Reviews for The Short Victorious Vor
DefenderofHelplessSemicolons chapter 6 . 4/17/2010
Interesting concept for a crossover! I really enjoyed reading it. The characters' voices sounded accurate and the tone was a great mix of Weber and Bujold. And of course Miles would be attracted to Honor. (I'm not completely convinced that he's her type, but I think you made it work. :D )

I'm not sure I buy all of the actions or plot points (other reviewers have pointed out some of the holes, so I won't go there), but thought this was a great read and quite well-written. Though it works as a standalone, I'd be interested in seeing a sequel.
nfall chapter 6 . 2/15/2010
ohh cool, i likes this a lot :)
BookWorm848 chapter 6 . 2/13/2010
Genus. Pure Chilling Genus. I am going to name my firstborn after you. The child's name will be Win.* THANK YOU for sharing this.

*That is stolen from a review I saw years ago.

PS I heard about this game where you have to collect a team. The team has five people, not including you. You must complete a mission, but you don't know what that mission is. It could be anything from a chili cook-off to a surfing competition to an assassination. Who, from all of history and literature would you choose for your team?

MILES FOR THE WIN!

My best friend, mother, and I all (WITH NO COMMUNICATION!) chose Miles Vorkosigan. I maintain he is pure distilled awesome.
zafaran chapter 6 . 12/3/2009
Oh, Holy Hell. What an end point to leave this on. More, more, more, please. Sequel! Sequel! Pretty please. I'm also going to post this story as recommended reading to my list-sibs on the Lois McMaster Bujold mailing list. Herself won't read it since the post headers are flagged so she doesn't accidentally see things about fanfic so that it doesn't effect future Vorkosi-verse stories (there's another Miles book on contract with Baen), but the rest of the listees may pop over and read the story. I hope your muse and schedule will allow you to write and post more chapters on more stories sometime soon. Keep up the good work. Zafaran {mailto:} zafaran {at} fastmail {dot} fm
Weasel Fu chapter 6 . 11/11/2009
I loved Miles' reaction to Allison's offer to gestate the twins. Very Miles. He has close, personal experience on why it is safer (to his own mind) for babies to be gestated in uterine replicators. He himself would not be crippled if his mother had gone that route from the beginning and his whole culture has gone that route. I can easily see him as regarding Allison as a threat to his kids if she insists. Not to mention his cultural paranoia about birth defects and his not wanting his kids to have to go through the kinds of things he did. I would think that Miles would be deadly serious about protecting his kids from that kind of danger.

I liked Miles' point about genetic technology. In that aspect at least, the Miles-verse could very well be ahead of the Honor-verse in terms of technology. The Jackson's Hole genetic community seems to be more advanced than Grendel, and a lot less principled. I also loved Miles telling the story of how his mother got him back. Yay Cordelia!

I personally don't see what's so bad about Cordelia as a name, but it was more than a bit creepy that Honor wanted to name one of her kids after her dead boyfriend. Remember him sure, but name one of you (but not his) kids after him?

Miles' analysis of the military implications of Manticore getting access to his universe were interesting, and not totally unfounded. After all, while the Queen of Manticore might be an honorable person who would not advocate expansion, the same can not be said for the rest of her government, which has shown itself on many occasions capable of overturning her will. In fact, the current government, headed by whats-his-name, (I can't remember, the ones who had all the blackmail material?) has shown itself ready and willing to screw over allies in order to further their own agenda (hence what happened in Crown of Slaves). I don't see any reason for Miles to trust to their good intentions, and I don't think that any of the Miles-verse empires would have much chance against them if they did come. Manticore has built an impressive war based manufacturing system over the last few decades, and they do seem to be substantially larger than the typical Miles-verse empire.

I don't know if Miles' actions at the end were in character or not. I can't really see him letting his wife go like that, but then I don't know how deeply he was attached to her since they really only got married because of the kids. I do think he would be faithful to her from now on. I also don't see how Samantha and Nimitz can be separated for 100 years and not have adverse effects. I do think that Miles' first loyalty would be to Barrayar, and in that light he's not being too out of character. I also don't know if I agree with his stated reasoning of the Honor-verse nations being unable to keep peace. But on the other hand the Manticore Queen has a deep and personal hatred of the People's Republic and the two sides have been fighting for decades now (I think). I do agree that it would be very unlikely that the Manticore Government (or any of the big star nations) would treat the Miles-verse nations as equals, so I can see why Miles felt compelled to keep the two from interacting. I think it would have been a big wrench for him to leave his daughters behind, but that he also couldn't steal all of his kids from Honor. It's a complicated balance, but I would love to see a sequel (hint hint) where the two sides begin to interact once more.

