[LMB] LQ #54: Bujold popularity - turn it around [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

richard.hills at immi.gov.au richard.hills at immi.gov.au
Tue Mar 24 23:34:25 GMT 2009

Many kind words have been spoken here, for which I thank you.  But turn
the question around -- what is it in common to the readers that makes
them relate to these books?  And, perhaps more interesting to me,
looking at my bewildering range of reviews, what is it in the readers or
the books or the combo that makes some readers bounce off of them, with
varying degrees of hard from Ho-hum on to Book-projectile?  (Or is this
not the crowd to ask for that one?)

In other words, why are some people Bujold readers, and others
vehemently not?

Ta. L.

*     *     *

I am willing to bet that there is a very high overlap between people
who enjoy the Vor novels, and people who enjoyed Robert Heinlein's
Citizen of the Galaxy.

Like Miles, Thorby's ultimate destiny as a bureaucrat and manager is
not what he wanted while growing up, but is the best way Thorby can
achieve his ultimate goal of eradicating the slave trade.

In his early and better works, Heinlein also used Lois' technique of
"What is the worst thing I can do to this character?"  So in Citizen
of the Galaxy, the theme is the radical cultural changes repeatedly
inflicted on Thorby, who has to repeatedly perform the delicate
balancing act of adapting to his new milieu _without_ sacrificing the
core moral principles inculcated in him by Pop and Grandmother.

Of course, in both the Vor novels and Citizen of the Galaxy the readers
have to be willing to accept that their cultural milieu is not the only
possible cultural milieu nor even the best cultural milieu.  That is,
people who are not willing to check their cultural assumptions at the
door will indeed be vehemently non-readers of Bujold, preferring well-
trodden paths with no surprises instead.

Best wishes

Richard Hills, Aqua 5, workstation W550
Telephone: 02 6223 8453
Email: richard.hills at immi.gov.au
Recruitment Section & DIAC Social Club movie tickets

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