[LMB] Lois-Bujold Mailing List Plot FAQ

Michael Bernardi mike at dendarii.co.uk
Mon Jun 23 22:27:14 BST 2008


Last-Modified: 18 September 2006
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Lois-Bujold Mailing List Plot FAQ
---------------------------------

Answers which begin "LMB" are information from Lois McMaster Bujold,
either in direct answer to the specific question on the Lois-Bujold list,
or in other public on-line forums.

WARNING: This FAQ covers events in all of Bujold's books, and thus may 
contain spoilers for plot points.

Some book names are abbreviated in this FAQ--see the Vorkosigan Chronology 
for the key:

http://www.dendarii.com/biblio.html#timeline


Lois McMaster Bujold and her works
----------------------------------
1. Where can I find more information about Lois McMaster Bujold?
2. What has Bujold written? Who has illustrated her works?
3. In what order should I read the Vorkosigan stories? 
4. Which authors can I read once I've re-read all Bujold's stuff?
5. Will there be any more books in the Vorkosigan series?

People
------
1. Can Cordelia return to Beta to visit her mother, or are the charges
   in _Shards of Honor_ still out standing?
2. How old is Cordelia's mother? Will we ever meet any of her other
   relatives?
3. In the beginning of Ethan of Athos, is the "Elizabeth Naismith" who
   co-wrote the article Ethan read in a medical journal, Cordelia's mother?
4. In _Barrayar_, Cordelia was very keen to have lots of children.
   Miles's problems stifled this need. However couldn't she have had a
   daughter? 
5. Was Aral's first wife Vice-Admiral Ges Vorrutyer's sister?
6. *Did* something happen in Miles's sex life between TWA and "Mountains 
   of Mourning", age 18 and 21 or so?  
7. Is the Arde Mayhew who helped Cordelia Naismith escape Beta Colony
   the same Arde Mayhew who joined Miles when the Dendarii Free Mercenary
   Fleet was created?
8. Is Vorsmythe, the dead Imperial Auditor, the same as Vorsmythe, the
   industrialist that Mark talks to at the end of Mirror Dance?
9.  Are Illyan's "ers" when mentioning Henri Vorvolk -- "Gregor's, er,
   special friend Count Vorvolk" -- possibly to be read as an indication of
   Gregor being bisexual?
10. How are all the Vor related to each other? Especially the Vorbarra
   and Vorkosigan families?
11. How high up are the Vorrutyers on the Vor circle?
12. Are there other people with the surname "Vorkosigan?"
13. Are all the Lord Vorwhatsisnames directly related to a Count 
   Vorwhatsisname? How closely related is Ivan to Count Vorpatril?
14. When Miles is talking to Nikki in _Komarr_ and mentions a 
   10-year-old courier, is this supposed to be a reference to Lilly 
   Durona, Jr.?
15. Does Byerly Vorrutyer have any training for his ImpSec role?


Inconsistencies
---------------
1.  In _Barrayar_, Aral says that the naming rule for the firstborn son is
   "a strict custom".  However, many counter examples can be observed--
   Gregor, for one--with no explanations given.
2.  In _The Warrior's Apprentice_, Cordelia comments, "...ever since Lord
   Vorpatril died she's (Alys) been expecting him (Aral) to stand in loco
   parentis to that idiot Ivan."  This reads as if Padma Vorpatril had died
   after Ivan's birth.  However, in both _Barrayar_ and _Mirror Dance_,
   Padma's death was prior to Ivan's birth.
3. In _The Warrior's Apprentice_ it is noted that Count Vorhalas' son
   and heir "had been executed in turn for his treason". But in _Barrayar_
   he was killed during The Vordarian Pretendership. 

Vorkosiverse science, technology, and history
---------------------------------------------
1. How long is the Barrayaran year?
2. Barrayar's moon(s) - Number? Name(s)? Size? Colour?
3. Does the soletta orbit Komarr, Komarr's sun, or what?
4. Does Beta Colony have a breathable atmosphere?
5. When did re-vivication technology advance so that some accidental
   deaths could be "cured"?
6.  It seems clear that Bujold's universe assumes that although complex
   *life* is pretty common in the universe--native ecologies on Barrayar 
   and Sergyar, for example--*intelligent* life is quite rare.  Why?
7. What was the Third Cetagandan War? (For that matter, what were the
   first two?)
8. What was the "Fire" that the Firsters had to pass through?
9. How much time passed between the end of the Time ofIsolation and 
   the beginning of the Cetagandan invasion?
10. What WAS the Incendiary Cat Plot?
11. It's clear that Cordelia is religious, and that her 
    religion is either some form of Christianity or arises
    from a Christian tradition. Can we have details?
12.  What were the Founding Fathers of Athos motivated by, 
    theologically/philosophically speaking?  And do you think they'd 
    be happy with the current social/sexual system on Athos?

Vorkosiverse miscellany
-----------------------
1. Is a groat a coin or a kernel of grain?
3. What shades of brown and silver make up the Vorkosigan house colors?
4. Is Zap the Cat (_Memory_) a solid black cat, a black tabby, a little
   black and white imp or what?
5. How do you pronounce Barrayan names?
6. What does "vor" mean?
7. What does "-yar" mean, as in Barrayar and Sergyar?
8. What does Mark mean when he thinks "basil alert!" while talking to 
   Tsipis in ACC?

