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message 1: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
Welcome to February and our next Vorkosigan read-Komarr!

I am excited to get started on this and see Miles' next chapter unfold! I think his Auditor escapades will be similar to the Mountains in Mourning episode.......


message 2: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 604 comments I am in, but the rate I reading Memory, I might get to reading Kommar sometime this June :(

Memory is just so boring to me.


message 3: by Bungluna (new)

Bungluna | 40 comments 0!0 - I loved Memory. To each his own, I guess.

Komarr was difficult for me, since it was different from the rest of the series.


message 4: by Dacarson (new)

Dacarson | 14 comments Komarr is designed to be a first book in the series for people that haven't read all the earlier ones.


message 5: by Banner (new)

Banner | 138 comments I will definitely be reading this in Febuary. Bungluna, I'm curious to see how this one differs. I've noted some common plot themes and devices as the series develops.


message 6: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
It seems to me to be a little bit mmore of an investigation-thus why I said it reminds me of Mountains of Mourning...I suppose Miles' new job is more of an investigatory endevour, so it makes sense.


message 7: by Jessie J (new)

Jessie J (subseti) | 69 comments I can see how this might be a little difficult to get into, since it is "the new Miles."

I liked the investigation aspect.

You also get to see another level of the Vor class, so some of the economists on the list might find that interesting. :^)


message 8: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
I liked the investigation aspect too, I think I am going to like this Auditor line of work! It's perfect for Miles!


message 9: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments I'm about 4 chapters in. It is indeed differently paced from the most of its predecessors ... .


message 10: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
yeah, he is behaving for the most part, as he is kind of 'in-training' here...lol


message 11: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments Finished today. Interesting to see Miles maturing and adapting to his new role of auditor. Also fun to see him fall in love! He will be good for Ekaterin and she for him. Loved how he was able to connect with Nikki!


message 12: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Linda wrote: "Finished today. Interesting to see Miles maturing and adapting to his new role of auditor. Also fun to see him fall in love! He will be good for Ekaterin and she for him. Loved how he was able ..."

Aaagghhh!!!
Another romance novel... My manhood is is is in trouble, must sterilize, must sterilize... Body shaking... Somebody get the anti-grav.... Sterilize.... Poof :)


message 13: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 69 comments I enjoyed this one a lot. Much as I loved Admiral Miles, I like the more mature too - thank goodness he is still manic. Auditor is a good career fit!


message 14: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Suzanne wrote: "thank goodness he is still manic."

Hmmm...
Why? Why is being a manic a good quality in a human?
Is there something about women perfering a rogue quality in men?
Is this why women like such characters in their novels?

Again this book sounds like a romance novel than a Science Fiction novel.
This is it for me on the remaining novels in this series, unless one can say the next novel is a science fiction novel with a lot more science in it.


message 15: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 69 comments Manic is a good quality in MILES - sounds as if you don't like him Mickey. I am not looking at him as a romantic hero at all - in fact I don't think anything in my comments implied that. However, I DO think manic is an integral part of Miles' personality, and I love his quick way of thinking. I disagree that he is a rogue - in fact, one of the things I like about Miles (and Aral and Cordelia) is the deep sense of morals. Does that mean I'm a man? =P


message 16: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Suzanne wrote: "Manic is a good quality in MILES - sounds as if you don't like him Mickey. I am not looking at him as a romantic hero at all - in fact I don't think anything in my comments implied that. However,..."

Correct, I do not like the character. I see a rich kid with mega rich parents, with mega rich freinds in mega powerful positions that can get away with anything.

The quote "I loved Admiral Miles". I see a rogue commanding a mercenary fleet instead of going through the normal ranks of a traditional military ccomand. Rich parents and rich freinds letting him have what ever he wants, like the "Auditor" position, not deserved, but given.

