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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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:39 am

Dear Lois
Thanks for your answer. So after all our man from Antwerp was right, to connect Vorutyer to the name Rutger.
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Re: flimsies

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:15 am

LMB wrote:
Ragua wrote:Okay, I've been rereading the Vorkosigan series yet again, and I have a really trivial question. What the heck is a flimsy? What's it made of? How does it work? Why is it used instead of paper?
In my mind, I've always pictured the transparency film you use with an overhead projector, but that just doesn't seem right.

*** It is a sort of plastic paper. It has the advantage of being instantly recyclable, as you just stuff your old flimsies into the hopper of your copy machine or printer, and it melts them down and re-forms them on the spot...
Sorry for the delayed reply. This site sort of fell off my e-radar for a while.
Ta, L.

I can well imagine Sparks entering the bridge and saying, "Skipper, here's a flimsy for you. The Titanic signals she's in trouble. I just got the SOS."

Maybe the word was already in use in the days of the Pony Express. Now I don't have proof whether it was in use in those days, but it certainly was in 1962 or maybe a few years earlier.

Without a doubt it was spoken in the magnificent movie "Lawrence of Arabia" (which premiered in London in 1962). I captured the scene (from my DVD version) where "flimsy" was distinctly spoken aloud and shown in the English subtitles.

See the clip in http://www.box.net/shared/static/03uf2q3kcc.mpg (31 MB)

Maybe Lois too picked it up in the movie.

Also Lawrence's final comment about the burning match trick reminds me of Miles.

P.S.
I would have spoken up much sooner, but I only just recovered the DVD from amongst some of my still packed possessions.
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Re: flimsies

Postby voralfred » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:23 am

E Pericoloso Sporgersi wrote:
See the clip in http://www.box.net/shared/static/03uf2q3kcc.mpg (31 MB)


I cannot access this site. Is there some other way to get this?
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Re: flimsies

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:34 am

voralfred wrote:
E Pericoloso Sporgersi wrote:See the clip in http://www.box.net/shared/static/03uf2q3kcc.mpg (31 MB)
I cannot access this site. Is there some other way to get this?

Try this file here.
It's on my ISP's server, and the file is smaller (more compressed, to 11 MB). Lower resolution too, but good enough for the point I'm trying to make.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby Stargazer » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:51 am

Two Questions:

1. I just finished CryoBurn and it was great! One "omission" in catching up with some characters in the series: Ivan Vorpatril. I would have liked to have somehow heard whether poor Ivan had managed to snag a wife in all this time. He's bound to be a Major by now, too. But no mention of him. If there were an Ivan Vorpatril fan club I would be a member. So, what is up with Ivan?

2. I get the strongest impression that both Leo Graf and Lord Auditor Vorthys are based on your father, Robert McMaster. Is this the case?
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:32 pm

Stargazer wrote:Two Questions:

1. I just finished CryoBurn and it was great! One "omission" in catching up with some characters in the series: Ivan Vorpatril. I would have liked to have somehow heard whether poor Ivan had managed to snag a wife in all this time. He's bound to be a Major by now, too. But no mention of him. If there were an Ivan Vorpatril fan club I would be a member. So, what is up with Ivan?

2. I get the strongest impression that both Leo Graf and Lord Auditor Vorthys are based on your father, Robert McMaster. Is this the case?



A1. You'll find out in about a year. Maybe. I understand my readings from the first chapter of the new (and unfinished) Ivan book are up on-line already, somewhere. It ran well at first, bogged utterly in the middle, and is now undergoing painful literary therapy in hopes of making it get up and walk again. We'll see.

A2. Yep. Although not solely, in either case.

Ta, L.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby SPetty » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:37 pm

Up? In text, or audio? I'll have to do some looking.

Sorry it's giving you trouble (that Ivan, I tell you!). I'm sure it will be worth it when it's finished!
Waiting patiently for the next Lois McMaster Bujold book.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:04 pm

Dear Lois
When did Roic have to write a lot of forms after killing someone? I seem to have missed that event.
BTW, my wife just finished Cryoburn (in english of course since it is not tranlated yet) which for her is no trivial matter. You are one of the very very few writers by whom she reads entire novels in english. (Is this syntax correct? sounds weird, but I can't see how else to write this) It needs a lot of dedication on her part.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:40 pm

voralfred wrote:Dear Lois
When did Roic have to write a lot of forms after killing someone? I seem to have missed that event.
BTW, my wife just finished Cryoburn (in english of course since it is not tranlated yet) which for her is no trivial matter. You are one of the very very few writers by whom she reads entire novels in english. (Is this syntax correct? sounds weird, but I can't see how else to write this) It needs a lot of dedication on her part.
Happy new Year
Alfred



Presumably, on one of those dozen off-world trips he took in Miles's wake as Imperial Auditor that have not been recorded, between DI and CryoBurn.

