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Forward Momentum -- Index Post
ayer's rock
bracketyjack
The Words of Warning
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five (a)
Chapter Five (b)
Chapter Six (a)
Chapter Six (b)
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine (a)
Chapter Nine (b)
Chapter Ten (a)
Chapter Ten (b)
Chapter Eleven (a)
Chapter Eleven (b)
Chapter Eleven (c)
Chapter Twelve (a)
Chapter Twelve (b)
Chapter Thirteen (a)
Chapter Thirteen (b)
Chapter Thirteen (c)
Chapter Fourteen (a)
Chapter Fourteen (b)
Chapter Fifteen (a)
Chapter Fifteen (b)
Chapter Fifteen (c)
Chapter Sixteen (a)
Chapter Sixteen (b)
Chapter Sixteen (c)
Chapter Seventeen (a)
Chapter Seventeen (b)
Epilogue

The give-away epigraph post
The summary post
The tail-pieces overview and index post

I enjoyed this story immensely. I was a bit dubious that it could be pulled off without losing the dramatic tension but you succeeded marvellously.

Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it If I'd stopped to think about it too much as the word-count piled ever upwards I'd have been dubious too, but the plot-bunnies were being very well-behaved in harness and I trusted in the illusion that all was bowling right along. Much virtue in if, after all!

A remarkable piece of fanfic (which, unfortunately, it must remain). I enjoyed it greatly.

This may only be a pet peeve, but it throws me out of the story every time I see a construction like this (which I noticed in Chapter 14):

"Zed Karal was teasing Ekaterin and I".

This kind of thing happened throughout the entire story. You need to pay attention to when a compound noun includes a pronoun, as pronouns change between the subjective and objective cases, as regular nouns do not. My personal test for whether "I" or "me" should be used is to remove the first half of the construction. "Zed Karal was teasing I" sounds (and is) wrong, you would replace "I" with "me". Well, it needs to be done with "Ekaterin and", as well:

"Zed Karal was teasing Ekaterin and me".

The same is true of third person personal pronouns, as well (he/him, she/her)

Ahhh ... those insufficiently accusative pronouns

bracketyjack

2010-02-01 06:49 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the kindlies; I'm glad you enjoyed the novel.

Now ... [rolls up sleeves] ... as to this matter of prepositions, pronouns, and the accusative case, about which Coalboy also messaged me, with the same beef:

You are both of course perfectly correct grammatically, and in the terms of grammaticasting I should undoubtedly write 'and me'. Coalboy says he was taught as a rule that all pronouns always take the accusative. I wouldn't go that far, and neither would any grammar or style manual I've been able to consult in the last few days, but in the cases cited I concede that I am grammatically incorrect.

My reason is euphony, and my warrant the appeal from criticism to nature. If pgranzeau is being thrown out of the story by an intensity of grammatical alarm at every 'preposition X and I', a splutter of disbelief seems probable, but ever since learning the 'and me' at school it has jarred in my ear, as it does in many. Coalboy asked if my usage were a recognised difference between USAn and British English: I wouldn't go that far, but observation of the strict grammar is certainly not as strongly enforced here now as it once was, and with some cause.

Pronominal cases are, after all, a fossil. Pretty much all other inflection except the possessive (where the apostrophe-s construction is probably a contraction either of 'X his' or of an old -es genitive)has progressively died away since OE and ON merged into ME during their displacement as written languages by court French after 1066. And the Lord he knoweth the possessive appears to be in trouble also, with the Butcher's Apostrophe commoner than ever, even in BBC English and The Times.

The results are often odd. Consider the status of 'whom', for example, as a marker of pretentiousness or shown-off erudition, or the (unfortunate) loss of thou, thee, thine as intimate second-person (like tu/du against vous/sie), so striking in the Lord's Prayer. And while pgranzeau's test is eminently correct grammatically (all respect to his ears), it is empirically demonstrable that however incorrect 'to I' sounds--which it certainly does--the same sense of wrongness does *not* always (or even very often) attend 'to Ekaterin and I', while 'to Ekaterin and me' can itself jar.

So I have let my fingers do the walking and voted with my own ears. It is, I know, a shocking victory of sentiment over principle, but there you go.

It may be, incidentally, that Jamaican residence, and hearing all the merry pronouns of patois (including a standard post-positional reflexive, as 'de policeman him', 'de people dem'), not to mention the oddly sacred pronouns of Rastafari (where I&I may say to Di-I), has loosened my moral and grammatical stays. Fiction also is a liberator. But my ears gagged on 'and me' long before I ever went tropical.

Ho-hum. Are you answered?

