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[personal profile] extrapenguin
It's here!

  • Jackson's Whole's neighbors find it a "secretly useful interface with the sub-economy" – fic plz?

  • JW was a hijacker-base only a century or two back – wasn't this about when Barrayar was rediscovered?

  • Money laundering, weapons deals, bio/gene stuff, fence and ransom deals... such delicious fic ideas.

  • Poor Bel, so lonely – and aware of Miles' secret identity, perhaps?

  • Saris on women, coffee-colored skin on Bharaputrans, the very name Bharaputra – it would seem that JW got a significant population/cultural influx from India.

  • Uterine replicators practical only for last ~200 years – so the Cetagandans, herms, and quaddies are significantly more recent than I'd thought.

  • Quaddies aren't widely known of outside quaddiespace.

  • The treatment of Bel being in love is rather ... heterocentric. Bel flirts with a man? Bel's playing up the womanly side! Bel flirts with a woman? Bel's playing up the manly side!

  • Bel's suggestion of "Fry 'em from orbit" re: Ryoval was very apt, especially considering what will come up later.

  • Nicol's contract woes are sadly familiar to all who've looked into migrant workers from Southeast Asia.

  • Between The Vor Game and this, Miles seems to be a bit of a duct expert.

  • why is there a dubcon sex scene here WTF LMB no

  • Oh, Miles, and his lessons on tactics.

  • Tung quotes Sun Tzu in the orginal Chinese? Oh Ky.

  • Hey, a timeline! 4 000 years after the death of Sun Tzu, which happened c. 496 BCE – so it's c. 3500 CE.

  • Needed: Miles strangling an enemy with pajama pants/successfully crashing an aircraft by throwing underwear in the air intakes.

Next: "The Borders of Infinity" on the 13th of November.
james: trees with large moon at night (Default)
[personal profile] james
Late Gifts of Winterfair (4398 words) by james
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ivan Vorpatril/Gregor Vorbarra
Characters: Ivan Vorpatril, Gregor Vorbarra
Additional Tags: First Kiss, Pining, Kidnapping, Mild Angst, Humor

Ivan doesn't appreciate being kidnapped, and he doesn't know what to do about Gregor. For a change, none of this is Miles' fault.


Sep. 24th, 2016 08:57 pm
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin

Vorkosigan's there, with a whopping 25 characters!
list of characters )

Who'll you request? What do you want to have written? Anyone ticking "Any"?
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
It's here, and rather more issue-y than I recalled.

  • Genetically repairing fetuses is a thing.

  • Homophobia is alive and well at Kline Station.

  • Ethan is woefully underprepared and has no idea what he's doing.

  • "Quinn Excites Dismay" :D

  • "women's work" – sexism is alive and well in the Nexus, sigh.


  • Did no-one import the tech for same-sex couples to have kids genetically related to both? That's a thing that should exist, given the biotech level.

  • Quinn mailed Okita's clothes to Admiral Naismith – I now want fic of Miles receiving the clothes.

  • Terrence is very, very screwed up, consistently with his upbringing.

  • ...Speaking of which, did no-one in the Cetagandan administration pause and think "this is a terrible idea, the kids'll be able to read minds" and then order them to be treated well? Like, Terrence's upbringing counts as major Idiot Ball imo.

  • Elli is delightfully dramatic.

  • Did Terrence rent the Presidential Suite, or were they taking turns pacing?

  • Ethan shows his ingenuity with the grocery shopping.

  • Does Elli regularly talk with the not-present Naismith to develop plots?

  • The false disease vector report thing was very ingenious.

  • My favorite minor character is the Security guy who cites the codes Millisor's violating. Bureacracy!

  • So, what can we learn of Millisor's lifestyle from the doc's report, beyond the fact that he's stressed?

  • Based on the remark that Mr. Coffee-Colored Skin couldn't be Cetagandan: are all Cetagandans pale skinned? (Some must be, since Barrayaran Ceta descendents are still being discovered, ergo they can't all have been much different to Barrayarans in skin tone, but all? Is this using the shorthand Cetagandan = ghem?)

  • Apparently Bharaputra's hitmen have coffee-colored skin as a common feature.

  • Did Elli get the hobby of "banging her head against brick walls" from Miles, or did she already have it?

