Mai Yamani

Ivan in Love; or, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

Somebody at Baen Books has had the clever brainwave that, instead of printing up Advanced Reading Copies, sending them out for free, and then watching as they inevitably oozed onto the open market where die-hard fans bid them up to top dollar which neither the author nor the publisher would share in, they could just make the ARC available to anyone who wants to read it in advance for fifteen bucks. Which is what they have done, here. (It is technically not completely proofed, but LMB and her betas do very professional work. It is completely worth your $15.)

Single sentence reaction, ~20 e-pages in: I've read this Ivan/By fic!

Single sentence reaction, having finished: I would read this Ivan/Tej/By/Rish foursome! I mean, come on, the only person not openly, canonically down with it is Ivan, and he always protests too much:
"Who [would I commit adultery] with, for pity's sake?" said Tej. "The only other male I even know very well on this benighted world is Byerly."

Ivan Xav set down his drink with a thunk that sloshed it over the edge of the glass. "You are not sleeping with Byerly."

"Who else have I even met here? Well, there's The Coz and The Gregor, I suppose, but be reasonable. Anyway, they're both taken." Tej added after a moment, "And Simon Illyan was very nice, too, but no. Just no. Just…no."

"No," said Ivan Xav. "So many kinds of no, I can't even count the ways."

"That's what I just said." Tej eyed him in speculation. "I don't suppose you could sleep with Byerly…?"

"Only if I can watch," murmured Rish.

"No!" said Ivan Xav. "Nobody is sleeping with Byerly, all right?"

Frostily, Rish cleared her throat.

Ivan Xav waved his arms. "You know what I mean. Neither Tej nor I are sleeping with Byerly. Separately or together."

"A foursome, now there's a thought," purred Rish. "You know, I bet we could persuade By to—"

"Stop teasing poor Ivan Xav, Rish," said Tej. He was getting an alarming flush.

I mean, come on, that's basically an engraved invitation. I'm not going to have to wait until Yuletide for this, am I? Wait, they're not chucking Vorkosigan out of Yuletide this year, are they? I will cry.

But yes, even when not mentally preparing to torment poor Ivan Xav with foursomes, I adore both half-sisters and their romances with their respective Vor cousins. There are not a few parallels with the pairing off of Miles and Gregor in the Komarr/A Civil Campaign duology, actually, in addition to the fact that I find myself very pleased with the outcome. As a climactic comedic set piece, for example, the sinking of ImpSec HQ surely rivals the epic butter bug battle.

In terms of expanding the Vorkosiverse, we get, of all things, a House of Jackson's Whole who are actually likable. I blame this turn of events on the influence, genetic and otherwise, of Tej's marvelous Grandmama, a widowed haut-wife who is anything but merely decorative and burdensome.

I may just be conditioned to weep over Simon Illyan, having invariably shed tears every time I've reread Memory, but I got quite misty over his rapprochement with Ivan. He's a pretty cool stepdad, sans 'um'.

Talk Vorkosigans with me, people!

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I just finished and enjoyed it--it was a fun romp. I don't think it aims to be anything more than that (as nothing has, I think, since _Komarr_).