[LMB] Miles speculation

Amanda Zangari azangari at mit.edu
Wed Jan 12 05:03:38 GMT 2011

> On Jan 11, 2011, at 4:14 PM, Gretchen Wright wrote:
> >I'm wondering - if the Soltoxin hadn't happened, how much of the
> > Miles we know would be different?
> >
> > I know the obvious - height like Ivan.
> >
> > But what of 'our' Miles would we have?
> >
> >
>  ***Well, for one thing, he might have had siblings. Siblings that he was
>  raised with, that is. So to whatever extent you believe that birth order
> and sibling arrangement comes into play in shaping personality, you 
> would have those effects. E.g. would his tendency to assume that he 
> is the center of attention come from the fact that he didn't have siblings 
> competing for his parents' attention?
> Ah, but Miles effectively had Gregor as a sibling, a foster sibling, but also a competitor for parental attention.

Let's see.

Well, first of all, Miles wouldn't be Miles Naismith.  He would be Piotr Miles.  He'd have grown up in Vorkosigan
house all his life.  Bothari would not have been his bodyguard, because there never would have been
the scene at Miles' second birth that got him "reassigned".  After all, Piotr Pierre was part of the reason 
Miles needed a bodyguard, otherwise, there were guards enough at Vorkosigan house.

Vordarian's coup happened just a few weeks after, but let's pretend that he was going to do that anyway,
Kareen and Padma still died, and Aral somehow survived to get his government, head for Cordelia not 

I think Piotr Miles would be less bookish than Miles Naismith, still a nerd, sure, but being ill and 
frequently recovering from surgery lends itself to lots of extra reading time.  Piotr Miles would probably
play a lot more contact sports.  Perhaps Aral and Drou would teach him a little Judo, and as a teenager
he could participate in the Imspec versus Armsmen wrestling matches.  He'd still love horses.  If being
pregnant on a horse and starved for a day is more tolerable than having an abdominal surgery wound on 
a horse and being starved for a day (I doubt it), then perhaps Cordelia would like horses too, and they
would ride as a family.  I bet he would take stuff apart like he did when he was little and be mechanically inclined.  

I don't think he would have developed the 
manipulation-driven people skills that Aral and Cordelia attributed to his immobility as a pre-schooler.
Then again, both Aral and Piotr would have taken Piotr Miles under their wing, politically speaking
as a proudly shown heir, not one who surprised old men with his appearance at his grandfather's 
funeral.  Aral would have to be extremely careful with Piotr Miles' education, and resist the temptation
to share certain learning experiences from Gregor's education with Miles simultaneously, lest more people
thing along the line of Kostolitz and decide that Aral was preparing him to be emperor some day.

Military mad?  Probably, although I wonder how much his poor health and crippled form made him crave
fitting in with Barrayaran society- with his handicaps he was not expected to go into the service, and thus
Miles wanted it more than Piotr ever would have, perhaps Piotr would have rebelled against this 
expectation, but given the political culture Miles was exposed to, perhaps not.  Would he be lazy like Ivan,
 who dutifully does what he is told, but lacks initiative?  Piotr Miles really would have everything 
handed to him, though his parents would expect a lot of him.  I see Piotr Miles as a Prince William type 
figure, wealthy, smart, does his duty, but less interesting.

Hyperactive little shit?  Doubtful.  In my reading of the books, I attribute Miles' hyperactivity as a tetrogenic
side effect of all the drugs he's taken.  Mark, who has suffered through cosmetic surgery, not experimental
drugs, doesn't have it.  Actually, I wonder what kind of pain in the butt Mark was to his foster parents and 
with his clone friends, who would probably be quite something too- you don't make enough money to 
afford such a procedure for yourself if you weren't someone who was able to rise above and exploit
the population which they came from.  

Tangent- figuring out whose clones the kids Mark rescued are and exposing the progenitors sounds like
a lot of fun, especially if they are galactics...

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