  • The resolution was a bit too pat and not that foreshadowed.

Next: "Labyrinth", on Sunday 16.10. (I'm increasing the gap to 4 weeks, since my schedule is rather full.)
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
We'll be doing Ethan of Athos on Sunday!
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
brigittebod on LJ has posted a thorough evidence post that shows that we have only produced 939 fics.

So, since NOMINATIONS ARE HERE, I suggest we engage in a bit of nominations planning!
pensnest: Money, power, sex... and elephants (motivation with elephants)
[personal profile] pensnest
I'm so sorry, but I have to do this...

Bug Butter!!!!!!
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin

  • Tung collects Wise Old Chinese Sayings and makes Miles memorize them – though I'm reasonably sure that "war is but a continuation of diplomacy by other means" is Clausewitz

  • The Cetagandan Empire has 8 developed planets (the Something Cetas with satrap governors etc) and a fringe of 8 allied or puppet dependencies (how're they governed? Ghemish council?)

  • Fletchir Giaja, at age 70-something, has selected no Crown Prince yet – do haut typically live to 120?

  • Vorob'yev house colors are wine-red with a black trim

  • The current ghemish movement for the dissatisfied young artistes is "retro-avant"

  • Lord Yenaro got called "Yenni" – how common are surname-based nicknames?

  • Miles, when being interrogated, somehow manages to ask all of the questions. Typical.


  • The plot hook setup for Ethan of Athos is really, really obvious and a bit clumsy

  • What became of the kitten tree? Did its owner place more poorly due to Ivan's interference?

  • I am bizarrely entertained by Lady Arvin and Lady Benello – they have managed to become some of my favorite bit part characters

  • So, why does "man talk" work as an excuse? Is it the particulars of Ladies Arvin and Benello, or is it the culture?

  • Ah, Miles stringing around Lord Vorreedi, treating his superior like a mushroom, as typical

  • I now want the Ivan's Dick Bush, obvious winner of the 150th Annual Bioesthetics Exhibition

  • How large a percentage of the haut are on Eta Ceta vs the other satrapies?

  • The haut-lady eugenics council's sessions sound ... interesting

  • The data dump was a brilliant idea

  • Benin, at age 40 and a bit, was young for a Colonel, but now he's really young for a General. And wasn't there a mention earlier on that a ghem-lord can't really expect to achieve power before the age of 70?

  • The "greatest danger would be for the haut to lose control of the ghem" – hmm. Hmmm. *walks over to Bujold Ficathon, leaves prompt*

Next up: Ethan of Athos, 18th of September
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
Cetaganda discussion on Sunday 28.8.!
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
So, here we are, book number 4.

  • The Ensigns are in random order, apparently, not any sort of alphabetic. Unless the Barrayaran Cyrillic alphabetical order is way different to modern?

  • Did Zubachik end up as Gregor's guard?

  • The common job is from 7 to 5, as per Ivan

  • Miles is at this point 4'9 (145cm)

  • "for the mutants that may come after me" is expressed this early? I only recall it coming from an older Miles after Memory

  • Camp Permafrost is not quite northerly enough for midnight sun or tundra

  • What is this 3rd Cetagandan War anyway – "peculiar" victory? Was Major Duvallier's execution for espionage related?

  • Miles handles Olney and Pattas rather well :D

  • The Komarran conquest was really recent as of Shards of Honor; I'd have expected it to be a few years earlier

  • Gregor: thin, middle height (which is... how tall on Barrayar? 175cm? 180cm?), dark hair, hazel eyes, "skinny neurasthenic git"

  • Jacksonian law: complete shitshow

  • Someone give Gregor a hug. "Greg Bleakman"?

  • So, how large was the shitshow on Komarr after Gregor evaporates, no note, no trace, from a fully guarded room?

  • Miles Vorkosigan, Quality Control Inspector is a thing that a) should exist and b) I want all the fic of

  • "Space them" is Oser's most inspired decision, as is the order to silence Miles, should he speak

  • Should all hell break loose, the military would go with Count Vorinnis against the anti-centralization liberals, the French-speakers would go with Vorville, the Russian-speakers with Vortugalov, the far-right blow-up-the-wormhole extremists would field Count Vortrifani against the anti-Vor pro-galactics who want a written constitution... I think I want this fic.

