Plot summary[ edit ] Cordelia Naismith, the captain of a Betan Astronomical Survey ship, is exploring a newly discovered planet when her base camp is attacked. While investigating, she is surprised by a soldier, hits her head on a rock, and awakens to find that, while most of her crew has escaped, she is marooned with an injured Betan ensign and Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar, notorious as the "Butcher of Komarr", who has been left for dead by a treacherous rival. During their five-day hike to a secret Barrayaran cache, she finds Vorkosigan not at all the monster his reputation suggests, and she is strongly attracted to him. When the trio reaches the base camp, Vorkosigan regains command of his crew. He returns to his ship with Cordelia and her crewman as his nominal prisoners. She meets Sergeant Bothari, a career soldier with mental problems who controls them through adherence to rules and an attachment to a strong commander, in this case, Vorkosigan.
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Born in Columbus, Ohio in , she became a voracious reader as a child, influenced by her father, an engineering professor at Ohio State University. Robert Charles McMaster was very well known in the scientific community, editor of the most important text in the field of welding engineering.
He was also an avid science fiction fan and frequently bought paperbacks and had subscriptions to several SF magazines. Lois picked them up and was very quickly hooked. She started writing in Junior High School and collaborated with a friend on a story all through high school. While still in high school, she had the opportunity to spend a summer hitchhiking through Europe with her older brother, an adventure that produced many ideas for writing. In college at Ohio State University Lois initially studied English, but then became interested in biology.
She was able to participate in a six week program in East Africa, an experience that supplied her with scenery and ecology for her first novels. After college she worked as a pharmacy technician for six years until she married.
The marriage failed, ending in divorce, but she had two children, Anne and Paul. She has credited them with teaching her about birth and growth and parenthood. She started writing seriously in , while working and struggling as a single mother with two young children on a very limited income. One of her earliest works, a short story, was about a single mother who puts her children into suspended animation. She wrote her first novel, Shards of Honor, in and it was published in The story brings together Cordelia Naismith, captain of a small Betan starship, engaged in exploring a newly discovered planet, and Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan, captain of a Brarrayan starship.
The two are enemies in a war instigated by a dying emperor of Barrayar, where a feudalistic society, isolated from the galactic milieu for years, has been abruptly cast back into the modern, technologically advanced culture by the discovery of a nearby wormhole. Cordelia, who comes from the advanced civilization, is marooned on the unexplored planet with Vorkosigan, a product of an archaic aristocracy.
During their shared ordeal, they are drawn to each other. The novel takes them through battles and imprisonment, torture and disgrace. Aral asks her repeatedly to marry him, but she consistently refuses until she finds that she cannot go home again. She flees to Barrayar and marries Lord Vorkosigan, third in line to the throne. Poisoned in utero during an assassination attempt on his parents, Miles has extremely brittle bones that break with very little force.
He spent his childhood in casts since he insists on trying to be the man he thinks his father wants him to be. He applies to the Barrayan military academy, but breaks both legs attempting to complete the obstacle course. Feeling despondent and shamed by his physical disabilities, he leaves Barrayar and wanders, eventually acquiring a group of followers. He organizes them into the Dendarii mercenaries and takes on a new persona, that of Admiral Miles Naismith, commander of the mercenaries.
The aristocracy into which he was born admire strength and valor above all and Miles fails miserably at physical strength. But his character has extraordinary depth and his perseverance in the face of pain and repeated defeats, along with his hyperactive, somewhat manic depressive personality, make him one of the most unusual and likeable protagonists in science fiction.
Her introduction of the uterine replicator, a machine in which a fetus can be brought to term after the first few weeks in utero, promises liberation of women from the physical demands and dangers of child bearing. Lois McMaster Bujold herself has noted that she believes that women cannot be liberated except in a technologically advanced society, where machines take over much of the work, freeing both men and women for more intellectual activities.
Since the publication of her first two Vorkosigan novels, the series has been extended by more than a dozen novels, as Miles and his companions age.
The stories also have grown as Bujold delves deeper into the characters of Miles and his family. The novels are also rollicking adventure tales, fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable. She has branched out into the fantasy field with her novel, The Curse of Chalion, published in It won the Mythopoeic Award as the best adult fantasy.
She followed that with a sequel, Paladin of Souls, which won the Nebula Award for The Sharing Knife, Volumes 1 through 4, has also been widely acclaimed in the world of adult fantasy. As an indication of her status as one of the best science fiction writers of our time, Lois McMaster Bujold has won four Hugo Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the field, with ten nominations, more than any other author except Robert Heinlein.
She has also won two Nebula Awards, as well as a string of other prizes. She continues to write prolifically, continuing the Vorkosigan series, as well as writing in the fantasy field. None of her books have been made into movies or television series, possibly because the worlds she creates are so complex and her characters so unusual that Hollywood would have a hard time doing justice to her creations.
She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but her imagination roams freely through this universe and many others. We recently conducted a poll among visitors and the Memory Man series was voted the 8th most favourite series by all readers. If you ARE an avid reader of it then great news — a new book is coming out very soon!!! Pre-order now. Please Note The links beside each book title will take you to Amazon, who I feel are the best online retailer for books where you can read more about the book, or purchase it.
Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn money from qualifying purchases. Recommendations Every 2 weeks we send out an e-mail with Book Recommendations. Insert your e-mail below to start getting these recommendations. If you see one missing just send me an e-mail below. Then you need to read the Coffeehouse Mysteries. This series by Cleo Coyle has been going strong since and is still publishing highly rated books every year.
An excellent series to get you through the cold months. More details. However there is a lot more to Blake than just that series. He has written some of the best sci-fi books there is such as Dark Matter and Recursion. More Details. Did You Know… When not writing, Brad Taylor serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats for various agencies.
Shards of Honour
List of works by Lois McMaster Bujold