Chalion
-------
1. How do you pronounce Chalion names?
2. What is a vest cloak?  
3. How many provinces are there in Chalion? 
4. Is the castle on the U.S. cover of CoC based on a real one?
5. What is the basis of the U.S. cover of _Paladin of Souls_?
6. Are there  maps for CoC and _Paladin of Souls_? Is there a map for 
   _The Hallowed Hunt_?
7. What does the gesture for the five-fold blessing look like?

On writing: sources, plans, etc.
--------------------------------
1. What inspired the descriptions of GalacTech (_Falling Free_)? 
   Did you have friends or family working for an EnormousTechCorp?
2. Where did the ideas for Miles' personality come from?
3. Is Ivan going to make his mother happy by settling down with a nice
   girl (Vor or no) and raising little Vorpatrils? Has he considered
   adopting a pet and at least giving his mother a grandpuppy or
   grandkitty?
4. Will Vorberg ever find out who really cut his legs off?
5. What drives you the craziest when you are trying to write?
6.  As commercial writers go, you're perhaps just a little bit on the
   slowish side.  Is this because of other demands on your time, or do you
   just write a bit slowly?
7. When you started writing the Miles Vorkosigan series, did you plan
   on a finite number of books, or did you plan on writing until you
   ran out of ideas?
8. Do you like classical music? Do you imagine any particular
   classical (or otherwise) piece as a suitable soundtrack for Barrayar
   or any particular character or situation?
9. What is the source of the quote that Miles uses in "Borders of
   Infinity"?
10. Who has been Tuckerized in Bujold's writings?


---------------------------------------------------------------
Lois McMaster Bujold and her works
----------------------------------

1. Where can I find more information about Lois McMaster Bujold?

  Biographical information: http://www.dendarii.com/author_info.html
  Awards she has won: http://www.dendarii.com/awards.html

2. What has Bujold written? Who has illustrated her works?

  Full English-language bibliography: http://www.dendarii.com/biblio.html
  American publications: http://www.dendarii.com/us_books.html
  Translations: http://www.dendarii.com/translations.html
  Cover art: http://www.dendarii.com/covers.html
    listed by artist: http://www.dendarii.com/artists.html
  Book dedications: http://www.dendarii.com/dedications.html

3. In what order should I read the Vorkosigan stories? 

The Vorkosigan books can be read in publication order or
in internal chronological order--either method has its
proponents. 
Internal chronological order:
  http://www.dendarii.com/biblio.html#timeline
Publication order:
  http://www.dendarii.com/us_books.html

4. Which authors can I read once I've re-read all Bujold's stuff?

This is a personal list compiled by Michael Bernardi.  Authors at the top
are closest to Bujold in style and content.  The list ranges from SF to
fantasy, though some authors write both.

David Weber, Steve White, Elizabeth Moon, Catherine Asaro, Sharon Lee &
Steve Miller, William R Forstchen, David Feintuch, Debra Doyle & James D.
MacDonald, early Robert A. Heinlein, A. C. Crispin, David Brin, Anne
McCaffrey, Brian Daley, Lisanne Norman, Doris Egan, C. J. Cherryh, Peter F.
Hamilton, Tara K. Harper, Chris Claremont, Iain M. Banks, Gregory Benford,
Allen Steele, S. M. Stirling, Larry Niven, James H. Schmitz, Steven Brust,
Mercedes Lackey, Jody Lynn Nye, Carole Nelson Douglas, Katherine Kurtz,
Jane Lindskold, Barbara Hambly, Patricia C. Wrede (_Mirror Dance_ and
_Shards of Honor_ dedicatee), Robin McKinley, Patricia McKillip and Tanya
Huff.

Non SF & F authors
Georgette Heyer, T. E. Lawrence, C. S. Forester, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels).

See also a book list compiled from suggestions from listees:
  http://www.luna.co.uk/~jbryant/pages/pwbklst.htm
  
5. Will there be any more books in the Vorkosigan series?  

In July  2006 Lois announced that she signed had a contract with Baen Books  
for a future book in the Miles Vorkosigan series. The new book will not be 
started until mid-2007, as she has a current writing commitment to 
Eos/HarperCollins for what will probably be a second duology in _The Sharing 
Knife_ series. The first book in this new series, _The Sharing Knife, vol. 1: 
Beguilement_, will be published October 10, 2006, and _The Sharing Knife, 
vol. 2: Legacy_ is planned for around June 2007. The writing of the second 
duology, with a working title of _Wide Green World_, is in progress in mid-2006. 

The timing of a new Vorkosigan book depends on a host of variables. If it 
was started  in mid-2007, it would likely be turned in late in 2008 for 
publication sometime in 2009.


People
------
1. Can Cordelia return to Beta to visit her mother, or are the charges
in _Shards of Honor_ still out standing?

