[LMB] Barrayaran revenues

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Thu Apr 12 14:44:05 BST 2012

There's Escobar, never seen directly. There is the viewpoint of the people 
native to Komarr on Komarr, as opposed to focus on two Barrayaran nationals 
in the novel Komarr.  Characters have been on Escobar, but the reader never 
got to visit...  The advent of the most recently published novel, did at 
least give the view of a native of the planet, which was refreshing, as one 
of the viewpoint characters.

Beta's been shown twice in books that I recall, as a place which some of the 
book occurred.  Had Beta been the setting book after book I'd probably get 
tired of it... as a novelty seeker, I want to visit "strange new planet, 
seek out new civilizations, boldly go where" I haven't been before....

-----Original Message----- 
From: Paula Lieberman
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 9:30 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] Barrayaran revenues

Something that got me frustrated over the years is that there are all those
other cultures in the Nexus, and Ethan of Athos and Falling Free had
charcters who were not tied into Barrayar, but after a while it was all
perspective from characters with a Barrayar/Barrayaran focus....

From: Pat Mathews
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:44 AM
To: Bujold List
Subject: Re: [LMB] Barrayaran revenues

Well, Barrayar's conquest of Komarr is basically justified the way any
empire justifies its conquests. "You guys have something we want." In
Barrayar's case, "You guys have something we need."

Komarr, by and large, doesn't like it particularly. For one thing, Barrayar
is bleeding off a share of Komarr's wealth. How much of that wealth ever
reached the Komarran in the corridors is an open question, but we know some
of it did - or a chance for some of it - because gambling on shares is their
equivalent of the lottery. Not to mention Komarr's revenues are down, since
Barrayar bought popularity with the rest of the Nexus by cutting the tariffs
Komarr was charging.

The oligarchs who decided to cooperate are still doing quite well, though
I'm sure they grumble about the shearing they get every year from their
barbarian conquerors. Seems to me that's about as significant as the Roman
Senators of Claudius' day grumbling about the loss of the Republic and the
Emperor's messy personal life. That is, as significant as the little knot of
old men at the donut shop expounding on the sorry state of the world.

Now - we are not told how the average Komarran felt about their oligarchs.
I'm sure they had opinions about them, and probably had their favorite
factions to follow. "Those Galen reactionaries....!" "Those Toscane
traitors!" But are any of them equivalent to "Our own Count Vorkosigan!" in
the peoples' minds?

Just what DOES excite the imagination of the Komarrans and unite them? I
don't see (because they're not relevant to the stories so far?) any sort of
flag or national anthem; and money is a poor substitute for a story that
gives the government some sort of legitimacy. At that, the Barrayarans - who
seem to be Romantics at heart - excel. At home.

Okay - you factions (dirty rotten Imperialists vs What has Rome ever done
for us? Besides roads....) take it away with a little mind-meat between your

Pat, whose head was in Toynbee last night.

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