Microblog: A very long article Wikipedia article on the orientation of toilet paper [Jun 7th, 22:52] [R]

Sunday, May 21st, 2023

The Flowers of Vashnoi

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Ekaterin Vorkosigan and Enrique Borgos visit the Vorkosigan Vashnoi area that was left radioactive at the end of the Cetagandan invasion. Enrique has created insects that eat and concentrate the radioactive elements before leaving them in neat dejection piles, in the hope of decontaminating the area. They notice that many of the bugs in the test area have disappeared, and eventually discover that they were picked by a young boy who lives nearby with his adoptive mother, Ma Roga, and two other children. Ma Roga claims she had been living hear ever since Miles' grandfather Count Piotr allowed her to do so instead of executing her with the bandit gang with which she was living thirty years earlier. Since then she has taken care of the unwanted, mutant children who were abandoned in the contaminated zone by their backcountry parents. After a long discussion and a failed attempt by Ma Roga to kill her children and herself rather than having to leave her home, they are all taken to the hospital in Hassadar for treatment. While the children can be integrated in the modern Barrayaran society, Miles and Ekaterin wonder what to do with Ma Roga.

[ Posted on May 21st, 2023 at 15:21 | no comment | ]

Monday, January 15th, 2018

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

ISBN: 9781481482899

© Amazon.fr

On Sergyar, three years after Aral's sudden death, Cordelia decides to start new daughters using her late husband's frozen gametes. She donates some of those gametes to Oliver Jole, who had been Aral's and hers lover for twenty years. They start dating while preparing their retirement from their postitions as Vicereine and Admiral of the Sergyar fleet. After receiving a message from her mother, Miles (and his whole family) arrive without being announced, trying to discover what is happening in his mother's life. He learns about the trio's past relationship, and Cordelia's and Oliver's new relationship.

[ Posted on January 15th, 2018 at 18:44 | no comment | ]

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Falling Free

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Falling Free has been published in 1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Leo Graf, an engineer, is sent to a space station, the Cay habitat, to teach welding in vacuum to a group of genetically engineered beings, the Quaddies. They were designed to be efficient in zero gravity, and have arms and hands instead of legs. The Quaddies live outside of any legal jurisdiction and have no human rights. When their usefulness is suddenly reduced to zero by the invention of artificial gravity, the company owning them decides to sterilize them and move them to a planet, where they will eventually be forgotten and die. To prevent that, Leo decides help them revolt. They trick most of the humans out of the station, convince a destitute jumpship pilot to help them, steal a cargo jumpship, reconfigure the modules of the habitat to fit in the jumpship, and eventually leave the sector, hoping to find a place, far away, where they can live in peace.

[ Posted on September 9th, 2016 at 08:44 | no comment | ]

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

Ethan of Athos

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Ethan of Athos has been published in 1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Athos is a planet inhabited exclusively by human males, where children are bred in uterine replicators from ovarian cultures brought by the founders of the society. Since the ovarian cultures are reaching the end of their life, new cultures have been bought from Jackson's Whole. But when the shipment arrives full of dead meat, Ethan is sent to Kline Station to buy new cultures from more reliable sources. He meets Elli Quinn, and is soon after kidnapped and interrogated by a Cetagandan spy who assumes he knows where the cultures are and that he's in league with some Terrence Cee. Elli saves Ethan from the Cetagandan, because she's also somehow involed. Ethan is eventually contacted by Terrence, who explains that he is the result of a genetic experiment conducted by the Cetagandans on telepathy. After his telepath girlfriend (and the only other individual of their species) was killed, he went to Jackson's Whole with all the lab's ovarian culture to get her reconstructed from a cellular sample. Since this was not possible, Terrence got the cultures sent to Athos, where his species would be able to live quietly; the laboratory was soon after destroyed by Cetagandan agents. Elli and Ethan don't understand who replace he shipment with worhthless material. On Kline Station, Elli, Ethan and Terrence are trying to debunk the Cetagandans; they eventually succeed by accusing them to carry a deadly virus and get them caught by the Biocontrol services. Mentioning Athos during the arrest, they understand that one of the Biocontrol agents who hates Athos replaced the shipment during its transit on Kline staion. The Cetagandans are eventually killed by agents from Jackson's Whole. The original ovarian cultures are found again and taken to Athos along with newly purchased ones. Terrence emigrates to Athos as well.

