Werthead

The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold

137 posts in this topic

LMB has been publishing some novellas set in the world of the 5 Gods, in ebook format, one called Penric's Demon, another Penric & The Shaman, and a third coming out tentatively called Penric's Mission

Does anybody know if these will be collected into a single volume or do I have to shell out for each separately? 3.99 seems a bit much for ebook novellas; but good for her for keeping a productive semi-retirement and writing without a contract to stress her out.

--

ETA:  Just found a message on Goodreads from her saying eventually yes these might be published in collections, but the third novella in a different collection with chronologically future tales, while the first two belong in a collection with chronologically in-between (between #2 and #3) but also yet to be written tales.  No solid plans so far, as no contract.  Seems like we'd have to wait a while, if you're okay with wating.

Edited by SpaceChampion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/11/2016 at 7:05 PM, SpaceChampion said:

LMB has been publishing some novellas set in the world of the 5 Gods, in ebook format, one called Penric's Demon, another Penric & The Shaman, and a third coming out tentatively called Penric's Mission.

Penric's Mission got released today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, williamjm said:

Penric's Mission got released today.

Oooooo, I did not know that. Thanks for posting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the heads up - I picked up Penric's Demon from the library yesterday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2016 at 3:05 PM, SpaceChampion said:

Does anybody know if these will be collected into a single volume or do I have to shell out for each separately? 3.99 seems a bit much for ebook novellas; but good for her for keeping a productive semi-retirement and writing without a contract to stress her out.

This is one of the few instances where something is cheap enough for me to ignore its price. $4 is a bit much for a novella, but it's just small enough in absolute terms that I tend to go ahead and buy them anyway. It's weird because I usually don't buy even cheap stuff unless I believe I'm getting my money's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2016 at 0:05 PM, SpaceChampion said:

LMB has been publishing some novellas set in the world of the 5 Gods, in ebook format, one called Penric's Demon, another Penric & The Shaman, and a third coming out tentatively called Penric's Mission...

I enjoyed Penric's Demon - thank you for the recommendation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the price is a bit much for a novella, I have no problem paying it for Bujold. I want to support her financially in anyway I can, so that she keeps giving me things to read. Now, I'd really love for her to publish more things in her Wide Green World series, but I got the impression that it was not as financially successful as her other work (although it is my favorite of all her stuff).

About some of the previous comments about Aral not messing around with a subordinate. The problem is that EVERYONE is his subordinate, whether in the military or not. The power difference between him and almost everyone else in the entire Universe is so great that he wouldn't be able to have a relationship with anyone. Additionally, it's not like he's just sleeping around. It's pretty clear that the 'crush' he had very quickly blossomed into love. I feel that if it were just a crush and sexual attraction, he would probably not have pursued it.

I felt really bad for Miles, too. I mean, why didn't Cordelia and Aral tell him about Jole? Miles is partly Betan! He even lived on Beta for a while! I get that Cordelia might want to make decisions for herself without having to think about Miles, but I felt that her thoughts about him were somewhat dismissive. I wonder if that was Bujold's thoughts about Miles leaking through :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just started this series this week and read Shards of Honor. I really enjoyed it, but it did feel very much like a Star Trek love story.

Which isn't a bad thing.

Cordelia is a great character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stick with them. I actually had a hard time getting through Shards of Honor, but when you remember that it came out in 1986, it's suddenly way ahead of its time. In fact, in many ways it still is (especially with respect to Bujold's approach to human reproduction, one of the major themes of many of her books).

While the first two books are decent, the series makes leaps and bounds with the third one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I just started this series this week and read Shards of Honor. I really enjoyed it, but it did feel very much like a Star Trek love story.

It's sometimes claimed online that Shards of Honor actually started life as Star Trek fan fiction, though Bujold has always said otherwise.  You're certainly not the only one to make the connection though.

The direct sequel, Barrayar, is a much stronger book I think -- but how long it takes for the series to hit its stride really depends on whether you read the books in internal chronological order or in publication order.  (I think the series peaks during the sequence from Mirror Dance to Diplomatic Immunity myself, but those books are quite a way off in either order.)  If you enjoyed Shards, I think publication order makes the most sense, but it can be hard to find non-anthology versions of some of the earlier books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Plessiez said:

It's sometimes claimed online that Shards of Honor actually started life as Star Trek fan fiction, though Bujold has always said otherwise.  You're certainly not the only one to make the connection though.

