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Joined 10-05-11, id: 3313970, Profile Updated: 09-27-16
Author has written 16 stories for Miles Vorkosigan, Honor Harrington, Protector of the Small Quartet, and Pride and Prejudice.

I'm a teacher, academic, and published literary critic -- British, male, middle-aged, and tall, with too many cats. (The one looking at you from my userpic is the original of ImpSec, by the way.)

And in every case, the characters and settings used belong to the authors of canon, and are used without permission, for fun, not for profit.

To follow any of the embedded links you must use right click and open link.

The Peaceful Vorkosiverse

Comprising Forward Momentum, The Christening Tour, Not Place but People, The Two Ivans, Tug-of-Vor, Vor and Peace, Uncle?, The Peace Memorial, & The Propaganda Cycle -- preferably in that order.

The whole thing was also an experiment, as the summary says. LMB has that rule-of-thumb about when in doubt having the worst thing happen, and my father used to say that if you wanted to test a proposition, try turning it round -- so I wound up with the idea of having good things happen instead, which made me think hard about what spilt milk Miles would want to unspill if he could, and off I went. Several hundred thousand words later ...

Risking a plug, for those as might be interested I've written about Bujold and some of the Vorkosiverse fanfic, including my own AU, in a couple of essays collected in a volume called Of Sex and Faerie: Further Essays on Genre Fiction (Humanities-Ebooks, 2010, and available as a PDF from HEB's site, from Troubador in pbk, and through Amazon's Kindle stores; the PDF is recommended for tablets or anything else with a larger screen). In part, Forward Momentum was an alternative and a companion-piece to the straight Vorkosiverse essay in that volume, called 'Of Marriage and Mutations: LMB and the Several Lives of Lord Miles Naismith Vorkosigan'; the other stories in the Peaceful Vorkosiverse were left-over plot-bunnies that did what plot-bunnies do, and their children. And the process of writing both non-fic and fic as a response to Bujold's remarkable work led to the second essay, called 'Of Criticism and Continuities: A Personal Account of Serial Reading in the Age of the Web', which includes a brief historical account of fic that has some C19 and earlier C20 material I haven't seen cited elsewhere.

The complete AU is also posted both at LiveJournal and AO3 (I'm Bracketyjack in both places). Both sites present long material rather more readably than FFN, and allow proper section-breaks. AO3 also allows downloads in a variety of formats, for those who'd like to read on a mobile device.

I try to reply to all comments, but it's impossible here on FFN unless the commenter is a member. If you're not, but would like to discuss something, PM me with an eddress (which you will have to spell out using DOT and AT, or it will automatically be removed by FFN's nannyware) and I'll try to get back to you ASAP.

I also edit writing on genre fiction for Humanities-Ebooks, so if anyone is interested in writing non-fictionally about their favourite genre work -- whether crime, SF&F, YA and children's lit, romance, or whatever -- do please get in touch by PM'ing me. You don't have to be an experienced writer for publication, but there does need to be something you'd like to say about a book or series that matters to you. And while the rules about quoting fanfiction in print are kinda murky, there is nothing to stop anyone writing about fanfiction for publication -- and such work would be very welcome. God knows there's enough stuff out there that deserves serious comment : just think of it as properly courteous reviewing writ large ...


October 2011

Five Scenes in the Life of Elizabeth III

This reverse-angle fic (not my usual thing) came into existence as the overlong prologue of a novel to be called Honor Among Thieves, in which Honor was decisively to short-circuit David Weber's increasingly glacial timeline, whack High Ridge and his vile cronies until their eyes lurched, and feed all Detweilers to a passel of vengeful treecats. With BBQ sauce. But alas, it stalled at about 70,000 words, I haven't revisited it in a while now, and I can't see that changing any time soon ; so as this bit can stand alone ...

The "Teen and Up" rating is purely for the deaths of Denver Summervale, Pavel Young and Steadholder Burdette.

Dead fics tend to distress or annoy me, so I don't intend to post the unfinished novel, unless I should happen to be bombarded with requests for it. But if you'd like another 50,000 words or so, you're welcome to drop me a PM with an eddress and I'll fire it along.


January 2012

See Honor Among Thieves below.

Lady Knight Volant

This long novel is canon compliant with events before Rathhausak, but overwrites the last chapter and epilogue of Lady Knight and shifts the dates of various weddings. Most but not all later canonical and extracanonical facts are adopted. The rating is a strong T, borderline M, for tauros rape and battle violence.

