Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Komarr, Chapters 12-14

Years ago when Miles was a newly minted ensign, he found a corpse in a drain. At the time, and for a short time after, the corpse was almost glamorous. Miles risked his own life to find out why he died. And he hadn’t really died for anything. He was a homesick soldier with some hidden cookies.

Last week, Tien Vorsoisson died. His death, Miles will point out, wasn’t at all mysterious. Miles was right there. He saw the whole thing. Tien forgot to check his breath mask and drowned in Komarr’s unbreathable atmosphere. He was a sad, sick man desperate to control a situation that he was also desperate to ignore. No one got any cookies.

Ekaterin didn’t make Tien what he was. She didn’t control him. She could not cure him. And now that he’s gone, her life is a kind of dramatic inverse of “Aftermaths.” In ...