[LMB] Borders of Infinity Discussion appetizer

Judy R. Johnson jrj at fidalgo.net
Wed Jun 30 17:36:15 BST 2010

On 6/29/2010 6:36 PM, M. Haller Yamada wrote:
> For me, Borders of Infinity is one of my favorite short stories. It's true that there's such misery and horribleness in the story, but it is balanced by everyone being saved. Well, almost everyone. I love that . . . and since the misery is in the short story form, I only have to live with it for an hour or so. BoI is a very clever story, and it's also a story that changes upon re-reading; I remember that on my first reading, I had no idea what was going on through out most of the story. The shuttle lift came as a complete surprise to me . . . .
> No, I never thought of Miles falling out if Beatrice could have made the grasp (at least not before Komarr). It's true that *Miles* was absolutely incapable of completing the grasp. But I think he might have altered his memory to make it more his fault than it actually was.
> Micki
NEW -- JRJ> It's not my favorite, this story, but I agree with these 
comments -- shuttle was a surprise to me, too, first time I read it.  
Had no idea where all that was going.

The reason I'm posting, however, is the bit about "Miles might have 
altered his memory."  Overarching principle, here, it would seem.  The 
leadership qualities that define him have a flip side, that of 
increased, sometimes even excessive, sense of responsibility.  His own 
high-impact capabilities and the leverage imposed by his family position 
combine to make him many times more powerful than even most fictional 
heroes.  Most properly, the equal and opposite reaction is an extreme 
bent toward "I coulda, shoulda."

In Komarr, Ekaterin apparently senses this and approves of it, something 
I didn't quite get when first reading that scene.  It's a Vor thing.

So I must learn to not think of this Miles trait as just one more of his 
nervous faults -- no ice bath necessary.  Shame on me.  In fact, maybe 
that's what Her Ladyship was getting at with the Beatriz character, 
rather than just imposing a romantic interest with Oedipal resonance.

Interesting that we never seem to run out of implications to dissect.  
Is this what gives the work of some authors multi-generational "legs?"


Entwife Judy
Who doubts if the status quo is ever well enough to be let alone

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