[ Posted on January 2nd, 2016 at 19:41 | no comment | ]

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The Vor Game

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

The Vor Game was published in 1990 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

After graduating from the Imperial Academy, Miles is sent to a remote arctic training camp as the new weather officer. Refusing to obey an illegal order from the camp's commander, General Metzov, Miles is charged with mutiny and treason and, his behaviour having been considered the right one, spends some time in detention in the depths of ImpSec as his career in the Imperial Service is over. He's then transferred to ImpSec and sent by Illyan on a covert mission in the Hegen Hub as an arms dealer to investigate the military preparations in space stations, the Vervani (who have hired Randall's Rangers mercenaries) and Aslunder (protected by former Dendarii Mercenaries, now again under Oser's rule). He's then framed by his customer for murder, fails to flee, separated from his superior officer and made prisoner. In detention, he stumbles upon incognito Emperor Gregor, who, depressed, failed to commit suicide before fleeing from his diplomatic duty on Komarr. Disguised as a worker, Miles accompanies Gregor to Aslund station, where he makes contact with the Dendarii, asking their help for reaching the Barrayaran embassy on Aslund. Instead, they are delivered into the hands of Cavilo the femme fatale commander of Randall's Rangers, seconded by Metzov, now a mercenary. Cavilo keeps Gregor close to her, and sends Miles on a mission to retake command of the Dendarii as Admiral Naismith. Miles succeeds with the help of the his friends among the Dendarii, and guesses Cavilo's plan to marry Gregor and become Empress of Barrayar, abandoning her first plan to let the Cetagandans invade the Hub and loot the planets in the confusion. Luring Cavilo and Gregor to his ship as she is abandoning her mercenaries, Miles recovers his emperor and keeps the Cetagandan invasion at bay by letting Gregor diplomatically unify the forces of the Hub until they are reinforced by Barrayaran ships. In the end, Illyan agrees to make the Dendarii a tool of ImpSec.

[ Posted on July 9th, 2015 at 22:20 | no comment | ]

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

The Warrior's Apprentice

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

The Warrior's Apprentice has been published in 1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Miles Vorkosigan fails his physical entry exam to the Imperial Military Academy. He then goes to Beta Colony to visit his grandmother, accompanied by sergeant Bothari and his daughter Elena. Soon after his arrival, he buys (giving a piece of worthless land on Barrayar as guarantee for later payment) an obsolete freighter to prevent his pilot, Arde Mayhew, from committing suicide and destroying part of the spaceport. Soon after, he meets a Barrayaran deserter, engineer Baz Jezek. Together, they accept a cargo of "agricultural material" to pay back for the freighter. The cargo is actually weapons for the Felicians, one side of a civil war on Tau Verde IV, and they are soon stopped by Oseran Mercenaries who control access to the planet for the Felicians adversairs, the Pelians. Miles and his party manage to take control of the mercenary ship, pretending to be part of the Dendarii Mercenaries. The prisoners are soon turned into the first actual Dendarii Mercenaries, and they deliver together the cargo. On the space station where they land, they are attacked by Pelians and Oser's troops, but manage to beat them and hire the whole of them as Dendarii mercenaries. They then break Oser's trust in their Pelian employer by hijacking the mercenaries' monthly pay, and finally the whole of Oser's troops become Dendarii. Miles is then joined by his cousin Ivan, who was under direct order to find him, but actually unknowingly escaped death by being late as usual. Back on Barrayar, Miles foils an attempt to break a rift between the Emperor and Vorkosigan House by being actually present instead of fomenting a revolution with the help of his private (and illegally owned) army, as the conspirators claim. Miles gives ownership of his mercenaries to the Emperor, who gives it to ImpSec. Having proven his value as a tactician and a commander, Miles is then allowed to join the Academy.

