Komarr (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #11)

All the geniuses I ever met were so just part of the time. To qualify, you only have to be great once, you know. Once when it matters.

He’s not so short,” said Ekaterin defensively. “He’s just . . . concentrated.” Her

His avid look made her feel not beautiful and loved, but ugly and ashamed. How could you be violated by mere eyes? How could you be lovers with someone, and yet feel every moment alone with them intruded upon your privacy, your dignity?

If only you were willing to betray a trust, why, the most amazing range of possible actions opened up to you.

I know girls who pine for it. They like to play dress-up and pretend being Vor ladies of old, rescued from menace by romantic Vor youths. For some reason they never play 'dying in childbirth', or 'vomiting your guts out from the red dysentery', or 'weaving till you go blind and crippled from arthritis and dye poisoning', or 'infanticide'. Well, they do die romantically of disease sometimes, but somehow it's always an illness that makes you interestingly pale and everyone sorry and doesn't involve losing bowel control.

It had the strangest effect on my internal visualizations.” She stared at the hypospray with speculative respect. “I may try it on purpose someday.” I want to be there if you do. Miles had a sudden exciting vision of using the drug to augment his own insights—instant brains!—then remembered to his extreme disappointment that fast-penta didn’t work like that on him. Riva

It’s just a thing. You deal with it."
"As in, one damn thing after another?"
"Yes, very like.

like swatting flies with a laser cannon. The aim's a bit tricky, but it sure takes care of the flies.

Once you had delegated the best people to do a job for you, you had to trust both them and your judgment. What

Or that they believed you would not be here to inflict the consequences,” said Ekaterin. Had they meant Vorkosigan to die, too? Or . . . what? “Oh, nice. That’s reassuring.” He bit rather aggressively into the last of his sandwich. She rested her chin on her hand and regarded him with wry curiosity. “Does ImpSec know you babble like this?

She also discovered that he was attracted by the dreadful, among the galactic wares cramming the narrow shops into which they ducked. He actually appeared to seriously consider for several minutes what was claimed to be a genuine twentieth-century reproduction lamp, of Jacksonian manufacture, consisting of a sealed glass vessel containing two immiscible liquids which slowly rose and fell in the convection currents. “It looks just like red blood corpuscles floating in plasma,” Vorkosigan opined, staring in fascination at the under-lit blobs. “But as a wedding present?” she choked, half amused, half appalled. “What kind of message would people take it for?” “It would make Gregor laugh,” he replied. “Not a gift he gets much. But you’re right, the wedding present proper needs to be, er, proper. Public and political, not personal.” With a regretful sigh, he returned the lamp to its shelf. After another moment, he changed his mind again, bought it, and had it shipped. “I’ll get him another present for the wedding. This can be for his birthday.” After

She turned for her kitchen, mentally revising her planned family dinner to include a Vor lord from the Imperial capital. White wine? Her limited experience of the breed suggested that if you could get them sufficiently sloshed, it wouldn't matter what you fed them.

Some people grow into their dreams, instead of out of them.

So the difference between a criminal and a hero is the order in which their vile crimes are committed. And justice comes with a sell-by date. In that case, you’d better hurry. You wouldn't want your heroism to spoil.

There is a sad disconnectedness that overcomes a library when its owner is gone.

You had a jumpship and you gave it away?” Nikki’s eyes widened in astonishment. “Do you have any more?” “Not at present. Oh, look, a General-class cruiser.” Miles reached for it. “My father commanded one of those, once, I believe. Do you have any Betan Survey ships . . . ?” Heads bent together, they laid out the little fleet on the floor. Nikki, Miles was pleased to find, was well-up on all the tech-specs of every ship he owned; he expanded wonderfully, his voice, formerly shy around Miles-the-weird-adult-stranger, growing louder and faster in his unselfconscious enthusiasm as he detailed his machinery. Miles’s stock rose as he was able to claim personal acquaintance with nearly a dozen of the originals for the models, and add a few interesting nonclassified jumpship anecdotes to Nikki’s already impressive fund of knowledge.

You think he's a genius?" she said, raising her eyebrows. The high Vor twit? "I don't know him quite well enough, yet. But I suspect so, a part of the time." "Can you be a genius part of the time?" "All the geniuses I ever met were so just part of the time. To qualify, you only have to be great once, you know. Once when it matters. Ah, dessert. My, this is splendid!" He applied himself happily to a large chocolate confection with whipped cream and more pecans.