A Deeper Season (Vorkosigan fanfiction)

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Fanfiction
Title: A Deeper Season series
Author(s): Lightgetsin/E.E. Beck/Eolianbeck & Sahiya/Stacy
Date(s): 29 December 2005[1] – 20 April 2011
Length: ~400,000 words
Genre: m/m slash, het, AU
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga
External Links: AO3, lookingglass.lightgetsin.com, Archived version (via WBM)

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A Deeper Season is an AU series of two novels, novellas & short stories in the Vorkosigan fandom co-written by Lightgetsin/E.E. Beck/Eolianbeck & Sahiya/Stacy and first published in 2005. The universe is sometimes referred to as the 'ADS-verse'. A pioneer of the now-common Miles/Gregor m/m slash pairing, A Deeper Season is perhaps the best-known work in the fandom.[2]

Nearly 400,000 words have been written in the series by Lightgetsin and/or Sahiya. The summary for the overall series is A startling confession sends Miles Vorkosigan's life to the left when it might have gone to the right. Miles/Gregor, AU post-Memory. In addition to Miles & Gregor, the major characters include Ivan & Alys Vorpatril, Aral & Cordelia Vorkosigan, and in later parts Ekaterin Vorsoisson, as well as several original characters. Ivan/Ekaterin is a secondary het pairing.

Lightgetsin comments:

...I realized after writing a lot in the ADS-verse ... that it was answering a very specific question: what would Miles's life be like if we modeled it upon his mother's, rather than his father's and grandfather's?[3]

Works

The main works in the series are:

  • A Deeper Season (Miles/Gregor; ~120,000 words; 2005–6). Diverges from canon after Memory in a universe where Laisa Toscane does not appear. Author summary: Take one Miles, a hapless cousin, Cetagandan social politics, a galactic conspiracy, a scientific discovery, a lot of firepower, and an unexpected declaration. Mix well and step back quickly.
  • What Passing Bells (Miles/Gregor; ~100,000 words; 2007). Author summary: The best laid plans of mice and men and Miles Vorkosigan . . .
  • Seeds (Miles/Gregor, Ivan/Ekaterin; ~23,000 words; 2007). Author summary: The Imperial Wedding was a mere five days away when Ekaterin had a startling epiphany.
  • Other Ways by Sahiya (Miles/Gregor; ~50,000 words; 2007). Author summary: A nice, peaceful, relaxing honeymoon. Ha.
  • A Place to Stand by Lightgetsin (Miles/Gregor; ~22,000 words; 2009) Author summary: Miles attempts home renovation and historical investigation. Everyone else is just along for the ride.

Reception & Recs

A Deeper Season was well received and appeared on most recommendations lists for the fandom, as well as multifandom venues including Crack Van, Epic Recs, Fancake & The Rec Room. Other works in the series, particularly the Ivan/Ekaterin novella 'Seeds', have also been widely recommended. The series has also received academic critique from John Lennard/Bracketyjack, who discusses it in detail in his 2010 essay, 'Of Criticism and Continuities'.[4]

A Deeper Season is praised for its plot & characterisation, its pastiche of Bujold's style & close-to-canon feel, as well as its handling of the topics of Barrayaran politics & genetic engineering. The treatment of the Miles/Gregor relationship is also frequently praised; many readers commented that they had been persuaded to an otherwise unbelievable pairing by the 'verse, and it even appeals to some who don't enjoy slash in this fandom. Some readers highlight the handling of the female characters, who are not sidelined despite the AU slash pairing, although one commenter considered the Ivan/Ekaterin relationship to be forced.[5]

Perhaps the most well-known series in the fandom and for good reason. A most reasonable explanation for everything that would be involved in the Barrayaran Emperor marrying his male cousin, including politics, genetics, and social maneuvering, not to mention a high-speed chase or two, and above all a deep and abiding (and in places, painfully real) love story. The two main novels, each over 100K words, are interspersed with dozens of smaller, bite-sized stories that make this whole thing a completely-possible alternate universe. (helenorvana in Fancake)[2]
Simply the best fanfic I’ve ever read. The romantic relationship between Miles and Gregor is built completely convincingly. It could fit seamlessly in canon, in terms of plot, tone and characterisation. Not to be missed. (Snakeling)[6]
This universe has several novel-length fics and a bunch of shorts, for a total that is approaching 400,000 words, all of them good. It's an AU branching off after Memory in which the Emperor propositions Miles, and things -- well, forward momentum just starts building. And while it *is* a slash AU that takes off right before the canon love interests are introduced, the female characters still get done right by, especially in the sequels. You can either go chronologically through the series as it's listed on AO3, or start with A Deeper Season and then go chronologically. (Melannen)[7]
I'm a great fan of Miles&Gregor in canon, but for some reason it's very hard to picture Miles/Gregor. It mostly works as long as I'm reading this fic, but then it's weird again. I'm reccing this series because it has great politics and good plot. (schneefink)[8]
I just had the pleasure of rereading one of the best fics I’ve ever read.

The fic is for a book series called the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.

