Komarr (fictional planet)

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This article is about Komarr, the fictional planet. For the novel Komarr, see Komarr.

Komarr is a fictional planet in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga series of novels and stories.

Discovered centuries prior to the Vorkosigan Saga, Komarr is undergoing a major terraforming project to make the outside air breathable. During this centuries-long program, the Komarrans are confined to domed cities, with controlled air supplies. The outside air is far too rich in carbon dioxide. The planet is also very cold, somewhat similar to Mars. At the time of the Vorkosigan saga, the most complicated life form outside the domes is a genetically modified peat moss. There is also a large orbital mirror, which increases amount of sunlight actually hitting the planet. The terraforming program, and the orbital mirror, are major plot points in the book Komarr.

Komarr has strategic importance because its local space contains the single known wormhole into Barrayar, the heart of the Barrayaran Empire. It is also a major trade nexus.

  • Capital City: Solstice.
  • Government: Komarr is ruled by the Barrayaran Empire, but has its own dominant class of oligarchs. The planet is divided into a number of equal-sized sectors, with responsibilities for regional government. Komarr is governed by the First Councilor, a position appointed by the Emperor that is equivalent in rank and responsibilities to the Viceroy of Sergyar. The plutocratic and nominal democracy is divided into two types of votes -- one person, one vote -- and "extra votes" that are granted to any settlers starting a new domed-city. These "extra votes" are inheritable and trade-able on a secondary market. The plutocratic oligarchies control the government by holding these extra votes. This system of extra votes becomes the basis of an attempted invasion by the Kibou-danii to wrest control of Komarr away from the Barrayarran Imperium.
  • Population: Many large domed metropolis-sized cities.
  • Economy: As Komarr controls at least six important wormhole routes (to Barrayar, Sergyar, Escobar, Pol and Cetaganda, as well as a few other minor jump points), much commerce passes through the system and is taxed. Komarr's economy is dominated by the oligarch families, whose large fleets are sent on trade runs (lasting 5–12 months) to many areas throughout the galaxy, often returning with very large profits.

Barrayaran conquest and strategy[edit]

Eighty years prior to the Vorkosigan Saga, Barrayar was invaded by Cetaganda. As the only entrance to Barrayar was through Komarr, the Cetagandan empire bought Komarran cooperation. Cetagandan forces occupied Barrayar for twenty years but were eventually driven out of Barrayaran space. After thirty years of recovery and technological regrowth, Barrayaran forces poured through the wormhole to invade Komarr for three main reasons:

  • The Barrayarans wanted to be able to control their own wormhole entrance so Komarr could not again let enemy forces into Barrayaran space.
  • The Barrayarans understood that Komarran trade would be very helpful in regaining revenue for the Barrayaran Imperium. Also, this would allow Barrayar to contend with other powerful galactic markets, such as that of Beta Colony, or the Hegen Hub.
  • The Vor of Barrayar wanted revenge on Komarr for allowing the powerful Cetagandan invasion force through to Barrayar.

The Barrayaran invasion was successful. Komarr is currently controlled peacefully by Barrayar. A number of Komarrans have reached high rank in the Imperial military, and Emperor Gregor has married Dr Laisa Toscane, member of a Komarran oligarch family.

The Solstice Massacre[edit]

After the invasion, 200 prominent citizens, including members of the oligarchy, were held captive by Barrayarans in Solstice, the capital city of Komarr, having been promised safety by Admiral Lord Aral Vorkosigan. In Vorkosigan's absence, the prisoners were all murdered on the orders of his political officer (who had been assigned to Admiral Vorkosigan against his will). In retribution, and to regain his honor, Admiral Vorkosigan killed the political officer with his bare hands. As the suspected perpetrator of the massacre, Vorkosigan was afterward known as the "Butcher of Komarr".

The Solstice Massacre inspired an upsurge in terrorist activity. One of the Komarran terrorist groups would eventually become responsible for the creation of Mile's Vorkosigan's clone-brother Mark.

Empress Laisa[edit]

Laisa is a member of the Komarran Oligarchy who marries into the Barrayaran Imperium and bears Emperor Gregor's heirs.

Soletta Array and Technical Rebellion[edit]

Following an accident that heavily damaged the Soletta Array, newly minted Lord Auditor Miles uncovers an attempted coup by a group of scientists/engineers who believe they have a way to shut off the wormhole between Komarr and Barrayar (see Vorkosigan Saga#Komarr).

Attempted governmental overthrow from Kibou-daini[edit]

A faction of the Kibou-daini cryocorp WhiteCrys attempts to gain control of Komarr using cryogenics to gradually acquire a majority of votes through cryogenics, the same methods that succeeded in giving the corporations control of the Kibou-daini government. The plot is uncovered by Miles Vorkosigan.