Schroeder and Engle.[28]
  • Council Hall where Council of Bosses meet[51]
  • Emerald Casino —“And while you’re on port, don’t forget to visit the Emerald Casino. It’s all here at pilot-friendly Surebleak Port!”[55]
  • Everett's Market, in Whitman's turf [36]
  • Finder's Junk Heap, in Marriot's turf[36]
  • Gilmour Agency Warehouses, abandoned by the company -- The Bedel live in the lower levels, by Council-approved squatters rights: "How if we say to Boss Conrad that we the Bedel have established tenancy, and the buildings are ours?"[56]"The Bosses have given us the place, which is our place," Udari added.[57]
  • Healer Hall -- "Tommy Lee has driven a car into the city. He will first stop at the Healer Hall"[58]
  • Hospital?? (hospitals are a Terran custom, while Healer Hall is Liaden)
    • Examples from pre-Korval Surebleak: 1) "Ira's got six clinics" 2) "Doctor" Kazi treated Pat Rin from gunshot wounds. 3) "Audrey, she grabbed what she could of Vindal's clinic and library before Moran torched them"[54] 4) a full-time clinic, day and night, advertised in The Blair Road Booster[2]
    • After the move, in town, Medic Svenz treated Val Con: “the medic told him to lie down and rest. He had therefore stretched out, carefully, on the treatment couch...”[59]
      • So, there may be a hospital by the time Neogenesis is published ???
  • Jakob’s Juice Bar, at the port -- “a tall glass of gwiffa juice”[60]
  • Jemie’s Cab Service [61]— Taxi / Courier. Port-n-City. Drivers Jemie and Vertu[12]
  • Jolie's House of Joy[62]
  • Korval Yard, shipyard[45]
    • and Korval's smaller yard: "Boss Conrad's tiny shipyard -- Korval's first on Surebleak."[57]
  • Library ??
    • (perhaps not mentioned yet, but see Media Center)
    • "Audrey, she grabbed what she could of Vindal's clinic and library before Moran torched them"[54]
  • Machine Shop, Kalhoon's Repair, where Miri worked as a youth[3], [63] (maybe the same unnamed machine shop young Rudy works at years later) [28]
  • Media Center: "a media center. Perhaps he would find a book there"[64]
  • Melina Sherton's Produce Market -- at the edge of town, selling farm products and perhaps Autumn Wine[62]
  • Merc Hiring Hall / Mercenary Soldier Recruitment Center -- ??
    • Or was Commander Relgen of Relgen's Raiders coincidentally on planet that day, to interview the Pathfinders?[65]
  • Nelsin's Grabasnak (24-hour snacks at the port) [45]Nelsin Wasnyak, who owned a hot drink and snack counter on the main port.[66]
  • Patrol / City Watch HQ [50]
  • Planetary Cooperative: Duty-Free Shops at the port[62]
  • Port Security HQ (Liz Lizardi)[67]
  • Portmaster's Office[62]
  • Printers / Print Shop[44] -- prints Blair Road Booster, newspaper
  • Qe'andra office (corner qe'andra booths / storefront qe'andra)[67]
    • part of the Accountants' Guild [51]
  • Rag Shop [36]
  • Road Boss's Office, newly constructed at the port [68]
  • Scout Headquarters, after schism in The Scouts[69]
    • Surebleak Transitional Team (Scouts who volunteered for Surebleak)[70]
  • Sherman's Shoot-Out on Veedle Street: gun shop and shooting range[71]
  • Space Port Lounge, featuring Poker Night Specials[6]
  • Spacemen’s Hostel - at the Port (expensive cubicle spaces for lodging) [72]
  • Stadium (The Hooper plays there)[2]
  • Supply Store [67]
  • The Syndicate (location not advertised)
  • Tantara Floor Coverings / aka Port Annex Rug Shop, -- Luken bel'Tarda /Boss Conrad[49], [57]
  • Tobi's (a bite and a brew) [44]
  • Trade Bar [51]
  • Vin's Pawn Shop [73]
  • Wayhouse, temporary housing for newcomers in need[21]
  • Whosegow -- the jail[74]
  • Wilmet's Grocery (Jim Snyder's first stop on Insurance Day)[75]