...But you don’t need to have read the series in order to read the truly epic fanfic I am reccing to you. (Knowledge of the series just makes the fic better, that’s all.)

It is called A Deeper Season by lightgetsin and sahiya and it happens to include 24 additional works besides the initial work by that name.

What is it about?

The story includes declarations of love, intergalactic politics, an intriguing scientific discovery, meddling relatives, a lot of explosions and the long slow process of bringing the backwater, old fashioned planet Barrayar into the modern universe.

I’d say more, but I really don’t want to spoil the experience. Oh my gosh is it wonderful and plotty, though. If you have a few days to spare, you should definitely give this series a read. (storiesintheashes)[9]
Is there anyone left who hasn't read these by now? Regardless, they're great: both novel length, with many side-pieces and sequels. Miles/Gregor, going AU from Memory, and while they do wipe Laisa from existence they don't, to my delight, wipe out Ekaterin - she's there and her usual amazing self. My favourite of all the bits and bobs is A Place To Stand, a lovely, fascinating short story. (The funny thing is, these are all so good that I love them to pieces despite the fact I don't buy the major premise: Miles and Gregor are adorable, and no they're not that related, but I have trouble getting behind the pairing when the two of them are foster-brothers; effectively, they have the same parents. I mention this only in case someone else has the same hang-up and isn't reading for that reason. (Loneraven)[10]

A Deeper Season novel

This is my current favorite Vorkosigan fanfic, and it's a lovely read. I wish I could be as eloquent as this story deserves. It's plotty slash, low-key enough that readers who prefer gen should find it appealing, too. What do I love about this story? It's an engrossing, lengthy AU that takes place post-Memory, assuming there is no Laisa. I found the slash aspect pleasing, but the plot and authentic re-creation of LMB's universe were just as important in my enjoyment. I'm also happy to report that the authors have been working on a sequel, What Passing Bells, so stay tuned for more of this storyverse (last I read, it's completed but still undergoing editing). (raveninthewind in Crack Van)[11]
Let me preface this to say that I haven't read a single word of the Vorkosigan books. I keep meaning to! But it just never quite happens. So, no, I don't know a lot of background information about the fic, but you know what? I don't need it, and you probably won't need it either. Will you get lost? Maybe sometimes! Who cares! It's so good that I keep on reading anyway, and the authors have a way of writing that makes everything flow along beautifully and somehow you know everything even without all of the extra stuff.

Or you don't and you're okay with that anyway. Um.

In any case, A Deeper Season is pretty plotty. You have Miles, who's an Imperial Auditor for Gregor, who is Emperor of Barrayar (a planet). They've known each other since forever and apparently Gregor has been in love with Miles since forever. There's no real fireworks about them getting together in the beginning of the story. The real fireworks come from what's happening after--the fact that Gregor is expected to have imperial heirs, new scientific breakthroughs that could tip the relationship one way or the other, a conspiracy that involves more than just Barrayar, informing people about their relationship, and Miles being the target of several assassination attempts.

It's endlessly fascinating. Miles and Gregor's relationship is complex, a kind of slow burn sort of thing that just sort of makes me sigh happily. There's so many outside pressures, what with Gregor being an emperor, but Gregor just wanting to go for something just for himself for once--yeah. I'm a sucker. The relationship is important and plays an important role, but what's happening around them is just as important.

Then there's the people around them, who are so perfectly crafted. Ivan, Miles's cousin, who seems to spend a lot of the time bemoaning his fate of being around Miles (and all of his shenanigans), but is so steadfast and loyal. Even Miles's parents are amazing people in their own right. Everyone's amazing!

But the fic is more of a low-key one. There's passion, but it's the sort of held carefully to one's chest passion. The plot is complex, as are the characters. It's just a really good piece of writing.