There are two continuity problems in Protector of the Small—the missing year in Squire, and the fate of Sergeant Connac. I assume Connac went with Sir Merric and the adult refugees, and lived. I also assume the scale of the map in Lady Knight is correct, not the various distances implied in the text, though I invent topography in the Greenwoods valley to suit myself. The missing year, notionally 457–8 or 458–9 HE, is trickier, and while I assume it was without major incident I adjust canonical dates, so Kel underwent her Ordeal aged 18 at Midwinter 460 (not 459, as in canon). I also posit that Kalasin’s canonically undated marriage to Kaddar took place, and (though it doesn’t fit politically or with regard to Daine’s children) the undated events of ‘The Dragon’s Tale’—so Skysong can talk to humans, and the opal dragon Kawit is sometimes seen in Tortall.

There are many fic continuations of Lady Knight, some excellent—but none quite did everything I wanted and I make no apology for writing another that does. One purpose was to continue the quartet’s novel-by-novel curve into greater length and more serious concerns, and the rating is for violence, sexuality, and tauroses; I have little interest in being graphic for its own sake, but readers will not be left doubting what has happened. A second grew from the way TP keeps her Tortallan series as distinct as they are interconnected, and my curiosity as to whether, say, Diamondflame ever visited Kitten in Tortall or how the sociopolitical experiment at Dunlath fared during the Scanran war. An infusion from The Immortals gave Kel her knowing animals, so that aspect needed to be projected too. This does mean that Kel and others are growing and changing, and I don’t believe she could survive events at Rathhausak and after without effects that run deep.

I also owe two impersonal acknowledgements -- to ConfusedKnight, for her remarkable Fallen, now nearing epic completion, from which I take some Scanran names and history (including Somalkt and the Bloody Plains), and which first made me ponder the plot value of tauroses; and to Sarramaks, for her splendid Festival Sequence, for the idea of using the old quarter-day and cross-quarter-day holidays as a structural principle. And two personal ones, to Matthew and to Scott, for beta-reading.

In the language of heraldry a bird 'volant' is shown in flight.

For those who like visual aids, I've posted my working-plan of New Hope and a cross-section of palisades, glacis, and moat at my LiveJournal account -- use the tag 'map'.

And for what it's worth, I have published on Pierce -- an essay, 'Of Stormwings and Valiant Women', in my collection Of Modern Dragons, a little guide to 'The Immortals', and a guide to 'The Protector of the Small' with annotations, an essay, and a note on PotS fanfic. The PotS guide also has comments by TP that include new extracanonical data concerning Jump, death magic, the killing devices and more, as well as more discursive comments on women in combat and other things. (The links are to the Humanities-Ebooks site, but all are also available in the Kindle Store.)


September 2012 (links updated September 2013)

And, just in, Tonnocal has done some fanart of New Hope, very pretty and pleasing. It's back-to-front (or top-to-bottom) from my p-o-v, but a delight, and Tonnocal has my warm thanks. You can see it here, on deviantart.

For those who like their barding, the Metropolitan Museum has just (wonderfully) made available online their entire out-of-print back catalogue, including The Armored Horse in Europe, 1480-1620 (2005). The PDF takes a while to load but is well worth it.

And if you want a rather disturbing glimpse of what a spidren might be like, try this short video.

ETA (February 2014) : By request (of CharmedArtist), I post below the part and chapter structure -- properly, the 'Contents' page of the novel -- so it may be seen at a glance :

Part I—Samradh
Chapter One – Returning
Chapter Two – Reporting
Chapter Three – Surveying
Chapter Four – Allying

Part II—Mabon
Chapter Five – Visitations
Chapter Six – Invasions
Chapter Seven – Explosions
Chapter Eight – Devotions

Part III—Midwinter
Chapter Nine – Kinship
Chapter Ten – Worship
Chapter Eleven – Lordship
Chapter Twelve – Hardship

Part IV—Ostara
Chapter Thirteen – Assessment
Chapter Fourteen – Impairment
Chapter Fifteen – Bereavement
Chapter Sixteen – Judgement

Part V—Lughnasad
Chapter Seventeen – Business
Chapter Eighteen – Forgiveness
Chapter Nineteen – Loneliness
Chapter Twenty – Witness

Part VI—Samhain
Chapter Twenty-One – Identity
Chapter Twenty-Two – Authority
Chapter Twenty-Three – Charity
Chapter Twenty-Four – Security

Part VII—Imbolc
Chapter Twenty-Five – Governance
Chapter Twenty-Six – Resistance
Chapter Twenty-Seven – Endurance
Chapter Twenty-Eight – Deliverance

Part VIII—Beltane
Chapter Twenty-Nine – Warison
Chapter Thirty – Benison
Chapter Thirty-One – Unison
Chapter Thirty-Two – Orison

Captain Vorpatril's Plotbunnies

The result of an attack by a half-squad of those plotbunnies, suffered while reading Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, and given what I hope is slightly more shape than just a sequence. My thanks to Scott for beta-reading.


