Author Topic: Lois McMaster Bujold  (Read 40645 times)

Patti L.

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Lois McMaster Bujold
« on: August 29, 2007, 06:56:13 am »
Another author who, like our Hostess, can write stories that take you away & leave you going, "What?  Wait a minute, I want more!"
She's got a great SF series centering on the Vorkosigan family of the planet Barrayar, although the one that happens first in the chronology doesn't come near either the planet or the family.  It's an award winner called 'Falling Free' about a group of people who were genetically engineered to live in zero g.

She's got a stand alone fantasy called 'The Spirit Ring'.  She may write sequel(s) to it.

There is a series about - well, it's called the Chalion series at the moment.  It's starting point was a history course she took on Spain, but it goes on to a world with 5 gods who meddle in human affairs sometimes.

The series she's currently working on I'd call the Malice Wars series.  The publisher seems to be doing a group title of 'The Sharing Knife', with sub-titles for the individual volumes.  First is 'Beguilement'.  Humanity, while still capable of interbreeding, has largely split into two groups. 'Farmers' and 'Lakewalkers'.  The former are much like thee & me.  The 'walkers have an extra sense & some ability to manipulate the world around them with it.  It is used pretty exclusively to achieve the destruction of gruesome things the 'walkers call Malices, & the farmers call bogles.  Think of Thread from Pern, thinking & mobile.  VERY dangerous.

Her books have some good humorous stuff in them too.  A fair amount of it is dark, but there's enough darkness here that it doesn't feel overdone.
Sanity on loan. Call back next year.

Cerulean

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2007, 11:51:21 am »
I'm so glad you mentioned her, Patti. She's one of my favorites. Her Vorkosigan series is amazing. I'd heard about these for years before I finally took the plunge. There are a lot of books in the series and I couldn't figure out where to start. It can get even more confusing b/c she has written some of these books out of chonological order - so you can read them either in published order or in chronological order. She also has omnibus editions where two to three books are combined - in chronological order. The latter is how I read them - the omnibus editions. It's one of those series where you might as well get several at a time, b/c you'll want the next book on hand anyway ;)

Here are the omnibus editions (in chronological order):
    * Cordelia's Honor (contains Shards of Honor and Barrayar)
    * Young Miles (contains The Warrior's Apprentice, "The Mountains of Mourning", The Vor Game)
    * Miles, Mystery, and Mayhem (contains Cetaganda, Ethan of Athos, "Labyrinth")
    * Miles Errant ("The Borders of Infinity", Brothers in Arms, Mirror Dance)
    * Miles, Mutants and Microbes (contains Falling Free, Diplomatic Immunity, "Labyrinth")
    * Vorkosigan's Game (contained The Vor Game, "The Mountains of Mourning", "Labyrinth", and "The Borders of Infinity" including the framing story for the collection Borders of Infinity)

Oh cool - I googled her name and found a page of quotations by her (from her books). If you want a quick insight into her books, check it out: http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Lois_McMaster_Bujold/
There are many people – happy people, it usually appears – whose thoughts at Christmas always turn to books. The notion of a Christmas tree with no books under it is repugnant and unnatural to them. – Robertson Davies (1997)

Patti L.

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 10:34:16 pm »
She was GoH at VikingCon several years ago, & I went.  It was fairly amazing for a variety of reasons, including the chance to meet Marion Zimmer Bradley, who was in failing health even then.
One of the fun things about that particular con was that the fan group doing security had made themselves grey & white Dendarii jumpsuits.  There were a couple of people with 'jump pilot implants' including a tiny baby, probably under a year old.
There's some really interesting discussion of the Sharing Knife series at my other forum, & they/we're playing around with a filk to the tune of 'Please Mister Custer', that I think of as 'Please Captain Redwing'.  I'm trying to coax the Lone Gunman into recording it.
Sanity on loan. Call back next year.

Cerulean

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2007, 09:52:18 am »
I love her Sharing Knife duology, too. She just writes amazing characters.
There are many people – happy people, it usually appears – whose thoughts at Christmas always turn to books. The notion of a Christmas tree with no books under it is repugnant and unnatural to them. – Robertson Davies (1997)

Patti L.

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2007, 03:29:37 pm »
She really does.  The discussion of Dag's personality & plans are as intense over there as the ones here about Mercy & her beaus, family, abilities, etc.

I poked through the Dendarii website this morning & saw the outfit that has the official LMB okay to make Barrayaran/Vorkosigan products, including the discontinued 'Vorkosigan liveried butterbug handpuppet'.  They don't have any more, Zap & her kittens got the rest. :D
Sanity on loan. Call back next year.

Mary

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2007, 11:37:43 am »
Love her. My favorite are the two books about Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan.
to read is to change

therhoda

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2007, 08:16:14 pm »
I have to say i love her Vorkasigan series, its one of the best "here try this science fiction you'll like it," series i have. I have not gotten into any to her other series they just don't appeal the way The Miles crowd does. Of course shes under contract to write a new Vor book for next year and  I am sending up daily muse prayers that its an Ivan book, they will get an extra offering if they send him back to Cetaganda and he ends up with an haunt bride!

Cerulean

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Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 04:10:38 pm »
I went to post about her and was horrified when I couldn't find a dedicated thread to her!!

She's just frickin' awesome. Insert every possible compliment here. If you google her name and "quotes", you'll find some great ones that are truly insightful. Anyway, her most famous (and long-lasting) series is the Vorkosigan series, mostly following the story of Miles Vorkosigan. Putting this series in order can be an ordeal because Lois wrote some prequels and some novellas in the same universe, but only tangentially featuring Miles, and then her publisher (Baen, I believe) publishes compilations of her books. I have mostly the compilations (because you'll want to know *what happens next!!* when you're done with the previous book. Let's see if I can reproduce it.