The direct sequel, Barrayar, is a much stronger book I think -- but how long it takes for the series to hit its stride really depends on whether you read the books in internal chronological order or in publication order.  (I think the series peaks during the sequence from Mirror Dance to Diplomatic Immunity myself, but those books are quite a way off in either order.)  If you enjoyed Shards, I think publication order makes the most sense, but it can be hard to find non-anthology versions of some of the earlier books.

I read it in internal chronology and I can see why that's problematic for some: you don't meet the main character of the series until Book 3 and the first two books are much grimmer and less humourous than the rest of the series (not that the series is a comedy, but there are comedy of manners elements and some witty moments in the other books).

OTOH, I really enjoyed reading it that way and I think publication order has its own big issues, most notably splitting Shards of Honour and Barrayar by far too much. There's also some character moments in the books that are rendered a lot less powerful, because Bujold wrote Barrayar before the rest of the series but long before it was published, and clearly wrote the other books with the plot events of Barrayar in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Wert's point, today you can read them in an order that follows the internal story chronology beginning with Falling Free and running through Gentleman Jole, and as a result the flow of the narrative in totality is probably better.

For readers that picked up her books and stories as they were either published as books or in Analog, it was a much more mysterious discovery of what went where in terms of the individual stories.  You don't need to read them according to the overall chronology - each of the stories stands on its own, and indeed some of her books had portions published in Analog or FSF or whatever long before an actual book showed up.

Today readers have the ability to be much more completist and comprehensive in their approach to books, just because the Internet gives us a depth of knowledge that we didn't have in 1989 or whenever.  Remembering an author's name, finding another work by that author, trying to recall if you liked anything by that author previously, and figuring out if or where the new work fit in the author's world building was pretty hit and miss back then.  I literally carried a ragged, much-thumbed 3x5 card picked out with authors' names in the tiniest print I could write, and when I would visit a new bookstore in a new city, I would carefully work my way through the stacks checking for anything I didn't recognize by said authors.  What a troglodyte.

But back to Bujold.  Although a reader who reads Shards of Honor and then immediately reads Diplomatic Immunity will be able to spot her growth and professionalism as a technician and writer, as an artist or writer her strong sense of story and empathy is pretty consistent, and if you skip a book or two and come back at it later, you probably won't be greatly jarred by the differences in her craft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, Barrayar has a phenomenal ending. It makes you want to bow down to Cordelia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Werthead said:

OTOH, I really enjoyed reading it that way and I think publication order has its own big issues, most notably splitting Shards of Honour and Barrayar by far too much. There's also some character moments in the books that are rendered a lot less powerful, because Bujold wrote Barrayar before the rest of the series but long before it was published, and clearly wrote the other books with the plot events of Barrayar in mind.

The part in bold is incorrect. Bujold had some the main events of Barrayar sketched out before she wrote most of the other books which came out earlier but the novel definitely wasn't written that early. Here's an interview where she talks in detail about why the internal chronology of the series is such a mess:

http://www.tor.com/2009/04/20/interview-with-lois-mcmaster-bujold-about-writing-the-vorkosigan-saga/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Selig said:

The part in bold is incorrect. Bujold had some the main events of Barrayar sketched out before she wrote most of the other books which came out earlier but the novel definitely wasn't written that early. Here's an interview where she talks in detail about why the internal chronology of the series is such a mess:

http://www.tor.com/2009/04/20/interview-with-lois-mcmaster-bujold-about-writing-the-vorkosigan-saga/

Sorry, should have said she had part of the book written, not the whole thing. She had the story planned and the first eight chapters written, which was almost half of the whole thing (Barrayar only has 20 chapters total).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More than half way through Gentleman Jole & The Red Queen and wondering...  does this book ever get a plot aside from the romance & babies story?

I was really hoping Cordelia was going to have to decapitate another head of state or something.

Edited by SpaceChampion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, SpaceChampion said:

More than half way through Gentleman Jole & The Red Queen and wondering...  does this book ever get a plot aside from the romance & babies story?

I was really hoping Cordelia was going to have to decapitate another head of state or something.

Not really.  I enjoyed it but it wasn't the most thrilling volume of the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now