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We can only hope to be half as good as Lois - Elf M. Sternberg
We can only hope to be half as good as Lois
Warning: What follows contains spoilers about Lois McMaster Bujold's Memory.

In a scene where Miles encounters another courier who was wounded in action, he makes the following observation:
It had apparently been Gregor's day to hand out various Imperial recognitions, for a new decoration gleamed on Vorberg's chest, the one for being wounded in the Emperor's Service. Miles had half a jar full of similar ones at home in a drawer; at some point Illyan had stopped issuing them to him anymore, perhaps fearing that Miles's threat to don them all at once sometime was not facetious.
And then, just a few chapters later, when he needs to invoke the full authority of the blood he has shed for the Imperium, Miles does indeed don all of them at once, to an effect "just short of looney."

She does this again and again and again. Each time I re-read Bujold, I see more of the same: symbolism, allegory, and foreshadowing so subtle that it borders on fairy dust.

We can hope to be half as good as she is.

Current Mood: jealous jealous

7 comments or Leave a comment
herewiss13 From: herewiss13 Date: August 14th, 2013 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The "garbing with medals" sequence is one of my favorites. Memory is my favorite and least favorite because she manages to evoke the shock and depression of being fired far too well. Like a punch to the gut with a bucket of ice water (to mix a metaphor) and sometimes it's all I can do not to have a flashback.

ManicAuditor!Miles, on the other hand is a joy and a treasure forever.
(Deleted comment)
bolindbergh From: bolindbergh Date: August 14th, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
a punch to the gut with a bucket of ice water

Good one, especially in the context of a novel featuring literal ice water.

elfs From: elfs Date: August 14th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
The garbing with medals scene is awesome, but it's the way she foreshadows doing something Illyan feared-- on Illyan's behalf, that makes it so marvelous.
srmalloy From: srmalloy Date: August 14th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
And the way that, IIRC, Gregor refers to his appearing in very full dress as "coming the Vor lord with intent" lays a capstone on it.
resonant From: resonant Date: August 14th, 2013 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
How she manages to cram so much into such concise prose astounds me. And every time I notice something (hand gestures, for example), I must reread all her works.
moiety_tx From: moiety_tx Date: August 15th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nobody does Chekhov's Blaster like Lois. Nobody.

Edited at 2013-08-15 09:32 pm (UTC)
7 comments or Leave a comment