View Full Version : Bujold Vorkosigan saga


Dizfriz
10-05-12, 02:24 PM
I was having a discussion with Abi on science fiction and I decided to put this on the forum.

The reason is that the main character, Miles Vorkosigan is, especially in his younger days, hyperactive and impulsive as all get out. Act first, figure out why later. He did settle down as he matured as ADHDers often do but was still ADHD.

As an aside, the mother, Cordelia is, to my mind, probably the most powerful female character in science fiction bar none.

Bujold is tied with Heinlein on Hugos for science fiction novels. About as good at track record as you can get.

Her characters are rich and deep. Quite frankly, her writing sometimes takes my breath away and I think she understands pain better than any writer I have read.

Here is an abbreviated and rather edited time line cribbed from http://www.dendarii.co.uk/FanFic/timeline.htmlA


TIMELINE

Cordelia Naismith meets Lord Aral Vorkosigan while on opposite sides of a war. (Shards of Honor) A powerful book.

While Cordelia is pregnant, an attempt to assassinate Miles's father by poison gas fails, but Cordelia is affected; Miles Vorkosigan is born with bones that will always be brittle and other medical problems. His growth will always be stunted. (Barrayar) This novel also explains why the Barrayan culture holds her in such respect and to a degree, fear when she thought they were just foolish in their military, male centric culture.

Miles is 17 Miles fails to pass a physical test to get into the Service Academy. On a trip, he improvises a mercenary force into existence by shear BS and nerve. He leaves to attend the Barrayan military academy (his dream) (The Warrior's Apprentice)

Miles is 20 His first military assignment ends with his arrest (for being impulsive). Miles has to rejoin his Dendarii mercenary force to rescue the young Barrayaran Emperor. (The Vor Game)

Miles is 22 Miles and his cousin Ivan attend a state funeral on Cetaganda. Miles naturally impulsively gets into trouble (Cetaganda)

Miles is 23 Now a Barrayaran Lieutenant, Miles goes with the Dendarii to smuggle a scientist out of Jackson's Whole and as usual, impulsively overdoes the whole thing.(Borders of Infinity)

Miles is 24 Miles plots from a prison camp on Dagoola IV to free a prinisor but in his normal way rescues the whole captured army. (The Borders of Infinity) Miles's Dendarii fleet is pursued by the Cetagandans and finally reaches earth for repairs; manages to get into trouble there.

Meets his clone brother...Oops! Their rather unique and developing relationship sets the stage for much of the rest of the series. (Brothers In Arms)

Miles is 25 Hospitalized after previous mission, Miles' broken arms are replaced by synthetic bones. With Simon Illyan, Miles undoes yet another plot against his father while flat on his back. (Borders of Infinity)

Miles is 28 Miles meets his clone brother Mark again, this time on Jackson's Whole. (Mirror Dance)

Miles is 29
Miles hits thirty; thirty hits back. (Memory)

Miles is 30 Emperor Gregor dispatches Miles to Komarr to investigate a space accident, where he finds old politics and new technology make a deadly mix. (Komarr)

Miles is 30 The Emperor's wedding sparks romance and intrigue on Barrayar, and Miles plunges up to his neck in both. (A Civil Campaign) In some ways, my favorite one of the series.

Miles is 32 Miles and Ekaterin's honeymoon journey is interrupted by an Auditorial mission to Quaddiespace, where they encounter old friends, new enemies, and a double handful of intrigue (what else) (Diplomatic Immunity) As to the Quaddies, Falling Free

Miles is 39 Miles and Roic go to Kibou-daini to investigate cryo-corporation chicanery.(Cryoburn) Probably her weakest novel but that is somewhat like saying the weakest King Kong.

There are others including some short stories I removed for simplicity. For more detail refer to the timeline listed above.

Anyway, something to possibly read and perhaps enjoy and it definitely relates to ADHD.

Dizfriz

Amtram
10-05-12, 04:56 PM
I may ask you to remind me about this once I can read books again - sounds interesting.

Dizfriz
10-05-12, 07:08 PM
I may ask you to remind me about this once I can read books again - sounds interesting.
Your wish in this is my desire, dear friend
.

Dizfriz

Luvmybully
10-05-12, 07:47 PM
I love Bujold's Chalion books, these sound awesome!

What is the first book of this series?

Dizfriz
10-06-12, 06:34 AM
I love Bujold's Chalion books, these sound awesome!

What is the first book of this series? The books were not necessary published in story order..long tale I hear.

The first book I would suggest is Shards of Honor.

On the Chalion series, The Curse of Chalion resonated within me down to my toes. You have touched on something that left a deep impression on me.