It's also part of a series, haha. A Deeper Season is actually the fifth part (the previous four being short one-shots), but is where the meat of the story begins. You don't need to read the previous parts, most--if not all--were written after A Deeper Season anyway. So it's even longer if you want more! But A Deeper Season is one contained story that is wrapped up rather nicely as well. (flyby311 in Epic Recs)[12]
I've loved the Vorkosigan books since I first discovered them in the local library in the late eighties. They are re-reading favourites, to such an extent that I've never felt any particualr need to read or write fanfiction in this universe, although I've enjoyed it when I've come across it. A new favourite for me in canon is Ekaterine; she's a fantastic character in her own right, and a good match for Miles. So I didn't think I'd buy Miles/Gregor in this story, and in some ways, I never entirely did, canon always existing side-by-side in my mind as I read. But even though I began reading with skepticism, I quickly fell in love with Miles and Gregor for the duration of this beautifully done novel. It takes place instead of Komarr, creating an alternate future with delicious echoes of Bujold's later novels. It's well-paced, well-written, well-realised, and I'm kind of in awe at how brilliantly the writers have carried it off. The only reason I'm not giving "A Deeper Season" the Blue Ribbon is because it relies on so much knowledge of the canon, but nonetheless I highly recommend this wonderful piece. And the sequel is currently being posted (as of Feb 07): What Passing Bells. It's shaping up to be just as good as the first novel. (cupidsbow in The Rec Room)[13]
This is Vorkosigan slash. I was hesitant about this story because I very much like the canonical relationships, but the authors made me believe Gregor/Miles as, at least, an AU possibility. Laisa appears not to exist in this universe. After events in Memory, Gregor declares himself to Miles, and Miles has to decide if he can deal with the repercussions, personal, political and social. (The RCK)[14]
Im sort of shocked that i am reccing this, as its Gregor/Miles slash, and i just..dont slash Miles. But this..sets up in a completely plausible way, plus, its very plotty, with Alys and Ivan (IVAN!) and Cordelia, all being so very themselves. This is an AU after Memory, assuming no Laisa. (aliaspiral)[15]
Wonderful balance between plot and relationships! (Beth H)[16]
Although, not technically the first in the 'A Deeper Season' series (the series appears to have been written out of order anyway), this is the one I listened to first and the podfic converted my completely. The story's emphasis is on PLOT, a detailed and incredibly written story, which could almost be canon. The romance angle is very subtle and understated, but with delightful PINING and COMPLICATED elements that made me fall in love with the relationship. I had not read the Miles Vorkosigan books, Cordelia is my forever girl, but the universe was immersive and it quickly didn't matter that I only peripherally knew details from the novels. (knight tracer)[17]
This has got to be the best Vorkosigan fanfic I have ever read. This is the story that got me into the Gregor/Miles pairing. The writing is lyrical and the story is so good. Perfect. (Feygan)[18]

Other Works

[On 'Seeds'] It’s got plot, het, and slash. And a wedding! Part of “A Deeper Season” series. (jetparasol in Fancake)[19]
[On 'Seeds'] This series is just so good, and this story about Ekaterin and Ivan has all the usual magic. *happy sigh* Highly recommended. (cupidsbow in The Rec Room)[20]
[On 'Seeds'] Part of the huge Miles/Gregor AU. This one is Ekaterin/Ivan, and it's my favourite bit of the AU. Beautiful Alys and Ekaterin stuff. And also a missing scene, which is Ekaterin having satisfying sex with Ivan. (Philomytha)[21]
[On 'Significant'] This is Ivan's life before and after "A Deeper Season," told in little snippets starting when he's five. It will make little sense if you haven't read that fic. I very much like the Ivan I see here. (The RCK)[14]

Derivative Works

Podfics of A Deeper Season, What Passing Bells & other works in the series have been recorded by Rhea314,[22] and Kalakirya has also recorded part of the series.

Quietann has written several works in the ADS-verse, with permission of the authors.[23] Castiron credits the series as inspiration for her story Our Quiet Confines.

References

  1. bujold-fic: Fic: A Deeper Season (1/18) Miles/Gregor (accessed 25 June 2016)
  2. 2.0 2.1 fancake: Vorkosigan Series: A Deeper Season by lightgetsin, sahiya (accessed 25 June 2016)
  3. Quoted in 'Of Criticism and Continuities' in: Lennard J. Of Sex and Faerie: Further Essays on Genre Fiction (Humanities-Ebooks, 2010)
  4. In: Lennard J. Of Sex and Faerie: Further Essays on Genre Fiction (Humanities-Ebooks, 2010)
  5. Comment by professor in bracketyjack: Not Place, but People - index post (accessed 25 June 2016)
  6. snakelingsrecs: A Deeper Season, by E.E. Beck and Stasia (accessed 25 June 2016)
  7. melannen: Longfic recs for Stellar_dust (and anybody else who wants them) (accessed 25 June 2016)
  8. schneefink: Vorkosigan Saga recs part II (accessed 25 June 2016)
  9. storiesintheashes: Fic Rec (accessed 25 June 2016)
  10. loneraven: sigh no more (accessed 3 August 2016)
  11. crack-van: A Deeper Season by Eolianbeck and Sahiya (PG-13) (accessed 25 June 2016)
  12. epic-recs: A Deeper Season by lightgetsin & sahiya (R) (accessed 25 June 2016)
  13. rec-room: Vorkosigan: Miles/Gregor (accessed 25 June 2016)
  14. 14.0 14.1 therck: Vorkosigan Fics (accessed 25 June 2016)
  15. minionsficrecs: Small Fandoms (accessed 25 June 2016)
  16. beth-h: Misc Recs (for Fandoms with fewer than 10 Recced Stories) (accessed 25 June 2016)
  17. knight-tracer: If you only listen to ONE podfic in a fandom… [Part 3] (accessed 25 June 2016)
  18. feygan: Rec'd fic (accessed 28 June 2016)
  19. fancake: Vorkosigan: Seeds by lightgetsin and sahiya (accessed 25 June 2016)
  20. rec-room: VOR Del.ici.ous links for rec_room: 9-Jul-2007 (accessed 25 June 2016)
  21. philomytha: Favourite Vorkosigan fics (accessed 25 June 2016)
  22. amplificathon: What Passing Bells, amplificathon: Vorkosigan Saga Podbook of What Passing Bells by Sahiya & Lightgetsin (accessed 25 June 2016)
  23. Quietann's Vorkosigan fanfic (accessed 25 June 2016)