I do have my preconception views of the world, that women like high testosterone men: the wild maniac, the powerful Admiral, now powerful Auditor, oh and not lets forget he is super rich, yea we will throw in some brains for deductive reasoning. What woman would not like in a fictional character :)

I do not respect people that have money or political power. I respect those that create: Create new ideas, Create new knowledge or Create a new machine that benifits others. Probably why I like science fiction, it is about creating new ideas. I have much more respect for the medical doctor that helps others over a mega rich businessman.


message 17: by Alexa (new)

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 302 comments Well, I think Shards of Honour was the most romance-like of all, and as the first in the series I don't think it misrepresents the series as a whole. I do think Komarr is the second most likely to be described as a romance. A Civil Campaign has its romantic moments though; it reminds me most of Georgette Heyer's "regency romps." A lot of really really very silly laugh-out-loud stuff in there for me. You might consider the "butter-bees" to be science. (Not a spoiler, just a teaser!) I guess I would have to say Komarr has more science, what with all the dome-related stuff and the details of the conspiracy. But I think Bujold has always been most interested in the relationships among people and how they deal with some science what-ifs that really get in the way of their relationships.


message 18: by Mickey (last edited Feb 18, 2014 05:08PM) (new)

Mickey | 604 comments For me, I enjoyed Falling Free, the concepts of the quaddies was innovative. I also enjoyed Cetaganda that had a really cool world build of the Cetagandas lives. Also I liked Mirror Dance for the concept of giving clones a place in Society instead of a darker world of slavery.

I like science fiction books that have a cool world build plus a good character builds. The last two books have little to no new world builds, only character builds.


message 19: by Bungluna (new)

Bungluna | 40 comments Bujold is not the right writer to go to if you are not interested in character building. I've always enjoyed the way she creates a world and uses it to explore characters from a different perspective.


message 20: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Bungluna wrote: "Bujold is not the right writer to go to if you are not interested in character building. I've always enjoyed the way she creates a world and uses it to explore characters from a different perspect..."

I would say some books from Bujold. I did like the the three books in the above post. Falling Free had a great world build.


message 21: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) Some of the books are better in the series than others. But overall, I totally enjoyed all the reads.


message 22: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments I have to agree with Alexa that Shards of Honor was more a romance than Komarr and both are far from being "romance" books. But both books are about character building and I liked that aspect. Even Falling Free had a dash romance to go with its science! I think Bujold has done a masterful job with this series. Unlike a number of series - and I'm thinking mostly of thrillers - the books vary and do not follow the same script. As I was gathering the remaining four books on our bookshelf, I was surprised to see how recent the last three were. I am going to miss these characters!


message 23: by Bungluna (new)

Bungluna | 40 comments I agree that some of Bujold books have more world-building than others. All of them have exploration of characters as a main focus, imo. I thought Falling Free was about how society treats the different and how science outpaces mores more than it was about the world-building.


message 24: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Bungluna wrote: "I agree that some of Bujold books have more world-building than others. All of them have exploration of characters as a main focus, imo. I thought Falling Free was about how society treats the dif..."

I should clarify, I consider how a "society treats others" as a part of the world building like in Falling Free and in Ceteganda that I liked tremendously. "Individual" character development of their every daily lives, weddings, medical emergencys, eating is part of everyday normal life like in Memory was the main focus and boring.

Falling Free was neat how the quaddies breed to live in space. Cetaganda was cool in how they breed to create an advanced society. I like these world builds. The others books are like how the rich diplomats live... Blah.


message 25: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments Mickey wrote: "Bungluna wrote: "I agree that some of Bujold books have more world-building than others. All of them have exploration of characters as a main focus, imo. I thought Falling Free was about how socie..."

Mickey, I think you are a more hard science fiction fan than I am. I enjoy world building alot but like character development at well. Bujold seems, in some books, to have managed to satisfy both quite well. Who are your favorite world builders?


message 26: by Mickey (last edited Feb 20, 2014 12:30PM) (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Linda wrote: "Mickey, I think you are a more hard science fiction fan than I am. I enjoy world building alot but like character development at well. Bujold seems, in some books, to have managed to satisfy both quite well. Who are your favorite world builders?"