Bujold understands pain, despair and redemption better than anyone I have ever read. She hit me at my core in this book, I was Cazaril. My first read through left me emotionally drained and I guess that that is perhaps my highest accolade for a book, to feel that I am experiencing directly the emotions of the character. Age might be part of it, it is not the average young person's book but is for those who have been there and back.

I guess Frost described the heart of the book as well as anyone could:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Perhaps it is just my reaction, but her awards indicate that I am not the only one who feels the power of her writing.

"Boy can she write!" from a review of Bujold.

Dizfriz

Luvmybully
10-06-12, 10:26 AM
The books were not necessary published in story order..long tale I hear.

The first book I would suggest is Shards of Honor.

On the Chalion series, The Curse of Chalion resonated within me down to my toes. You have touched on something that left a deep impression on me.

Bujold understands pain, despair and redemption better than anyone I have ever read. She hit me at my core in this book, I was Cazaril. My first read through left me emotionally drained and I guess that that is perhaps my highest accolade for a book, to feel that I am experiencing directly the emotions of the character. Age might be part of it, it is not the average young person's book but is for those who have been there and back.

I guess Frost described the heart of the book as well as anyone could:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Perhaps it is just my reaction, but her awards indicate that I am not the only one who feels the power of her writing.

"Boy can she write!" from a review of Bujold.

Dizfriz

there was some conflicting information when I searched it last night, but most did say to start with Shards of Honor, so it's already on my Nook, waiting to be read!

I was going to read it next, but it's been over 10 years since I read the Chalion books, so now i think I want to re-read them.

I don't remember much about them (I read a few books a week, so 10 years worth of books is over 1500 books since I read the Chalion series!) What I do remember is that they did have a PROFOUND impact on me, and I put them in my "special book" section.

Amtram
10-06-12, 11:23 AM
Silly me. I have a tablet. I can make the text really big and turn it sideways so I see fewer lines at a time. Downloaded "Shards of Honor." Will get back to you!

Dizfriz
10-06-12, 12:07 PM
there was some conflicting information when I searched it last night, but most did say to start with Shards of Honor, so it's already on my Nook, waiting to be read!


The publish dates do not necessarily follow the time line. The list I gave more or less is a good start on a chronological read order. There are others so there is no absolute order.

"Note that the internal chronology is not exactly the same as the order in which the books were written. Bujold has stated on her blog that she is generally in favor of reading the books in internal chronological order."

I hope you and Amtram enjoy them as much as I do, let me know. I reread them from time to time and each time get a little more out of them. I may do a complete series reread after the first of the year.

I have read the Chalion series too many times and I need about another year in order to tackle them again.


Dizfriz

Retromancer
10-06-12, 05:49 PM
"With nearly pathological determination and high intelligence, aided by his supportive parents and their high social rank, he fashions an extraordinary military and civilian career in the Barrayaran Empire."
Wikipedia -- 'Vorkosigan Saga'

Sounds like Sir Richard Branson writ large. [spits]

Abi
10-06-12, 05:52 PM
Oh behave.

Retromancer
10-06-12, 06:16 PM
What can I say I'm a barely literate, uncouth peasant. No 'swords and spaceships' for me.

Dizfriz
10-07-12, 11:34 AM
What can I say I'm a barely literate, uncouth peasant. No 'swords and spaceships' for me.


To quoteth: "As you wish"-Wesley




Dizfriz

Retromancer
10-07-12, 04:23 PM
The 'sword and spaceship' set should read Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Iron_Dream). That should give at least some of them pause...

Dizfriz
10-08-12, 09:27 AM
Retro,

I was going to order the book but it is quite pricy on Amazon,97.50 new, 30.92 used. Kindle was 8.00 but since I do not have wireless where I live, cannot take advantage of this.

As an aside, Bujold is not a sword and spaceship writer. She simply chooses SF and Fantasy as her medium. What she writes about is people.

Take care,

Dizfriz

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TygerSan
10-08-12, 09:55 AM
I tend to be very picky about my sci-fi/fantasy. Have to say that I am really enjoying Shards of Honor. Good characterization helps a lot as does good writing.

Dizfriz- I keep forgetting the advantages of living in a major city. Even so I tend to download my kindle books via wifi, not cellular. (Though the fact that I can order a new book on the bus after finishing the last one, with a mere push of a button, has proven a bit costly)

Luvmybully
10-08-12, 11:33 AM
(Though the fact that I can order a new book on the bus after finishing the last one, with a mere push of a button, has proven a bit costly)

Oh yes, the instant availability of books IS nearly impossible to resist. I am glad they have a digital library now and free e-books.

Those you have to pay for really add up fast!

Dizfriz
10-08-12, 12:28 PM
there was some conflicting information when I searched it last night, but most did say to start with Shards of Honor, so it's already on my Nook, waiting to be read!