[ Posted on June 22nd, 2015 at 23:45 | no comment | ]

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015


Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Barrayar has been published in 1991 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

At the emperor's death, Aral Vorkosigan becomes Regent of prince Gregor. But many would like to take his place by force, or at least replace him with a more traditionalist head of state. Aral is attacked twice; the second time Cordelia is a victim as well and the antidote to the combat gas used in the attack affects he baby she is bearing. He is surgically removed and placed in a uterine replicator, and follows an experimental treatment to repair the damage made to his developing bones. Several weeks later, the head of imperial security arrives to Vorkosigan House with prince Gregor; the imperial residence has been attacked by Vordarrian's partisans, Gregor's mother Kareen has been taken hostage. Cordelia, Gregor and a few trusted men flee to the mountains to hide Gregor. Cordelia then joins her Aral in his headquarter. When she learns that the laboratory where her baby was treated was attacked and that the uterine replicator was taken hostage without anyone able to service it, she decides to lead, against Aral's will, a commando attack to the imperial residence, using Kareen's former bodyguards knowledge of secret escape routes. She manages to recover the uterne replicator, killing Vordarrian (and Kareen) in the process. This leads to the defeat of the rebellion. Some time later, Miles Vorkosigan is born, with extremely brittle bones.

[ Posted on June 16th, 2015 at 23:45 | no comment | ]

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Shards of Honor

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Shards of Honor has been published in 1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Cordelia Naismith and her crew are exploring a new planet. They are attacked by Barrayaran forces and all survivors except her manage to escape. She is taken prisoner by Aral Vorkosigan, a Barrayaran captain, who is trying to determine which faction of his crew has attacked the explorers in an attempt to kill him and blame it on Cordelia's crew. With Cordelia's help, he manages to retake control of his men, and Cordelia is sent back home to Beta Colony. Some months later, she is on a secret mission to send weapons to Escobar, a planet under siege by Barrayaran cruisers. She is made prisoner and taken by admiral Vorrutyer who wants his batman to rape and torture her. Vorrutyer is killed by the batman, mentally unstable sergeant Bothari whom she had met among Vorkosigan's men earlier. She is then rescued hand hidden by Vorkosigan who is also aboard the cruiser. Crown Prince Serg then leads the assault on Escobar and is killed by the weapons delivered by Cordelia. He explains that the emperor wanted to get rid of his perverted son, and that the whole invasion was a plan to get Serg assassinated. Following the Barrayaran's retreat, Cordelia is then sent back to Beta Colony; there she is suspected to have been brainwashed by the Barrayarans, and she flees to Barrayar, where she finally accepts Vorkosigan's earlier marriage proposal. With him, she meets the dying emperor who convinces Aral to become Regent to Serg's son, four-year old Gregor.

[ Posted on June 12th, 2015 at 23:45 | no comment | ]

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014


Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

ISBN: 9781451637502

© Amazon.fr

Published in 2010.

Miles is in to Kibou-daini to investigate the hidden motives of a cryocorp (a company specialized in freezing people before their death and storing the bodies) who wants to expand its business on Komarr. A failed attempt at kidnapping him (and other foreigners attending a conference organized by the cryocorp) leads him to meet a small community running an unofficial cryocorp in abandonned faclities, allowing poor people to benefit from cryopreservation. Thanks to Jin, a homeless orphan whose mother Lisa was frozen in suspicions circumstances eighteen months earlier, Miles manages to contact the Barrayaran consulate and continue his investigation. Jin, arrested by the police while carrying a message from the consulate to Miles and returned to his aunt's, escapes with his sister Mina and find refuge at the consulate. Miles then wants to find Lisa's body to find out what she had discovered before being forcibly frozen. He eventually finds her in the basement of an employee of another cryocorp; the latter had told Lisa about a fraud that the cryocorp had tried to hush up by silencing Lisa and her associates. During his invetigation, Miles also discovers that the cryocorps receive a mandate from their patrons for voting in their place during the elections; this gives enormous power to the cryocorp on Kibou-daini, and because of Komarr's peculiar laws, would have given them the same power there. Thanks to Lisa's revival, the fraud becomes finally public, the guilty executives of the cryocorp are arrested, and Jin and Mina have their mother back.

[ Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 23:45 | 1 comment | ]

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

ISBN: 9781451639155

© Amazon.fr

Published in 2012.

Ivan Vorpatril, while stationed on Komarr, accepts to help his cousin Byerly Vorrutyer protecting Tej, an exiled Jacksonian woman, a possible witness related to Byerly's current investigation. To save her from the local authorities set on her by the bounty hunters who are tracking her, she accepts Ivan's hurried plan to temporarily marry him and fall under Barrayaran protection. They then travel back to Barrayar and fail getting the quick divorce promised by Ivan (probably due to Ivan's mother who likes Tej and talked to the judge). Tej's parent, who were believed to have been killed in the takeover of their House in Jackson's Whole, actually reappear on Barrayar, after having learned that Tej was there. They then plan to secretely raid an underground bunker dating from the time of the Cetagandan invasion where Tej's grandmother (still alive) had worked and where she knows that a huge treasure had been piled up and never reclaimed by the Cetagandans who had fled Barrayar. Ivan manages to participate in the raid, but Tej's family's attempt fails and they are trapped underground: the bunker is located under ImpSec's HQ, and an old bomb, lost underneath it after a failed attempt to blowup the building over twenty years ago, collapses the tunnels. They are however quickly rescued, and Emperor Gregor is willing to make a deal with the Jacksonians to get an ally in the Whole. Tej and Ivan decide de remain married, Tej finally managing to get out of the grip of her family.

[ Posted on January 2nd, 2014 at 12:57 | 1 comment | ]

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Irresistible Forces

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

ISBN: 0451211111

© Amazon.fr

A collection of six short stories edited by Catherine Asaro published in 2004.

Winterfair Gifts (Lois McMaster Bujold): Miles Vorkosigan is getting married in a few days and Ekaterin, his bride, is nervous has hell. Guests and gifts are pouring from all corners of Space, and Roic, Miles' footman is very impressed by Taura, the bioengineered femal super-soldier. When Ekaterin suddenly becomes ill, Taura notices that a pearl necklace Ekaterin tried for a few seconds the night before is actually covered in poison. Had she worn it for longer time, as she planned to do it on her wedding day, she would have died. Although the pearls seemd to have been sent by Admiral Quinn, Miles' former girlfriend, ImpSec finds out they were sent by a Vor that Miles had been investigating recently. The wedding eventually takes place without more incident, and Roic ends up making out with Taura.

The Alchemical Marriage (Mary Jo Putney): 1588. Sir Adam Macrae, a sorcerer, is a prisoner in the Tower of London for having threatened Queen Elisabeth's life after she killed Mary Stuart. Master Dee, the Queen's sorcerer, asks him to join forces with Isabel de Cortes, another sorceress, in order to repell the Spanish Armada which is about to invade Britain. Reluctant at first, scrying into the future convinces him to accept and he accompanies Isabel to her manor on the coast. There, they try to combine their powers to create a storm that will force the Armada to give up their plans. They fail at first, but after Sir Adam recovers, they perform the Alchemical Marriage that bonds forever two opposite forces (that is, they have sex together in the rain) in order to combine their powers and repell the invaders. They eventually get married since, although they are complete opposites, they are meant for each other.

Stained Glass Heart (Catherine Asaro): On Lyshriol, a remote, agricultural planet, Vyrl and Lily are in love with each other, but Vyrl is meant to marry Devon Majda, a woman much older than him, from another powerful family, in order to tighten the bonds between them in the Assembly. Vyrl then flees with Lily and they get married in secret. They are caught some days later by their parents and separated, with a threat of they marriage being canceled since they are both underaged. Some time later, Vyrl tells Devon that she too should marry the man she loves instead of making a political marriage. Later again, Majda announces at the assembly that she abdicates as Matriarch of the Majda family in favor to her sister. Vyrl is then free to stay married to Lily.