I do lean towards Hard Science Fiction, like Asimov's Foundation series and anything by Robert A. Heinlien for the classics. More modern times I like almost any thing from Vernor Vinge, loved Rainbows End and Larry Niven Ringworld.

Even though I do like some that are not hard science fiction like, Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

But I also like those science fiction stories that have moral to them. Like the book from Phol-Gateway had great ending. Also I will add Alexei Panshin - Rite of Passage

I have read many more books than listed in my profile. Many Agatha Christie mysteries. All of Kurt Vonnegut and others. During a move several years ago to my new home. I had half of my books in boxes stored in my basement and my favorite books (Mostly Science Fiction and Math books) stored on shelves upstairs. Well the sump pump failed one day and those books ended up with water damage and had to toss in the trash. Lost memories :(
At one time I had well over a thousand books. Now with Goodreads and other sites I have the titles at least saved.


message 27: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 260 comments Thanks Mickey. I read all the Heinlein books years ago, and loved them at the time. Lazurus Long is responsible for my love of time travel stories! I've not retained many of the sci fi books I've read, but do have the Heinlein ones -- a motley, but loved, collection of disintergrating mass market paperbacks and abused hardbacks.

And thanks for link to Rite of Passage. It is going on my sci fi reading list.


message 28: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 1282 comments Mod
I also thought that the aspect of Miles dealing with his legacy as the son of 'The Butcher' was interesting. Kept him a bit more subdued than usual....lol


message 29: by Bungluna (new)

Bungluna | 40 comments Up to now, Miles was always 'raging' against the powers that be. Now he is one of those 'powers'. It is interesting to see that generational passing of the baton and how Miles grapples with it.


message 30: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 446 comments The one problem I had with reading this was recognizing the tropes, so I was thinking, "Ah, here comes the Love Interest. Hmm, that means we need to do something about him."


message 31: by Jessie J (new)

Jessie J (subseti) | 69 comments I consider Bujold an extremely "moral" author. She makes her characters deal with difficult ethical situations in every novel, and they often figure it out. But they are flawed (perhaps with the exception of Cordelia).

Bujold definitely writes character-driven scifi, in a world that is based on Earth-derivative life only. The science is very straight forward. I'm more interested in the science describing the ways in which women participate in society (pregnancy and birth "outside" the womb!).

Mickey wrote this:

I do have my preconception views of the world, that women like high testosterone men: the wild maniac, the powerful Admiral, now powerful Auditor, oh and not lets forget he is super rich, yea we will throw in some brains for deductive reasoning. What woman would not like in a fictional character.

Regarding Miles as a romantic figure: I think most of us would strangle him if we had to actually live with him! But he's fun to read about. My theory is that women reading scifi, and these male characters in particular, may be more about sublimation of the masculine than any fantasy relationships. But that's just my thought.

Regarding Miles being rich: He's always strapped for cash! He usually has to use his brains to get out of scrapes, but can *sometimes* use his connections. This is the literary device that Bujold has chosen for Miles. He is burdened by his family and his connections, so he doesn't mind using them when he can.


message 32: by Mickey (last edited Apr 25, 2014 11:50AM) (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Jessie J wrote: "I consider Bujold an extremely "moral" author. She makes her characters deal with difficult ethical situations in every novel, and they often figure it out. But they are flawed (perhaps with the ..."

I think you found the key word "moral". That is probably what gnaws at me about Bujolds characters. Down deep into my soul, and I have been accused of this by others, I have bit of anarchism in me.

At first I liked the Character miles, a rebel, a mercenary, some one who broke the rules. In the more recent books, Miles, the authoritarian one who works with others, a team player... Ack.

Probably why I like books like "The man who folded himself" and the main character in Banks first culture novel, Gateway, Rite of Passage and others. The main characters were bastards!