Although it is somewhat of order, I might suggest the Borders of Infinity as the second book. In several short stories, Bujold really defines her main character well as well as the culture in which he lives.

The Mountains of Mourning story was very powerful at least to me and you can see the beginnings of the man Miles was to become.

Those not interested in this kind of thing, forgive me. Bujold is, in many ways, my favorite writer in that she can reach in deep to touch you.

As I said before, sometimes her writing takes my breath from me in awe as in "God, what a powerful sentence!"

Anyone who has raised or are raising a disabled child, I suspect will respond to the parents of the main character. Miles was severely handicapped at birth due to in utero poisoning. Much of the history is exploring how the parents and the character dealt with this.

For those who have not read her and whose lives have gone down a lot of long roads, many of which were mostly dirt and ruts: think of it as my gift to you. Not all will relate to Bujold's writing but for those who do, the impact can be profound.

Enough of that, read or not as you choose.

Dizfriz

Luvmybully
10-08-12, 12:41 PM
Although it is somewhat of order, I might suggest the Borders of Infinity as the second book. In several short stories, Bujold really defines her main character well as well as the culture in which he lives.

The Mountains of Mourning story was very powerful at least to me and you can see the beginnings of the man Miles was to become.

Those not interested in this kind of thing, forgive me. Bujold is, in many ways, my favorite writer in that she can reach in deep to touch you.

As I said before, sometimes her writing takes my breath from me in awe as in "God, what a powerful sentence!"

Anyone who has raised or are raising a disabled child, I suspect will respond to the parents of the main character. Miles was severely handicapped at birth due to in utero poisoning. Much of the history is exploring how the parents and the character dealt with this.

For those who have not read her and whose lives have gone down a lot of long roads, many of which were mostly dirt and ruts: think of it as my gift to you. Not all will relate to Bujold's writing but for those who do, the impact can be profound.

Enough of that, read or not as you choose.

Dizfriz

I have started The Curse of Chalion again. I am reading my hardcover copy of it, and I know I am going to break down soon and get digital the version so I can read them on my Nook. I really prefer reading on it.

I have to agree with you about Bujold, she is absolutely gifted!

Oh, and my grandson's name is Miles :-) He is my most favoritest little person ever!

Retromancer
10-08-12, 01:45 PM
Do they still have public libraries in Texas? ;)

As for a SF writer that writing about fallible people trying to make it in a world they did not create, I would suggest starting with Philip K. Dick. Characterization without the will to power that you find among so much of the fantasy set.

Retro,

I was going to order the book but it is quite pricy on Amazon,97.50 new, 30.92 used. Kindle was 8.00 but since I do not have wireless where I live, cannot take advantage of this.

As an aside, Bujold is not a sword and spaceship writer. She simply chooses SF and Fantasy as her medium. What she writes about is people.

Take care,

Dizfriz

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Dizfriz
10-08-12, 04:06 PM
Do they still have public libraries in Texas? ;)

As for a SF writer that writing about fallible people trying to make it in a world they did not create, I would suggest starting with Philip K. Dick. Characterization without the will to power that you find among so much of the fantasy set.


Not much were I live. We have a small town library about 20 miles from here but they don't show the book.

I am quite familiar with Dick having read several of his novels and an number of his short stories over the years. A very good writer with some very good ideas. Not one of my favorites but that has nothing to do with his ability. Some writers resonate, some don't. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't.

Keep in mind that I have been reading this stuff steadily for going on sixty years especially in the early years starting in the mid 50's when it was all new and exciting. Each month I devoured read Amazing, Outstanding, Galaxy and others when I could afford it which was not every month.

Interesting times.

Dizfriz

Abi
10-08-12, 04:13 PM
Dick has some of the best stories, but his writing style is difficult for me. Thankfully many of his novels and short stories have been made into movies including Total Recall [1992, 2012], Blade Runner [c1995], Minority Report [2002], Paycheck [2003] and The Adjusters [c2011]

Retromancer
10-08-12, 04:49 PM
The most faithful adaptation of Philip K Dick to date was Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405296/) Also out there is a competent adaption of Radio Free Albemuth (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1129396/) which was shown on the festival circuit. (Interestingly it's available from Netflix as a DVD). Much of what is best about PKD simply doesn't make it through the Hollywood Cuisinart. (Arnold Schwarzenegger as a PKD protagonist? Really?)

I leave you with the hilarious (really) Charles Freck suicide attempt from Scanner Darkly:

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Dick has some of the best stories, but his writing style is difficult for me. Thankfully many of his novels and short stories have been made into movies including Total Recall [1992, 2012], Blade Runner [c1995], Minority Report [2002], Paycheck [2003] and The Adjusters [c2011]