LMB) Some time between _Shards of Honor_ and _The Warrior's Apprentice_,
Cordelia's troubles with the Betan authorities got ironed out, but I don't
know just when or how.  (April 1995)

2. How old is Cordelia's mother? Will we ever meet any of her other
relatives?

LMB) Cordelia's mother is about 30 years older than Cordelia. We might
meet some of her other relatives if I ever write a story set on Beta
Colony; no such tale is immediately planned, though Mark on BC is
fraught with possibilities. (April 1995)

3. In the beginning of _Ethan of Athos_, is the "Elizabeth Naismith" who
co-wrote the article Ethan read in a medical journal, Cordelia's
mother?

LMB) Yes, Elizabeth Naismith is Cordelia's mom. (April 1995)

4. In _Barrayar_ Cordelia was very keen to have lots of children.
Miles's problems stifled this need. However couldn't she have had a
daughter? 

LMB) After Miles, Cordelia chose not to have a daughter on Barrayar
because she thinks it's a lousy place for women (and other human
beings). After Aral's death, and her ultimate return to Beta Colony,
she might have Miles's sister a la replicator. (April 1995)

5. Was Aral's first wife Vice-Admiral Ges Vorrutyer's sister?

LMB) It does not appear in any published text, so the decision isn't
fixed yet, but I rather think so. It makes a lot of sense to me. (June
1997)

6. *Did* something happen in Miles's sex life between TWA and
"Mountains of Mourning", age 18 and 21 or so?

LMB) Oh, I'm sure.  Not that Academy cadets get very many opportunities,
and Miles likely got fewer than most, but they doubtless made the most of
their chances.  One or two experiments on Miles's part with letting Ivan
"fix him up" were doubtless not wholly satisfactory in result.  (In fact,
the mind might well boggle.  Feel free.)  Later, in his earlier "Admiral
Naismith" years, there must also have been a few experiments.  For example,
Miles's first year on Beta Colony, at age 15, was a disaster, but all the
times he must have passed through later, changing ships and stopping in to
see relatives, he would have had the drill rather better figured out, don't
you think?  (Remember the L.P.S.T.'s.)  I figure Miles was very good about
keeping his personal and professional life separated in his early years,
only slipping down the slope with Elli and Taura in mid-career, as the
secret stresses began to build up.

_Memory_ is a target I've been aiming for for a very long time. Just
like the blind Zen archer. (June 1997)

7. Is the Arde Mayhew who helped Cordelia Naismith escape Beta Colony
the same Arde Mayhew who joined Miles when the Dendarii Free Mercenary
Fleet was created?

LMB) Yes, it is the same Arde Mayhew. I don't know if he ever
finds/found an RG ship. When last seen he was employed as a Dendarii
shuttle pilot, so at least he has health insurance. (April 1995)

8.  Is Vorsmythe, the dead Imperial Auditor, the same as Vorsmythe, the
industrialist that Mark talks to at the end of Mirror Dance?

LMB) No. Doubtless related, though. Vorsmythe the industrialist is much
younger, later thirties-early forties, maybe. (June 1997)

9.  Are Illyan's "ers" when mentioning Henri Vorvolk -- "Gregor's, er,
special friend Count Vorvolk" -- possibly to be read as an indication of
Gregor being bisexual?

LMB) I don't think that "er" was a noise of doubt on Illyan's part about
Henri's sexuality, but rather, his brains.  Henri is a rather pleasant
fellow with a bit of Ivan's approach to life about him, especially when
younger.  He seems to have matured, lately.  Gregor doubtless finds him
restful, after the intensity of the Vorkosigans.  There are sufficient
canonical bisexual and other-sexual folks in these stories, we don't have
to tap them *all*, y'know.  (June 1997)

10. How are all the Vor related to each other? Especially the Vorbarra
and Vorkosigan families?

A diagram showing likely interrelations of Dorca, Ezar, Aral, Padma,
Gregor, Miles, and Ivan and a brief article on the same appears in
_Dreamweaver's Dilemma_ entitled (pompously) "Towards a Genealogy of Lord
Miles Vorkosigan and Other Persons of Interest."  (Suford Lewis)

Gregory Hennessy has created a Web site called "The Family of Miles
Vorkosigan," a fairly comprehensive genealogy of the Vorkosigan family.
  http://members.cox.net/greg.hennessy/Miles/index.html
and Greg Carlill offers "A Vor Genealogy:
  http://home.st.net.au/~carlill/fiction/docs/vorkosigan.pdf

11. How high up are the Vorrutyers on the Vor circle?

LMB) High.  First circles.  Right up there with the Vorkosigans.  
(June 1997)

12. Are there other people with the surname "Vorkosigan?"

LMB) Yes.  None are close relatives.  Piotr may have had sisters 
with surviving progeny, but no brothers.  The generations above 
him will have had some Vorkosigan offshoots from assorted younger 
sons.  Piotr's mother, by the way, was a Vorrutyer, the eldest 
daughter of Count Pierre Vorrutyer.  [See ACC]

13. Are all the Lord Vorwhatsisnames directly related to a Count 
Vorwhatsisname? How closely related is Ivan to Count Vorpatril?

LMB) In addition to the usual Count Vorlastname - Lord Vorlastname -
Lord Vorfirstname sequencing for a Count and his immediate heirs,
there are a slew of Lord Vorlastnames running around who hold their
titles by virtue of being clan heads or for other, idiosyncratic
historical reasons. Padma's father (and hence Padma and Ivan) may well
have acquired this honor by virtue of marriage to Prince Xav's younger
half-Betan princess daughter, or for some prior historical
reason. 

