[LMB] So Lois has been planning this "Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen" for 25 years? Vaguely spoilerish.

Lois McMaster Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Wed Apr 8 05:11:01 BST 2015

[LMB] So Lois has been planning this "Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen" 
for 25 years?
brad.delong at gmail.com brad.delong at gmail.com
Wed Apr 8 02:34:20 BST 2015

Brad DeLong, slow on the uptake...


LMB:  Heh.  "Planning" may be too strong a word.  Amusing myself by 
private speculation, carrying along the possibility like the second 
color of yarn hidden along the back of a piece, yes.  Ignoring the meows 
from Schrodinger's Cat Carrier.

The Sergyar phase did not get thought up till some time after the 
Sergyar Viceroyal assignment was thought of, which was originally got up 
as a way to extend Aral's lifespan against the demands of Miles's 
overpowering Narrativium.  I didn't have to kill Aral off right then if 
I could just exile him from the setting, instead.  So that would have 
been about the time of Mirror Dance - Memory, mid-to-late 90s?

As I have remarked elsewhere, every book I write in the series changes 
the range of the possible for the books that come after, closing off 
some possibilties and opening up others.  Plotting stays fluid till it 
is fixed in print.

I revisited the ideas now and then, but most of the time after the turn 
of the millennium was taken up with the seven fantasies for 
HarperCollins, with no guarantee I would ever get back to the 
Vorkosiverse at all.  But then came _CryoBurn_, for Toni, after which I 
was done again, and _Captain Vorpatril's Alliance_, for lagniappe, after 
which I was done again _again_, blight it.  But as a result of assorted 
fannish questions about Miles post-Aral, I got to thinking about 
Cordelia post-Aral instead, and how fiendishly difficult it would be to 
fit the kind of story I wanted to tell about her into any standard genre 

Eventually, however, I hit on my start-point, and a bit later, my 
through-line and therefore a sense of what the ending should be.  I 
think I recounted the saga of all the interruptions of the past 4 years 
in an earlier post, so I won't repeat it here.  One of the big 
break-throughs was realizing who/what the through-line actually belonged 
to, which wasn't where I had first expected and kept trying to affix 
it.  Another was figuring out what the mid-book crisis actually was.  
Another was taking all the damned genre templates and ruthlessly binning 
them, because they were very much holding back the story.  And so forth, 
on into spoiler territory.  A journey of discovery for me as well as my 

Not a book I could have written 25 years ago, that's for sure.

Ta, L.

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