Newest Bujold -- Big Spoilers removed

Ven vendersleighc at
Fri Aug 2 22:05:18 EDT 2002

Melissa wrote 

>I agree that _Diplomatic Immunity_ doesn't have 
the heft of its immediate
predecessors.  What I disagree about is the idea 
that it's a step backwards.
As I look at the series, she's consistently had 
some books that were less
complex than others.  _Komarr_, which I loved, 
isn't nearly the book that
_Memory_ is, for example.> 

While I agree that DI isn't actually a step
backwards I don't think it's anywhere near the
book that Komarr is. Komarr has a far greater
emotional kick and a far more compelling plot.

< Occasionally she hits 
a very powerful point in
the series, and the book immediately following is

usually a lesser work.  So
I don't see her progressing in a straight line so

much as I think she simply
has some books that aren't as powerful as others.
I also don't think _DI_
represents the entire direction the series is 
heading.  _A Civil Campaign_
made some dramatic changes to the dynamic of the 
series, and I think it will
take at least two books to see what's going to 

Good point about the way the series varies
(except that Mirror Dance and Memory are

Robyn wrote

<Well, there are the twins. Either Ekaterin will
end up offstage looking 
after them, or Miles will, and Ekaterin will be
the action protagonist. 
Likelihoods? Hmmm.>

Now that Miles is an Auditor he can have the kind
of Vorbar Sultana adventure that lets him go home
for lunch like his Da. And I am sure they will
employ help. What bothers me is that when series
turn into family saga it's hard to steer between
the improbably perfect family and the one where
your favourite characters have to turn into the
new generation's "bad parents".

<I really love Bujold as an author, and can't
praise her enough, but that 
damn uterine replicator really creeps me out. I
just cannot believe her 
totally unchallenged party line that there is no
perceptible difference to 
the developing baby; there is plenty of medical
evidence which says babies 
hear heartbeats and voices and then recognise
them after birth, etc. Also, 
no one appears to breast feed the babies, which
is another thing which goes 
unspoken and unchallenged. And there is plenty of
evidence that babies need 
physical contact, which they don't get in the
Bujold universe. It peeves me 
that she doesn't even address the contradictions
she sets up - there are 
the parents, with their blastocyst photos,
clearly developing emotional 
relationships with the unborn babies, and that's
important to them, but it 
isn't important for the fetus to get any in utero
stimulation. Baloney.>

It makes me wonder about LMB's expereince of
pregnancy (she has two children). There are
cetainly advantages to uterine replicators in
solving some problems, they  do sound a better
idea than surrogate mothers in a lot of ways, or
as an advanced kind of incubator for very
premature babies. A better version could perhaps
be designed to be carried by the parents (like an
artificial pouch!).


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