Writing reviews is an exercise I find particularly tedious, especially in English, but your fanfictions are so good that I think I owe you one.
I read Forward Momentum and the 4 tail-pieces entirely and re-read my favorite bits several times. It must be my favorite fanfiction of all fandoms and I think it's because of my love for Bujold's characters. They deserve all the happiness they can have and you brilliantly give it to them.
Miles especially. It infuriates me that after doing so much he's still an unknown. In my sense, he did more than his father, who is considered (and rightfully so) as one of the most important man in Barrayar history. Therefore, my favorite bit of the Christening Tour was when Haut Gars (of all people) payed homage to Miles.
I also liked what you did to Ekaterin and Nikki in this fic. We see Ekaterin mature into a strong, graceful, brilliant woman - so like Miles in some ways. And Nikki too. I do not quite share his interest in "Lord Vortalon!" but I did like his friendship with Fel Epallo and his liveliness of mind. He's becoming a true Vorkosigan and I'm pleased that, while insisting about the Vorkosigan's genetic gift, you don't forget the importance of nurture over nature.
I liked less "the two Ivans" because I'm not especially interested in the character of Ivan and "Vor and peace" because it was sometimes hard to understand (it being a lecture and me not being a fluent English speaker). However, the enVorment part at the end was good. Barrayaran society seems fairer now than deserving proles can become a true part of the elite.
Now questions time !
- Are the Barrayaran woman allowed in the military now ? (You might have written about it, I don't remember)
- In the Two Ivans, Nikki contacted by frame two individuals whom Boulanger could not see. Who were
they exactly ?
- Will the Bas have some love ? They were barely mentioned at all. I think it was teluekh who said that the haut were slave-holders and I have to agree. I would just add that the haut themselves belong to their constellations. Nor Hauts, nor Bas can possibly escape their genetics origins ; however, Bas can become less like servants and more like an intermediate class between Hauts and Ghems, with more freedom.
- By the time Gregor dies, will Barrayaran society have evolved enough to accept a woman as their Empress ? I know that Gregor acknowledging salic law was a diversion but Empress Kareen Cordelia Toscane Vorbarra sounds very good to me.
- Will somebody write the Vorkosigan report ? Will you write more tail-pieces ? I liked Fletchir's pov in "The Christening Tour" and I'd really like to read "Forward Momentum" from the Cetagandan POV. And "The Two Arals" with Prince Aral Michael and Lord Aral Alexander. Wouldn't that be brilliant ?
- Since Vorkosiganyar is a really ugly name, will the Vorkosigan district planet will be named Ekaterinyar ? After all, Miles said she should have a planet ! :)

Hi, heaven_hope, and thanks for the review - a noble effort, especially in a second language! I'm delighted you like the 'Peaceful Vorkosiverse', and sorry The Two Ivans and Vor and Peace pleased less. I had comments about slighting Ivan, so I felt he needed an outing and the plot was irresisitible ; as to the fic-lecture, well, I lecture in reality, so the form was natural.

You asked:
Are the Barrayaran woman allowed in the military now ?
Yes. It's discussed in ch. 9 of Forward Momentum and confirmed later ; all imperial services are now open to all Barrayarans.

In the Two Ivans, Nikki contacted by frame two individuals whom Boulanger could not see. Who were they exactly ?
Nikki's 'Uncle Gregor' and 'Uncle Fletchir'. Like Miles he's learned to go straight to the top when possible - and the benevolent possibilities of absolute power are a theme throughout the continuity.

Will the Bas have some love ? They were barely mentioned at all. I think it was teluekh who said that the haut were slave-holders and I have to agree.
Good question. I don't entirely agree with Tel about slaveholding (if you didn't, see my post about it in lmbujold ), though I take her point. But giving the Ba (I think singular and the plural are identical, like 'sheep') love is tricky, given that they're ungendered and presumably lack the hormones associated with physical gender. An area for another fic to explore ...

By the time Gregor dies, will Barrayaran society have evolved enough to accept a woman as their Empress ? I know that Gregor acknowledging salic law was a diversion but Empress Kareen Cordelia Toscane Vorbarra sounds very good to me.
Sounds good to me too, but Gregor's death is (barring accident) now so far ahead (extended health and life) that I don't think one can say. By 2900 Barrayar's going to be a very different place in all sorts of ways. There are also, remember, going to be far more Viceroyalties available, so even if Kareen C. doesn't become 'empress' she could be de facto a planetary ruler.