  • All the Nexus also calls Miles a mutant; it's not just Barrayar

  • Miles' interesting staff meeting, with two people tied to their chairs and gagged. Was either of them the Peregrine's captain? Who was the other?

  • "Non-communications officer" is gold. As is the whole rest of what Miles said to Cavilo.

  • Gregor <3

Next: Cetaganda, discussion on Sunday 28.8., with a reminder the prior week.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
The Vor Game discussion on Sunday!
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin

  • "Well, old man," he whispered, then shouted: "ARE YOU SATISFIED YET?" is a pretty good summation of Miles' life

  • And so Admiral Aral's life took General Piotr's like an overpowering hand of cards, and where did that leave Ensign Miles? Holding two deuces and the joker. He must surely either concede or start bluffing like crazy…, too

  • There were 50 000 Firsters. I wonder how good a diverse population that would make? Is that enough that most of the birth defects are due to radiation, rather than from bad recessives showing up due to inbreeding?

  • How long was the Time of Isolation, anyway?

  • What's an "aura detector" that Miles referred to – some sort of infrared recording thing?

Next up, The Vor Game, on the 7th of August (Sunday), with a reminder on the preceding Wednesday.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
We'll be discussing "The Mountains of Mourning" this Sunday. Now that you've been reminded, you can read it through. Please?

Fic Rec

Jul. 11th, 2016 07:49 pm
james: trees with large moon at night (Default)
[personal profile] james
So the Not Prime Time stories are posted and there is a story about Alys Vorpatril which is amazingly wonderful (and written for me!)

To Dance Again is a lovely look at Alys and her love of dancing through the years.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
Okay, so I noticed interest dwindling in the comment sections of the readthrough posts. Why is that, and how can I fix it? Are we going too fast? Are my conversation starters bad? Something else?
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
Funnier than I remembered!

  • At the start, the reason for forsaking the "Vor-" at the start of the names is to make the castes equal in the Emperor's service now, stated to be part of Aral's reforms.

  • What were the 2nd and 3rd Cetagandan wars? #3 happened during the Regency and #2 before, but do we know anything else?

  • Betans "clip their children's tubes" at age 12

  • oh, poor Miles, getting pitied and apologised to, wanting to fix that

  • Mental Health Board: rather nefarious

  • Oh, Miles, the whole General Fleet Inspection bit was so hilarious (as were a lot of the other Miles-as-Naismith bits)

  • "Vorthalia the Bold demanding a whole-life policy from his Emperor at sword's point"

  • Lead-lined rubber hoses? What else do the Barrayaran Regs hide within?

  • Such an intriguing pile of ragtag recruits from on-planet. Interesting. I wonder how they all got there?

  • Oof, Elena, having everything hid from her for her whole life only to have it all come crashing down.

  • "personal hygiene and absence of head-lice" is an intriguing glimpse into the role of the Barrayaran Baba

Next up, "Mountains of Mourning", discussion on the 9th of July.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
This is slightly ahead of schedule, since apparently my weekend shall be consumed by the Barrayar-approved activity of "boffering", that is, "playing medieval warfare with pieces of drainage pipe coated with foam plastic". In any case, here are my notes on Barrayar:

  • Hmm, no regents for 120 years?

  • There's a very nice description of the Residence near the beginning!

  • Aral, you really should've briefed Cordelia before sending her to meet with Kareen. Or given her a Barrayar Translator.

  • Kareen only wears half-mourning (grey) in private. Scandalous, or expected?

  • What's going on in Darkoi with Count Vorlakial? Do we ever get an answer?

  • Kou is 6'4. Barrayarans: tall. Very tall. That's like 193cm in real units. Though since he's a grocer's son, I guess he got adequate nutrition while growing up?

  • "Appeal to Irrelevant Authorities at Headquarters" oh, Cordelia

  • Bujold: very good with foreshadowing – Vordarian's family tree, Bothari the midwife, A+

  • Alys has two sisters.

  • Cordelia's Rules of Barrayaran Sexual Behavior :DDD

  • Hm, Piotr enjoys explaining Barrayar to Cordelia. An interesting, if tragically brief, moment in canon.