Ah ha, Wikipedia has beaten me to it.

Quote
Omnibus volumes:

    * Cordelia's Honor (contains Shards of Honor, Barrayar)
    * Young Miles (contains The Warrior's Apprentice, "The Mountains of Mourning", The Vor Game)
    * Miles, Mystery, and Mayhem (contains Cetaganda, Ethan of Athos, "Labyrinth")
    * Miles Errant (contains "The Borders of Infinity", Brothers in Arms, Mirror Dance)
    * Miles, Mutants and Microbes (contains Falling Free, Diplomatic Immunity, "Labyrinth")
    * Miles in Love (contains Komarr, A Civil Campaign, "Winterfair Gifts")

In fact, Wikipedia has a great entry on her that does a better job than I could at singing her praises, including the fact that she's won the Hugo award four times, a Nebula award, a Mythopoetic award (for a different series), and nominated (with no win) for the World Fantasy Award.

Her second series is the Chalion series, which is a fantasy series that also has great characterization and plot with complex themes but kickbutt action.

The Curse of Chalion
The Paladin of Souls
The Hallowed Hunt

And then there's her new series called The Sharing Knife, the fourth of which just came out
    * Beguilement (2006)
    * Legacy (2007)
    * Passage (2008 novel) (2008)
    * Horizon (novel) (2009)

These are a bit more romantic, but also deal with the classic Bujold themes of cultural conflict.

Anyway, she's just great and I would suggest that most anyone would love her work.

Here are a few quotes from her work:
"Any community's arm of force - military, police, security - needs people in it who can do necessary evil, and yet not be made evil by it. To do only the necessary and no more. To constantly question the assumptions, to stop the slide into atrocity." Barrayar, 1991

"But pain... seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?" Barrayar, 1991

"Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." Memory, 1996

"Adulthood isn't an award they'll give you for being a good child. You can waste... years, trying to get someone to give that respect to you, as though it were a sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just... take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, I'm sorry you feel like that and walk away. But that's hard." A Civil Campaign, 1999
There are many people – happy people, it usually appears – whose thoughts at Christmas always turn to books. The notion of a Christmas tree with no books under it is repugnant and unnatural to them. – Robertson Davies (1997)

Patti L.

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 08:27:59 pm »
Coolness?  She's coming to Seattle!  SF Museum Wednesday the 23rd, Thea & I are both going to try to be there, & it's the release party for "Sharing Knife:  Passages".
I'm pretty sure I'll bomb out on photos, the museum seemed fairly dark when I went there the first time, & my camera flash died.
And you all know how awful I am at getting photos from camera to forum.
Sanity on loan. Call back next year.

Taphien

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2008, 10:18:08 am »
Coolness?  She's coming to Seattle!  SF Museum Wednesday the 23rd, Thea & I are both going to try to be there, & it's the release party for "Sharing Knife:  Passages".
I'm pretty sure I'll bomb out on photos, the museum seemed fairly dark when I went there the first time, & my camera flash died.
And you all know how awful I am at getting photos from camera to forum.

Have fun!
Passage is great! I just read it thanks to fictionwise putting it up as a 100% rebate book. Now I can wait till the paperback comes out for buying it dead-tree.

Thea

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2008, 11:21:36 am »
My copy comes tomorrow, just in time to go with Patti and other friends.
I loved seeing Lois last year!

Cerulean

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2008, 12:24:35 pm »
Patti, I'm so jealous! Even if you can't get pics, I hope you'll give us a description of how it all went :) It's so interesting how Bujold can have such disparate series - a military scifi, a religion-based fantasy, and a romantic fantasy - that on the face of it have nothing in common. Yet when you take into account the themes she places in each book - cultural conflict, authority conflict, power, gender roles, maturation, sacrifice, responsibility, etc. - they are similar. I know I just did that little justice - what other themes have you all seen in her series?

There are many people – happy people, it usually appears – whose thoughts at Christmas always turn to books. The notion of a Christmas tree with no books under it is repugnant and unnatural to them. – Robertson Davies (1997)

Patti L.

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2008, 06:29:06 pm »
Overcoming physical & cultural handicaps.
Fighting a lack of self confidence.
Sanity on loan. Call back next year.

Patti L.

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 10:32:00 pm »
Just back about 90 minutes from the reading/signing.  Lots of interesting stuff.
She intended the first 2 volumes as one book, but it came in at 217,000 words, so it was broken in half.  That was all she'd intended to write, the love story in a fantasy world.  Romance readers were happy, but the F/SF readers were demanding, "Where's the rest of the story?"  which left her where she puts her characters, with the worst thing possible done to the character/writer.  She'd left the characters happy in their love, but with the major problem continuing, essentially unsolvable (like politics or corruption)  So she was forced to try to solve it.
Hearing her reading, I could almost see the pages, & the way I'd react to reading them, with some small smiles.  But hearing her reading, infusing emotion, I was not alone in laughing aloud.  I'll have to re-read the first 2 to make the humor come out the way she did.
She also said that the next Miles book will take him a couple of years into his future, so I guess the twins will be terrible twos.
And the Chalion/5 Gods series may take a bit longer, the ideas about the Father & the Mother aren't catching her in the gut.
Sanity on loan. Call back next year.

Demeter

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Re: Lois McMaster Bujold
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 06:09:30 am »
Patti, thanks for the scoop on the reading - very interesting to know about how the different series will continue. It's good to know she's not letting to of Chalion :)

<sigh>  Wish I had my own personal jet and a full time nanny so I could bop off any time for adventures to meet authors.  ;)
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