Will somebody write the Vorkosigan report ? Will you write more tail-pieces ? I liked Fletchir's pov in "The Christening Tour" and I'd really like to read "Forward Momentum" from the Cetagandan POV. And "The Two Arals" with Prince Aral Michael and Lord Aral Alexander. Wouldn't that be brilliant ? - Since Vorkosiganyar is a really ugly name, will the Vorkosigan district planet will be named Ekaterinyar ? After all, Miles said she should have a planet ! :)
I wish someone would write The Vorkosigan Report! And The Two Arals. I don't think I'll write more tail-pieces as such, though there may be some fragments. In one sense I've taken the rule-of-thumb I started with, about (only) good things happening in droves, about as far as it can go, I think. I certainly had to add some ... well, tensions at least to a couple of the tail-pieces to prevent them from becoming 'honey a sauce to sugar' (sucre au jus de miel - de trop!). The Cetagandan p-o-v is a fine notion, but would also be a lot of work ; I do agree, though, that to take the continuity further it's the Cetagandan angle that's needed, and I was experimenting that way with Fletchir - but doing it full-blown in Cetagandan settings would mean a lot of world-building ... which you or anyone would be welcome to try, but I don't think I can attempt any time soon. It's this pesky need for money, you see, and hence the need, if I go on writing fic, at least to try to do something original and hence legally publishable. But if I ever do, it'll be posted here.

As to what the Vorkosigan's District planet will be called, haven't got there, yet. I suspect Ekaterin would object to Ekaterinyar - and who knows what Miles might cook up? Zapyar?! Or, more probably, Piotryar ...

Thanks again for your review. And btw, do you like the graphic L'Apprentissage du Guerrier? I'm undecided, and still trying to get over a blond Gregor with a beard!!

I don't see the benevolent possibilities of absolute power in the Peaceful Vorkosiverse but rather the benevolent possibilities of a strong executive power held by a competent man.
The political system I'm most familiar with is, of course, the French "semi"-presidential system. If his party has the majority in the Parliament (and the legislative elections are timed so it is the case), the president has a great deal of power : his ministers are his subordinates, his majority votes the laws his ministers propose... Therefore, the president is free to do everything that isn't blatantly anti-democratic. Hence the soubriquet "monarch of the republic". :)
So this digression was to show you that absolute power isn't needed to go "straight at the top". Which leads me to think...
With peace, wealth and health, Barrayar will probably know a demographic boom. And, with its new volumes, wealth and strong military, the Barrayaran-Cetagandan Alliance will probably become the most powerful entity in the Nexus. Which means Gregor and Fletchir will be asked to arbitrate every petty conflict in the Nexus. So, poor Gregor will have to rule many people and many planets and be an important figure Nexus-wide. Even someone as strong as him would be a bit overwhelmed, I think, so perhaps he would want to share some of his power. And democracy enters by the back door...
But of course, that would cause a lot of problems, both intra-Barrayaran and with the Cetagandans. That would deserve a multi-part fic to happily resolve but I can't write in English yet and I have a French fic project that I hold dear.
Sorry for this long post ; democracy is one of my hobby horse. ^^
PS : I like Piotryar as a name for the Vorkosigan planet.
PS2 : I didn't manage to get my hands on the graphic l'Apprentissage du Guerrier... yet. A blond and bearded Gregor doesn't please me either (I've always seen him with dark hair and beardless).


Mmm - point/s taken - in the UK we have since Thatcher called it 'elective dictatorship' - but Barrayar is a political fantasy as much as it is a fiction of other kinds, a sort of absolute autocracy by sufficient majority consent based on truly appalling planetary experience. The mechanisms of the Imperial Voice and its delegation allow the thing to work on paper ; but in reality ...?

French politics I won't go into, politicans of any stripe not being my favourite animals just now (the UK ones are all bullhorning away with the election called, and showing just how little anyone sane would want to vote for any of them).

One model for a future Barrayar might be something like the Kulu Kingdom in Peter Hamilton's 'Night's Dawn' trilogy - absolute monarchy owning industrial/technological muscle.

What I did mean to ask you was, which are your favourite bits that you mention re-reading? I have my own, but I'm often surprised by what's most appealed to someone else.

My favorite bits are : the negociation with the Cetagandans, the pan-imperial broadcast, the signature of the treaty, Ekaterin's graduation and the party afterwards.

Thanks. Several readers have singled out the negotiations and Ekaterin's graduation plus party, but the broadcast and the treaty-signing are new ones for my list!

Forgot a question of mine - who was Fletchir's father ? It's mentioned that he didn't rule long, which stroke me as odd, because Cetagandan are so long-lived. When you spoke of a rogue Haut, I thought it was him. But then it turned it was a rogue Ba : who is he/she anyway ?

OK, we're into speculative territory here.