February 2013

The Temple of Sakuyo

A sequel to Lady Knight Volant, a good deal shorter and (I hope) rather funnier. My thanks once again to Scott for beta-reading, even though I didn't in the end take his advice about either the Prologue or the shape of Sakuyo's Temple ; besides, I like geodesic domes, even if he doesn't.

FFN not being so good at allowing readers to see the shape and structure of a longer work, the novel's contents page is given below.

The usual thanks to Scott for beta-ing, even though I inflicted the geodesic dome on his architectural sensibilities.

Prologue -- The Best Jests Catch the Jester : New Hope and elsewhere, October 463 HE

Chapter One -- Summons : New Hope, Midwinter - February, 463-4 HE

Chapter Two -- Yaman : Heian-Kyo, 21-2 March, 464 HE

Chapter Three -- Pickles : Heian-Kyo, 23 March, 464 HE

Chapter Four -- Offence : Kiyomizu-dera, 24 March, 464 HE

Chapter Five -- Justice : Heian-Kyo, 24 March, 464 HE

Chapter Six -- Consequences : Heian-Kyo and Suzuoka, 25-30 March, 464 HE

Chapter Seven -- Temple : Edo, 1 April, 464 HE

Epilogue -- The Pilgrims' Way : Mindelan and New Hope, June, 466 HE


August 2015

Alerted by CharmedArtist, I discovered the havoc that FFN's interface had wrought. In my original MS, colons and semi-colons were set off by a preceding hard space (as you can see in the text posted at AO3), which makes them clearer on pretty much all screens -- and FFN had removed every last one, leaving many sentences horribly ungrammatical. With apologies to those who encountered the mangled text here, I have now (amid many obscene gerunds) re-uploaded every chapter, with the punctuation restored (though no clarifying spaces).


December 2015

Honor Among Thieves

This, at long last, is the alternative Honorverse novel to which Five Scenes in the Life of Elizabeth III is the prologue. It wilfully Wraps Up the Whole Thing, in a little over 200,000 words, because while I do enjoy the Honorverse, and very much admire some of the things Weber has done with it, the pace of canon has become glacially slow in the last decade, and there are limits. And while I'm not parodying Weber's prose (what would be the point?) I am, in some places and respects, gently mocking some features of his style.

For me a fic and a non-fic response to canon often happen in tandem. Forward Momentum happened alongside the Bujold essays in Of Sex and Faerie, and Lady Knight Volant alongside the Genre Fiction Sightline on Reading ... Protector of the Small. I also have lurking on my Mac a half-finished continuation of The Lord of the Rings, called The Choices of Mayor Samwise, that happened alongside Tolkien's Triumph. And so alongside Honor Among Thieves there is The Exasperating Case of David Weber. It's a long essay (c.30,000 words, not counting notes or bibliography) that was written as much in sorrow as in irritation, and both apply. Rudyard Kipling wrote of treating "triumph and disaster [...] just the same", but Weber has managed to make his triumph and disaster the same, and those things that were the Honorverse's glories have become its bane. There are three sections and a conclusion: 'Un/Economies of Scale', 'Prose and Cons', 'Dropping the Ball', and 'The Virtues of Editing'.

Anyway, the chapters of Honor Among Thieves are, for various reasons, of wildly varying lengths (ch. 5 is absurdly long), but they are contained within a reasonably taut overall structure, given below. And my warm thanks to Scott, my brother David, David Carter, and Eva FanAuthor for beta-ing, with apologies to Eva for not taking her thoughtful advice about a particular device.

Prologue -- Five Scenes in the Life of Elizabeth III


Chapter One -- Harrington city & Austin City, Dec. 1916 - Jan. 1917 PD

Chapter Two -- Landing, Feb. - Mar. 1917 PD

Chapter Three -- New Berlin & Nouveau Paris, Apr. - May 1917 PD


Chapter Four -- Landing, Trevor's Star, & Austin City, Jun. - Jul. 1917 PD

Chapter Five -- Landing, Nouveau Paris, & Sphinx, Aug. - Sept. 1917 PD

Chapter Six -- Landing & Harrington Duchy, Oct. 1917 PD

Epilogue -- Five Scenes in the Lives of Other People


September 2015

Alerted by Pax Humana, I discovered the havoc that FFN's interface had wrought. In my original MS, colons and semi-colons were set off by a preceding hard space (as you can see in the text posted at AO3), which makes them clearer on pretty much all screens -- and FFN had removed every last one, leaving many sentences horribly ungrammatical. With apologies to those who encountered the mangled text here, I have now (amid many obscene gerunds) re-uploaded every chapter, with the punctuation restored (though no clarifying spaces).


