Now the Vorkosigan books

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jun 27 07:52:31 EDT 2003


Kyla wrote:

>On Thu, 26 Jun 2003 minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>
>> I can now tell you, as a result of empirical research, that *Mirror Dance*
>> is probably as good a place to start as any.  You don't need to have read
>> the back-story first: enough is presented within the book to make it clear
>> what's going on.  One can always go chronological later.
>...hm. The problem with starting with Mirror Dance, I think, is that it's
>not a book that lets one get to know Miles terribly well. The Warrior's
>Apprentice really is the best place to start, if you want to start with
>Miles and not Cordelia.

I have been *instructed* to read them in order.  I am essentially hedgehog
in my nature (they're all prickly anarchists, hedgehogs) and do not take
well to being told what to do by any authority I have not personally
selected on the basis of experience that this particular authority is
valid, most especially if an authority I *have* selected and accepted is at
variance with the one I haven't.  Therefore I shall read them in random
order.  If they really are whizforatoms grade A, they'll stand up to this
arbitrary decision and I'll enjoy them each in its own right or write.
Time alone will tell, as far as I am concerned, because I have only read
one (and 177 pages of another), but as of this day they're doing ok.

>> My informant and book-lender, who knows me possibly better than any other
>> single human being on this planet, handed me five or so and said it
>> wouldn't make much odds which of them I took first.  The others she put in
>> the grab-bag were *Memory*, *Ethan of Athos*, *Cetaganda* and *A Civil
>> Campaign*.  I will probably take 'em in reverse alphabetical order of
>> title.
>I would suggest that you wait to read A Civil Campaign until you've read
>Komarr. No, of course, it's not *vital*; and you seem to be less focused
>than I on "but I *must* know what's happened before!"; but (oh, lordy,
>it's hard to do this without being spoilery) the backstory is presented in
>slightly different ways, and it's good to know how it really happened.

*Suggestions* are welcome; it's being Told What To Do that gets me saying
"who is this person who knows my own mind better than I do?" and going
another way.... Besides, these are the ones I have at my elbow, and my
loaner has house-guests this weekend so I can't go and rifle her shelves
without having to talk to the house-guests, and one of them is a person I
find it impossible not to be rude to.  He would certainly start to tell me
what I ought to read first, and I might at that point *bite* him (and
damage my teeth, he's incredibly thick-skinned).

If I ration myself a bit, though, I won't have finished *Cetaganda* before
Sunday evening, so I'd be able to take your advice and borrow *Komarr*
before I go on to *A Civil Campaign*.  Though I am told there is an
unmissable dinner party in *A Civil Campaign*, and I am looking forward to
it, which influenced my chosen reading-order, I suppose...  Keeping the
sugar tops of the Iced Gem biscuits and eating the biscuit-bits first...

Thanks to you for the potted intros: they're better than the back-cover
blurbs by a useful margin.

Minnow


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