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SERIES—List & Discussions > Miles Vorkosigan--MOUNTAINS OF MOURNING - novelette - anyone read it? First impressions *no spoilers*

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message 1: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane | 176 comments After finishing The Warrior's Apprentice in such order, I couldn't resist carrying on with the novelette The Mountains of Mourning. It's not part of our reading order for the series discussions, but I expect most people will read it anyway. If you have the omnibus Young Miles it's included. If you are reading the separate novels you can get The Mountains of Mourning from the Baen Free Library, http://www.baen.com/library/ to read as an ebook or to print out. It's about 45 pages long.

I really enjoyed it. It takes place a few years after The Warrior's Apprentice, just after his graduation from the Academy, so he's still testing his wings. It's interesting to see how he's matured since his escapade.

Any other first impressions?


message 2: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Thanks, Diane! I was going to make a topic for this story in a few days (and will do so as well for the other short stories that fall between the novels). I need to re-read the story because it's been a few years, but I remember enjoying it a lot - it shows Miles maturing and it continues some of the themes of the earlier books (about how weakness/otherness is dealt with on Barrayar).

PS Another way to get the story, and 2 others that deal with Miles, is in the short story collection Borders of Infinity. All 3 stories are also included in the omnibus editions (in the correct chronological order) but if you're getting the individual novels instead of the omnibus editions, Borders of Infinity may be the way to go. See also point 2 at the end of my original post with the reading order.


message 3: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey | 50 comments I believe that Bujold won a Hugo Award for the Mountains of Mourning short story as the best short story of the year. I thought it was a very good example of the best of her writing.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) This story does show Bujold & her world off wonderfully. It has all the elements; Miles, the new Barrayan, fighting Pitor's old world in an impossible situation. Well, it looks impossible & it's horrible, but it is fantastically well done.


message 5: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) I read this last night and thought it was merely ok. I liked the view of Miles and the maturing aspects of his personality. I liked his dance over Piotr's grave.

I thought the message or purpose of the story was a bit heavy handed or preachy. I know it's central to the idea of Miles as a character and all that, but I prefer him strutting his stuff to his introspection


message 6: by William (new)

William (williamjm) I thought Mountains of Mourning was one of Bujold's best stories, and it does make a nice contrast to the space warfare of Warrior's Apprentice or The Vor Game to have a more low-key story where the stakes aren't as high and it only affects the lives of a few people rather than whole planets.


message 7: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
I just re-read the story. It's excellent, and extremely meaningful in terms of Miles's evolution and his values and motivations.


message 8: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Interesting passage from the author's afterword of the "Young Miles" omnibus, about this novella:

"Mountains" was a contrary story, based on the "What's the worst possible thing we can do to this guy?" plot-generator, taking my new-minted Ensign Miles, his face to the stars, and forcing his head around to take a look at what his feet were planted in. At the time I was having an amiable debate with (publisher) Jim Baen whether the series should be called "Miles Naismith Adventures" or "Miles Vorkosigan Adventures"; "Mountains" was in some degree the last word in this argument.


message 9: by Random (last edited Sep 02, 2009 04:59PM) (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 829 comments Stefan wrote: "At the time I was having an amiable debate with (publisher) Jim Baen whether the series should be called "Miles Naismith Adventures" or "Miles Vorkosigan Adventures"; "Mountains" was in some degree the last word in this argument."

I've always preferred when he's Mile Vorkosigan over when he's playing Miles Naismith.

The events in this story are so significant for Miles in helping form a strong value system. I guess my mother's family having come from the hills of Appalachia I can understand the people, the pride, determination. They have so little because they are the ones who gave, and still give, so much. This is where Miles finally becomes aware of the true loyalties of a leader and a Lord.

There are three portions of the story that over the years still stand out so strongly in my mind. No spoilers, so I won't share them here.


message 10: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3219 comments Mod
Random wrote: "There are three portions of the story that over the years still stand out so strongly in my mind. No spoilers, so I won't share them here."

Well, I read the story in one sitting last evening, and now I want to know what those 3 portions are, so maybe you could start a topic with spoilers and share them with us.
I found the story to be very powerful. Miles is in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar setting, faced with a difficult situation. While it may only affect a small group of people, Miles realizes the enormity of what Barrayar has already and still needs to overcome. Again, it sheds a different light on his grandfather.
I found his ultimate judgment to be heartbreaking--appropriate, but heartbreaking.


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