As for the statement "Regarding Miles being rich: He's always strapped for cash! He usually has to use his brains to get out of scrapes".

And yet his mother can afford a starship for Mark. Yet, he gets tons of money from the imperial government for his services. They pay for any damages that Miles creates. I do not buy it.

However... Once again "Moral" is the key word that says it all.


message 33: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 446 comments Mickey wrote: "And yet his mother can afford a starship for Mark"

by taking out a mortgage. And Mark is desperate to get the money to repay that before she is unable to repay it.


message 34: by Bungluna (new)

Bungluna | 40 comments I don't see Miles as any female's ideal male. Far from it. In fact, with all his weaknesses and his need to rely on brain since he has no brawn, I see him more as a substitute for a "female" hero arch-type, if that makes any sense.


message 35: by Mickey (last edited Apr 26, 2014 07:23AM) (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Bungluna wrote: "I don't see Miles as any female's ideal male. Far from it. In fact, with all his weaknesses and his need to rely on brain since he has no brawn, I see him more as a substitute for a "female" hero..."

Ohhhh..... It makes some sense, now that I think of it.

Because in some movies like "Alien", where I see the main character Ripply, as a substitute for a "male" hero, tough and physically strong.

Toward the end of series, I find "Jessie J" and "Bugluna" has an insight I could not see. I am always looking for book structures, patterns and the plot of the book. Now I am seeing another sight that comes from the writer.

Men are from Mars...


message 36: by Jessie J (new)

Jessie J (subseti) | 69 comments Bungluna wrote: "I don't see Miles as any female's ideal male. Far from it. In fact, with all his weaknesses and his need to rely on brain since he has no brawn, I see him more as a substitute for a "female" hero..."

I like that. And Miles is often interested in the strong-jawed female characters, which are usually strong-jawed male characters in formulaic books. Rather, he brings out the strong-jawed female in every woman he has an interest in, building her up rather than diminishing her. Sigh.


message 37: by Mickey (new)

Mickey | 604 comments Hmm....
So then, is Ivan the ideal hidden male?


message 38: by Alexa (new)

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 302 comments Jessie J wrote: "Sigh."

I sigh with you. Sigh.


message 39: by Bungluna (new)

Bungluna | 40 comments Ivan has hidden depth, (so hidden, he himself is unaware of them! :-D)

Ivan looks like a traditional hero and he does bungle through to save the day on occasion, in spite of himself.


message 40: by Dacarson (new)

Dacarson | 14 comments Ivan had good cause to hide ability. Politics is a contact sport there and he is not that far down in succession.


message 41: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 446 comments Bungluna wrote: "Ivan has hidden depth, (so hidden, he himself is unaware of them! :-D)

Ivan looks like a traditional hero and he does bungle through to save the day on occasion, in spite of himself."


In Cetaganda, he's crucial at one point, because he suggests a plan too simple for Miles to figure out.


message 42: by Bungluna (new)

Bungluna | 40 comments In "The Warrior's Apprentice", Ivan also saves the day, though entirely by accident. His instincts are solid, he just doesn't over-think things like Miles does. In fact, I think that in all the novels Ivan appears, he somehow saves the day.


message 43: by Jessie J (new)

Jessie J (subseti) | 69 comments Dacarson wrote: "Ivan had good cause to hide ability. Politics is a contact sport there and he is not that far down in succession."

You've hit the nail on the head, I think. Ivan's defense against succession (and therefore imminent death) is to be the bumbling idiot. Don't forget who is mother is. She's pretty competent. Ivan lets his competency...leak...inadvertently sometimes.

As far as Ivan being the ideal hidden male (Mickey), I'm not sure. He's pretty much the ideal male on the surface already, juxtaposed against Miles' short, crookedness. Miles often talks about how he would look a lot like Ivan if it weren't for the attack. Ivan serves as Miles' foil many times ("that idiot!"), not just in Miles' mind, but in the minds of other characters.


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