Skin Deep (Deb Stover): Since he died in a car accident two years before, Nick has been working in Heaven in the Mortal Watch Division, where he occasionaly keeps an I on his widow, Margo, who can't get over him. Nick is then sent back to the world of the Living, this time as a woman named Raquel, to help Margo find her True Love, Jared, she was supposed to marry when Nick interfered (he planted a girl in Jared's bed and got Margo to witness). Taken to a male strip club by her friend, Margo notices the main attraction is actually Jared, whom she hadn't seen in years. She eventually learns he is a DEA agent working undercover, trying to find how the strip club is involved in drug dealing. A few days later, Margo and Raquel are at the club. They witness the drug delivery and are made prisoner by the club's owner. The DEA assaults the building but Raquel gets mortally wounded. Temporarily transformed as Nick again, the latter confesses tricking Jared in order to get Margo, and also that Jared and him are actually brothers. Nick/Raquel then dies and goes back to Heaven.

The Trouble with Heroes (Jo Beverley): On Gaia, a remote Earth colony, Jenny and Dan have been friends since childhood. Dan is a fixer, having kind of magical powers caused by the planet, and he can mend all kinds of things. Moreover, he's able to sense and destroy indigenous, pure-energy entities who reduce humans and cattle to ashed in an instant. The entities seem to be growing in numbers near the equator and refugees are pouring into the city of Anglia. The fixers are all called to the front and Dan leaves after Jenny and him have at last acknowledged their love for each other. Some time later, the situation seems to have returned to normal, but the fixers seem to have all disappeared. One man looking like Dan is camping outside of the gates of Anglia. Nobody dares letting him in, since he looks so changed. Jenny sneaks out at night to meet him. She learns that he organized the fixers in groups, using one of them as bait to lure thousands of entities at the same time and destroy them in batches using wild magic. But the baits were always killed and at the end of the war there was only a handful of fixers left. Jenny and Dan agree to become partners in life, and according to the laws of Anglia, the city has to let Dan in with her.

Shadows in the Wood (Jennifer Roberson): In the forest of Sherwood in 1202, Robin Hood and Marian are injured while fighting Normans. They flee and stop to catch their breath in a very old part of the forest. Accoring to the stories Marian's mother had told her daughter, the oaks in these parts have human faces. When she touches one of them to show Robin, a man suddenly comes out of the tree. He happens to be Merlin, who was under a spell of Nimüe and he requests their help to retrieve Arthur's sword and return it to the lake. Merlin guides them to the island of Avalon (the lake has now disappeared, replaced by grass). Only women were allowed to the island, and men were only tolerated. But Merlin tells them that both of them need to go. On the “island”, Marian communicates with the spirit of the women who lived there and indicate her the location of the sword. They retrieve the sword, take it to Merlin, who throws it back into the lake (which reappears for the occasion). Then Merlin leaves forever for the island.

[ Posted on February 7th, 2010 at 14:06 | 1 comment | ]

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Mirror Dance

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Mirror Dance is a novel by Lois McMaster Bujold published in 1994 which follows Brothers in Arms.

