[LMB] Sergyar

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Mon Jan 31 16:15:50 GMT 2011

> > From: "Gretchen Wright" gretchen.wright at rcn.com
> We know that Cordelia's team believed they 
> were alone on the planet until they were surprise-attacked -- 
> so who was actually there first, were the Barrayarans there 
> but just concealed somehow 

Yes. They maybe hadn't been there long, but they were already there.

> how, at the close of the events, did Barrayar end up in undisputed
> possession of the planet? Is there a Nexus policy about who gets 
> to settle newly discovered unpopulated planets?

I don't think there's a central authority.  It was probably part of the deal made in the peace treaty.  I don't recall any indication that Beta Colony was about to settle on Sergyar - they wanted to study it, not to colonize.

> > Present (and recent past): What do you imagine Sergyar
> > looking like?

Aral and Cordelia in Shards thought it was beautiful, though as I recall, the descriptions involved too many primary colours for my tastes.  Still. It isn't an ugly place.

> What are the major industries/activities of the population?

I'd love to know!  Presumably rendering the savage beasts safe and the toxic plants inert is in the agenda.  I suspect (though I recall no textev at all on the matter) that Barrayar is hoping to make it possible to grow food there  for export to Barrayar, since Sergar's fauna and flora is more compatible with human life.

> And if there is still undeveloped land on the south continent 
> of Barrayar,what would induce a Barrayaran to colonize a totally 
> new planet instead of moving within their own planet?

That one's easy: Barrayar's plants are toxic, and even after - what is it, six hundred years? more? - of colonization, they only have tiny pockets of land where agriculture is possible.  There are no large animals to prey on, and the insect life is poisonous.  They have a large growing population, which must be growing faster than ever with improved health and stable government.  Sergar has animals and plants they can eat already, and the potential for more.

Sergyar must seem like a paradise, a cornucopia.


> I see Sergyar as a beautiful planet, green and lush. Far
> better than Barrayar

I see Barrayar as beautiful: all those forests and mountains and lakes.  Beautiful, but not friendly to humanity.

> and wayyyyyyyyyyy better than Komarr. The settlers must
> just love farming it!

Yes. Komarr is even worse than Barrayar - on Barrayar they can at least breathe.

Gretchen again:
> Also: How do you suppose it feels/felt for Aral and
> Cordelia to see the transformation from untouched wilderness to a
> populated planet? I imagine it must be rather bittersweet.

You think they'd like to have kept it for themselves?  I think it would be exciting and wonderful for them - neither one seems to be sentimental about landscapes per se, though both loved the view at Vorkosigan Surleau.  But home to them is people not places, and I think that building a community, or even a nation, is something they love above all else.

> So true! I wonder if they went to the places they'd been
> before - I read some lovely fanfic about that. Maybe they've 
> turned part of it into a park?

That would be suitable. I like to think their own home is set somewhere that had significance in Shards.

> Future: What is the Imperium's strategic vision or
> goal for what they want Sergyar to become in the long term?

I'm guessing they see it as a breadbasket for Barrayar.  Rather like the Prairies, or southern Quebec and Ontario, in Canadian geography.  The people of Sergyar can prosper through farming (of whatever technological level they can create) and Barrayarans will eat better.

And it isn't just that they can grow plants - I'm sure there are many more fish, more potential for seafood, meats, any number of animal products.

> Here again I feel like I'm missing 
> something -- if they don't need land, why is it so
> important to them?

They don't need land per se, they need productive land.   Importing food through wormholes would be... well, worse than useless, even if it's just concentrated vat protein.  Earth-type animals who can be eaten (or otherwise used) by humans can't live on Barrayar without terraforming any more than humans can.

No wonder Barrayar has been economically constrained. 

> I think they'll start to include Sergyar more, it needs to
> be more than an afterthought. 

The population is still small, is it not?

> In the far future, I think Sergyar will be the prize planet of the 
> empire, Komarr still stuck under domes, and Barrayar still
> struggling with terraforming.

Sergyar does seem to be the most human-friendly of the three planets.  But I'm sure it has its challenges, too.


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