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Old 05-12-2011, 09:45 PM   #6
Xanthe
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Been a long time since I read those first two Vorkosigan Saga books, but I don't remember them as being very overtly sexual or gushingly romantic.

Both Lee & Miller usually list Georgette Heyer as one of their literary idols. Heyer is considered the successor to Jane Austen by people who like Regency romances. There was no sex in Heyer's books - as readers we were lucky if the protagonists at least kissed by the end of the book. But it didn't matter because it wasn't necessary to the story because it was all a matter of the exquisite build-up of the romantic/erotic tension between the characters - everything implied not baldly displayed. And frankly, that kiss at the end of the book was better than most authors 16-page explicit descriptions of the sexual encounters between their characters.

The romance in the Liaden series is like that - it's a matter of wordplay and unspoken desires. Anyone who's read Heyer and reads the Liaden books can spot the influence. You can see the attraction developing between the characters as a subplot to the main story. Sexual activity is usually just implied - she goes off with her, he asks her to spend the night with him, they spend so much time in one another's company that they no longer want to be anywhere else, etc. There's a lot of "romance" in the sense that most of the characters pair up with someone as the story arc progresses, but there's not "romance" in the sense that it distracts from the storyline. When it appears it's integral to the plot, rounding out the characters, but not derailing the story.

This isn't a series of books that would revoke one's "man creds" by any means . I think that reviewers have a hard time standing back from the series because the universe that Lee & Miller just sucks you in and when you stop reading one of the books you virtually resurface into the real world. It has so many elements to it that you can't really stick one label to it, so I think the easiest default for some reviewers is romantic scifi. Labeling the books as "romance in space" does them a great disservice - I've read true RIS books and the Liaden series is nothing like that.

For me, the romance is more on my side as a reader; I love those characters. (Just wait until you meet the Edger, Sheather and the rest of the Clutch!)

Last edited by Xanthe; 05-12-2011 at 09:47 PM.
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