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Falling Free | [Lois McMaster Bujold]

Falling Free

Leo Graf was just your average highly efficient engineer: mind your own business, fix what's wrong, and move on to the next job. But all that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat, where a group of humanoids had been secretly, commercially bioengineered for working in free fall. Could he just stand there and allow the exploitation of hundreds of helpless children merely to enhance the bottom line of a heartless mega-corporation?
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Publisher's Summary

Leo Graf was just your average highly efficient engineer: mind your own business, fix what's wrong, and move on to the next job. But all that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat, where a group of humanoids had been secretly, commercially bioengineered for working in free fall.

Could he just stand there and allow the exploitation of hundreds of helpless children merely to enhance the bottom line of a heartless mega-corporation?

He hadn't anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither safe, nor in the rules. Leo adopted a thousand quaddies. Now all he had to do was teach them to be free.

©1988 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award Finalist, Best Novel, 1988

"Superb....Read, or you will be missing something extraordinary." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Bujold's best work in my opinion." (Science Fiction Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (935 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (709 )
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Story
4.4 (698 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Bruce Dixon, CA, United States 10-20-14
    Bruce Dixon, CA, United States 10-20-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    7
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    "Great Concept, Juvenile Execution"

    The basic idea for this book is intriguing. This could have been a much more interesting story if it had been more convincingly written. I feel that a good editor could have done wonders. I bought this book on a promotion of series books. Hopefully the second book is a little better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keon San Antonio, TX, United States 04-23-14
    Keon San Antonio, TX, United States 04-23-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    35
    12
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    Story
    "Great Sci Fi That Probes Ethical Dilemma"
    Where does Falling Free rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top. It's a very engaging story. I like the topics covered in the story. Can synthetic life count as human? What if it doesn't look human? If you made it does that make it yours even if it's sentient? All of these questions encircle the story and Lois does a great job exploring all of them.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Leo Graf because he is confronted with several hard decisions and watching him come to the correct choice was very entertaining.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    Leo again. Grover makes Leo sound as flustered as anyone would be, given the situation. His voice is kind of nasal which is also humorous.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Leo asks himself what one man can do to create change, and decides that the answer is 'more'. Whatever you are doing to create change you can do more. It was very touching.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was masterful all the way around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 06-27-13
    Amazon Customer MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States 06-27-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    33
    32
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    "Uncomplicated moral science fiction"

    I was a little surprised to discover, post-reading, that Falling Free was published in 1988 because it had the feel of a work much earlier in the SciFi genre (the tone reminded me a bit of the Lensman series, or maybe Heinlen). That said, I like early SciFi so it was all good!

    The plot isn't particularly complex and it goes exactly where you think it's going to, nary a twist in sight. The characters are not really three-dimensional, although they're very nicely painted 2D. Basically it's a fun read about an engineer who runs into a moral dilemma and engineers his way around the evil bureaucrats and their perilously binding, emotionless red-tape and into a brave new world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Freeman SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 05-09-13
    Freeman SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    82
    52
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    1
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    Story
    "Just couldn't get into it"

    I was fresh out of listening to the Ender series and the Area 51 series, both of which I loved. But with this book, the characters were not interesting, the villain was not believable and I struggled to get through it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan saskatoon, sk, Canada 03-29-13
    Joan saskatoon, sk, Canada 03-29-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    645
    56
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    2
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    Story
    "Thought Provoking"
    What did you love best about Falling Free?

    Entertaining but made me think outside the box. Lots of ideas that stretch the boundaries of "acceptable" vs "atrocity "


    What other book might you compare Falling Free to and why?

    ????


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is a great reader. The book flowed along very well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The thought of what makes us human and worthy of civil rights or not.


    Any additional comments?

    Entertaining and thought provoking. I would recommend this book highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-18-13
    Richard Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    78
    3
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    Story
    "Thought provoking insights for any project manger."

    This author was unknown to me but I was delightfully surprised. I'll hazard a guess that the author or someone very close to her was a life long engineer / project manager. The story does a good job of handling a problem we as humans are sure to face sometime in the near future: what status will genetically modified organisms hold? Are they property? Slaves? A new race or species? While exploring the moral consequences of advanced genetic engineering, the author takes a tongue in cheek stab at project management, the Peter Principle, parenting and even the gravity we take for granted every day.

    A fun listen with lots of points to giggle about. Won't change the world and wouldn't even make my 'must read' list but one of life's unexpected little treats!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Faifield, Australia 01-17-13
    Kathy Faifield, Australia 01-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    77
    14
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    2
    5
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    Story
    "Believable sci-fi"

    Very enjoyable book. The author creates a detailed sci-fi scenario that is totaly believable. I was very quickly emotionally invested in the characters. I'm so glad to have discovered this author as there is a wealth of other books to enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-11-12
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-11-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    21
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    Story
    "Dust collector, something on your shelf has to"

    Genre: Hard Sci-Fi (realistically unreal)

    Rated: PG13: some sex but it's almost innocent sounding

    Static or Dynamic: STATIC; even though the story is moving from crisis to crisis, it's not very... fast paced?

    1st or 3rd Person: 3rd person: 5+ people to follow

    Abstract or Concrete: Concrete; there doesn't seem to be a lasting moral that the story was trying to impart to the reader, nor a concept that needed to be addressed. It was very mechanical and descriptive; this happened and then this happened and then he said this and then she said that. Some people like that kind of Sci-Fi but I like mine a little more thought provoking.

    Linear or Non-Linear: Linear, painfully so.

    Narrator: The narrator's voice was rich like a warm cup of Colombian coffee! I really enjoyed listening to him but I didn't really care for whatever it was he was saying. Kind of reminds me of a sharp grand-pa.

    Plot Outline: There is a space station with articial lifeforms with 2 arms where they should have legs. Sense they are in 0G in space, that is particularly useful. Sense they are company property, they are extorted and grow up in a zaibatsu where the company owns their destiny. Our protagonist is an engineer who is hired to train them and doesn't like that the poor people are being treated like slaves. Sense they are artificially manufactured, even though the are biological, they had to be raised and pretty much all of them, even the adults act like adolescents because of it. The plot ends up putting their lives at risk and so our protagonist is faced with a dilemma. Its abhorrently predictable and too easy to follow BUT if you are a slow paced kind of person and don't like all the flashy and hard to follow stories that seem to appeal to younger crowds, you might like this pleasant little book. I get the feeling this was a stage setting book for the rest of the series which, unfortunately, I won't be advancing through.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Oak Park, IL, United States 07-01-12
    John Oak Park, IL, United States 07-01-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "interesting concept, well written"

    I enjoyed "Falling Free" because of its interesting concept of a group of humans genetically engineered as workers. This brings up ethics issues, and the characters have different views of the issues. So far, so good.

    There are some general ethics issues. For example, debates on the merits of transparency versus cover-up.

    And, I believe the Sci-Fi elements of the book are a strength. Clever and feasible technology.

    However, the book had a few shortcomings as a novel. I did not find myself becoming particularly attached to any of the characters.

    This book is a finalist for the Prometheus Awards "Hall of Fame" to be announced at Worldcon in September 2012.

    John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Jacobson 05-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    3
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    "An excellent series"
    Any additional comments?

    I have all the books in this series and highly recommend them all. Each book adds to your knowledge of the characters and, by the end of the story I found myself throughly at home with all the characters. I particularly enjoyed watching Miles develop from a young boy to a secure mature adult. Excellent naration. Worth every credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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