Korval Homes on SurebleakEdit

  • Korval's clanhouse on Surebleak is Jelaza Kazone (house details at link). It stands a distance from Surebleak City, but the crown of The Tree is visible from the port.[12] The drive takes an hour by taxi cab, from the port to Jelaza Kazone. (cite? I read this somewhere)
  • Shan yos'Galan and Priscilla are buying an island from Yulie Shaper, for the yos'Galan house site. Twin saplings from The Tree will be planted on the island. [77]
  • Pat Rin yos'Phelium (Boss Conrad) lives on Blair Road with his lifemate Inas Bhar/Natesa, his son Quin, his foster-father Luken bel'Tarda (until he found a suitable apartment), his "head hand" Cheever McFarland, 'hand Gwince (“a wiry woman with strong-looking yellow hair and a broad, pleasant face”[78], Barth another hand; the butler Mr. pel'Tolian, Cook (makes fine shortbread)[79], etc. [80] [81]
  • Lady Kareen yos'Phelium lives on the corner of Dudley Avenue and Farley Lane, along with her colleagues Professor Kamele Waitley and Scout historian vey'Loffit. Her cook is Esil Lang. For security, she has Hazenthull Explorer, and "head hand" Gert Jazdak, bodyguards Dafydil (Dilly) and Amiz, etc. [71]
  • Nova yos'Galan lives on Blair Road with her son Syl Vor, her foster daughter Kezzi of The Bedel (occasionally), her security chief Michael Golden, the cook Beck, general duty 'hand Gavit, and various house staff. [82]
  • Luken bel'Tarda lives in an apartment across from Audrey's House of Joy,[79] managing The Carpet Emporium and Port Annex Rugs. [49] He spends time across the street with Audrey[83]


  • There may be a discrepancy

I DareEdit

On Day 31 of Standard Year 1393, it is "high summer".[42]

Ghost ShipEdit

When Jelaza Kazone first arrived on Surebleak, shortly after Day 201 of the same year, it was not yet spring.[84] In due course, there was spring,[85] followed by late spring.[84] The gather held for all the Bosses at Jelaza Kazone took place "a matter of local weeks" before the onset of summer.[86] When Val Con was called to deal with the trouble on Vandar, it was still spring.[87]

Necessity's ChildEdit

A few days after (that's after) the gather held for all the bosses, it is "very nearly spring".[17]

Dragon ShipEdit

When the Uncle's message about Daav reaches Surebleak, it is summer.[88]

Dragon in ExileEdit

Begins on a "supposed summer evening".[89] It continues to be summer in subsequent chapters. When Lionel Smealy meets the Road Boss, it is "mid-summer".[34] "The days were growing cool again" just before Sherman's shooting competition.[90] In the epilogue, Yulie says that in "'Nother ten or twelve days we'll be seeing autumn".[77]

Street CredEdit

"The season, so he'd been told, was early autumn"[91]

The Rifle's First WifeEdit

It’s early spring – “winter having been gone some weeks now”.[6] (Lizzie's age indicates that it's a subsequent spring to the one in Ghost Ship; Alara's situation, that it's before the end of Dragon in Exile. Perhaps it's the spring mentioned in Necessity's Child.).

-- Well as to that, it cannot be the Spring mentioned in Necessity's Child, because baby Talizea isn't born until the epilogue, where Syl Vor tells Nova: "I'm happy to make the acquaintance of my new cousin Talizea, but I'll be very happy to go home again."


