Friday, October 22, 2010

Reading material...

Another interruption in reading the Heinlein biography has occurred. Roomie just picked up a copy of Lois McMaster Bujold's latest tale of the adventures of Miles Vorkosigan: Cryoburn.

I am very impressed with how well Bujold has handled the life of Miles. Over as many years and as many books and short stories, it's no mean feat to keep a cast of characters interesting. It is especially difficult, in what is basically a huge and extended bildungsroman, to keep the main character growing and maturing and acquiring power and position without accidentally promoting them to God(jg). *coughDavidWebercough*

This being the first new Miles Vorkosigan book in many years, it has been an unexpected pleasure to read, like getting a letter from a friend and finding that they're doing well.

22 comments:

Nathan said...

I just started reading the Vorkosigan books. So far I'm impressed. Sounds like I will continue to be impressed :)

bluesun said...

Looking forward to it. Miles is who started me in on Science Fiction, way back when...

Jon said...

I finished reading the Heinlein bio last week, and just started Cryoburn last night. Both are enjoyable.

Kevin said...

To be honest, I can't read David Weber's Honor Harrington stuff. I just can't. However, much of his other stuff I find quite enjoyable, his Safehold series, for instance.

The first book of Bujold's I read was Barrayar, and I was hooked. Miles' life has been terrifically enjoyable to follow, with many memorable scenes.

From memory, when he asked his father if he had done the right thing in standing up to a rather psychotic superior officer: "You did a right thing. With time and distance, you may conclude that there were other, better right things you could have done, but you were the man on the ground at the time. I try not to joggle the elbows of my officers in the field."

Joel said...

Hm. I'm trying to picture putting down a Heinlein bio in favor of something titled "Cryoburn". It's just not coming, somehow...

Joel said...

...though your point about Lady Harrington is well taken...

(NO! HONOR! NOT THE LIGHTNING BOLTS FROM YOUR...)

Tam said...

Joel,

"Hm. I'm trying to picture putting down a Heinlein bio..."

Volume 1 weighs thirty pounds or so; it's not like it'll blow away while I'm not looking. Besides, I know how it ends.

Ian Argent said...

There's one durned frustrated Valkyrie floating around Manticore Nearspace wondering why she's missing giving Honor an escort to Valhalla after the Battle of Trafalgar^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Manticore. She was supposed to finish off the Nelson at that point. (I once got word direct from the Mad Wizard on this, incidentally, as to the manner of her death and the aftermath; in the early 2000s at I-CON.)

The mix-up is blamed on Eric Flint starting [FNORD] too early

Ian Argent said...

Also, we FINALLY have plot advancement in the honorverse. It only took, what 4 books to get from the Battle of Manticore to the meeting between [FNORD] off the Manticore Wormhole Junction? (And about 2 years in-universe time)

Brad K. said...

bluesun,

I started with Planet Big Zero (Franklin Hadley), and some 35 cent, Avon double novel. Maybe it was Doc Savage. Or maybe it was the Hardy Boys and a spaceship. Or watching Telstar pass over, when it launched, and Dad pointed it out to me.

Anne McCaffrey's "The Ship Who Sang" was an important SF in my life, and Heinlein's schlocky "Have Space Suit Will Travel," and maybe more importantly, "Door Into Summer." More recently, Elizabeth Moon's "Once a Hero" is really good military SF. For good pulp distraction - Mike Shepherd's "Kris Longknife: Mutineer" is good. Leo Frankowski
's "Cross Time Engineer" is a retelling of Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Aurthur's Court" . . set in Poland. Even E.E. "Doc" Smith with the Gray Lensman series (starts with "Triplanetary") and the "Skylark of Space" series; even the "Subspace Explorers" was good fluffy pulp fun. (Smith was infamous for "was indescribable", then three pages of description later taking you back to the story.)

I just re-read Alexei Panshin's "Rites of Passage". This is a fairly serious ethical exploration, and I am not sure how enduring the story is - it relies on the reader being familiar with a number of cultural assumptions of the time it was written.

Myles said...

Who names a character "Miles"? That's just crazy.

Steve Skubinna said...

I stopped reading the HH series after War of Honor. I call what Weber did to Honor "Jack Ryan Syndrome." I mean, no wonder Clancy dropped Ryan and moved to other characters - what's next, Pope Jack?

Jeez, Patrick O'Brien took 20 books to get Jack Aubrey to Rear Admiral. Then he died. Now that's pacing!

Crucis said...

There are more Miles Vorkosigan books in queue according to the publisher. The schedule is still being determined, however.

There's a free CD included in the book with the ebook version of Cryoburn and others so I'm told.

Dr_Mike said...

Hey, all you David Weber critics:

Whadya mean? Isn't increasing the missile count by a factor of 10 per book plot advancement?

Reading his March Upcountry series, I got to the point where the spacefaring tech refugees, helping the local populace, assault a castle by having the local wheel in about a hundred covered wagons full of black powder missiles, put the book down, and tell my wife "they've just deployed the black powder SD(P)'s."

Cryoburn's a good read. After Diplomatic Immunity she said she might not write more about him, she was running out of things to do to the poor guy. I could give spoilers here... but you know you love that teary-eyed pole-axed feeling, right?

Ian Argent said...

Well. To be honest, the last three Honorverse books have been more or less holding position plot-wise while the players get into position. Mission of Honor *finally* pays off plot lines that have been in play in some form since "from the highlands". Plot should start advancing again...

(Side note: "Oyster Bay". Seriously?)

I suppose I gotta break down and get Cryoburn.

The CD thing is one of the most awesome things Jim Baen (PBUH) ever did, BTW. I regret not a cent of the money I've poured into Baen's accounts throughout the years; simply because of how much *free* (as in "the first hit is free") stuff he's given us throughout the years

Firehand said...

A new Miles book? Excellent!

I think I managed to get through two of the Honor books, and gave up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a credit card to use.

Brad K. said...

About David Weber's - I like Queen Berry, and Ensign Helen Zilwicki, too.

But then, I like Robert Frezza's Catherine and Ken ("McLendon's Syndrome", "V.M.R. Theory").

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm addicted to hot chocolate and celery...

Crucis said...

Dr Mike, according to LMB, there are more MK books in queue past Cryoburn.

Anonymous said...

I gave up on the HH books after about book 4, where I realized three things: First, that HH herself was never gonna evolve as a personality; second, that the vast majority of secondary characters were pretty much 2D; and third, that I was heartily sick and tired of SF/F authors using sexual assault to show how truly bad their bad guys really were.

I also got tired of Weber's habit of recycling from his other books (every one of his SF books I've read has the phrase, "eyes like leveled missile batteries" in it somewhere... and IIRC all three of his Bahzell Banakson books use "Eyes like leveled (or 'loaded') crossbows")

Christina LMT said...

I read the e-ARC. I wonder if the dead tree version differs from it in any way...I guess I'll just have to buy it, too!

Ian Argent said...

I managed to not get the ARC of Cryoburn. OTOH, I need to get the non-ARCs for the last 2 or 3 Lt. Leary books