Thanks to his quick-thinking staff and incredible artistry from a medical specialist, Miles' first death wasn't his last. But it does take some recovery, a fact he has been reluctant to admit. When he makes the mistake of returning too soon to military duty, he finds himself summoned home to face the Barrayaran security chief, Simon Illyan.
But Miles' worst nightmares about Simon Illyan are nothing compared to Illyan's own nightmares. Under suspicion himself, Miles must seek out the answers to Ilyan's nightmares or see the inevitable destruction of Imperial Security and, with it, the Empire.
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Vorkosigan saga.
©1996 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Science fiction at its very best!" (Rave Reviews)
"As ever with Bujold, Memory is a delight!" (Locus)
"Bujold fans of long standing will justly hail [this] as a masterpiece that contains some of her finest prose and characterization. Bujold continues to prove what marvelous genius can create out of basic space operatics." (Booklist)
I hope someday Audible publishes the whole series (or at least numbers them), in the
meanwhile, here is something that might be useful.
The Vorkosigan Saga, in series order:
- Dreamweaver's Dilemma
- Falling Free
- Shards of Honor
- The Warrior's Apprentice
- The Mountains of Mourning (included in Borders of Infinity)
- The Vor Game
- Ethan of Athos
- Labyrinth (included in Borders of Infinity)
- The Borders of Infinity
- Brothers in Arms
- Mirror Dance (1994)
- Memory (1996)
- Komarr (1998)
- A Civil Campaign
- Winterfair Gifts
- Diplomatic Immunity
In truth you can skip around, but it's more fun if you kindof read these in order.
Grover Gardner has definitely got the hang of the Miles Vorkosigan books by now. He's not an inspired reader, but he's not a poor one, either. There's nothing about this performance to offend or mesmerize, and if you've heard many other Vorkosigan books, you'll know about how Gardner reads this one: perfectly serviceably.
The book, coming directly after _Mirror Dance_, is in some ways one of Bujold's best, and in others one of her most frustrating. The opening premise is difficult to sit still for, it's so uncomfortable: good writing, but not a pleasant experience. Once the initial, excruciating premise plays itself out, the book becomes far more engaging, and contains some of Bujold's best character work and writing. The problem is that for many readers, the central mystery is terribly transparent, and it's hard to spend hours (or a couple hundred pages) waiting for the certified super-genius to ask the question which occurred to the listener/reader after five minutes. The fact that this manages to be one of her best novels *in spite* of that says a great deal about the deft competence of the writing. Bujold is is one of those satisfying writers who make fandom pay off by getting better and better with age. _Memory_ so far exceeds the meager competence of the earliest Vorkosigan books that it's in a whole separate class. The only things which made the early books worth reading and rereading were the humor, the dialogue, and the characterization. _Memory_ has all that, and solidly good writing besides, with just that one little failure of suspense to put a crimp in its style.
'Memory' is easily my favorite of Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series. It is very intense--in some parts I was laughing and crying at the same time--and is a huge character builder for Miles. One huge caveat, though--DON'T read/listen to this book first. In order to get the full impact of the main conflict, you have to know the personalities and issues of the characters that have been explored and developed over the last five or whatever books. Without that background I think the book would fall a bit flat. Don't get me wrong, it's a well written book on its own and the conflict is explored within the book--but that can't take the place of reading the development of characters over five or six full length novels.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
Poor Miles Vorkosigan! Right from the start of Memory (1996), perhaps the fifth novel featuring Miles in Lois McMaster Bujold's entertaining Vorkosigan space opera saga, he is suffering from both the worst physical afflicton in his nearly thirty-year life and the worst self-inflicted debacle in his thirteen-year career. The former involves his being prey to unpredictable, debilitating, and apparently untreatable seizures, rendering him a threat to any action undertaken by his Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet. And if the Chief of Barrayaran Imperial Security (ImpSec) Simon Illyan were to learn about it, Miles' sensational career and liberated alter-ego as Admiral Naismith of the Dendarii, as well as his official but modest career as ImpSec Lieutenant Vorkosigan of Barrayar, would be finished. So he writes a false report for Simon Illyan, putting himself in an impossible position. It is unsettling to witness Miles being crushed by circumstances of his own making that leave him apparently without the slightest hope of being able to jury-rig a plan involving improvisation, subterfuge, sleight of hand, b-essing, or any other tool from his usual bag of “forward momentum” tricks.
The promising opening to the novel also provides glimpses of Miles' doomed relationship with Sergeant Taura, the eight-foot-tall, genetically engineered super soldier with a brief built-in life span, his intense but ultimately hopeless relationship with Dendarii Captain Elli Quinn, who will love only Admiral Naismith and refuses to marry Miles Vorkosigan, and his sadly nostalgic relationship with Elena Bothari, who wants to retire from the Dendarii and raise a family with her husband. And as soon as Miles returns to his home in the Barrayaran capital, Bujold summons several interesting characters from Miles' past, including his gormless Cousin Ivan, his former hot-tempered superior in Brothers in Arms (1989), Captain Duv Galeni, an unprecedentedly love-smitten Emperor Gregor, and, most compellingly, Simon Illyan, when his eidetic memory implant chip goes haywire, making his behavior increasingly disoriented and pathetic in a manner reminiscent of the dementia that has wiped out my father's short term memory.