There is a senior Vorpatril line, and a Count Vorpatril (see ACC) -- I
feel, in retrospect, that the Vorpatril liveried retainers we saw at the
beginning of _The Warrior's Apprentice_ must have been a courtesy loan from
the Count to Alys.  There are bunches and bunches of other Vorpatrils in
line ahead of Ivan for that Countship; it is in the highest degree unlikely
that he'll inherit it at any time, let alone soon.  (MilesToGo forum on
Baen's Bar, 15 July 1999)

14. When Miles is talking to Nikki in _Komarr_ and mentions a 
10-year-old courier, is this supposed to be a reference to Lilly 
Durona, Jr.?

LMB) The 10 year old courier was a real incident, attached to one
of the 35 or so unchronicled Dendarii missions.  No, you were not
intended to construe her to be Lilly Jr.  No, I don't know
anything about the rest of the mission at this time. 
(Lois-Bujold Mailing List, 17 Mar 2003)

15. Does Byerly Vorrutyer have any training for his ImpSec role?

LMB) He has quite a bit of spy training, little "vacations" where
he disappears for a few weeks at a time, generally leaving the
impression he's rusticating somewhere due to lack of funds -- but
no military training per se.  Note he does turn in competent
written, verbal, and other reports.  Usually, his job is to
observe, not to act.  Not even to pass judgment on the gossip he
passes on -- that's the ImpSec analysts' job -- but after several
years, he is doubtless developing considerable discernment in his
own right.  Street smarts, for a narrow value of "street".

By does have his speciality, low dives and high Vor, which is
somewhat geographically constrained.  But if one of his targets
went off-planet, so might he.  [MilesToGo forum on Baen's Bar, 27
Nov 2002]

Inconsistencies 
--------------- 

1.  In _Barrayar_, Aral says that the naming rule for the firstborn son is
"a strict custom".  However, counter examples can be observed--Gregor, 
for one--with no explanations given.

LMB) That first name - Paternal G'Da's first name, 2nd name - Maternal 
G'Da's first name business is a common but by no means universal *custom*, 
not an invariant *law*, folks. I confess, I find it handy to have to make 
up fewer names...  (16 Jun 1997)

2.  In _The Warrior's Apprentice_, Cordelia comments, "...ever since Lord
Vorpatril died she's (Alys) been expecting him (Aral) to stand in loco
parentis to that idiot Ivan."  This reads as if Padma Vorpatril had died
after Ivan's birth.  However, in both _Barrayar_ and _Mirror Dance_,
Padma's death was prior to Ivan's birth.

LMB) The date of Padma's death is one of those continuity things that help
make writing prequels such a fiendish task.  Basically, between the writing
of _The Warrior's Apprentice_ and _Barrayar_, the author had a Better Idea. 
(April 1995)

3. In _The Warrior's Apprentice_ it is noted that Count Vorhalas' son
and heir "had been executed in turn for his treason". But in _Barrayar_
he was killed during The Vordarian Pretendership. 

LMB) The Author *always* reserves the right to have a Better Idea. 
(April 1995)


Vorkosiverse science, technology, and history
---------------------------------------------
1. How long is the Barrayaran year?

LMB) I haven't precisely established the length of the Barrayaran year,
though it isn't more than a few weeks off from the Earth year.  Barrayar
does have a 26.7 hour day.  I wish I did too.  You can tell all my favorite
planets, they always give you at least an extra hour to sleep *and* and
extra hour to get things done.  (June 1997)

2. Barrayar's moon(s) - Number? Name(s)? Size? Colour?

LMB) Two.  Smaller than Earth's moon.  Names and colors not 
specified. (25 Dec 1998)

3. Does the soletta orbit Komarr, Komarr's sun, or what?

LMB) It would appear to orbit Komarr's sun, and move along with 
Komarr; how this position is maintained is not specified.  Note 
that really odd things happen to plants when you muck with their 
daylight and darkness requirements.  Text evd does not say if the 
mirror's apparent position precesses over time. (25 Dec 1998)

[Note: Extensive discussions of the orbital mechanics, size, and effects on
insolation of the soletta have taken place on the Lois-Bujold list.  Some
examples (digest numbers are given for those with numerous soletta
mentions, but the discussions are likely to have continued in preceding and
following digests): December 1998 (Digests 2042, 2044), July 1999 (Digests
2582, 2586, 2587, 2588, 2589), October 2000 (Digests 3634, 3635, 3637),
October 2001 (Digests 4686, 4693, 4696, 4697, 4698, 4705, 4708, 4710)]

4. Does Beta Colony have a breathable atmosphere?

LMB) Yes.  A bit grainy, but breathable.  You'd want protection 
from sun, heat, wind, and alkali dust when topside, depending on 
the season. (25 Dec 1998)

5. When did re-vivication technology advance so that some accidental
deaths could be "cured"?

LMB) Re-vivication technology -- they're working on it now, y'know. I
imagine it was a fairly early development in Miles's timeline; some
early version was doubtless up and running by the end of the 22nd
Century. Miles is about the 29th or 30th Century. (April 1995)

6.  It seems clear that Bujold's universe assumes that although complex
*life* is pretty common in the universe--native ecologies on Barrayar and
Sergyar, for example--*intelligent* life is quite rare.  Why?

