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 Post subject: Miles Vorkosigan saga
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:07 pm 
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Is anyone else a fan of this series? We finished the audio books about a month ago, and I started immediately listening to them again. I just can't get enough of this characther/ this series... and I'm not really sure why. :scratch: It's just good! Really good. I've looked for articles describing other books *like" this series, but none of them are available as audiobooks so I'd have to actually read them in print to judge (and that's rather hard for me) so I can't really try them easily.

I do have a weakness for space opera, but this isn't just a good space opera. Each book seems to have a different emphasis, and the over all character arcs are rather impressive.

Anyway, I'm glad the author is still writing them. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:21 pm 
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I'm with you on these, Maria. They're wonderful. I voyage through them again every couple of years. One series, one set of characters, but the books span from (well-done) romance to military SF to psychological horror to a character study of an abused woman to a comedy of manners.

I don't know how she does it. And I've never found anything else "like" these books.

She does have a much-admired fantasy series that started with THE CURSE OF CHALION. I've only read the first and I remember thinking that it had many of the same strengths as the Miles books. I didn't follow up because fantasy just isn't my thing—with a few rare and excellent exceptions. And this series, at least based on book 1, was not quite one of them.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:54 pm 
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I had the misfortune of listening to the Curse of Chalion as a library loan on an early version of a downloadable book audio reader program.... and the darn thing kept skipping sentences and paragraphs and forgetting the place all together over and over again. AND freezing up the smart phone entirely, to where I had to pull the battery. :bang: It was the most frustrating listening experience I've ever had! Still, when I was looking for good science fiction, and Lois McMaster Bujold's name came up, I remembered how utterly unpredictable she was as an author as well as the compelling story, and decided to take a chance on the "space opera" series.

REALLY glad I did. My husband and I regularly guess plot points along the way on stories, sometimes chapters in advance. Bujold's stories... well, sometimes we do guess a plot point in advance, but it's only by a few paragraphs. And it always makes sense, too. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:56 pm 
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Thank you for bringing this up - I've been casting around for my next big read, so I'll give these a go.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:26 pm 
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I'd always suggest starting with SHARDS OF HONOR. Miles isn't in it, but it's his parents' love story. It was Bujold's first published novel, and it shows, but so does her talent and her gift for character and story. Then comes BARRAYAR, which was written much later but follows in the chronology. It's the story of Miles's birth, among many, many other things. From there the chronology jumps to Miles's youth and his attempts to have a military career despite the fact that he has a skeletal disorder (caused in BARRAYAR before he was born) that makes him small, crooked, and fragile-boned—on a world that isn't very tolerant of physical imperfection, at least in people who want to serve in the military.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:55 am 
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I think I will try the fantasy series. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:51 am 
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Whatever suits you! I will probably try it again myself now that there are more books.

But the Miles books are something special—warm, human, funny, and deeply moving at times. Cordelia (Miles's mother) has some meditations on preserving his life that bring me to tears. He is tiny and wounded inside her, and helpless, and they are advising her to give up and start over . . . and she doesn't. She fights for him and wins. Though it takes twenty years to be clear that she has won.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:19 pm 
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Yep, Shards of Honor is the one to start with. I was pretty dubious at first, as it had all the earmarks of a sappy love story.... but that quickly changed. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:52 pm 
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A love story with space battles. And moral ambiguity. And they're on opposite sides.

Oh, and funny dialogue.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:57 pm 
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Another thing I like about this author... almost every book so far I've had to look up the definition of a word used at least once. And I don't mean the medical terminology. "Peculation" for instance, I'd never heard of before. :) I mean, it was pretty obvious from context, but I did look it up just to be sure.

She has a good vocabulary, in other words, and isn't afraid to use it. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:23 pm 
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Well, I've downloaded Shards of Honour and Barrayar to my Kindle, but I can't open them.

I can see them, but they're greyed out, and there's a little 'x'-in-a-tiny-grey-circle symbol underneath each title. I went to my account, and manually 'sent' them to my Kindle again, but no change. Then I thought maybe my Kindle is full, so I deleted some titles from the device and left them in the cloud, but the two Vorkosigan titles are still greyed out.

Now I'm frustrated. I'll have to explore the Kindle chatboards to see if there's a solution there for me.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:52 pm 
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I wonder if it might be a regional rights thing? :( Although why this very popular series wouldn't be available worldwide, I can't guess. The publisher isn't the best (I don't think their books are copyedited, and the covers are largely dreadful). But presumably Bujold has a good agent.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:06 am 
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Fixed!

I went online and reversed the purchase for refund, then rebooted my kindle, repurchased the titles via kindle rather than via the PC, it all sync'ed up, and I now have the books. Phew!

The regional block doesn't apply to me, as I've registered my Amazon account using the US address of a friend, so Amazon believes I'm a US resident.

It's not cheating. If it were a hard copy, I could ask Linda to purchase it and forward to me in Oz, and I'm just doing it virtually.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:49 pm 
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I'm just glad you succeeded! :)

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:11 am 
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Oh, I'm laughing so hard that I'm crying.

This exchange:

Spoiler: show
Cordelia has just escaped from military handlers who think she's been turned to an agent of an enemy government. To do so, she interrogated and tied up one of her guards and snuck out of her home. She's now sweet-talking a young pilot into unknowingly collaborating in her escape from her home planet.
"May I ask you a personal question, ma'am?"
"Why not? Everyone else does."
"Why are you wearing slippers?"
She stared down at her feet. "I'm - sorry, Pilot Officer Mayhew. That's classified."

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:22 am 
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Spoiler even for you, although not significant for this book:

Spoiler: show
And, as is typical of these books (waste not, want not), you will see Pilot Officer Mayhew again. A lot. Not every bit player stays that way in this series.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:23 pm 
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Impish, that spoiler of yours has tipped the scales for me in favor of her space opera!

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'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude (as Merry)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:05 am 
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Wait 'til you get to the part where she...

Spoiler: show
...attempts to ride a horse for the first time, and the saddle slips around the horse so she's hanging under its belly, surrounded by a sea of equine legs - and the horse turns its head to peer at what the heck she's doing.


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:55 am 
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:( eNYPL has only the audio books of this series... boo hoo

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:24 am 
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Kindle!

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