All in all this was a great story and I look forward to seeing what else you come up with. Great job!
Weasel Fu chapter 5 . 11/11/2009
I thought Miles' reactions to the Grayson culture were very interesting. I don't know if I agree that they are true of cannon, but I certainly see where he's coming from. I absolutely loved when he quoted the Devil, classic Miles. I also thought it was a little odd of him to criticize Honor for taking stands of principle, when he himself has a very strong sense of personal honor and will go to great lengths to see that the right thing is done. Perhaps he was just commenting that she sometimes takes stands that are too extreme due to her inability to back down?

I thought your little blurbs of ideas, Taura meeting the Countess of the Tor, etc. were good. You gave us little hints that other things were going on in the meantime without breaking up the storyline. You're forcing us to imaging how the scenarios would have gone.

I also liked Miles' part in getting Honor back. That kind of mission is very in line with the kind of thing he does in cannon. Well done!
Weasel Fu chapter 4 . 11/11/2009
I liked the negotiations, but I thought there might have been more conflicts with swearing fealty since Barrayar puts so much emphasis on oaths and fealty. I thought it was a little out of character for Honor to worry about what the Dendarii troops though of her, she's usually very self confidant.

I also thought Miles' reactions to the dueling equipment were pure Miles. The reactions were very in character, but would he really have been so surprised? It seems that people were dueling with swords until at least his father's generation. Maybe he just thought that the newcomers with their shiny tech would be more advanced?

I also thought it was a good idea to make the dimension hopping technology dependent on a jump ship and pilot. That adds an organic, as well as the neuro-implant technology requirement to anyone who wants to come to the Miles-verse. That adds a lot more safety to his universe than just a different form of jump drive. I find it very hard to believe that any star nation would allow Miles to keep his technology secret while in their universe, but if they need a specifically trained person with neural implants to make it work that would add a lot of help to Miles' efforts to keep the method secret.
Weasel Fu chapter 3 . 11/11/2009
I liked the meeting with the treecats. It seems like you are portraying them as a hunter-gatherer society as opposed to an agrarian society. That is a reasonable difference between the two races of treecats and it's something we can relate to from historical examples.

I also liked the bits of Miles introspection at the end of the chapter. It was good to see him forcing himself to be honest with himself, even if that forced him to acknowledge his own weaknesses and prejudices.
Weasel Fu chapter 2 . 11/11/2009
Another good chapter. There were a few out of character blips I noticed, Nimitz was described as uneasy when Taura was thinking about how to protect Miles, but I don't think I have ever heard of Nimitz being intimidated by anyone. Maybe cautious would be a better descriptor? Also, Miles in cannon seemed to have a bit more respect for the Cetagandan Empire after the early book Cetaganda. Maybe he's being a bit more adversarial than usual to throw them off balance and keep them from allying with Honor?

I liked your argument about the new Sphinx belonging to the treecats. I thought it was a bit odd that Honor was so set on claiming the planets when it was obvious they weren't "her" home systems, but maybe that can be put down to "that's how things are supposed to be" syndrome. The idea of making Samantha Empress is the kind of outside-the-box thinking that is classic Miles. The Betan responses to the idea were also very in character. I can see where Honor would have trouble trying to get a pretty paranoid person to believe that these aliens, which he has never heard of before, and who have changed his thought patterns, are actually not part of a plot or conspiracy to take over the star system. She can say until she's blue in the face that treecats aren't interested in ruling over other people, but she's a suspect source, being linked to Nimitz and why should he believe her anyways? I bet the original settlers of Sphinx took a long time to get over lingering suspicions about treecat supremacy, but they have had centuries to observe that the treecats are actually not trying to take over. I also thought the Peep's takes on treecats were nicely in character.
Weasel Fu chapter 1 . 11/11/2009
I have already read your story through once and it is great! Overall the story was delightful. I was able to recognize the characters as having mostly cannon characteristics and your plot idea was interesting. That you wrote the whole thing through instead of leaving it half done puts you head and shoulders above a lot of other writers. I will be reviewing by chapter so I can be more detailed.

I read the other reviews and I don't know why they are complaining about Miles' plans always working. You have a nice, plausible disruption to his plans in this chapter when Samantha blows his dinner plot, and I think Miles reacted in a very in character manner managing to keep his wits about him and using fancy footwork to buy time.

