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The Internet Book Database of Fiction • View topic - Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Lois McMaster Bujold is creator of the Miles Vorkosigan universe and the world of Chalion.

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Postby LMB » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:38 pm

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Re: Outlining techniques

Postby LMB » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:47 pm

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:37 pm

Dear Lois
A question came to me all of a sudden, that I could have asked myself many years ago: how did you choose the names of the stars of the Cetagnada Empire? Of course the simple answer "any random greek letters as is usual for naming stars in any constellation" seemed sufficient to me, for years.
But suddenly I realized something: except for Mu, all the others you actually name (Eta, Rho, Xi, Sigma - the othar three are never named) are names of elementary particles in Gell-Mann's "Eightfold Way". Also, Eta is the capital of the Eight-Stars Cetaganda Empire, and Eta is the only particle among those whose names you used, that sits at the center of one octet (namely, the scalar meson octet).
As for Mu, it is a historical fact that Yukawa predicted the existence of a particle, later found and called Pi (and that belongs to the Gell-Mann's Eightfold way), but when the first ever artificial subatomic particle was discovered and called Mu, it was thought for some time to be Yukawa's one. So if you did not want a "Pi(e) in the Sky", changing the name into Mu made some kind of sense, because of this original confusion.
Did I guess correctly, or do I see too much in your naming scheme?
If I am right, we now know the name of the three other stars of the Empire: Phi Ceta, Omega Ceta and Lambda Ceta. Indeed these are the only remaining greek-letter names of particles that sit in octets (except that there would be a problem of precedence with Eta Ceta, since all three also sit at the center of some octet)!
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:32 pm

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:17 am

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby aaronw409 » Tue May 11, 2010 11:11 pm

Hi LMB,

I totally understand if you can't answer this, but will Cryoburn be released on print and audiobook simultaneously or will the print be released first, followed by the audiobook version? Is this a question for the publisher? I can't wait.

Also, something from A Civil Campaign bothers me. Near the end, when Ekaterin proposes to Miles, he practices writing Ekaterin's new name to be. Speaking from a male point of view, I can say that I have never done this. I have never practiced writing a girlfriend's name or future wife's name using my surname. The thought has never occured to me, and I just don't think that it occurs to most men. I may be totally wrong, and you are the Queen of Mile's Universe, so if you say he would do that , then that's all you have to tell me. Do you have any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Wed May 12, 2010 9:06 am

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby aaronw409 » Thu May 13, 2010 12:36 am

HA! I actually teach statistics and I totally understand your argument. The real problem is my method of sampling. The only people I've included in my study are males that I know. That's called a sample of convenience and is not very representative of the population. I should perform a better study by taking a larger, more random sample of males and survey them on this question. Then I can test the claim that most males would not practice writing their wife's name to be (the claim that the percentage is greater than 50%). If I could just show that the probability that a random male does this is less than 0.05....well, you're right, Miles is not a random male. lol

After thinking about it, I identify with Miles because I am a "hyperactive git" who is obsessed with military history. I tend to put myself in Miles's shoes. It is not a fair comparison and wasn't intended to be a criticism. If I was in the room with Miles while he was doing this, I would give him worse hell than Ivan would!
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Fri May 14, 2010 4:15 pm

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Mon May 24, 2010 11:30 am

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Wed May 26, 2010 1:21 am

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Wed May 26, 2010 1:28 am

Thanks a lot! It' great that you can reconstruct your thoughts so long afterwards.
Do you by any chance have a new idea about that other query, that justified an entire thread?
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Sun May 30, 2010 10:05 am

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby Pragmataraxia » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:42 pm

Have you ever been approached to use any of your IP for a video game? Not necessarily any of your characters or stories which may be too much like children to hand off, but you put in so much work defining the worlds in which your characters interact, that I can't help but want to explore them more on my own.

After reading all 4 TSK books for the first time last week, the Wide Green World has some awesome potential for roleplaying/adventure games. Particularly, I found myself daydreaming about a game that covers the events that created the Barrens. That must have been one epic malice war, and if (malices? malicii? malicae?) boggles have the sense to run from more powerful ones, you have a whole cascade of successively weaker ones moving out into less-troubled regions; all the way to peaceful regions where low-level characters might be found...

It is an incredible recipe for a video-game world, and I would love to think that serious publishers are beating down your door to pillage all the creamy goodness you've constructed just for your settings.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby Lorij » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:00 am

I've just finished reading Ethan of Athos, which was a particularly awesome book. But I had a minor question. Who was Quinn thinking of when she told Cee that the Dendarii actually had someone who was much stranger than him?
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:22 am

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:08 pm

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:11 pm

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby anp925 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:02 am

Dear Lois,

this is my first visit here, so i'd first like to say that I've read most of your books (many more than once). I don't have a question about anything specific plotwise, but there are a few things I hope you can answer. I hope it's not too much, or that these aren't the same old questions everyone asks (some will be, sorry!)

1) i have a couple of favorites among your novels. do you? are there any that you weren't as satisfied with as you would have wished? did any exceed your expectations?

2) which series has been the easiest to write?

3) the chalion series seems to be different in that each novel has a different main character (I hope that's right. i can't remember hallowed hunt actually), and are therefore much more stand-alone. is there a reason you didn't make a main character for the whole series?

4) i'm about to reread the last two miles books so that i'll remember what was going on when I get cryoburn in the fall. Did you have to do the same thing before you started writing it??

5) will you be making a new series again, or (hopefully), alternating between miles and chalion -- in what setting will your next (few) novel(s) be?

thanks!

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:45 pm

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:32 am

Dear Lois
A few questions have arisen in respect to the origin of the names of the characters:
- Illyan: can you confirm he is named after Illya Kuryakin "the man from U.N.CL.E."? I think I read it somewhere, but I forgot where.
- is Vordarian supposed ot be of Armenian origin?
- strange that the question only occured after so many years. I have assumed all this time that Kosigan was of russian origin, but now our "man from Antwerp", E Pericoloso Sporgersi a.k.a. Francis, a.k.a. Ciske, has proposed an origin from french Brittany, which I enlarged to Celtic whether Brittany or any celtic part of the British Isles. Can you enlighten us?
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:32 pm

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:45 am

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:44 am

Dear Lois
The famous family, containing among others the rather infamous Pierre, Dono (the architect), Ges and Richars, but also the more endearing Donna/Dono and her/his sidekick Byerly, is consistently spelled Vorruer in all your books.
Did you really mean this, or did you originally mean Vorruer, in honor of a Dutch celebrated admiral, Michiel de Ruyter, whose name is occasionally mispelled as Rutyer on many web pages?
It took me some time even to realize the spellings were different, one needed the eye of a Dutch speaker, actually our Flemish friend from Antwerp, to spot the difference.....
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:20 pm

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