[LMB] Cryoburn review by Strange Horizons

Eric Oppen technomad at intergate.com
Mon Feb 21 19:45:11 GMT 2011


Quoting James Nicoll <jdnicoll at panix.com>:

> On Mon, 21 Feb 2011, Eric Oppen wrote:
>
>> If this becomes common, the Vor might have to institute the same   
>> rules that the Forty Families of Europa have in _Girl Genius:_ when  
>>  you die, your titles, lands and whatnot pass to your heir, even if  
>>  you do get revived later.
>>
>> IIRC, Word-of-God for the GGiverse says that this rule was   
>> instituted to keep chaos from reigning as past rulers and whatnot   
>> kept coming back from the dead, less and less recognizable...you   
>> could have five or six claimants for one princedom.
>>
> McCarthy's Queendom of Sol has two immortal monarchs, king and queen,
> who themselves have a rather spoiled Crown Prince. Guess how well that
> works out?
> --
Didn't Miles comment, at the end of _Memory,_ that he had just had a  
memorable lesson in why making people wait around forever for  
promotion is a _bad_ idea?

Not to mention...monarchy, if approached properly, is a man-killing  
job.  One reason that rulers were surrounded with luxury and had  
servants to wait on them for every little thing was that the job  
burned people out and killed them, even _without_ the charming  
prospect of some yo-yo deciding to target them, no matter how good or  
benevolent or generally-beloved they were.

Madeleine (my best-beloved) told me once that she was against monarchy  
because it wasn't fair to the monarch.  Unlike a president or prime  
minister, a monarch usually serves for life, and can't resign or even  
take much time off...there's always the chance of something horrible  
happening that the monarch needs to see to _right now._

I'd bet Gregor would _love_ to serve a limited term as Emperor of  
Barrayar, and then retire to be Count VorBarra, or even spend time as  
plain ol' Greg Barra.

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