December 2015

Captain Vordarcy's Alliance

As the summary says, this one was one of those left-field thoughts that wouldn't then leave me alone. And it is, of course, like most Austen fic, an excuse for people to say things, particularly to Caroline Bingley, Mrs Bennet, and Lydia.

The surface is very Pride and Prejudice, but Bujold fans should find enough Vorkosiverse references in the background to keep them happy, and they get Cordelia's shopping habits in a new arena, if very briefly. In terms of correspondences, btw, Alys Vorpatril would be the unseen Countess Vorfitzwilliam, and properly Ivan's mother, while Lady Vordebourgh is the sister of Count Vorfitzwilliam and Count Vordarcy's deceased first wife.

Very early readers here on FFN will have encountered some troubling grammar, because I forgot that FFN's wrstfxz interface strips out all semi-colons and colons that have a preceding space. (Why would software do that, I ask? It's lunacy.) Now reuploaded and fixed, with apologies to any who read it unfixed.

Oh, and while my Scottish convent is of course a fantasy, there is or was, I swear, a Church of the Holy Spasm in Jerusalem. Honest.



September 2016

Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

Lieutenants by Scott Washburn reviews
In "Tales from the Academy" young Anny Payne survived prejudice, hatred and dirty tricks to get her commission as Barrayar's first female officer. Now she and her friends face their first assignment: in an elite assault regiment. Will this be any easier than the Academy? Somehow, Anny doubts it!
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: T - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 35 - Words: 218,110 - Reviews: 118 - Favs: 34 - Follows: 43 - Updated: 11/14/2014 - Published: 7/17/2012 - Complete
Uncle Simon by Blaise reviews
Simon has no children of his own. But he does have an honorary nephew. Contains 'Captain Vorpatril's Alliance' spoilers.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Family - Chapters: 1 - Words: 17,252 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 4 - Published: 9/13/2012 - Complete
Lieutenants Honorverse by Scott Washburn reviews
This is the sequel to "Tales from the Academy"- Honorverse. Anny, Patric, Helen and Alby have graduated from the Royal Manticoran Naval Academy. Follow their adventures as they take on their first active duty missions.
Honor Harrington - Rated: T - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 5 - Words: 255,407 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 9 - Published: 8/7/2012
Fences and Dreams by Larner reviews
As the King considers means by which Arnor might be rid of the wights that haunt Tyrn Gorthad, he finds advice from Tom Bombadil and aid from unexpected sources. Perhaps not banishment, but... My Independence Day offering for 2011.
Lord of the Rings - Rated: K+ - English - Drama/Spiritual - Chapters: 1 - Words: 3,734 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 1 - Published: 7/4/2011 - Aragorn, Arwen U. - Complete
To Be A Hero by Echo Chambers reviews
Alanna and Kel didn't worry about the rights and wrongs of killing. They had firm beliefs by the time they first saw battle. But what if they didn't? How would a girl cope with killing at the age of ten? Rynn struggles with just that.
Song of the Lioness - Rated: T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Adventure - Chapters: 7 - Words: 27,474 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 8/22/2009 - Published: 12/18/2008 - Tortall
For Eyes to See as Can by Larner reviews
Frodo Baggins and the Ring as seen by Samwise Gamgee, from coming to Bag End to leaving for Elvenhome. No slash; book canon-complete
Lord of the Rings - Rated: K - English - Angst - Chapters: 28 - Words: 80,304 - Reviews: 35 - Favs: 25 - Updated: 10/26/2004 - Published: 10/19/2004 - Samwise G., Frodo B. - Complete
Sort: Category . Published . Updated . Title . Words . Chapters . Reviews . Status .

