Miles Vorkosigan - big character or too annoying for words

Jo Zebedee

Aliens vs Belfast.
Oct 5, 2011
blah - flags. So many flags.
I like Miles. I'd kill him in a week, mind you, but I think he is one of the best sff characters I've read.
Bujold stated that she throws everything at a character to give them more to overcome - and to build our sympathy, evidently. I don't think I like Miles because of that, though, but other things.

His zest for life gives a sense of real escapism that I enjoy. Some of the books push that a little far - Cetagandan pulls my disbelief just a little too far - but, mostly, I find she has the balance right.

She drops pathos in beautifully - there is a passage where Ivan reflects on Miles becoming an Auditor: so small, so wrecked, so incandescent. I find that works well for me.

And, yes, we all like supporting the underdog.

But, mostly, for me it is the closeness of pov, the strength of the character voice (which overrides many technical things that set my teeth on edge and have me yelling 'question marks, use them!') and the rich secondary characters that makes the series work for me.
I love this series Springs. Not sure if it is for the reasons you state or not but I have no argument with the points you make. I just know that when I see a new book is out I grab it and get ready to be entertained. Granted, I'm easy :)
I like Miles. I'd kill him in a week, mind you, but I think he is one of the best sff characters I've read.


Yeah, like 7 of 9 on Voyager. Couldn't stand such a person in real life but made for a great show.

Warrior's Apprentice is the only Mile's story I think is somewhat marginal, or maybe his opponents were written too dumb.

I always think of what Illyan says about Miles, in A Civil Campaign:
He seemed to regard any order worth obeying as worth exceeding. If I could have installed one control device on him, it would have been a rheostat. Power him down a turn or two . . . maybe I could have made him last longer.
But that's what makes Miles Miles, and why I agree absolutely with Springs' first sentence.

New Vorkosigan books by LMB are on my very short, very select list of those-that-are-bought-in-hardback-on-the-first-day-of-publication. That's dropped to three authors now (I'm afraid Pterry has been cut, after Raising Steam), so it's even more select...
I'm one of those who finds Miles insufferable. I'll take Cordelia any time. I loved those early books. But as the series deepened I just couldn't take Miles any more. I've stopped reading them some years ago.
I love Miles -- and yes, he would be impossible to live with, but that's part of the point. I mean, everyone who knows him says that. The ones who have to live with him are duty-bound to power him down a notch when necessary, and they're used to it. Some, like his mother or Ekaterin, with a look, and some, like Ivan, with ice water.

Of course he's over-the-top, but he grew up as a powerful-minded soul in a wrecked body -- there were times when he couldn't move at all, as a small child, and had to perfect his "charm" to get people to do things for him. And, like his mother, he makes people want to live up to his expectations for them. It's a talent of a great leader.
If you're actually talking about the letter, and not some code that I've failed to pick up on, that's a part that I cry at every time. *sniff*
The bit where he slinks off to write the letter, and then the letter, and Pym and Marta and...

And I think that sums up why I find the books great fun:

Her dialogue is excellent, with loads of non he-saids....
The situations are relateable to - darn it, we've all had to eat humble pie and it hurts
And she gets so much into few words -Pym pointing out he had to follow his leader into sewage and the leader was knee-higher.

I must read some of her fantasy - any recommendations, or is that a new thread?
sproinggg said:
any recommendations, or is that a new thread?
No, unless you're attempting to get as many Bujold threads as possible, to get her her own subforum.

Anything but 'Spirit ring'. Definitely read the 'Sharing Knife' tetralogy; Teresa finds some of the sex scenes a bit Xplicit, but Fawn's just a bit enthusiastic about everything in life, and I love the world building. And the 'Five Gods' universe is interesting, too; that's 'Curse of Challion' and Palladin, I'm less convinced by hallowed hunt.

And my opinion about Miles (or Mark for that matter)? I'd prefer Ivan (you Idiot!) Vorpatril as a room mate, and would definitely evade observation when the Imperial auditor and planet's worst poet was not feeling in sorts. And, being of less than average height I can but sympathise with his predicaments :D

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