dangermousie: (BSG: Helo/Athena by lyssie)
I've started rereading L.M. Bujold's space opera Miles Vorkosigan series, starting with the chronologically first - "The Warrior's Apprentice." It's been years since I've read them last but I find they hold up very well, even though when I first read them, at 21, I was only a few years away from Miles at 17 in TWA and Miles of 30 in e.g. "Memory" seemed light years away, as opposed to someone my age.

For those unfamiliar with the books, MV books are a clever, fun (and sometimes angsty. Memoray made me BAWL) space adventure stories following Miles Vorkosigan, the only son of a former Regent of a royalist, military-minded planet Barrayar which seems, to me, a bit loosely based on Russia (in this future world, there are a number of inhabited planets populated by descendants of Earth colonists). Due to an assassination attempt on his parents when Miles was still in utero, Miles has been born twisted and deformed and even with the best treatments, he stands 4-feet-something, has brittle bones, a disproportionately large head, and crooked shoulders. This is a heavy burden anywhere, but especially on Barrayar where the superstitious still see "mutations" as something one kills for. But Miles compensates for his unsightly body with a manic hyperactive personality, incredible brain, and sheer guts. He can be tormented and is compassionate from long experience with pain, but don't mess with him.

I confess that despite his extreme physical lack of appeal, I was rather in major fictional love with him. Mainly because he is so brilliant and overcomes so much, but also because he is so fun!

"The Warrior's Apprentice" starts when Miles fails the exams into a military academy due to his handicaps and on a trip to 'get over it" organized by his worried parents, accidentally (no, really, it's awesome) acquires a fleet of mercenaries...And it goes on from there.

If Bujold has a weakness, it's her lack of ability to write convincing or interesting female characters (which is odd, seeing she is a woman herself). She has written one amazing heroine - Cordelia Naismith, Miles' incredible mother and the heroine of two novels: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Cordelia, tough as nails, with a sense of humor, and a scary degree of pragmatism, is one of my favorite fictional women. In fact, of all those series of books, the two that center on Cordelia and Aral (Miles' father) are probably my favorite. Alas, Bujold never replicated the feat again. There are three major women characters in the Miles books - Elena (Miles' first love and then one of his officers), Elli Queen (a mercenary and his on-off girlfriend) and Ekaterin (the woman Miles eventually marries). Elena comes closest to being a realistic person (even if one I cannot identify with in any way) but she is still ridiculously indistinct and not very likeable. She feels more than generic. Elli Queen is a vague form in my head, so unmemorable she doesn't stick out at all. Ekaterin? I loathe (Komarr, where she is first introduced, was my first Miles book and remains my least favorite) but even worse, she also doesn't feel interesting or real. I think Bujold was trying to go for Lord Peter/Harriet dynamic but she failed, with Ekaterin being like something out of a Lifetime Channel movie. I am sympathetic to her issues in abstract but when compared to everything in life Miles had to deal with, or even more to the point, what Cordelia had to deal with and overcome, she seems so dull and useless, I am sort of puzzled as to why Miles likes her.

Anyway, most of the books don't feature women much (except for the two Cordelia ones, and then unfortunately for me, the Ekaterin books) so that is not too much of an issue.

In other news, I was briefly tempted to check out Triple when I found out it was written by Coffee Prince/Capital Scandal lady but then I took a look at Lee Jung Jae and that wish subsided. What a singularly ugly man! Yes, am shallow.
dangermousie: (BSG: Helo/Athena by lyssie)
I've started rereading L.M. Bujold's space opera Miles Vorkosigan series, starting with the chronologically first - "The Warrior's Apprentice." It's been years since I've read them last but I find they hold up very well, even though when I first read them, at 21, I was only a few years away from Miles at 17 in TWA and Miles of 30 in e.g. "Memory" seemed light years away, as opposed to someone my age.