LMB) General orneriness.  I wanted something to distinguish my "space
opera" universe from all the others; the absence of assorted anthropomorphic
aliens was an early and conscious selection of mine.  No intelligent aliens
will be discovered in Miles's lifetime, or for many generations thereafter. 
I plan instead the explosive speciation of humans, so that
umpty-generations down the time-line, the aliens will be us.  (June 1997)

7. What was the Third Cetagandan War? (For that matter, what were the
first two?)

LMB) The invasion of Barrayar was the first war, and the other two wars
were much less serious space-based clashes that didn't touch down on
either planet. (April 1995)

8. What was the "Fire" that the Firsters had to pass through?

LMB) Latent background.  Pat Wrede and I have very different approaches to
how we work out our story worlds.  She makes hers up in advance of the
plot, analytically; I largely make mine up as I go along, intuitively.  I
find her method constraining to the point of screaming fits, she finds
mine...well, you'll have to ask her.  Baffling?  Terribly disorganized? 
Zen?  If a point in a story ever comes up where I need to fix more detail
about the "Pilgrimage through the Fire", I'll do it then.

The heavy mutation rate on Barrayar, though perhaps contributed to by
radiation exposure in the Firsters' population, was mostly due to
biological insults -- mutagens, carcinogens, allergens -- in the new and
alien environment in which they found themselves.  The radiation released
during the Cetagandan occupation was a very late effect. (16 Jun 1997)

9.  How much time passed between the end of the Time of Isolation and the
beginning of the Cetagandan invasion?

LMB) About 15-20 years. (June 1997)

10. What WAS the Incendiary Cat Plot?

Unwritten backstory.  However, for a possible inspiration for it, check out
the book _Bat Bomb_, by Jack Couffer, on the World War II Incendiary Bat
Plot. Asked if this was a similar idea (or just a similar phrase), Bujold 
said, "Not that I can remember, at this late date, but I think it 
was some mental cross between the bat bomb idea and Guy Fawkes." (MilesToGo 
forum on Baen's Bar, 17 March 2002)

11.  It's clear that Cordelia is religious, and that her religion is either
some form of Christianity or arises from a Christian tradition.  Can we
have details?

LMB) Cordelia, as I've said somewhere (not in the books), is some sort of
Betan Presbyterian, a rather Unitarian-style but definitely
Christian-descended religion, which would doubtless make old John Knox spin
in his grave at max RPM, ululating in high pitch. (16 Jun 1997)

12.  What were the Founding Fathers of Athos motivated by,
theologically/philosophically speaking?  And do you think they'd be happy
with the current social/sexual system on Athos?

LMB) Purity.  And they'd be spinning right along with old John Knox, would
be my first guess.  Can you imagine how the stalwart elders of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony would react to modern Boston?  (June 1997)


Vorkosiverse miscellany
-----------------------

1. Is a groat a coin or a kernel of grain?

LMB) Actually, in all the places I've used the term "groats" so far, I
meant the grain not the coin. (1995)

2. What shades of brown and silver make up the Vorkosigan house colors?

LMB) A deep, medium-to-dark brown; and... does silver *have* more than
one shade? Bright, I suppose. (June 1997)

3. Is Zap the Cat (_Memory_) a solid black cat, a black tabby, a little
black and white imp or what?

LMB) Long haired, solid black.  Zap is the evil twin of the late 
lamented Fuzzy Mae, the sweetest cat I ever owned, who got run 
over in front of our house just after she got fixed, sometime 
during the night of my daughter's second birthday.  (June 1997)

4. How do you pronounce Barrayan names? 

Barrayar - BARR-ah-yar
Vorkosigan - Vor-KOH-si-gan
Vorpatril - Vor-PAT-ril
Aral - AIR-al
Vordarian - Vor-DARE-e-an
Vorbarra - Vor-BARR-ah

A more complete guide of 15 pages of names and pronunciations can be
found in _Dreamweaver's Dilemma_. This guide can also be found at "The Bujold
Nexus": http://www.dendarii.com/dictionary.html

5. What does "vor" mean?

LMB) I never say where "vor" comes from, though I found out (after the
fact) that it is Russian for "thief", which I thought quite perfect for a
bunch of tax-collecting self-appointed aristocrats.  (April 1995) [Note
that Bujold uses this in _Memory_), when Duv Galeni is ranting at Miles  
about "losing" Laisa.]

7. What does "-yar" mean, as in Barrayar and Sergyar?

LMB) It's a real Russian word, I believe -- comes from "Babi Yar",
and refers to some geographical feature that escapes my memory
at present -- "valley", I think.  So Barrayar and Sergyar share 
that root. (Lois-Bujold mailing list, 13 May 2003)

8. What does Mark mean when he thinks "basil alert!" while talking to 
Tsipis in ACC?

This is a reference to a story from Boccaccio's _Decameron_, about
a maiden whose brothers didn't like her suitor and so murder him
and bury his head in a pot of basil.