The gardens are being/have recently been prepared for winter.[31]


  1. Neogenesis
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Moon on the Hills, in Halfling Moon, and in Liaden Universe Constellation volume ii
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Fighting Chance, in Allies: Adventures in the Liaden Universe #12, and in A Liaden Universe Constellation, volume ii
  4. Ghost Ship, ch 33
  5. 5.0 5.1 I Dare, Day 59, Standard Year 1393
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Rifle's First Wife
  7. Dragon Ship, ch 18
  8. Alliance of Equal, chap 3
  9. I Dare, Day 44, SY1393, Surebleak
  10. I Dare, Day 45, SY1393, Sherzer System
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dragon in Exile, chapter 3: Surebleak Port
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Skyblaze
  13. Dragon in Exile
  14. I Dare, DAY 355 Year 1392 Hamilton Street Surebleak
  15. I Dare, DAY 355 Year 1392 Hamilton Street Surebleak
  16. Misfits
  17. 17.0 17.1 Necessity's Child, ch 5
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Ghost Ship, ch 8
  19. I Dare, ch 46
  20. Dragon in Exile, ch 16
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 "Block Party"
  22. I Dare, Day 309, Standard Year 1392, Blair Road
  23. I Dare, Day 307, Standard Year 1392, Blair Road
  24. I Dare, Day 44, Standard Year 1393, Surebleak
  25. Dragon in Exile, ch 1
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 I Dare, ch 36
  27. I Dare, ch 25
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Necessity's Child, ch 33
  29. Dragon in Exile, ch 21
  30. 30.0 30.1 I Dare, ch 30
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Neogenesis, ch 8
  32. 32.0 32.1 "Chimera"
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 33.6 I Dare, ch 18
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Dragon in Exile, ch 15
  35. I Dare, ch 27
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 Necessity's Child, ch 19
  37. Dragon in Exile, ch 16
  38. Necessity's Child, ch 10
  39. Necessity's Child, ch 29
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Necessity's Child, ch 14
  41. Ghost Ship, ch 25
  42. 42.0 42.1 I Dare, ch 40
  43. I Dare, ch 35
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 I Dare, Day 308, Standard Year 1392, Blair Road, Surebleak
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Dragon in Exile, ch 20
  46. Necessity's Child, chapter 32
  47. Dragon in Exile, chapter 29
  48. Neogenesis, Surebleak part III / chapter 4 Audible
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Dragon in Exile, chapter 4
  50. 50.0 50.1 Necessity's Child, chapter 35
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 Neogenesis: Surebleak, chapter 1
  52. Dragon in Exile, chapter 23
  53. Dragon in Exile, chapter 28
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 I Dare, Day 309, Standard Year 1392, Blair Road, Surebleak
  55. I Dare, DAY 38 Standard Year 1393 Liad Department of Interior Command Headquarters
  56. Necessity's Child, chapter 22
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 Dragon in Exile, chapter 12
  58. Neogenesis, Surebleak / chapter 55 Audible
  59. Street Cred, in Change Management
  60. Dragon in Exile ch 26
  61. Roving Gambler
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 I Dare
  63. Ghost Ship, chapter 8
  64. Dragon in Exile, chapter 11
  65. Neogenesis: Surebleak / chapter 55 Audible
  66. Neogenesis
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 Dragon in Exile
  68. Dragon in Exile, chapter 1
  69. Neogenesis, Surebleak
  70. Dragon in Exile, chapter 33
  71. 71.0 71.1 Dragon in Exile, chapter 17
  72. Dragon in Exile, ch 16
  73. Necessity's Child, chapter 16
  74. Dragon in Exile, chapter 6
  75. I Dare, Day 307, SY1392, Blair Road, Surebleak
  76. Ghost Ship
  77. 77.0 77.1 Dragon in Exile, epilogue
  78. Dragon in Exile ch 24
  79. 79.0 79.1 Dragon in Exile, chapter 27
  80. I Dare
  81. Dragon in Exile
  82. Necessity's Child
  83. Dragon in Exile, ch 2
  84. 84.0 84.1 Ghost Ship, ch 24
  85. Ghost Ship, ch 15
  86. Ghost Ship ch 27
  87. Ghost Ship, ch 39
  88. Dragon Ship, ch 27
  89. Dragon in Exile, Prologue
  90. Dragon in Exile, ch 38
  91. "Street Cred"