For those unfamiliar with the books, MV books are a clever, fun (and sometimes angsty. Memoray made me BAWL) space adventure stories following Miles Vorkosigan, the only son of a former Regent of a royalist, military-minded planet Barrayar which seems, to me, a bit loosely based on Russia (in this future world, there are a number of inhabited planets populated by descendants of Earth colonists). Due to an assassination attempt on his parents when Miles was still in utero, Miles has been born twisted and deformed and even with the best treatments, he stands 4-feet-something, has brittle bones, a disproportionately large head, and crooked shoulders. This is a heavy burden anywhere, but especially on Barrayar where the superstitious still see "mutations" as something one kills for. But Miles compensates for his unsightly body with a manic hyperactive personality, incredible brain, and sheer guts. He can be tormented and is compassionate from long experience with pain, but don't mess with him.

I confess that despite his extreme physical lack of appeal, I was rather in major fictional love with him. Mainly because he is so brilliant and overcomes so much, but also because he is so fun!

"The Warrior's Apprentice" starts when Miles fails the exams into a military academy due to his handicaps and on a trip to 'get over it" organized by his worried parents, accidentally (no, really, it's awesome) acquires a fleet of mercenaries...And it goes on from there.

If Bujold has a weakness, it's her lack of ability to write convincing or interesting female characters (which is odd, seeing she is a woman herself). She has written one amazing heroine - Cordelia Naismith, Miles' incredible mother and the heroine of two novels: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Cordelia, tough as nails, with a sense of humor, and a scary degree of pragmatism, is one of my favorite fictional women. In fact, of all those series of books, the two that center on Cordelia and Aral (Miles' father) are probably my favorite. Alas, Bujold never replicated the feat again. There are three major women characters in the Miles books - Elena (Miles' first love and then one of his officers), Elli Queen (a mercenary and his on-off girlfriend) and Ekaterin (the woman Miles eventually marries). Elena comes closest to being a realistic person (even if one I cannot identify with in any way) but she is still ridiculously indistinct and not very likeable. She feels more than generic. Elli Queen is a vague form in my head, so unmemorable she doesn't stick out at all. Ekaterin? I loathe (Komarr, where she is first introduced, was my first Miles book and remains my least favorite) but even worse, she also doesn't feel interesting or real. I think Bujold was trying to go for Lord Peter/Harriet dynamic but she failed, with Ekaterin being like something out of a Lifetime Channel movie. I am sympathetic to her issues in abstract but when compared to everything in life Miles had to deal with, or even more to the point, what Cordelia had to deal with and overcome, she seems so dull and useless, I am sort of puzzled as to why Miles likes her.

Anyway, most of the books don't feature women much (except for the two Cordelia ones, and then unfortunately for me, the Ekaterin books) so that is not too much of an issue.

In other news, I was briefly tempted to check out Triple when I found out it was written by Coffee Prince/Capital Scandal lady but then I took a look at Lee Jung Jae and that wish subsided. What a singularly ugly man! Yes, am shallow.
dangermousie: (BSG: Helo/Athena by lyssie)
I've started rereading L.M. Bujold's space opera Miles Vorkosigan series, starting with the chronologically first - "The Warrior's Apprentice." It's been years since I've read them last but I find they hold up very well, even though when I first read them, at 21, I was only a few years away from Miles at 17 in TWA and Miles of 30 in e.g. "Memory" seemed light years away, as opposed to someone my age.

For those unfamiliar with the books, MV books are a clever, fun (and sometimes angsty. Memoray made me BAWL) space adventure stories following Miles Vorkosigan, the only son of a former Regent of a royalist, military-minded planet Barrayar which seems, to me, a bit loosely based on Russia (in this future world, there are a number of inhabited planets populated by descendants of Earth colonists). Due to an assassination attempt on his parents when Miles was still in utero, Miles has been born twisted and deformed and even with the best treatments, he stands 4-feet-something, has brittle bones, a disproportionately large head, and crooked shoulders. This is a heavy burden anywhere, but especially on Barrayar where the superstitious still see "mutations" as something one kills for. But Miles compensates for his unsightly body with a manic hyperactive personality, incredible brain, and sheer guts. He can be tormented and is compassionate from long experience with pain, but don't mess with him.

I confess that despite his extreme physical lack of appeal, I was rather in major fictional love with him. Mainly because he is so brilliant and overcomes so much, but also because he is so fun!