Canonically, I don't think we know anything about previous Cetagandan rulers, but we do know that Fletchir succeded to the throne astoundingly young for a Cetagandan, before he was 30 (it's mentioned in Cetaganda, somewhere). I took that to imply that either the succession skipped a generation or (my choice) that his father's reign was for some reason very short. But I've never had to decide what that reason was, so your guess is as good as mine. I did bring in the influential grandfather, as that made logical sense to me given my decision about his father's short reign and some kind of problem, and it chimed emotionally with Miles/Piotr in a way that interested me, but I still made no hard-and-fast decision about what happened. Weighing it all now, I'd guess the father tried to go against the Star Creche, somehow, or to aggrandise empire at the expense of haut.

The rogue haut or Ba - and that it's a Ba is only Kareen's speculation - is also original to me, and came about because it seems to me to explain rather neatly quite a lot about Ry Ryoval and about the genetic 'success' (i.e. rare skill) of Jackson's Whole. Revenge + tidying up also provides the Cetagandans with an additional motivation (revealed only in the Epilogue to FM) for agreeing to Miles's great plan, and their failure to get Ryoval also provided some interesting plot for the tail-pieces, and for their tolerant gratitude to Mark. Given Cetagandan secrecy I dunno who it was exactly - but the idea is also modelled on the rogue Ba of Diplomatic Immunity, and esp. Miles late comment that the Ba was trying to have children in the only way possible to it (except a successful escape to Jackson's Whole + brain transplant ...).

I'm sorry I can't be more factual, but (like Lois herself) I make up only what I need to for text.

I had the good fortune to stumble upon this recently - an absolute treat since the Bujold bug bit me again recently and left me hankering for more.

First things first - it's fantastic. In particular, I love your attention to detail, not only in the work's faithfulness to the original work (the random sprinkling of quotes from the novel are so very fun. The citations make me even happier), but also in every aspect of the science involved, the intricate negotiations, the little flourishes of detail you add to the characters' lives... It gives the story a sense of realism that really draws the reader in, and makes it a really fun ride! (I'm still laughing at the thought of a giant portrait of Alys on a ship..)

I don't know how you do it, but you manage to capture the characters' voices perfectly. I love your rendition of Miles - slightly more mature, yet as passionate and driven as ever (along with the tempered but ever present flagrant disregard for rules). But what I think really makes the series shine for me is how you bring the minor characters to life as well. On a personal note, I have a massive, woobie spot for Illyan and Alys, and I loved their every appearance. (This is where I inveigle you with cries of "moar!")

Just a tiny point - there was a little bit of a dip in the action following Miles' unveiling of the Grand Plan and the audience with the Cetaganda. I suppose that can't be helped, short of some disaster befalling the implementation of the plan (and I can understand that this isn't intended to be a war saga), but I did get a bit of a sense that the rest that followed was somewhat of a very long epilogue/happy-ever-after, rather than the second half of a story. Nevertheless, it was still a very well-written, very satisfying one :)

Hi, elvaron , and welcome to the Peaceful Vorkosiverse. Thanks for the squee (always warming), and I'm delighted to have afforded you both a good read and some laughter.

The novel was written very fast and intensively, and I found the voices were just there when needed. I'd been deeply immersed in Bujold, of course, especially A Civil Campaign, and was half-conscious (at least) that what I was about was really an alternative version of Diplomatic Immunity - so the closeness to canon was always necessary. For similar reasons I wanted to be very sparing with OCs - Chandler was necessary, and Khourakis a functional bit-part, but otherwise I found myself more interested in developing canonical outlines (Giaja, Helen) under a new dispensation than inventing anything more personal - which then played back into the closeness to canon.

I'm not sure from your comment if you've also read the tail-pieces, but there's more Alys & Simon in The Christening Tour and The Two Ivans.

As to the action-dip after ch. 11 (the summit) - well, in one sense you're quite right. The thing grew on me unstoppably, and in some ways the writing was very much that experience some authors report of constantly thinking, hmm, I need to get to that, which'll take, say, two more chapters, and then I'm on the home-straight ; and two chapters later ... . So yes, it's true that from the mid-point there's even less suspense than before that, just the unfolding of the plan that the reader now knows. But in another sense that is the true structure, opportunity to promise to consummation, and the 'action' of the second half, such as it is, is action of healing. The break comes in ch. 12, with the camping-trip designed to heal Nikki and the exchanges with Lem and Harra connecting the fight against Barrayaran prejudice and poverty in Silvy Vale with the fight against Jacksonian ethics - but those also orchestrate with the ceremony in Ekaterin's redesigned memorial, the party after her graduation, and the outrageous aesthetics of the invasion ; and all of that is necessary for the epilogue to work maximally. So while I feared it a little, and recognise what you suggest, I've also come to think the piece more properly constructed ; it's just that the construction (proceeding from my 'only good things will happen' experimental premise) is intrinsically strange because it goes against strong and normative commercial dictates. Or to that effect, anyway - there's quite a lot of discussion of structure &c. in the comments to the epilogue and elsewhere, if you're interested.

