[LMB] The Tomorrow Log and other Lee/Miller vs LMB

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Sun, 23 Mar 2003 21:19:15 -0500


-- Paula Lieberman
----- Original Message -----
From: "K Kuhn" <kknolte at ecity.net>


> Paula Lieberman wrote:
> >
> > Spoilers for I Dare futher on.
>
> ditto
>
> <snip>
>
> > Gregor was not the inheritor of a Contract,
>
> Does it actually matter that much that being Emperor is more an
> unwritten responsibility for the Imperium, compared to the written
> Liaden Contract?  Kinda thought that was one of the 'Gregor grows up'

Yes, it does -- the relationships are quite different.  Liadens are NOT like
Barrayarans, and vice versa--the scene where there was a threat and
immediately all the Vor threw themselves between the threat and the Emperor,
was not something that would occur on Liad.  If someone pulls a gun on Liad,
others get out of the way and may even pretend not to notice.  That sort of
thing on Liad, is a matter of melant'i, and Clan to Clan relationss - -and
if it it a matter of Balance, and balancings can take years, well... a
tendency to shoot out of hand might get one removed from various guest
lists, but....

> themes in tVG. Or are you thinking along a different line entirely?
>
>  and didn't personally control
> > entire -fleets- of ships and weapons caches  all over the the galaxy.
>
> Well, the Dendarii came in useful at times..........
>

The Dendarii weren't really under Gregor's personal control, though.  Wasn't
control of them via ImpSec?

>> Every
> > so often Korval junked or gave away or sold a ship -- but NOT very
often.
> > It had been -collecting- them for a thousand years, AND, was tied into
> > multiple planetary defense networks (Liad's, and the planet that Clan
Erob
> > resided on, and who knows where else....)
>
> Was there ever anything suggested about collecting pilots, as well?

Yes, in _Conflict of Honor_, Shan telling Priscilla that she would be
training for pilot, to be brought to the highest level she could achieve as
soon as possible, because there were never enough pilots.  There was also
Korval's sponsorship of the pilot's fund -- see _Pilot's Choice_, the second
novel in it (not _Local Custom_, the other novel).   Priscilla was not a
member of Korval, but Shan insisted that she get pilot-qualified anyway.
There was also the pilot who was ferrying Pat Rin around, and Kayzin ne
Zame, who was part of a clan with ties to Korval.   And there was Shan
collecting the clanless pilot whose contract-bride from a wealthier, higher
social standing clan, through willful negligence, caused her own death and
nearly the contract-husband's, but the death was blamed on the
contract-husband, whose clan formally was forced to disown him... Shan
collected him and put him to work as a pilot, despite the clanless,
disgraced, socially non-existent-for-Liadens state.

> Yeah, Clan Korval breeds for pilots, but the clan didn't really seem
> that big, compared to the amount of ships they had.
>

Ships last longer than pilots do, and cost more to produce!  Korval
collected both.... and after all, each of its active ships, and its
business-partner's ships, all required multiple pilots!

On Barrayar, the situation is quite different -- jump pilots don't seem to
spend much time on planets, and they're been physically modified to be
pilots.  Pilots in the Liaden universe haven't been operated on to stick a
socket in their head.  Barrayar doesn't have clans which absolutely rule the
people in the clans -- Liad doesn't have an emperor that every person on the
planet and its colonies, owes absolute allegiance to, and whom oaths have
been to by all the high level administrators.   Gregor takes a role in the
every day rule of Barrayar;  Delm Korval, is not an emperor, and the council
of clans have not sworn fealty to Korval or Delm Korval. And anyone
can -quit- being Liaden and a member of a clan, and declare themself
clanless and a non-person -- it's generally not done, but....

> > > And yeah, it's much more fun to read about dramliz monkeywrenching
evil
> > > secret plots to Rule the World than arguments about what the proper
role
> > > of Liaden should be in the galaxy, but it does lead to a situation
which
> >
> > Part of the philosophy behind Liad is "we want this stuff to be FUN!!!
to
> > read and write.  Go somewhere ELSE for Russian Novels of heaviness,
doom,
> > and gloom and nobody being happy ever!"
>
> Shakes head - it's not that.  Miller and Lee are the equal, or maybe
> even a bit better, than LMB when it comes to romances (which is probably
> why I have problems remembering that some of the series aren't boy meets
> girl, so that stuff does require spoiler warnings -mea culpa).  IMO,
> they're also probably a bit better than LMB when it comes to different
> cultures - LMB tends to have an expectation that reasonableness and
> logic will rule when it comes to cultural blinders in all the good guys,
> and I don't think that emotional stuff is necessarily so easily
> overruled.  But where I think LMB has a clear advantage is that she's
> much better at stacking the deck unobtrusively to favor the heroes.
> Like, Miles has all sorts of advantages and blind luck in DI if you pull
> back and start enumerating them, but how many readers started feeling
> sorry for the villain with all that power arrayed against him?  M & L,
> on the other hand, worked up to a climax and I got the impression the
> Dept. of the Interior was clearly overmatched and unable to see the
> obvious even before the big ending scene.
>
> <snip>
> <snip>
>
> > Surebleak had gone massively downhill from what it was -- it wasn't a
> > wonderful place when described as where Miri Robertson had been from,
back
> > in Agent of Change.   It was NOT a desirable place by comparison to
poisoned
> > by warfare Barrayar....
> >
>
> Hmm?  Do you mean 'Barrayar pre-Dorca' was worse than Surebleak?
>

Yes -- the Surebleak Miri grew up on, still had a working space port (or
Miri never could have gotten offplanet), it didn't have massive radiation
poisoning from nukes used against what have formerly been major cities and
farmland, it didn't have an ecology hostile without terraforming to humanity
and the food chain up to humanity, it had education -- that the machines
weren't maintained well enough, and that Miri got hurt by the learning
machines were different issues -- had she not been "modified Terran"
probably there wouldn't have been a problem, but given prejudice against
Liadens, the questionable status of her mother and her mother's health, the
fact that Miri hadn't a clue in a bucket she was half-Liaden.... most of the
population of Surebleak, when Miri ws growing up, were a lot better off than
Miri and her mother were.  Surebleak went majorly downhill from when Miri
grew up, to when Pat Rin arrived there, a couple decades later.

Also, Surebleak wasn't being blockaded, it was the state of Surebleak,
itself, that caused it to be destination avoided by ships.   Barrayar was
actively being blockaded.

> <snip>
>
> > I once asked A Certain SF Writer about being on a small desert island --
I
> > said that that author would be my choice for person to be stuck on the
> > island with, because that Author would be the most motivated to
get -off-
> > the island. "Is there a Bloomie's on the island?" the author asked me.
> > "No," I replied.  "Then I would DEFINITELY be getting out of there!" the
> > author replied.
>
> There's something to be said for a person who wants to get *safely* off,
> too.....

Oh, she'd do THAT, too.