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[personal profile] extrapenguin posting in [community profile] vorkosigan

  • 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

Date: 2016-08-28 12:49 pm (UTC)
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
From: [personal profile] james
I will be out of town until later today, so I'm stopping in to say I love and adore Benin and wish we had a couple of books of his adventures! (And yes, I went and left a prompt!)

I love how he not only coped with having Miles around, but that he had an open mind and was, for me, a very good introduction to a people who previously had just been the villains of Barrayar's history.

Date: 2016-08-28 07:51 pm (UTC)
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
From: [personal profile] james
I just really like the idea that with all the things the haut design people for (the traits they want), here's this guy who is not what they'd calla Great Specimen, but he clearly has a lot of ability. Which I'm sure the Haut take notice of, and who knows maybe they are keeping track and they do consider him a Great Specimen. And he's definitely a mirror for Miles, who is also not physically a great Barrayaran specimen but he makes up for it in brains and will.

I would love to see any sort of book from a Cetagandan's point of view, because the society seems really fascinating but also really hard to live in if you aren't one of the elite. Like, the kids (relatively spekaing) who have to be content at doing great things with buttons, or frogs, because all the good stuff is either done by the Haut or done by their superiors and they have to take whatever scraps are leftover.

Like, do the Cetagandans have janitors in everyday life, not the Ba, but regular Cetagandans who just have the boring, low-level jobs like baking bread and sweeping up and driving taxis. How do they feel about the Haut? About their world(s)? Does Joe Schmo Cetaganda get taught in school via propaganda that his world is Best?

it seems like it could be a very closed-system, with people not getting to visit other worlds or learn about other people, and maybe they are really oppressed? (Do the Ba think of themselves as oppressed since they don't even get a say in how they're designed and made?)

Maybe Benin is a sign of a New Order, like the kids who wear the face patch paint instead of full-face paint, and in the future Benin's genes will have been incorporated into a new generation. Who knows! But I'd like to. :-)

Date: 2016-08-28 11:38 pm (UTC)
shanejayell: (Question)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
Not spoiling Gentleman Jole but YES the Cetegandans have guys doing regular jobs. Heh.

Date: 2016-08-29 12:11 pm (UTC)
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
From: [personal profile] james
I don't remember that at all -- gosh I guess I have to re-read it. ;-)

Date: 2016-08-29 12:10 pm (UTC)
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
From: [personal profile] james
I suspect that the canon answer about the ba would be of course the haut design them to like their status and role and existence, and so forth. (Which feels like a Magic Answer, but still it's plausible that the haut could design the Ba to enjoy being Ba.)

As for the Cetagandan common prole - I suppose that being a commoner on a very rich planet, if it shares the wealth - like access to all life's necessities - is still better than being well-off on a poorer planet.

Just so many questions! And a Benin book would potentially answer many of them, which is another point in its favor. ;-)

Date: 2016-08-29 08:14 pm (UTC)
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
From: [personal profile] james
Yeah, but I always worry that even if someone is designed to like serving, if they don't get to *chose* to serve, it isn't the same. (I worry. Poor Ba. But perhaps when the Ba are a certain age they get to pick if they want to keep serving or go do something else.)

YAY flowcharts!

Date: 2016-08-29 08:31 pm (UTC)
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
From: [personal profile] james
I think even if the Ba were being somehow manipulated into choosing to serve - the Ba itself would feel as though they'd chosen, and then they'd not have problems with thinking their free will had been suborned.

Which makes one want to debate "what is free will really" but it's been two decades since I got my philosophy degree and I am rusty. ;-)

Date: 2016-08-29 05:17 pm (UTC)
fawatson: (Cetaganda)
From: [personal profile] fawatson
The haut-lady eugenics council's sessions sound ... interesting

Definitely a plot bunny in here somewhere!


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