I liked the Thorne-Miles interactions, I think you did a good job of keeping them in character. Honestly I think that the Miles Vorkosigan characters are going to be harder to write than the Honor Harrington ones. David Weber, for all of his superb writing talent, seems to have less emotional characters than Lois Bujold. Sure Honor can lose her temper and lay the smack down, but she seems to be very controlled in everything she does. The Weber characters just feel cooler than the Bujold ones, it's probably just writing style differences, but the Bujold plots can pull me in and invoke an emotional response that David Weber doesn't. Anyway, all that to say that I think you are doing a good job with Miles and that Honor doesn't seem out of character to me.
i like boats chapter 6 . 11/2/2009
Fantastic story. In some respects (deliberately? ironically?) it seemed to echo some of the flaws in the Vorkosigan books, like the way that Miles' plans so frequently work - surely someone in the Honorverse would have gotten wise? Or, perhaps more in character, seized him for interrogation.

If the idea behind the story was Miles' diatribe in his letter in the last chapter, it's a great one: Weber's books are entertaining, but by comparison with Bujold's work they're populated by barbaric caricatures. The juxtaposition is delicious.
BlueSkyFiction chapter 1 . 10/31/2009
Very nicely done!
AnimeFan101 chapter 6 . 10/26/2009
I decided to read through the other reviews before I wrote this, to see what others thought.

Like several others, I thought this started out with lots of potential and possibilities. However, I was shortly reeling just trying to follow along with the sudden scene changes and pace of the story, and wondering what hole you'd pulled these fakes trying to be Honor and Miles out of.

Miles's indictment of the way war is waged in the Honorverse in particular made me furious. Miles is an extremely intelligent person. That space-based combat evolved along different lines in the Honorverse should be of no surprise to him, and further undeserving of his condemnation; if one superpower advances their combat capabilities, and another does not, that which lags behind risks being swallowed by the advancing superpower. The People's Republic of Haven was expanding for decades before they came into conflict with the Star Kingdom of Manticore. Hence, his diatribe makes no sense. Further, you have him chewing Honor out for being "uncaring" of the loss of life being suffered by her kingdom in this war. So you have Miles bonded to a treecat, and with all his fierce intelligence, and he completely misses that Honor remembers and mourns each and every lost soldier? This is not Miles Naismith Vorkosigan.

Honor's behavior started confusing me from almost the start. Honor's direct ancestor was the first treecat-adopted human. Further, Honor herself has been out to Nimitz's home ranges and met his clan on many occasions while growing up. Finally, as the longest adopted family line on Sphinx, Honor herself is well aware that treecats are far more than they appear: every book, at least twice, Honor thinks about how much people underestimate treecats, simply because they "seem" to be simple. Honor makes note many times that she's sure there's a lot that the treecats aren't revealing, and that it's just as important that she assist in keeping the ruse going. The revelation that treecats were every bit as sentient and intelligent and humans came as no surprise to her at all: it was simple confirmation of an unspoken fact Honor had known since she was a child. Who in the world is this person you're claiming in Honor?

Miles getting onto Cordelia Ransom's ship makes zero sense whatsoever. The technology level of Havenite warships is clearly outlined: getting within 200,0 kilometers without being detected is impossible. Honor's ships in "Echoes of Honor" were definitively nailed while sailing through space in an unpowered state at a distance of 700,0 kilometers. Treecats pre-human colonization had not developed more than extremely limited understanding of farming, but they had fire and tools, and a thriving culture. Casting them down into the dirt like you did makes no sense, especially given the glimpses into their culture we have in Weber's books. Honor falls for Miles nearly right from the start. How out of character can you make this caricature?

Bottom line: high hopes and lots of possibilities, but the story ultimately fails to deliver. It makes me wonder: how much of Weber's and Bujold's books have you read?
Blaise chapter 6 . 10/25/2009
Having now read the Honorverse books I thought I'd come back to this and reread, not least because it's so delightful. I like what you do with the comparative tech. I never really thought about how small the Vorkosiverse ships were, or the idea that the Necklin rods limit the size of the ship (is this mentioned somewhere that I forgot? Or is it your fanon?).

The hallucination scene is even funnier now that I've read Weber's very undersexed Honor. I have a depressing feeling that whatever she and Paul, or she and Hamish, do in bed is a lot less creative. Personally, I'd have paired her with Caslet.