For the *long* version of the tale, see "Isabella; or, The Pot of
Basil", by Keats.  http://www.bartleby.com/126/38.html


Chalion
-------

1. How do you pronounce Chalion names?

[Note: zh = s in pleasure ; oh = o in go; aa = a in as, cat, 
ah = a in father]

Baocia - Bay-OH-sha
Bergon - Berg-on 
Betriz - Bee-TREZ
Cazaril - KAHZ-ah-rill
Chalion  - CHAL-ee-on (ch as in church)  
Darthaca - DAR-tha-ka
dy Jironal - dee JEER-o-nel
Ferrej - Fer-EZH 
Foix - FOY
Gotorget - GOH-tor-get
Ibra - IB-rah 
Iselle - Is-SELL
Orico - OAR-ih-ko 
Palliar - PAL-ee-are
Roknari - Rock-NAH-ree 

A dictionary (with pronunciations) of people, places, and things
in the Chalion universe may be found at:

http://www.dendarii.com/dict-chalion.html 

Warning: the Chalion Dictionary contains spoilers for _The Curse
of Chalion_.

2. What is a vest cloak?  

LMB) An open-fronted, loose sleeveless coat, of varying length
from thigh to floor, variously lined or decorated, designed to be
worn over other garments.  (Lois-Bujold Mailing List, 14 Aug
2002) The official term may be a sleeveless Renaissance shaube.

3. How many provinces are there in Chalion? 

LMB) Chalion has seventeen provinces.  (Trinoc*Con, 2002) 
Named through _Paladin of Souls_ are: Baocia (centralmost),
Caribastos (northwest), Guarida (north), Ildar, Labran (north,
borders Roknar), Thistan (east of Baocia), Tolnoxo, and Yarrin.


4. Is the castle on the U.S. cover of CoC based on a real one?

LMB) I told them to paint the Alcazar of Segovia, upon which the
Zangre was loosely based, and they did.  (MilesToGo forum on
Baen's Bar, 18 Aug 2001)

5. What is the basis of the U.S. cover of _Paladin of Souls_?

As spotted by list member Lois Fundis, the cover is inspired by 
the painting _The Immaculate Conception_ by Giambattista Tiepolo, 
which is to be found at the Prado in Madrid.

http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/tiepolo/p-tiepolo16.htm

6. Are there  maps for CoC and _Paladin of Souls_? Is there a map 
for _The Hallowed Hunt_?

A map of the Ibran peninsula, and a more detailed map of Ista's 
travels in _Paladin_ are available on the Bujold Nexus at:
  http://www.dendarii.com/map.html 
The Ibran peninsula is based on the Iberian peninsula, turned upside 
down and transplanted to the southern hemisphere of its world. For 
_The Hallowed Hunt_, Bujold says, "I didn't make a map of the Weald, 
but if you perform the same transmutations on a map of Germany as was 
done for the Iberian peninsula, you'll have the broad outline. Rivers 
running south across coastal plains to the (North Sea equivalent) from 
alpine regions that lie between the Weald and the northern coast. 
(Beyond which lies the Roknari islands.) Darthaca (France) to the 
Weald's east, early pagan Poland/Lithuania equivalencies to the west. 
The parallels are loose, not precise, so don't get too carried away, 
though you can think Lure=Rhine, Stork=Elbe, if you like. The world 
of Chalion does not seem to have an Italian peninsula nor a former 
Roman empire as such, however. ...
The city plan of Easthome is loosely based on Zageb's, because I am 
parsimonious.  (18 Feb 2005) 

7. What does the gesture for the five-fold blessing look like?

LMB) The five-fold blessing follows a pattern rather like a check-mark: 
brief touches to mid-forehead, lips, navel, crotch, and heart, ending with 
hand over the heart, fingers spread (for a Quintarian).  Or mid-forehead, 
navel, crotch, heart, thumb folded out of sight, for a devout Quadrene.
(MilesToGo forum on Baen's Bar, 8 Apr 2004)


On writing: sources, plans, etc.
--------------------------------

1.  What inspired the descriptions of GalacTech (_Falling Free_)?  Did you
have friends or family working for an EnormousTechCorp?

LMB) I have a brother who worked for a Middle-sizedTechCorp, but he was not
the source of that particular bit.  (He was helpful about the properties of
titanium, and is a great proponent of scrounging.)  He did put me in touch
with a fellow engineer who sent me chapter and verse on explosive
formation, though, and the ice-die procedure.  I don't recall that I had a
specific source for the "use their own paperwork against 'em" trick; I may
actually have made that one up out of my own head.

Quite a bit of Leo Graf was based on my father and other engineers in his
train who passed through my angle of view, however.  (He was a professor of
welding and non-destructive testing engineering at Ohio State, and the
editor of _The Nondestructive Testing Handbook_, world reference in its
field for twenty years.)  Leo's anecdote about the whistle-blowing dude who
ended up mysteriously alcoholically dead was loosely based on dim memory of
one of my Dad's anecdotes, and Leo's class lecture in, I believe, Chapter 2
is closely modeled on some of the things he said and wrote.