Mark, passing as Miles, commands the Dendarii to kidnapp all the clones bred by House Bharaputra on Jackson's Whole (where he was himself bred) and whose fate is to have their brain replaced by the brain of their progenitors, being effectively killed. The operation failes, and they lock themselves in one of the buildings of the complex. Miles, coming back from his holidays, learns about the operation and launches a rescue mission, which barely succeeds and where Miles is killed. He is put in cryo-stasis, but his container is lost during the escape (sent to an unknown destination by the medic who was taking care of him, and got killed just after that). Mark is sent to Barrayar to meet his biological parents at last and be trained to be the new Lord Vorkosigan, in case Miles' body is not recovered. After unfructuous attempts by ImpSec to find Miles, Mark decides to give it a try himself. With the help of his mother and Emperor Gregor, he gets access to ImpSec's files, and finally gets a lead to the Miles' probable location. Meanwhile, Miles has been revived on Jackson's Whole, in the Durona Group, a medical unit under the protection of House Fell and composed only of clones. Lilly Durona hopes to get Miles' help in order to escape from Jackson's Whole with all her sister-clones. Mark finally manages to find Miles, but they are assaulted by two different command groups and separated again. Mark, begin confused with Miles, is kidnapped by Baron Ryoval, who wants to get revenge for what Miles did to him, while Miles is prisoner of Baron Bharaputra who wants to sell him to the highest bidder. Mark is tortured by Ryoval for five days, but manages to eventually kill the Baron and escape. Miles is eventually sold to Ryoval, but arrives there after Mark has killed him and his staff have eliminated each other. Miles contacts ImpSec, and is then contacted by Mark. They all gather at Durona's, where Mark negotiates the freedom of the Durona Group with Baron Fell. In the end, Mark and Miles go back to Barrayar and start their lives with their newfound brothers.

[ Posted on August 28th, 2008 at 00:06 | 1 comment | ]

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Diplomatic Immunity

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Diplomatic Immunity was published in 2002 by Lois McMaster-Bujold.

While on their way back home from their honey moon, Miles, accompanied by Ekaterin, is sent to Graf Station in Quaddie-space to diplomatically solve an incident involving soldiers from a Barrayaran ship escorting a Komarran transport. On the station, Miles meets his old friend Bel Thorne, who is working as an official there as well as an ImpSec agent under cover. Bel helps Miles in his attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Barrayaran ship's security officer, which is the source of the whole mess. Miles' attention is soon attracted by a mysterious Betan hermaphrodite, using the Komarran transport to carry a thousand foetuses in uterine replicators. Just after meeting it, Miles, Bel and the herm barely escape an attack by a mysterious person. The perpetrator is found later, and happens to be a smuggler who helped the herm to transport the uterine replicators from one ship onto the Komarran transport. The herm poisoned his crewmates, and the smuggler seeks revenge. Miles then discovers that the Betan herm is actually a Cetagandan Ba who has stolen a part of the yearly production of Cetagandan made by the Star Creche. His goal was to create his own empire with him as an emperor. Miles manages to prevent a war between Cetaganda and Barrayar, where the Ba had planted fake evidence of Barrayar's involvment in the plot. Eventually, Miles and Ekaterin go back home, just in time to witness the birth of their children.

[ Posted on January 22nd, 2008 at 22:08 | 1 comment | ]

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

A Civil Campaign

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

A Civil Campaign has been published in 1999 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Gregor's wedding is coming soon. Mark comes back from Beta through Escobar with a new friend, a mad scientist who has invented butter bugs, eating any kind of organic waste and producing both human-edible food and compost. Meanwhile Miles tries to court Ekaterin without her knowledge (because she is still in mourning) and invites her to a family dinner. The dinner turns into a nightmare when the guests are told they are eating bug butter based food, while the mad scientist tells the Koudlekas about their daughter's relationship with Mark, followed by Illyan asking loudly to Miles how long he has been courting Ekaterin, and ends with Miles proposing accidentally to Ekaterin. Ekaterin storms out just when Miles' parents are coming back from Sergyar earlier than expected. Meanwhile, two political schemes are going on within the counts for the control of two Districts, and one faction starts rumors about Miles' role in the death of Ekaterin's husband on Komarr. Some amount of scheming and one deceased count's sister changing gender surgically in order to become a legal male heir later, Ekaterin proposes to Miles during a session of the Counts' assembly in order to disprove Miles' responsibility in the Komarr incident, and Gregor finally gets married.

