[LMB] Bujold vs. Pratchett worldviews

Michael D Brazier mdbrazier at juno.com
Sun, 22 Dec 2002 23:13:44 -0600

On Sun, 22 Dec 2002 17:44:45 -0600 K Kuhn <kknolte at ecity.net> writes:
> Damien Sullivan wrote:
> Frex, think for a bit on what your reaction to Memory would have 
> been if LMB had spent a few chapters showing Vorberg going crazy
> because of what Miles did, while Illyan's chopped legs by Haroche
> were offstage and downplayed because after all, he's fine now, right?

Not much different -- the important difference between Miles' crime
and Haroche's is that Miles, in the end, admitted that he had done
serious harm, while Haroche didn't.  Vorberg's injury's being offstage
doesn't mean that the characters take it lightly, or that we're meant to.

> Or if Ezar had decided he needed to kill Serg and discredit the War
> Party, because Serg et al. were glory-seeking young idiots with no
> sense of limitations, who would keep trying to conquer neighboring
> systems until the Barrayaran Empire collapsed from overstretch and
> pissing off too many neighbors at once?

Actually, I think this consideration is why Ezar chose to make Serg
and the War Party die _in battle_, instead of assassinating Serg and
wrecking the War Party's careers in a court intrigue.  The line of
"doing his son one last favor" was to help convince Aral; Ezar's
reasons were chiefly reasons of state.

And again, we're not meant to approve of Ezar's "dance of death",
or to take it lightly.  _SoH_, as a book, would be destroyed if
Bujold had led us to condone Ezar's actions because of the
excellence of his reasons.

> > Small Gods is sympathetic to Brutha, but with the god being
> > shaped directly by belief, that's more with "justice as good 
> > collective delusion" than "isn't faith in a higher power to make
> > things right cool?"
> Shakes head - it's more "delusions that get belief are a lot rarer 
> than you'd think, so you need to pick the right delusion if you
> want to last"  See the end of Amazing Maurice and Educated
> Rodents, too, I think.  Om lost his belief because he was someone
> who smote people to get the survivors to believe in him - and the
> problem with punishment is that people pay attention to it, but it's
> not the kind of delusion that gets people to really 'believe' in it. 
> Justice, OTOH, is - and if Om wanted continuing belief, he needed
> to be a god of justice and live by the rules too, rather than a god
> of smiting anyone who annoyed him.  

Well, no.  Om lost belief because he let his church smite people for
him, and his "worshippers" came to believe in Om's church instead
of in Om.  Being a god of justice wouldn't have saved him from that
(though it would have made his worshippers' lives much happier,
and their neighbors' lives, too); Om needed, rather, to do more of
the work himself, and leave less to human proxies.

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