2. Where did the ideas for Miles' personality come from?

LMB) Miles came as real people do -- from his parents.  I have a
catch-phrase to describe my plot-generation technique -- "What's the worst
possible thing I can do to these people?"  Miles was already a gleam in my
eye even when I was still writing Shards of Honor.  For Aral and Cordelia,
living in a militaristic, patriarchal culture that prizes physical
perfection and has an historically-driven horror of mutation, having a
handicapped son and heir was a major life challenge, a Great Test.

Miles has a number of real-life roots -- models from history such as T.E.
Lawrence and young Winston Churchill, a physical template in a handicapped
hospital pharmacist I'd worked with (the fellow had the height, leg braces,
chin tic, and IQ.), and most of all his bad case of "great man's son
syndrome", which owes much to my relationship with my father.  But with his
first book, _The Warrior's Apprentice_, he quickly took on a life of his
own; his charisma and drive, his virtues and his failings -- and he has
both -- are now all his.  (The Romance Reader interview, 12 Sept 2001, with
additions from a Writerspace chat 21 August 2001)

3. Is Ivan going to make his mother happy by settling down with a nice
girl (Vor or no) and raising little Vorpatrils? Has he considered
adopting a pet and at least giving his mother a grandpuppy or
grandkitty?

LMB) His mother has a pet of her own now, heh.  [see ACC] Ivan is going to
be a little, um, unbalanced about that for a time.  I mean, he's spent a
good deal of his life locked in an attitude of resistance to a powerful
force which has suddenly been removed.  Some emotional judo here, I 
think. (16 June 1997)

4. Will Vorberg ever find out who really cut his legs off?

LMB) I rather think he already has a pretty good idea.  He's had some time
to digest Illyan's babble (see _Memory_), and contemplate what happened
afterwards.  A closed-mouthed lot, those ImpSec couriers.  Again, nothing
is fixed, because I haven't written it yet.  (16 June 1997)

5. What drives you the craziest when you are trying to write?

LMB) 1) Having time to write, and no ideas.
2) Having ideas to write, and no time. 
Things like remembering to cook dinner or Miles has taken over the
book..
Serious real-life interruptions; people with needs.
The Miserable Middle, when I'm slogging through, when the excitement of
starting something new has passed, and the excitement of finishing seems to
recede like a mirage with every chapter.  The book's focus is un-apparent,
and I feel as though I'll never bring this one off...when it all comes
together at the end, no one is more astonished than the writer. 
100,000-plus words of connected narrative that actually means something
that *matters* is like a miracle, every time.  (June 1997)

6.  As commercial writers go, you're perhaps just a little bit on the
slowish side.  Is this because of other demands on your time, or do you
just write a bit slowly?

LMB) Yes.  Yes.  The first time I ever met Jim Baen, in an elevator crush
at the Atlanta Worldcon in 1986, he shouted over his shoulder (as he was
borne into the elevator with the mob) something to the effect of, "If you
can write three novels a year for seven years, I can put you on the map!" 
To which I replied plaintively, "Can't I just write one novel a year for
twenty-one years?"  It's been stretching to one every 18 months, lately,
but on the other hand, some of them are longer, and there's been a lot of
Real Life.  One book every 2 years is probably my natural rate.  (June
1997)

7. When you started writing the Miles Vorkosigan series, did you plan
on a finite number of books, or did you plan on writing until you
ran out of ideas?

LMB) I was mumbling under my breath about a deckology even back in '86.
I figured to model, structurally, on the Hornblower series: a string
of essentially independent books which, collected together, made an
arc of the main character's biography. (June 1997) 

8. Do you like classical music? Do you imagine any particular
classical (or otherwise) piece as a suitable soundtrack for Barrayar
or any particular character or situation?

LMB) I use music a lot, but very eclectically.  I went through a Mannheim
Steamroller phase, an Enya phase, Men Without Hats, Bruce Springsteen,
Steeleye Span, Paul Simon, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Tom Petty, Peter Gabriel,
Ray Lynch, Loreena McKennitt, this and that over the years...I don't ever
have music on while I actually write, but I often use it to kick up ideas
and images in the pre-writing phase of story development.  With one
exception -- "King Henry and the Grisly Ghost" on a Steeleye Span album,
which was the source of Taura, in "Labyrinth". I don't steal plots so
much as sop up emotional patterns or responses.  I then write stories which
attempt to recreate those feelings in prose.  I think a proper novel should
have a quasi-symphonic pattern, underneath.

For a long time when my kids were small I listened to very little
music. You have to be able to hear the dangerous silences. (June 1997)

9. What is the source of the quote that Miles uses in "Borders of
Infinity"?

It is from John Bunyan's _Pilgrim's Progress_, published in 1678, 
an allegory about the Christian soul's path to salvation.

The Bujold fragment is from the climax of Part I, in which Christian
reaches Heaven.

Here is the quote with some context:

Now upon the bank of the river, on the other side, they saw the 
two Shining Men again, who there waited for them.  Wherefore 
being come up out of the river, they saluted them, saying "We are 
ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those that shall 
be heirs of salvation."  Thus they went along towards the gate.
[Bujold begins to quote here.] 
Now you must note that the city stood upon a mighty hill, but the 
pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because they had these two 
men to lead them up by the arms.  Also they had left their mortal 
garments behind them in the river, for though they went in with 
them, they came out without them.  They therefore went up here 
with much agility and speed, though the foundation upon which the 
city was framed was higher than the clouds.  They therefore went 
up through the regions of the air[,]
[Bujold ends] 
sweetly talking as they went, being comforted because they safely 
got over the river and had such glorious companions to attend 
them.