"The Warrior's Apprentice" starts when Miles fails the exams into a military academy due to his handicaps and on a trip to 'get over it" organized by his worried parents, accidentally (no, really, it's awesome) acquires a fleet of mercenaries...And it goes on from there.

If Bujold has a weakness, it's her lack of ability to write convincing or interesting female characters (which is odd, seeing she is a woman herself). She has written one amazing heroine - Cordelia Naismith, Miles' incredible mother and the heroine of two novels: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Cordelia, tough as nails, with a sense of humor, and a scary degree of pragmatism, is one of my favorite fictional women. In fact, of all those series of books, the two that center on Cordelia and Aral (Miles' father) are probably my favorite. Alas, Bujold never replicated the feat again. There are three major women characters in the Miles books - Elena (Miles' first love and then one of his officers), Elli Queen (a mercenary and his on-off girlfriend) and Ekaterin (the woman Miles eventually marries). Elena comes closest to being a realistic person (even if one I cannot identify with in any way) but she is still ridiculously indistinct and not very likeable. She feels more than generic. Elli Queen is a vague form in my head, so unmemorable she doesn't stick out at all. Ekaterin? I loathe (Komarr, where she is first introduced, was my first Miles book and remains my least favorite) but even worse, she also doesn't feel interesting or real. I think Bujold was trying to go for Lord Peter/Harriet dynamic but she failed, with Ekaterin being like something out of a Lifetime Channel movie. I am sympathetic to her issues in abstract but when compared to everything in life Miles had to deal with, or even more to the point, what Cordelia had to deal with and overcome, she seems so dull and useless, I am sort of puzzled as to why Miles likes her.

Anyway, most of the books don't feature women much (except for the two Cordelia ones, and then unfortunately for me, the Ekaterin books) so that is not too much of an issue.

In other news, I was briefly tempted to check out Triple when I found out it was written by Coffee Prince/Capital Scandal lady but then I took a look at Lee Jung Jae and that wish subsided. What a singularly ugly man! Yes, am shallow.
dangermousie: (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)
Am rereading L.M. Bujold's "A Civil Campaign" and it's just as lovely as I remembered. Any author that can make me fall for a 4'9" hyperactive hunchback is something extra. Ahhh, Miles!

Also, am looking forward to "Empire," ABC's miniseries on the end of the Republic. I am willing to overlook untold horrors to see men in togas. They might turn it into a series if it does well, yay!

I can just imagine it:

Next Week on All My Caesars:

Will Anthony find true love with mysterious Cleopatra? Will Portia decide to give up her doomed relationship with Brutus? Will Cicero lose his tongue, literally? And how about them poisons that Octavian's new sweetie Livia has prepared? Find out on the next episode of All My Caesars.
dangermousie: (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)
Am rereading L.M. Bujold's "A Civil Campaign" and it's just as lovely as I remembered. Any author that can make me fall for a 4'9" hyperactive hunchback is something extra. Ahhh, Miles!

Also, am looking forward to "Empire," ABC's miniseries on the end of the Republic. I am willing to overlook untold horrors to see men in togas. They might turn it into a series if it does well, yay!

I can just imagine it:

Next Week on All My Caesars:

Will Anthony find true love with mysterious Cleopatra? Will Portia decide to give up her doomed relationship with Brutus? Will Cicero lose his tongue, literally? And how about them poisons that Octavian's new sweetie Livia has prepared? Find out on the next episode of All My Caesars.
dangermousie: (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai)
Am rereading L.M. Bujold's "A Civil Campaign" and it's just as lovely as I remembered. Any author that can make me fall for a 4'9" hyperactive hunchback is something extra. Ahhh, Miles!

Also, am looking forward to "Empire," ABC's miniseries on the end of the Republic. I am willing to overlook untold horrors to see men in togas. They might turn it into a series if it does well, yay!

I can just imagine it:

Next Week on All My Caesars:

Will Anthony find true love with mysterious Cleopatra? Will Portia decide to give up her doomed relationship with Brutus? Will Cicero lose his tongue, literally? And how about them poisons that Octavian's new sweetie Livia has prepared? Find out on the next episode of All My Caesars.

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