[LMB] No Barrayaran fantasy in Miles books

Andrew Lambdin-Abraham a.abraham at mail.utexas.edu
Mon, 3 Jun 2002 16:40:24 -0500


On Monday, June 3, 2002, at 12:30 PM, Kay Bishop wrote:

>> there doesn't seem to be any pure fantasy Barrayaran YA stuff in Lois' 
>> books - just history-based stuff.	...  What do you all think about 
>> this?
>
> *I* find it a welcome relief!  Even Lois's own CoC can't come close to 
> grabbing me like a story of real people in a possible real world.

No, you missed the point.  Incidentally, the quite relevant question was 
hidden under an OT marker, so I'll repeat it here:

Debra Cebulski:

ObBujold: I find it interesting that there doesn't seem to be any pure 
fantasy Barrayaran YA stuff in Lois' books - just history-based stuff.  
We've got Nikki's favorite Prince Vortalon, Miles' favorite Xav 
Vorbarra, and Ekaterin's tales of the Vor wife who starved herself with 
her lord (can't remember the name, sorry).  What do you all think about 
this?

She's talking about how come the characters in the Vorkosiverse never 
talk about fantasy stories.  Nikki likes Prince Vortalon, not Captain 
Barrayar or some other superhero.  Although we've had some very nice 
folktales recently posted to the list that involved folk-magic and a 
mutie with an external soul, there's no canon background for them.  We 
have no evidence for a magic/fantasy tradition throughout the series.

I think that if we're going to explain this, the Firsters probably have 
a lot to do with it.  As people who came in starships, they're unlikely 
to be very strong believers in magic, and will likely have scientific 
answers for any questions their kids ask about "Why do the stars shine." 
and so on.  That will likely inhibit the Counts from claiming 
supernatural basis for authority.  Theirs comes from their weapons and 
the Emperor.  So that prevents another place where fantasy type ideas 
eminate from.

I have further ideas, but I'm not sure how well they work.

Andrew