Incidentally, I've just published a collection of essays that includes one on Bujold and one on fanfic, including the writing of this and some comparison with other Vorkosiverse continuities (ADS and Tides). The collection is Of Sex and Faerie: Further essays on Genre Fiction, and as yet only a Kindle edition is available, through Amazon, but a pdf and a PoD will follow.

Thanks for commenting, and please comment again if you do get on to the tail-pieces.

It's finals week and I've read this entire series twice back-to-back... and then went and reread Shards of Honor and Barrayar, then Komarr and ACC. Even though i've read Diplomatic Immunity (though not yet Cryoburn), I constantly found myself coming upon little references to the future and relating them, not to DI, but to FM--at one point I distinctly said to myself (I can't remember to what, but it was early in ACC and probably had something to do with Nikki--a lot of those did), 'Miles will fix that,' and then laughed when I realised what I'd done.

If I were to try to quote what I liked, I'd give you most of the series back again; let me settle for admiring the reversal of plot styles, the continuation of that which would be blessed by the Godmothers, and Nikki. XD With a side-order of truly awesome comment discussions.

To yield to non-helpful praise, it's ALL awesome.

*goes back to writing a Japanese-literature-as-primary-source lesson plan for a hypothetical high school class*

Japanese lit, eh, wren_chan -- good luck with that, and with finals.

And welcome to the Peaceful Vorkosiverse. Thanks for the squee, always welcome, and for the more helpful praise. By 'Godmothers' do you mean the dedicatees of ACC? If not, please elucidate. And I'd be interested to know how you relate your reading of the novel and tail-pieces with the presence of the comment-threads, some in places that are to me entirely arbitrary, having been created purely by the process of uploading the completed work in LJ-post-sized chunks. Sometimes I read a ch. online and find the presence of the commentary very strange, and I'm professionally interested in the nature of the reading experience fanfic offers, so please do say if anything occurs to you in this regard.

And do add to the comment-threads yourself if you pass through a third time ...

I'm in the place where I'm too tired to worry anymore, which does at least keep me from fretting when I could be working...

Glad to be here. And I try to give reviews of a kind I'd prefer to get--'squee' is always wonderful, but knowing which bits made particular squee is, well, particularly useful. And yes, I do--I believe I remember you calling them that yourself in some comment-thread or other.

As for the comments... I'm really not sure, but for instance I just hit 'reply' on this index post because my squee was for -all- of it and I wasn't in the mood to go through each chapter and squee at those points. But I've also been known to randomly comment as the whim/thought strikes--maybe it's something like that? I know that each time I've read about the premiere of the Grace to the Fallen, I've been so carried along by it I can't stop to think of comments to the story itself until I'm already halfway through Two Ivans. Like trying to cling to the haut Pel's braids as she dances, to be tiredly lyrical.

*grins* We'll see.

Heh. I shall look forward to whatever stray strands of Pel's hair you may end up clutching -- the more so as Not Place, but People attracts less comment than any other of my fics. Delighted it works emotionally for you.

As to the comments, eh bien, that's all interesting, and thanks. I was also wondering, though, about the nature of the reading experience online, which on the one hand one might say becomes more like that induced by a school-study or reading-club edition, with discussion points inserted several times per chapter, and OTOH might rather compare to a moralised edition in the mediaeval manner with Ovid, spelling things out that might otherwise remain latent. I don't have any agenda on this -- it's just an area I've been exploring with interest, and on which I'm keen to collect impressions and data ; so when you mentioned a side-order of comments ...

And yeah, no point fretting at this stage! Good luck with whatever those finals are, and the Japanese-lit thing. (In Praise of Shadows, anyone?)

Do you have the whole thing available as a download?

If you put it on Archive of Our Own, they have that setup automatically.

Never mind. I just found it. I'm a doofus...

Ah good. No doofusing involved -- it's been on LJ a while, but I've only just got onto AO3 ; and the summary and epigraph posts aren't yet on AO3, though I mean to add them as notes, somewhere.

In any case, welcome to the Peaceful Vorkosiverse, and enjoy!

I love AO3's epub option! I can read your epic on the bus!

Eh bien. Do please remember to come back and leave comments, though -- always welcome.

(The bus to where, I wonder ...)

to work! a half an hour both ways.

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