Friday, July 9, 2010

Vorkosigan

I've read... er, listened to two audio books by Lois McMaster Bujold from her Vorkosigan series.  It actually started with Steve Jackson Game's GURPS RPG, I saw the campaign setting book and assumed it was a new Traveller book (with the red and black with white text). I finally paged through the sourcebook and discovered a whole new sci-fi setting. So far I've 'read' The Vor Game and Diplomatic Immunity. These were simply the first two or only two I could find on CD in the Ramsey County Library system immediately available when I needed them. Not a very logical or fortunate order to start the series as the Vor Game is seventh or eighth book in the sequential order and Diplomatic Immunity was the 2nd to last book in the series! There's obviously a lot that I've missed in between, but it wasn't either important enough to spoil the two or they're written with skillfully in the way that the reader finds the missing details just as enjoyable. It has been interesting to find a rather high level of love for the series and for some time now. I'm surprised it's just now appearing on my radar.

The Vorkosigan saga is everything I was looking for when I tried reading Dave Weber's Honor Harrington series, but it has so much more life than Weber's books. There were many many times in the Vorkosigan where I found myself laughing out loud and the dialog and Mile's inner dialog. These stories are simply delightful. The protagonist, Miles Vorkosigan, is easily compared to Tyrion Lannister (from the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin) in stature and status. Beyond that the two are very different. Miles Vorkosigan is a thoughtful and loving man who has mastered his use of his God given cleverness and power with words.

Some of what I enjoyed in particular was the relationships Miles enjoys. In The Vor Game there is a scene in which Miles and his father are united after only about six months to a year. Upon seeing his son, Count Aral Vorkosigan tears up and receives his son into his arms. I'm a softy. I love it.
In Diplomatic Immunity, the relationship he has with his wife is simply adorable (like all men, he married up). In another scene he is reunited with a friend and undercover special agent on the payroll of the agency Miles works for. While in public they speak diplomatically, they sit down and enjoy a good hard laugh once in privacy.

It has been said that Bujold's very first Vorkosigan story started as a Star Trek fanfic that she later filed off the serial numbers and made her own wonderful universe to express the story in.
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