Works out to about two a year, plus travel times. Some missions would have been brief, others longer and more complicated. Ekaterin probably didn't accompany too often, after the first few, given her growing tasks piling up at home. And taking the kids along on one of Miles's missions is just asking for trouble, as Miles isn't sent unless things look bad. Or very weird.

Sort of like all those unwritten Dendarii missions.

Ta, L. (And best wishes to your wife.)
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:47 am

Thanks for the answer, and my wife says she is eagerly waiting for the new challenge (reading the Ivan book in english, too...)
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:23 am

In Cryoburn too I found some typo's.

The usual stuff like Vorkynkin and Vorklynkin and though where it should have been through.

But one presumed error may be intentional, not a typo at all.
Jin thought about Vorlynkin (last chapter, p. 328): "He was actually an all-right-all-round sort of fellow, though he needed to be brought up to speed on zoolology, if he was ... going to stick around."
I wonder if Jin was thinking of playful and funny animals, but was too polite to laugh out loud and instead added the lol to zoology?

LOL ...
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:32 pm

E Pericoloso Sporgersi wrote:In Cryoburn too I found some typo's.

The usual stuff like Vorkynkin and Vorklynkin and though where it should have been through.

But one presumed error may be intentional, not a typo at all.
Jin thought about Vorlynkin (last chapter, p. 328): "He was actually an all-right-all-round sort of fellow, though he needed to be brought up to speed on zoolology, if he was ... going to stick around."
I wonder if Jin was thinking of playful and funny animals, but was too polite to laugh out loud and instead added the lol to zoology?

LOL ...



Alas, just another typo...

I will probably be collecting them at the time the paperback edition is assembled for press. Which is not quite yet...

Ta, L.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby Tolon » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:56 am

Forgive me if I've overlooked the answer somewhere. I'm almost finished the Sharing Knife series, and being a long time reader of all those Vorkosigan books featuring Miles (which i like well enough believe me), i found the Sharing Knife to be one of the greatest D.P.D. series i've ever read.

Anyway I was wondering if your going to write any further books in the Sharing Knife series? or continue the story with a new series?

Thanks again

-Dan
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:15 am

Tolon wrote:Forgive me if I've overlooked the answer somewhere. I'm almost finished the Sharing Knife series, and being a long time reader of all those Vorkosigan books featuring Miles (which i like well enough believe me), i found the Sharing Knife to be one of the greatest D.P.D. series i've ever read.

Anyway I was wondering if your going to write any further books in the Sharing Knife series? or continue the story with a new series?

Thanks again

-Dan


Hi Dan --

I don't know what "D.P.D." stands for (?); The Sharing Knife tale as such concludes in the four volumes, but its world goes on. I don't have anything going in that quadrant at this time, but neither is anything ruled out.

Sort of a non-answer, I'm afraid. The world does have a lot of possibilities. And characters, heaven knows.

bests, Lois.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby ULTRAGOTHA » Mon May 16, 2011 7:21 pm

Hello Lois, thanks for your time.

How did Barrayar pay for all the high tech right after the Time of Isolation? Does the planet have valuable exports? Was it galactic charity? A sum of money out there gathering interest from the first settlers?

Or maybe the Cetegandans brought it on planet during the occupation and left it behind? In that case, how did the resistance afford the smuggled arms from off-world? Other worlds opposing the Cetegandans?

I realize this is deep backstory but I've wondered about it for quite a while so thought I'd ask.

Good luck with the Ivan book. I hope it behaves itself soon. More from his POV would be lovely to read. And more Gregor, too!

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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Tue May 17, 2011 7:55 pm

ULTRAGOTHA wrote:Hello Lois, thanks for your time.

How did Barrayar pay for all the high tech right after the Time of Isolation? Does the planet have valuable exports? Was it galactic charity? A sum of money out there gathering interest from the first settlers?

Or maybe the Cetegandans brought it on planet during the occupation and left it behind? In that case, how did the resistance afford the smuggled arms from off-world? Other worlds opposing the Cetegandans?

I realize this is deep backstory but I've wondered about it for quite a while so thought I'd ask.

Good luck with the Ivan book. I hope it behaves itself soon. More from his POV would be lovely to read. And more Gregor, too!

UTRAGOTHA


Hi, Ultragotha!

Glad you are enjoying the books.

I don't make up the deep backstory until I have a frontstory that requires it. Till then, it exists in a sort of constrained quantum space of possibility which I have started referring to as Schrodinger's Cat Carrier.

But, broadly, Barrayar had a lot of help from offworld, especially from Beta Colony; Prince Xav ran around mustering most of it, while his elder half-brother Yuri conducted the grim war planetside.