  • Gergor's birthday seems to be in the autumn. Ezar's was earlier in the year.

  • Cordelia's conversation with Vordarian: very confusing for both of them. Yet another example of Cordelia operating from a completely different reference system.

  • Barrayaran therapy: not all that good, it seems.

  • The Caravanserai is part of Vorbarr Sultana, but guarded by Count Vorbohn's guard? What's going on here?

  • There are a surprising amount of incidents summarizable as "Kou noooo".

  • "Post-partum fatigue" oh dear. :D

  • Aral and Piotr's arguments are very gut-punching. Piotr, please get your head out of your ass.

  • Drou: A+ pulling of Kou's strings during the start of their rescue mission.

  • Dorca's great-uncle kept over 300 horses in the old old imperial stables.

  • The amount of gut-punch lines seems to have increased notably: ghost of his most notable failure at his banquet of victory

  • Vordarian's head! On the table!

  • Captain Illyan: certified grade-A puppy.

  • Cordelia has a lot of troubles adjusting to the Barrayaran attitude, it seems.

Next book (The Warrior's Apprentice) will be later, I fear, since I'll be going abroad for a while. I can't promise anything, but somewhere in the vicinity of the 6th of July.
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
So, we've read the book and are here to discuss! I am unfortunately not all that good at thematic analysis or arc stuff, but here are some jotted-down notes from my read:
  • Requests for next Bujold Fest: A treatise on Sergyaran nature.

  • Huh, nerve disruptors cause blisters?

  • Nuovo Brasil is name-dropped along with Barrayar and Cetaganda – now I'm curious about the Nuovo Brasilians!

  • Do they have no blue cheese dressing on Barrayar, or does it taste different from the Betan artificial version?

  • Aral's command issues, lol. "Now who in my command is so confused in his thinking as to betray both sides at once?"

  • As was mentioned in the Tor readthrough, Aral confesses to 0.6 murders per day on their trek to the supply cache. I like that this is a valid statistic to measure. :P

  • Koudelka! Gottyan? Nilesa! (I have no idea what I was aiming at with this note, but whatever!)

  • Aral: very abrupt, and not all that good at convincing. "My planet sucks and I fell in love with you while you were puking!" is not the height of romance.

  • It seems like Aral's almost trying to sabotage the invasion by telling Cordelia a lot about the plans.

  • Cordelia: very ingenious. I can definitely see where Miles gets it from!

  • What happened to Cordelia's belt???? It was used to tie up Gottyan, but Aral released him and no further mention was made of the belt. Did Aral keep it as a memento? (Oh, and Aral, get better pants. Yours don't fit. Pants should stay up without a belt!)

  • Cordelia: very good at emotional band-aids

  • 17 replicators, just given to Barrayar, and some of what was said there makes me a bit uncomfortable. "A couple of them were pretty emotionally divided about abortions." Um. And they were given to Barrayar, with the expectation that... they'd be aborted? They'd grow up to be cogs in the Barrayaran machine, off to kill their fully Escobaran half-siblings should a second war happen?

  • How come no-one voted for Steady Freddy?

  • Hm, the Betan and Escobaran psychs seem to have done nothing more than give Cordelia a stutter.

  • oh Cordelia's daring escape :D (an excellent combination of ingenuity and emotional band-aids!)

  • Hm, Aral loathes tiny women? (Another things Miles seems to have inherited...)

  • The Bothari bits make me uncomfortable.

  • Count Vortala A+ snark. I don't suppose we see much more of him?

  • "declare everyone a Vor and be done with the whole bloody nonsense forever" oh, Aral.

  • The Escobaran war's called the 120 day war, despite only lasting for 118 days and a part of an hour!

  • Mother's Tears charms don't seem to return IIRC?

  • Medtech Boni carries around a wedding dress??? Okay this section is creepy.

All in all, better than I remembered, especially re: Cordelia and Aral's relationship. It is still structured so that Cordelia gives up everything while Aral gives up pretty much nothing, but it's more that Cordelia is driven away from Beta than that she walks voluntarily. I wonder what it'd have been like had Dr. Mehta and her colleagues not been such colossal assholes to Cordelia.

Next up is Barrayar, with a discussion post hopefully up on the 18th or 19th.


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