[LMB] Vordarian, Gregor

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Thu Jan 31 22:21:10 GMT 2013

[LMB] Vordarian, Gregor
John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 21:25:20 GMT 2013

John C.: Perhaps Tel thinks there is no settling the point of precedency
a louse (Aral) and a flea (Vordarian), both being parasites on the
body politic.

John L.: Well yes, I assumed some such perspective was involved, but as it
fails to distinguish a state of continuing civil wars from a state of not
continuing civil wars, it seems a flawed perspective. And while I have some
sympathy for Tel's case about the rose-tinted seductions of p-o-v, it's
more like no settling the precedency between a leviathan and a flea hopped
on steroids.

Or in human terms ... Eisenhower and McCarthy. Churchill and Moseley. All
just damn politicians. But let them exchange offices ...


Walter:  And another coup attempt would likely inspire more as Aral
feared. It's a wonder the Cetegandians didn't take advantage.

LMB:  Oh, they were trying.  They definitely had fingers in various pies
at the time.  Vordarian's coup, the Komarr Revolt, and what later came
to be dubbed the Third (or Fourth, I disremember) Cetagandan War were
all supposed to take place simultaneously.  But the Pretendership was
cut short way prematurely, and the disunited Komarran factions were
sluggish off the mark (no battle plan survives contact with one's
allies, either), so Aral ended up being able to take on his crises
(roughly) one at a time, over the course of those few horrible years of
his regency, rather than be overwhelmed by their concatenation, as
whatever Cetas spearheaded that "space-based clash that didn't touch
down on any planet" had hoped.

I fancy Kanzian was critical in that last, as well, in my cat carrier.
Kudos to young Illyan.

John L.: Ooh, interesting. I don't believe we knew the Cetagandans were
definitely involved in instigating the Komarr Revolt. That rather weakens
Tel's case that it was driven by unbearable oppression as the Komarrans
were ground under the iron heel of those spiffy Barrayaran boots.

LMB:  The Cetas were presumably in touch with at least one faction of 
the Komarrans.  By self-selection, it would be whichever faction/s 
preferred the idea of Ceta overlords to Barrayaran overlords, and/or 
were ingenuous enough to think that the Cetas would stay mere allies 
instead of future overlords.  (Consider some of the people who funded 
Lenin or like revolutionaries, not because they espoused his views, but 
because they wanted to give more trouble to a then-enemy.)  There were 
many Komarran factions at the time, all with different ideas of how to 
go about dealing with their Barrayaran conundrums, and with different 
degrees of alarm about Cetaganda.

Timing was, if not everything, much; if the Ceta invasion had been 
successful in punching through, more Komarrans would likely have jumped 
on board in the excitement of the moment instead of hanging back as they 
did, only to regret it later at leisure.  Either way, mind, depending on 
the Komarran.  These are people, not political abstractions moving in 
massed lockstep.  (Tipping points still operate, of course.)  And those 
domes are bloody _vulnerable_.

However, once sonething like the Revolt starts on the ground, regardless 
of which faction fires first, NO one is in charge or in control any 
more.  Too many uncontrolled random factors in play.

John L:  (Side note, grumbling -- how Lois gets away with confusing the 
Cetagandan Wars when she invented all of them -and- had to draw up a
timeline for Baen, only the Dratsab knows. Is it any wonder no one else can
keep them straight? I think that one was the Third, the Hegen Hub being the
Fourth, but then I've never known what the Second was ...)

LMB:  It might have been the 2nd and 3rd, then.  Whatever.  But hey, can 
_you_ remember everything you were thinking over lunch thirty years ago 
next Thursday?  Or twenty-three years ago, in the case of _Barrayar_.

I run into this fairly often these days -- interested persons who have 
just read the books for the first time this past week, who don't realize 
that from my point of view, they were half a lifetime ago, in another 
past-country.  This is, as they say, a first-world problem from a 
writer's point of view -- most of the books written and published three 
decades ago are long gone, ignored to death and buried.  Mine are still 
following me along through time.

This freshly renewed interest is _good_ -- heavens, it's what success 
_is_ for a book, to be of continued interest over time -- but I'm not 
sure my involvement in the discussion is good for me as a writer, 
however gratifying it is to me as a person who has written.  I should be 
moving forward, not constantly circling back, forced to try to reboot 
30-year-old work in my brain over and over. This is a self-inflicted 
dilemma, however, and not anything anyone else can do anything about.

I'm thinking about perspectives and retrospectives particularly this 
week as I try to assemble my miscellaneous nonfiction writing in some 
kind of reasonably shapely order.  I just this afternoon retyped 
(because it is long gone from any recoverable computer file) an essay I 
wrote in 1990 on "My First Novel", which was then 7 - 8 years behind 
me.  Notes from another country indeed.  And also not moving forward, 
though in a different and perhaps more useful way.

Ta, L.

(Speaking of things, does anyone up in NESFA country know if Suford 
Lewis is OK, and about?  I e-mailed her twice recently but have had no 

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