Samantha is a real revolutionary! Brilliant. I do find the treecats insufficiently complex, and I think Foraker has the right of it with her dislike of the Manticoran treatment of other intelligent species. I like how Miles sees them so differently from Honor. And Jourdain's treecat with communist agit-prop is particularly wonderful.

I do rather enjoy the thought of Cordelia Ransom being fast-penta'd. Weber's villains are so very ott, but in her case I'll make an exception for genuine nastiness.

I do like LaFollet's 'brave enough to try' line. A very good summary of Miles.

"You could even have them born on Grayson, too, since I'm going back there to mind the clinic." Allison added. "I think I've nearly found out what's causing their miscarriages, but I need to take more samples."

Now there's a chilling indictment of the woman. Let me carry your babies whilst I research what causes miscarriages on a toxic world! Miles channelling his mother is wonderful.

“Really,” Gregor said, expressionless.

Gregor's figured out what Miles is planning here, hasn't he? Betrayal of lovers, backstabbing and Barrayaran inheritance games being second nature to him.

And the ending is every bit as fantastic as before.

- Philomytha
J. Palmgren chapter 6 . 10/18/2009
My main problem with "The Short Victorious Vor" is that you essentially handwave away the way you let everything Miles tries go absolutely perfect.

You let his supersoldier GF be immune to empathy and oh so superior in speed to not just honor but to a whole room of people for no reason.

In fact you let every dirty trick Miles tries slid by in the story and just mentioned in passing how great they worked... Lets take a few of them...

Hacking. Sure it works perfectly and noone suspects a thing!

Fast Penta. Works perfectly! You betcha noone noticed anything!

And sure Honor will suddenly act like a naive twit and fall in love with him and give him full access and an absolute trust he never deserved!

And sure he will be able to sit on the transfer technology in his little ship for two years and take off with a crapload of Honor's people and their son without his empathic wife or her empathic pet ever noticing he is about as trustworthy as a scorpion.

It just does NOT compute! How the fuck could not just Miles but all of his people not betray with a single emotion to honor that secretly they feel Grayson and Manticore are suckers who feel that just because Miles and his people have been welcomed with open arms and had their lives saved by Honor and her people they should somehow feel indebted and loyal.

I can tell you what would actually happen...

During those two years when Miles was a busy Gopher and stole secrets and ran little kidnapping and hacking ops against his hosts they actually found out he was doing it. Honor spotted his emotions and saw through him after a few weeks and then alerted Benjamin to organize a counter-op. Just in case her suspicions were true... By now half the information he has is in fact compromised and Manticore and Allies have actually have the specs for the wormhole gizmo as well as much of the other tech Miles brought with him.

They just never anticipated he would be so fucking stupid as to kidnap a score of people including the son of a Steadholder while thumbing his nose at them and call them stupid fuckers while he was at it.

What will happen now is that within five years "War of Honor" will play out very differently since Honor will now push Queen Elizabeth to back another possible solution to the assassinations. Someone is plotting but her gut tells her it is not the Peeps. How do we know it's not that lying bastard Miles and his people enacting a prepared plan to keep Manticore and Heaven at war in order to cover his back? Even the possibility will make Elizabeth hesitate and prevent the inane mistakes that lead to the death of millions of naval officers over nothing.

A few months later once investigations indicate another unknown hand behind large parts of the conflict and the secret Manpower Cabal have wrecked some havoc on the Star Kingdom and the Repiblic who do you think they will suspect? A secret religious conglomerate that controls the resources of an empire? That shows technology never seen before. That uses ship technology without wedges and visible sails?

No. They will believe, with good reason, that Miles and his crew have allied with Mesa and others to disrupt them.

Within ten years Miles will thus have forced peace between Heaven and Manticore just by presenting a greater threat and acting like a total bastard. Imagine his surprise when a joint armada of pod-capable ships flying the latest in EW-tech enters his universe to go tell the Vor to surrender. To surrender their people. To surrender that bastard Miles. And then because they are pretty pissed by now they also demand they pay up for their little intelligence games. I imagine the price will be steep.

By this point the Vor will likely believe they can play the same game as last time and will then promptly lose all visible military assets. what have they managed to do with the secrets they have stolen in a mere ten years? I can tell you... Absolutely friggin' nothing! These are Vor. Science? So not their strong point! Design and industry? They absolutely stink at it.

worse case scenario: The Betans got hold of Miles little stolen stove of secrets and since they think information should be free by now half the powers in the Vor-verse have it. And they still have not have had time to do anything with it!

Looking forward to the follow up with smarter and more believable characters and plot.

Sincerely,

J. Palmgren
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