Barrayar had about 15 years between its rediscovery and the arrival of the Cetagandans in force to get people offworld to train and bring back training, and to start to pull things together. Think Meiji Japan.

But it's a large Nexus; there is room for All Of The Above in your speculations.

Ta, L.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby ULTRAGOTHA » Fri May 20, 2011 9:46 am

LMB wrote:Till then, it exists in a sort of constrained quantum space of possibility which I have started referring to as Schrodinger's Cat Carrier.


Oh, that made both my wife and me LOL. Ha!

Thank you so much and good sailing on the Ivan book.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby athene » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:26 pm

I read the Vorkosigan saga throughout my pregnancy and now during my pumping breaks at work (my son is 7 months). I've been thinking about uterine replicators (ok by the 8th month of my pregnancy I was wishing I had one!) and mothers. In Free Falling it was mentioned that it was cruel to take a nursing baby away from his mother. Therefore there is/was at least some push to nurse at some point. For mothers who have their children via uterine replicator, are they encouraged to lactate in some other way (hormones at the end, drugs, something?) or can the doctors/scientist by then reproduce a better facsimile to human milk than we can now with formula?

I'm not even sure if you've thought about these things, but as I read your books while pumping so that my son can have milk while he and I are apart, I can't help but think about it.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:56 am

athene wrote:... Therefore there is/was at least some push to nurse at some point. ... For mothers who have their children via uterine replicator, are they encouraged to lactate in some other way (hormones at the end, drugs, something?) or can the doctors/scientist by then reproduce a better facsimile to human milk than we can now with formula?

If I'm not mistaken, that push started in the final third of the twentieth century.

Nursing and suckling is about much more than just nourishment.

During my career I attended multiple seminars and post-graduate courses. Whenever the subject involved the development and growth of the masticatory system (upper/lower jaws, muscles, joints), the importance of suckling was very much emphasised.

Ask any orthodontist, pediatrician or other professional involved with very young children.

I guess that in a Barrayaran context, mothers would fall in one of three categories, not much different from current Western society:
  • the budget-limited, the very health-conscious and the very maternally driven would have their babies suckle, or, if compelled by extraneous factors, supplement by pumping,
  • many of the rich might consider it a chore and hire a professional wet nurse,
  • the indifferent would use a bottle and formula.
Then there's the psychology of healthy male development. The video below describes it perfectly well. I'm sure Miles and Gregor would wholeheartedly agree, as do I.
(Have a little patience, the interesting part in English starts after 13 seconds.)
http://www.deredactie.be/permalink/1.1179312
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby LMB » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:14 pm

athene wrote:I read the Vorkosigan saga throughout my pregnancy and now during my pumping breaks at work (my son is 7 months). I've been thinking about uterine replicators (ok by the 8th month of my pregnancy I was wishing I had one!) and mothers. In Free Falling it was mentioned that it was cruel to take a nursing baby away from his mother. Therefore there is/was at least some push to nurse at some point. For mothers who have their children via uterine replicator, are they encouraged to lactate in some other way (hormones at the end, drugs, something?) or can the doctors/scientist by then reproduce a better facsimile to human milk than we can now with formula?

I'm not even sure if you've thought about these things, but as I read your books while pumping so that my son can have milk while he and I are apart, I can't help but think about it.



It took so long for me to get around to checking this board, this question already got answered by e-mail, but still may be of general interest:

I don't think I directly address this question anywhere in canon, but extrapolating from the tech levels shown, I think that direct medical control/intervention to either start or stop breast milk production at will would be old tech not only by Miles's time, but by the time of Falling Free. And if other kinds of proteins and meats can be produced by vat processes, dairy, and therefore any mammalian milk, ought to be do-able as well.

So the answer is yes to both; more and better choices to confuse the anxious new parent, yep. Which will be pushed will depend on the specific culture in question. GalacTech probably was choosing by either cost/benefit analysis, or to collect data for same. Beta Colony probably offers a choice.

Another interesting question I did not address is what are the Athosians are doing. Because, given this tech, the guys _could_...

Ta, L.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:01 am

...
I can't resist the opportunity.
This really is much too good to pass up.
Image

When fishing with GRENADES goes terribly, terribly wrong:

http://youtu.be/lXqLZDw7kdo?t=4s

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P.S. I wonder if these guys have just read that particular book.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby Stargazer » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:12 am

Things are definitely very quiet here since the last time I checked in!

First a thankyou to LMB for the Vorkosiverse. I have every book in both printed and audible form, and find myself frequently listening to the books all over again in internal chronological order.

I love all the books, but the one which has most caught my interest is Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. I've always liked Ivan a lot, and really wanted to see him move out of Miles' shadow.
Spoiler: show
In this latest book this is exactly what he did. I hope we get another book from Ivan's and Tej's perspective at some time.

