[DWJ] Mediocre fantasy serieses (was Titles (was

Margaret Ball margaret at onr.com
Wed Jun 14 16:18:48 EDT 2006

Dorian wrote

> IIRC, Cordelia herself doesn't say anything (that we are shown, at 
> least) about why she never went to Beta Colony with some of Aral's 
> DNA. *Miles* says somewhere, to Mark, I think, that his parents never 
> had another child after him because they didn't want him to feel not 
> good enough.
I think there were two different "reasons" discussed in two different 
books, both political. I can't remember the first explanation - 
something or other about the procedure would have been politically 
unacceptable, I think. A later and much more compelling explanation was 
that if Cordelia and Aral produced a second, "normal" son, they'd be 
under tremendous pressure to bypass their "mutie" first-born and find 
some excuse to pass the title on to the second son. It wasn't so much a 
matter of _Miles_ feeling not good enough as the fear that the rest of 
_Barrayar_, given any alternative, would feel that Miles wasn't good enough.

She (Bujold, not Cordelia) got around that one brilliantly with Mark. 
Not even Barrayarans would prefer Mark to inherit the title!

None of this makes it clear to me why they couldn't have created a 
clutch of daughters, though. I think the real explanation is that 
_Bujold _wanted Miles to be an only child, for very good reasons. For 
one thing, the pressure to be a worthy successor to one's parents must 
be significantly diluted if you're the eldest of a large brood rather 
than the One And Only. And then she had to write her way around the fact 
that she'd posited a technology which would have allowed Cordelia and 
Aral to have all the children they could afford.

-Margaret Ball

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