[ Posted on January 13th, 2008 at 22:01 | 1 comment | ]

Saturday, July 28th, 2007


Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Memory has been published in 1996 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

After his Cryo-revival, Miles suffers from random-happening seizures, causing him to injure an ImpSec agent he was saving from kidnappers. He tries to conceal the fact from Illyan, but the latter learns about it anyway, and forces Miles to resign from ImpSec, officially being medically discharged. Some time after that, Miles learns that Illyan, the man who remembers everything thanks to the memory-enhancement chip implanted in his brain, starts to make mistakes, confusing time and events. Illyan finally breaks down completely and is sent to ImpSec's clinic. Miles wants to visit him, Illyan being an old friend of his familly, but he is denied access. Thanks to Gregor, Miles get a temporary Auditor's charge, granting him almost absolute power. Miles then starts to investigate the reasons for Illyan's problems, and convinces Illyan's doctors to surgically remove the chip. Illyan is alive and pysically well, but suffers from short-term memory problems and depression. An analysis of the chip shows that the cause of the malfunction is a very specific bioweapon, designed to destroy these kinds of chips. Miles decide to conduct a thorough internal investigation in ImpSec HQ, and discovers that he is being framed for the attack on Illyan. He manages to get an alibi, and continues the investigation. Next, evidence that a Komarran ImpSec officier, friend of Miles and the son of the man from whom ImpSec took the bioweapon ten years ago, is found and the man is arrested. Miles cannot believe him guilty and goes on investigating. Finally, he remembers the air filters installed in each and every room, which have caught some amout of the bioweapon (which is spore-like). He sets up a trap for the real responsible for this mess, who happens to be the interim head of ImpSec. He finally confesses that he wanted to be head of ImpSec, whereas Illyan had planned to put Miles to the job.

[ Posted on July 28th, 2007 at 14:02 | 1 comment | ]

Monday, July 23rd, 2007


Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Komarr has been published in 1998 by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Miles has left the military and has become an Imperial Auditor. He is sent to Komarr to investigate the partial destruction of the soletta, a device orbiting around the planet and concetrate energy from its sun towards the surface. Miles spends some time on the planet's surface time with his co-auditor, at the latter's niece's place. While there, Miles fells in love with Ekaterin (the niece), and learns that her husband (Tien) has been loosing lots of money on bad investments. Miles then discovers that Tien is involved with the people responsible for the destruction of the soletta, taking bribes from them while they embezzel money from a terraforming project under Tien's supervision. Tien being an insufferable husband, Ekaterin decides to leave him, just when the Auditors discover about the embezzelment and Tien's involvment. Tien decides to tell Miles all that he knows, but dies in an accident. The Auditors then discover what hardware had been bought with the embezelled money, and manage to infer its purpose: the four Komarrans involved have built a device that will close permanently the wormhole linking Barrayar to Komarr, its only path to the galaxy, as a revenge for Barrayar's invasion of Komarr several decades ago. The four conspirators are nowhere to be found, since they disappeared concurrently with Tien's death. Meanwhile, Ekaterin has gone to the space station where passengers and goods transit from Barrayar, in order to welcome her aunt. She is seen by one of the Komarran conspirators who takes her hostage with her aunt. Ekaterin manages to destroy the device shortly and call for help, leading Miles to the station. He manages to negotiate with the Komarrans, free the hostages and catch the conspirators. At the end, Ekaterin accepts his invitation to Vorbarr Sultana.

[ Posted on July 23rd, 2007 at 20:18 | 3 comments | ]

Saturday, July 14th, 2007


Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

A novel by Lois McMaster Bujold published in 1994.

Miles and Ivan are sent to Cetaganda as representatives of Barrayar at the funeral of the late Empress. During a weird incident, Miles puts his hands on a mysterious object, and discovers later that it is the Key that opens the genetic database of the Cetagandan nobility, which in turn is necessary for deciding the genomes of the future noble heirs. Miles is contacted by a Lady who wants to get the Key back, but she immediately notices that it is a fake. Miles wants to help her finding the real Key, sensing that this whole story is a plot aiming at creating a diplomatic incident between Barrayar and Cetaganda. The Lady is the chief geneticist of the Empire, and she tells Miles that the late Empress wanted to backup the genetic database by giving copies to the eight planetary governors, each of them believing that he is the only depositary. The plan was only half implemented, and now one of the governors is trying to get it all for himself. After a difficult investigation and several attempts on his life, Miles discovers who the thief is. He goes onto his ship and manages to retrieve the Key. He finally gets the Cetagandan Medal of Honour.