What I am really looking forward to at this time is what is the new Count Vorkosigan going to do? Does he keep his Auditorship, or do the laws of Barrayar require that Auditors who become Counts give up their Auditorships? It seems that the Council of Counts would not particularly want one of their number to have that much power. Of course, Count Vorbarra has additional power as the Emperor, but I don't think the other Counts would like any other to have such a position. If Miles is no longer an Imperial Auditor, he could spend more time in his district, and with his and Ekaterin's fresh thinking, they could do a great deal towards making the Vorkosigan's District into a very prosperous and modernizing place!

Another interesting question is what happens with the Dowager Countess Vorkosigan, who is still Vicereine of Sergyar? After Aral's passing, will she perhaps return to Beta Colony for a time, or will she continue to stay within the Barrayaran Empire?

I've also wondered if Emperor Gregor might want to bring Ilyan more under some degree of control by perhaps appointing him Viceroy of Sergyar, with Alice as Vicereine?
If not that, then something Aral once said intrigues me, and that is why not resume adopting non-Vors into the Vor class? Sergyar is a fast growing planet, and I am thinking that besides a Viceroy, it could stand to be divided into two Districts, and two new Vor could be appointed Counts. And my favorite idea is this: adopt Ilyan into the Vor, and appoint him as Count over one of the Sergyaran Districts! Can you imagine Vorilyan's District!?! And of course, he and Alice Vorpatril would marry. Would Ilyan and Alice want to pop a kid of their own to inherit the new Countship? Or would Ilyan adopt Ivan as his son and future Count? I think that Ivan would prefer to stay Vorpatril and let his Mom and Ilyan pop a kid of their own! And what about the other Sergyaran Count? Should he be a second son of one of the existing Counts? Or should he be a non-Vor raised to the Vor class? I can think of a couple of candidates right off: long live Count Vorkoudelka. Or, even better, Count Vorgaleni! Another possibility is Consul Vorlinken from Cryoburn -- it strikes me that he is probably the second son of Count Vorlinken, and with his new wife, Jin Sato's mother, he would make a good Count over a District that had people from many worlds. He needs a new name, though. At this point my imagination fails me and I leave to the mistress -- should she actually follow my suggestion.

And here's a something I've been wondering since imagining Count Vorilyan: What the heck is Ilyan's first name? I have read every book in the Vorkosiverse multiple times, and I don't believe his first name has ever been uttered by anyone. Georg? He seems like a Georg to me.

EDIT by E Pericoloso Sporgersi: Several spoilers have been ... well, spoilerised to protect readers who haven't yet read Lois's latest novels.
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby E Pericoloso Sporgersi » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:12 am

Stargazer wrote:...
Another possibility is Consul Vorlinken from Cryoburn ...

And here's a something I've been wondering since imagining Count Vorilyan: What the heck is Ilyan's first name? I have read every book in the Vorkosiverse multiple times, and I don't believe his first name has ever been uttered by anyone. Georg? He seems like a Georg to me.

You wrote that you have "read every book in the Vorkosiverse multiple times".

Have you already forgotten Simon Illyan's first name?
And the spelling of Illyan and Vorlynkin?

Shame on you ... Image
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Re: Questions for Lois McMaster Bujold

Postby voralfred » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:59 am

Dear Stargazer
I'll forward your questions to LMB, correcting the spelling of her characters and removing your question about Simon Illyan's first name.
But I can anticipate some of her answers: none of your candidates seem likely.
A Count is not a figurehead as are kings in the UK or Scandinavia. They are expected, at least, to take a real part in the affairs of their district. Poor Simon may have somewhat recovered after the destruction of his memory-chip but is definitely not up to such a demanding task. This is even more true for the Viceroyalty.
Koudelka is in slightly better shape, but still too old and crippled. It would be cruel to appoint him, he'd kill himself doing his best trying to be up to the job. And Drou would veto it, no doubt. What, be wormholes away from her daughters ?
Galeni is interested in integrating Komarr to the Imperium. All his military carrer is oriented in that direction. What he would aim for is some high position in the staff of Komarr's Viceroy (sorry, the Komarr Imperial Councilor, as he is styled), or maybe become Imperial Councilor himself ! Ruling some District in Sergyar would take him far away from there.
Consul Vorlynkin ? Clearly, he did a good job, therefore he deserves a new one. First, upgrade Barrayar's representation to Kibou Daini to Embassy level, with him as Ambassador, sure. Then maybe a move to a more important place, Escobar or Eta Ceta for instance. If he does a super job there, maybe, but if no special new crises come up, for him to show exceptional qualities, he certainly has not yet done enough to be promoted Count on Sergyar.

And Alys and Simon surely have reached the age when you are eager to have grand-children (or step-grandchildren), not children of your own!
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