(Posted by Betsy Hanes Perry to rec.arts.sf.written, 20 April 1994)

10. Who has been Tuckerized in Bujold's writings?

Tuckerizing is named for Bob "Wilson" Tucker, an early SF author who
published professional mystery and sf novels in which he used the real
names of fan friends for characters that, of course, bear no resemblance to
the real person.  Bujold has done this a number of times.

Name                    Story          Fan
----	                -----           ---
Siegling's              Shards/etc      Van Siegling
Pilot Padget            Labyrinth       Scott Padget 
Sgt. Laureen Anderson   Labyrinth       Lt Cdr Laureen Anderson
Trooper/Lt Sandy Hereld	Labyrinth/MD    Sandy Hereld
Lt. Durham              Mirror Dance    Peter Durham
Trooper(?) Boyd         Mirror Dance    Charles Boyd
Tech Vifian             Mirror Dance    John Vifian
Medic Norwood           Mirror Dance    Barbara Norwood
Trooper Phillipi        Mirror Dance    Colleen Philippi
Col.  Vorreedi	        Cetaganda       Pat Wrede
Count Vormuir           ACC             Doug Muir
Count Vorharopulos      ACC             Alexandra Haropulos
Count Vorfolse	        ACC             Stephanie Folse
Ensign Plause           Vor Game        Mitchell Burnside Clapp

Note that Martin Kosti (_Memory_) is *not* a Tuckerization of Martin Kosti, 
the reporter for (US) National Public Radio. This one is just a coincidence.

Some other names were borrowed from other places.

Name                    Story           Source
----	                -----           ------
Byerly                  ACC             Byerly's (a chain of upscale grocery stores in Minnesota), 
                                        "being similarly decadent" (LMB, 1 April 2004)

Vorkosigan              ---             Andrei Kosygin, Soviet diplomat in the 1960's (LMB, 
                                        Vorcon chat http://lavka.lib.ru/bujold/vorcon2004/chat_16apr2004.htm)

---------------------------------

FAQ History:

4.2.1   18 Sep 2006-Added new Vorkosigan book plans 
4.2.0   05 May 2005-Corrected "vor" entry book, added other sources to 
        Tuckerization, Paladin cover source, Chalion maps, five-fold 
		blessing
4.1.0   28 Jun 2003-Added entries to tuckerizations, edited 
        naming rule wording, added Chalion section, 10yo courier, 
        Byerly, -yar, basil alert
4.0.2   13 Nov 2002-Changed dendarii.demon.co.uk to 
        dendarii.co.uk.
4.0.1   29 Oct 2002-Changed URL for Vorkosigan geneology 
        site.
4.0.0	11 Mar 2002-Questions reorganized under topic headings, 
        questions added to cover material from Bio FAQ (which has been 
        eliminated), deleted unanswerable and outdated questions, added 
        Chalion pronounciation, Tuckerizing, and others.
3.3.6	28 Aug 2000
3.3.5	30 Aug 1999
3.3.4	7 Dec 1998
3.3.3	30 Jun 1998
3.3.2	8 Jan 1998
3.3.1	4 Jul 1997-Added answers to questions compiled on the list  
        by Taryn Hearn in June 1997 (full list of those questions may be 
        found at http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~b89tlh/loisQandA.html)
3.3.0	27 Dec 1996-List FAQ split from main Plot FAQ
3.2.8	1 Sep 1996
3.2.7	30 Jun 1996
3.2.6	9 Jun 1996
3.2.4	5 May 1996
3.2.3	9 Apr 1996-Bio FAQ split from main FAQ
3.2.2	29 Feb 1996
3.2.1	30 Dec 1995
3.2.0	14 Dec 1995
3.1.3	10 Nov 1995
3.1.1	11 Oct 1995
3.1.0	14 Sep 1995
3.0.1	14 Aug 1995
3.0.0	4 Aug 1995-Format change to question-and-answer and some of the
	answers are thanks to Greg Slade.  Also added answers to questions 
	supplied by Bujold at Confabulation (Eastercon 95).
1.2	27 Nov 1994
1.1	1 Nov 1994
1.0	30 Sep 1994-Questions without answers

-------------
Credits:

Material in this FAQ was supplied by Lois McMaster Bujold, Locus,
Greg Slade, Suford Lewis, Michael Bernardi, and other members
of the Lois-Bujold Mailing List.

Especial thanks to Melanie Dymond Harper <mel at herald.co.uk> for hosting
the Lois-Bujold mailing list, the Bujold Nexus Web pages, and the ftp 
archive site.

Suggestions for material to be included in this document should 
be sent to lmb-faq at dendarii.com .
                
Copyright 1994/2006 by Michael Bernardi and Nancy Barber.  This
file may be freely distributed provided that it remains unedited
from its current form.  Sections may be quoted for reference
providing its source is given.  It may be printed out for
personal use.



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