Captain Vordarcy's Alliance reviews
Crossovers aren't my thing, but I've been reading P&P JAFF, which cheers changes in plot and characters. When I indulged in some Bujold, over too much wine, it seemed reasonable that the early Darcy could use some Naismith in his character. Then I made the mistake of wondering what the little admiral might do if faced with a a prospective mother-in-law like Mrs Bennet ...
Crossover - Miles Vorkosigan & Pride and Prejudice - Rated: K - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 1 - Words: 22,146 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 5 - Published: 9/26/2016
Honor Among Thieves reviews
An Honorverse AU. I know the story-arc of the Honorverse is one of its great glories, but haven't you ever, reading the latest best-selling doorstop, wanted radically to short-circuit the whole thing, and see those morally defective, small-souled Manticoran aristocrats taken down hard? And all Detweilers whatever fed to a passel of treecats, with BBQ sauce? I know I have ...
Honor Harrington - Rated: T - English - Drama/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 8 - Words: 232,032 - Reviews: 109 - Favs: 212 - Follows: 102 - Updated: 10/9/2015 - Published: 9/11/2015 - Complete
The Temple of Sakuyo reviews
A shorter and funnier sequel to 'Lady Knight Volant', taking Kel & co. to Yaman, where the Emperor has a problem and Lord Sakuyo is stirring the pot.
Protector of the Small Quartet - Rated: T - English - Fantasy/Drama - Chapters: 9 - Words: 117,143 - Reviews: 44 - Favs: 104 - Follows: 42 - Updated: 9/4/2015 - Published: 8/15/2015 - Complete
Captain Vorpatril's Plotbunnies reviews
Four scenes in the life of Gregor Vorbarra, prompted by lines in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. (One or two comic obscenities when THAT thing happens, hence the K rating.)
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi/Humor - Chapters: 1 - Words: 16,229 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 34 - Follows: 7 - Published: 2/19/2013 - Complete
Lady Knight Volant reviews
Continues Lady Knight to the end of the Scanran War. K/D eventually. Rating is a high T, borderline M, for sexuality, violence, and tauroses, with all their consequences; some character deaths. A long novel of action and manners, featuring immortals, gods, the timeway, and a serious battle amid some unlikely topography and even more improbable architecture. Enjoy!
Protector of the Small Quartet - Rated: T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 32 - Words: 450,163 - Reviews: 247 - Favs: 415 - Follows: 124 - Updated: 11/2/2012 - Published: 9/14/2012 - Complete
Ezar's Reply to the Passionate Shepherd reviews
A response to 'Declaiming Revolution' by Minutia R. One good sonnet deserves another ...
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: T - English - Poetry - Chapters: 1 - Words: 124 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Published: 1/30/2012 - Complete
Five Scenes in the Life of Elizabeth III reviews
A reverse-angle fic considering the increasingly improbable news Elizabeth Winton receives, from Yeltsin's Star, Hancock Station, Landing, Yeltsin's Star again , and Trevor's Star, about the exploits of a certain Sphinxian officer of the RMN, 1903-13 PD.
Honor Harrington - Rated: T - English - Sci-Fi/Drama - Chapters: 1 - Words: 16,080 - Reviews: 48 - Favs: 103 - Follows: 38 - Published: 1/2/2012 - Complete
The Propaganda Cycle reviews
In which Nikki stages a little coup of his own, and the makers of 'Lord Vortalon' discover their fate. Part 9 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 1 - Words: 3,023 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
The Peace Memorial reviews
In which Ekaterin gives a rude haut some timely advice about a tree. Part 8 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 1 - Words: 2,490 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 4 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
Uncle? reviews
In which a clever lad gets his way in the Celestial Garden. Not so easy when you live there. Part 7 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 1 - Words: 1,777 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
Vor and Peace
In which a drunken Miles annotates his own lecture, as does Helen Vorthys. Part 6 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 1 - Words: 8,681 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 2 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
Tug of Vor reviews
In which the Council of Counts faces a quandary, Salic Law is more honoured in the breach than the observance, and Gregor gets an unexpected present. Part 5 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 1 - Words: 4,270 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
The Two Ivans reviews
In which Ivan finally pops the question, but not quite as he expects. Or to whom he expects. Part 4 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 1 - Words: 23,019 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 5 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
Not Place, but People reviews
The premiere of 'The haut Pel's Grace to the Fallen', in the Celestial Garden. By quaddies. Guess who's in the audience? Part 3 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 1 - Words: 14,977 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
The Christening Tour reviews
In which everyone and their spouses wind up in Silvy Vale, for Taura's wedding. Part 2 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse.
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 8 - Words: 32,482 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 5 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
Forward Momentum reviews
LMB famously has a rule-of-thumb - when in doubt, have the worst possible thing happen. But suppose the best thing happened? or things, unstoppably, in Milesian droves, and for pretty much everyone? Part 1 of The Peaceful Vorkosiverse
Miles Vorkosigan - Rated: K+ - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 18 - Words: 180,400 - Reviews: 23 - Favs: 41 - Follows: 12 - Published: 10/7/2011 - Complete
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