The popular adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, a clever and outlandish science fiction hero for the modern era, continue in these three tales. In The Mountains of Mourning, Miles is dispatched to a back-country region of Barrayar, where he must act as detective, judge, and executioner in a controversial murder case.
In Labyrinth, Miles adopts his alternate persona as Dendarii Mercenary Admiral Naismith for an undercover mission to rescue an important research geneticist from Jackson’s Whole. And in the title story, Miles infiltrates an escape-proof Cetagandan POW camp and plays hero to the most deeply distressed damsel of his colorful career.
Lois McMaster Bujold burst upon the science fiction world in 1986 with Shards of Honor, the first of the Vorkosigan Saga novels. She has won the Hugo Award four times and the Nebula Award twice. The mother of two, she lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Vorkosigan saga.
©1989 2007 by Lois McMaster Bujold (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Essential for all sf collections.” (Library Journal)
I don't like novellas, but these three are a glorious exception to the rule. Each one is unique and stands out for it's own reasons. The last story (after which the book is titled) is particularly stunning.
This is a collection of three shorter stories featuring Miles, loosely woven together by Miles reporting to Simon Illyan about "Labyrinth" and "Borders of Infinity", and in the course of this remembering his "Mountains of Mourning". I was glad to come across them here as I had been looking for them to no avail.
All three are enjoyable and Grover Gardner does his usual perfect job.
Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.
Borders of Infinity is has 3 stories: "The Mountains of Mourning" (winner of a Hugo Award), "Labyrinth", and "The Borders of Infinity". They are strong, well written stories, A must for any fan of the Vorkosigan Series.
Firstly - the connective king narrative is the "weak link" in this book, and I almost wish the author had just produced these as the stories/novellas they are.
The three novellas comprising this book are all thought-provoking and disturbing in different ways. All three give wonderful insights into the demons that drive Miles, in a way that maybe isn't as obvious in the novels.
In "The Mountains of Mourning" we are taken into the Barryaran backwoods to see up close the culture of mutie-phobia that Miles grew up in and that formed the basis of his very difficult relationship with his grandfather.
In "Labyrinth", we are exposed to a very personal encounter with the products of Jackson's Whole's amoral genetic engineering labs and learn the background of Taura.
"Borders of Infinity" may be the most powerful of the stories, but is also the one I am least likely to re-read,precisely because it is so searing. In it, Miles wakes to find himself in Hell, no wait, a domed Cetagandan prison camp that might as well be. The story of how he gets out of there is so stained with bitter regret that I expect the experience will forever haunt him, as well as the reader.
I know the framing story was just tossed in as an excuse to publish these three novellas together, but it was fine and not at all intrusive. The insights into Miles's character that are gained by reading all three novellas at once completely justify the repackaging of them in this format.
Final note--I am beginning to really appreciate Grover Gardner as a narrator for this series. He doesn't go to great lengths to "do" the different characters as some narrators do, yet it is always clear who is speaking and he does enough with accents to subtly create different characters. It's a somewhat different style of narration than I'm used to, but it has grown on me, primarily because most of these books are largely from Miles's perspective and Gardner does a great Miles, perfectly capturing his rather sardonic wit.
This book harkens back to The Warrior's Apprentice in action and looking into Miles' head. It is a bit more overtly philosophical, perhaps, than the earlier stuff following TWA, but it contains the heart and humor I associate with this series. That being said, the last several books have ended on a 'down' note, and I'm not quite sure what to do with that; hence the four stars rather than five. Grover Gardner is his usual stunning self doing the narration.
This book is not as compelling as others by Lois McMaster Bujold. It is the forth in the series (fifth if you count the prequel "Falling Free" that takes place in the same universe hundreds of years earlier), and the second one that centers around the character of Miles Vorkosigan. But it is really just a collection of three short stories about this character, with a few scenes to tie them together. It was interesting only if you care about the Vokosigan character from the last book: "The Warrior's Apprentice." I highly recommend the first two books in the series though: "Shards of Honor" and "Barrayar."
I am a die-hard Vorkosigan fan. I downloaded this book months ago and waited until the right time to listen to it in order to savor it as I have the others in the series. I was so sad to find that Lois was obviously uninspired when she wrote this one. It was reminiscent of Winterfair Gifts. In that book Miles was mostly absent. I felt that his spirit was gone here as well. He was described rather than experienced. The last part was thrown in inexplicably. I just don't understand how such an important piece could be handled in minutes. It made no sense. Given my harsh critique I still adore the series and consider it one of the classic character creations.
The Miles Vorkosigan books are good. This reader is painful to listen to, though. Don't recommend it.
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