Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Joey Maverick

Comparing Joey Maverick to Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, and Vice Versa

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Folks, a good friend recently asked me this question: “How would Joey Maverick compare to Lois McMaster Bujold’s hero Miles Naismith Vorkosigan?”

And it got me thinking.

You see, my late husband Michael wrote about space Navy Lieutenant Joey Maverick — something I’m doing my best to carry on — and my friend felt there were a number of similarities between Joey and Miles. And since the two stories haven’t found a wide audience as of yet (stories are available here and here), perhaps a comparison might prove useful . . . and at least it’s something new and different to write about, always a plus.

So here are some of the similarities and differences I saw with regards to Joey and Miles, with a side order of my own hero Bruno the Elfy from AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE thrown in for good measure:


Miles is a very smart young man who out-thinks others and has any number of adventures, most of which he can’t talk about on Barrayar itself due to security concerns. He’s steadfast, resolute, has morals and ethics and principles, and will stand by them to the death, if need be — though thank goodness for cryosuspension. He has an unusual sense of humor.

Joey is a very smart young man who thinks faster than others and has several adventures, most of which he can’t talk about on the planet of his birth due to security concerns. He, too, is steadfast, resolute, has morals and ethics and principles, and like Miles, has an unusual sense of humor.

And just for kicks, Bruno the Elfy is a very smart young being who is used to out-thinking others, but gives himself no credit for doing so because he’s been told he’s stupid his entire life. He figures talking about any adventures he has is pointless, because at the start of AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, he has no friends worth mentioning . . . and afterward, well, his new friend Sarah has been with him the whole way through, so why bother talking about anything? (She already knows it.)

Bruno’s sense of humor is so odd, it’s downright bizarre . . . and while he has morals, ethics and principles, he comes at things from a sideways angle that may or may not always be fully understood by those around him.


Miles is handicapped with brittle bones. He’s actually died and been revived, which left him with a seizure disorder. He’s retired from his main career as a commander of a mercenary unit (that did a great deal of spying for Barrayar on the side) due to his injuries, suffered in the line of duty. He’s a man who’s maximized the totality of his existence, and knows it, and is satisfied by it.

Joey, as yet, is still a healthy young man, though eventually he’s going to lose an eye (Michael’s story “A Dark and Stormy Night” references Joey’s cybernetic eye in the prequel section, where Joey’s an old man). Only one life for Joey . . . his military career is ongoing. He’s still in the process of coming to his full adult capabilities, and many adventures await as he comes to terms with the totality of himself. Eventually Joey will bond with an empathic, sentient creature . . . but that, too, is in his future.

Bruno the Elfy is a very young being — an adolescent, in our parlance. While Bruno has enormous magical gifts, he’s not fully aware of what to do with them, and because he was intentionally mistrained at the behest of the Elfy High Council, he’s having to throw off a whole lot of nonsense in addition to becoming the Elfy he was meant to be.

Mind, it’s not that easy to compare a fantasy world — even if it’s an urban fantasy like my own AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE — with either Bujold’s own Vorkoverse or my husband’s Joey Maverick universe. But it is fun, talking about three of my favorite heroes . . .  especially as I never once thought Joey Maverick had anything whatsoever in common with Miles Naismith Vorkosigan before my friend pointed it out as a possibility.

At any rate, what do you think of this comparison? Does it make any sense? Or is it just odd? Please let me know in the comments.

An Update Regarding Michael’s Novellas

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It’s time, and past time, to give you all an update regarding my late husband Michael B. Caffrey’s “Joey Maverick” novellas.  So here we go.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to offer two different “Maverick” stories, “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station.”  Cover art has been chosen, and formatting is about to get underway for independent e-book publication.

“A Dark and Stormy Night” is about a low-tech sailing regatta in the future; Joey Maverick is merely a crewman on one of the sailing ships.  When a vicious storm sets in, the captain is incapacitated, and Joey must take charge.  Rescues ensue, and Joey encounters feisty nurse Belinda Simpson, who is a pain in the caboose to deal with as she questions Joey’s authority at every turn . . . so why does Joey feel so attracted to her?  Ultimately, “A Dark and Stormy Night” is an excellent action-adventure story with just a touch of low-key romance that’s appropriate for all ages.

“On Westmount Station” is a more typical milSF story because Lieutenant Joey Maverick is about to go off to space.  However, there’s a little problem on Westmount Station that no one quite expected as there’s a bomb in an unexpected place.  Joey’s the man on the spot; he and his new team must defuse the bomb before it’s too late, and deal with the terrorist in question besides . . . there’s action, there’s suspense, there’s mystery, and then there’s Joey, who has to be one of the more fun, albeit low-key, characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about.  Truly, this is a story that many people will enjoy, especially if you like your military adventure with just a touch of wry.

If these stories do well, I plan to work on fleshing out a third novella in 2014.

These stories will have bylines of “by Michael B. Caffrey with Barb Caffrey” as I edited and smoothed out various things in the first novella, while I added a subplot, action and additional characters in the latter.  But they firmly are Michael’s stories, set in Michael’s universe, using Michael’s main character Joey Maverick and should be enjoyed by anyone who loved my husband’s work.

People have asked me many times over the years since Michael’s passing why I’ve been bound and determined to keep Michael’s writing alive (as Michael wrote the first novella back in 2000, and what turned into the second novella in 2001).  It’s very simple, really; Michael was an exceptionally gifted writer.  I want his words to live, because he worked hard on them, the stories are excellent, and I think many people will enjoy them if they only have the opportunity to find and read them.

I don’t know what else Michael would have written had he lived.  But I do know this: He was every bit as persistent as I am.  He would not have given up on his own work.  And he would want me to get these stories out there in whatever form, because he knew what he’d done and he wanted others to read his stories.

I plan to offer the two novellas at Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing, at Smashwords, and at, among others . . . and I hope that everyone who has an interest in my husband’s work will buy them.  (Please!)

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 30, 2013 at 1:23 am