[ Posted on July 14th, 2007 at 23:28 | 1 comment | ]

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Brothers in Arms

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

A novel by Lois McMaster Bujold published in 1989.

After their operation on Dagoola IV, the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet is badly in need of repairs, and especially of money. The park in orbit around Earth where Miles goes to the Barrayaran embassy, hoping to get his mony from ImpSec. The consulate has not enough credits to cover such large expanses, and Miles has to wait for a courier to go and come back. In the meanwhile, Miles is affected to the staff of the embassy along with his cousin Ivan… Trouble begins when Miles is recognized as Admiral Naismith by a reporter; Miles then makes up a clone of himself to explain why Miles Vorkosigan looks so much like Naismith. Some time later, Miles' commanding officer at the embassy disapears mysteriously, while Miles wonders why his money hasn't arrived yet, and is not even mentionned in the message from ImpSec. And right after that, Miles is kidnapped and locked up with his C.O. He is interrogated by a Komarran rebel who happens to be Miles' C.O.'s father, who wants to take revenge over Count Vorkosigan, responsible for the invasion of Komarr almost thirty years ago. The rebel had had a clone of Miles made by House Bharaputra, and then trained as a mole and a killer, whose goal is to pose as Miles, kill the Count, become the new count, and from there jump the the imperial throne. Miles is freed by his fellow Dendarii just in the nick of time and manages to expose his clone (who, according to Betan philosophy, he considers as his brother and consequently names Mark, following Barrayaran tradition of naming the sons of Vor families). Miles more or less convinces Mark that the plot against Barrayar cannot work and that the real plot is about provoking a political chaos on Barrayar that could allow a revolution on Komarr, by exposing the Emperor as a fake. This would inevitably lead to the death of the Emperor i.e., Mark. In the end, the old rebel is killed by Mark, and the latter disapears with the help of Miles.

[ Posted on December 30th, 2006 at 00:00 | 1 comment | ]

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Borders of Infinity

Categories: [ Books/Barrayar ]

Three not-so-short stories by Lois McMaster Bujold, wrapped into one book, where Miles explains Illyan why the Dendarii have been costing ImpSec so much money lately.

In The Mountains of Mourning, Miles investigates the murder of a “mutant” baby in a small village in the backcountry of Barrayar, where infanticide for such a reason is still common. The mother accuses her husband of the crime becaus he was seen near the house where the baby was sleeping while the mother was picking berries at some distance. The murderer happens to be the mother of the mother, who had had several “mutant” babies and had killed them herself. The husband knew that she was the murderer, didn't say anything to protect his wife.

In Labyrinth, Miles conducts a covert operation on Jackson's Whole in order to help a geneticist of House Bharaputra to defect. The scientist won't leave without taking some vauable samples with him, but these are currently hidden into virus residing in the calf of a genetically engineered super soldier that he helped creating. Alas, the super-soldier has too much physiological drawbacks to be useful, and the project has been canceld; the only surviving specimen has been sold to House Ryoval for the Baron's collection of weird creatures. Miles then tries to enter Ryoval's facilities by night, but he's caught and locked up in a cellar with the super-soldier, who happens to be a female teenager, admitedly 8 feet tall and with sharp nails, but very friendly if you are friendly with her. Miles manages to escape with the creature he named Taura, just after destroying the whole collection of Ryoval's tissue samples that is the core of his business.

In The Borders of Infinity Miles is a prisoner of war of the Cetagandans. The prison camp is on Dagoola IV under an everlighted dome. The prisoners are all living together, and organised as gangs; only the stronger survive. Miles manages to organize the weaker people to control the distribution of food (which appears twice a day in a random location of the dome as a heap of space rations). Once he managed to organize all the prisoners, the Dendarii arrive and extracts all the ten thousand people within two hours, the delay needed by the Cetagandans to get their fleet to defend the place against the attacker.

[ Posted on December 25th, 2006 at 15:58 | 1 comment | ]