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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 (830 )
5 star
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Overall
4.2 (616 )
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Story
4.4 (606 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-11-12
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-11-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    Performance
    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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    "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 Croydon QLD 05-07-12
    Joanne Jacobson Croydon QLD 05-07-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Michelle SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, United States 03-06-12
    Michelle SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, United States 03-06-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Innovative take on low-grav adaptation."

    Ms. Bujold write characters that you can feel with. Great story about the little people bucking the system.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Phoenix, AZ, United States 01-19-11
    David Phoenix, AZ, United States 01-19-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "good book"

    I listened to this years ago as a rental from Books in Motion. I wish they just used the same recording. The narrator on this version is bland, vs the rental which had a full cast. The book is still good and worth listening to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Sheppard Los Angeles, CA 11-21-12
    Andrea Sheppard Los Angeles, CA 11-21-12 Member Since 2011

    Drea

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Story
    "Dull story, dull narration"
    What was most disappointing about Lois McMaster Bujold’s story?

    It was boring.


    Did Grover Gardner do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narrator seemed a bit lazy, like he was reading rather than acting.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle 04-07-12
    Michelle 04-07-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    Would you try another book from Lois McMaster Bujold and/or Grover Gardner?

    Yes


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Introduction of the quaddies and analogy to discrimation against any minority.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    He was very good.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Hendra, Australia 05-04-13
    Simon Hendra, Australia 05-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "can't stand the narrator"
    Would you try another book from Lois McMaster Bujold and/or Grover Gardner?

    An hour into it and I just can's stand the narrator. He sounds a bit like Troy McClure from the Simpsons.


    What didn’t you like about Grover Gardner’s performance?

    very poor


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Owen Sound, ON, Canada 10-15-09
    Douglas Owen Sound, ON, Canada 10-15-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good idea... bad execution"

    There were some interesting chracters but frankly I wish I hadn't bought this book. While the characters were intersting they just didn't match teh story's idea in my opinion. Perhaps I had trouble sympathizing with the characters but I just wanted the book over with.

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
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