Memory is one of the Miles novels that take place nearly entirely on Barrayar away from his (Admiral Naismith's) Dendarii Free Mercenaries. Miles spends most of this novel in his family castle-mansion in the Barrayar capital, in his family's hill-country estate, or in the daunting ImpSec headquarters (dubbed by Miles "Cockroach Central"). Despite or because nearly the entire book is set on Barrayar and features no space battles or exciting action scenes, Memory is a page-turning novel with an interesting cast of characters and an intriguing mystery. And will Bujold finally have Miles resolve his ever conflicted dual identity as Mercenary Admiral Naismith and ImpSec Lietuenant Vorkosigan?
Some scenes are funny, as when Emperor Gregor offers Miles the chance to play at being an "Auditor":
"I thought you'd like it."
"Like it! It'll be downright orgasmic."
"Don't get carried away."
And some scenes are moving, as when Miles unburdens himself to Simon while fishing:
"I liked the winning . . . . I always got away with it somehow. Any way I could. On the table or under it, I won. This seizure thing . . . seems like the first enemy I couldn't outsmart . . . . "I was beaten . . . . Yet I survived. Didn't expect that. I feel . . . very unbalanced about that. I had to win always, or die. So . . . what else was I wrong about?"
Grover Gardener is his usual professional and appealing self, smoothly reading the novel as though he were born to voice Miles and managing to enhance the text in all the right places and ways without ever showing off or trying too hard to alter his voice for female or old voices. And his clear, dry, DJ-esque voice is as pleasant to listen to as ever.
All that said, I must admit (SPOILER ALERT) that although Bujold had me smiling as the long resolution of the novel plays out, the part of me stimulated by bracingly tragic tales of human self-destruction was disappointed by how ideally she works out the initially devastating predicaments of Miles and especially Simon Illyan, so that they both come out of their afflictions far better than they went into them. And Gregor's doctor love interest appears too more zaftig and not intelligent enough, and General Haroche is not as wiley as he's supposed to be. And I missed Miles' socially challenged clone-twin Mark.
But overall, Bujold is in fine fettle here, writing another solid entry in the Vorkosigan saga, each novel of which feels fresh and fun, because she is so adept at coming up with new ideas for Miles' trials and triumphs.
I love the whole Vorkosigan saga and cant say I dont like any one of the books. But we all have favorites and this one is mine. Yes, its not so action packed as most of the others, but it strikes a meditative, gloomy and very deep note inside me. It is a more adult book than the other to me, although all of the Miles books have concealed (well weaved) ideas which do not come across to everyone.
Have fun with it, and try to feel the emotions, not only the plot! )
This book is a bit of a departure from the other Miles Vorkosigan books--not the one to start with if you have not read any of the others--but in many ways my favorite. It deals with themes of change, the difficulties of letting go of the past (especially when it has been glorious and successful) and moving on. Bujold's characterization is as always spot on and compelling. The narrator's relatively dry delivery suits Miles.
This series is quite enjoyable. I usually read or listen to a fantasy realm setting, but this has been a nice change in pace. The writings are full of adventure, technical intrigue, near-miss romances and innuendos, and of course comedy. I never know if it's going to be serious or hilarious from one minute to the next. Miles as a persona is limited physically but his intelligence and wit keep you enthralled with the question "What's can possibly happen next?". And if your like me and usually guess the ending early, these books provide surprises and twists almost to the very end.
Simply one of the best series of books written in the past 50 years, the Vorkosigan saga repays re-reading and re-listening every time. Bujold has the real writer's imagination along with a deft ability to weave speculative technology into fast-paced plots featuring deeply-felt characters. Although the series is set far away and far in the future, the human-ness of the stories keeps the reader's connection to the story line, no matter which of the characters' point of view is being offered.
Grover Gardner's reading of these stories is pitch-perfect, and he captures the essence of different personalities and even cultures without resorting to put-on accents.
For those who have been enchanted by Tolkein, The Sword in the Stone, and even Stephen King, the Vorkosigan books could be the next adventure!
While I would NOT recommend starting with this book, it is one of my favorites in the series.
As with the first Miles book, Miles starts out by messing things up in a big way, in a way that is spectacularly uncomfortable both for him and for you. And then we get to watch him live through that.
While there may not be as much surprise in the plot as some would like, there are plenty of lovely developments in this book as we get to know more about many of the characters that fans of the series have come to know and love.
A great book about failure and recovery, memory and the loss of it, integrity and the loss of it.
While you don't have to read all of the Miles books that come before this one to enjoy it, you should have a fairly good idea of who Miles is before you enjoy this.
The performance is fine.
I really loved this one! I liked the character development which is more of a focus of this one. It still had plenty of action, drama, and suspense. Love the series! If you like the 'Prince Roger' series by David Weber and John Ringo then you will love these too!
One of the very best Miles Vorkosigan novels. Miles makes a bad decision and loses nearly everything, but finds that life carries on regardless and is soon back on form. The comedy, plotting and characterisation all work brilliantly. If you haven't read a Vorkosigan novel before don't start here (try Warrior's Apprentice). If you have already read the sequence thus far then you don't really need me going on about how brilliant it is. Just believe me: this is a notch better.
Since the first time I downloaded A Warrior's Apprentice years ago Lois McMaster Bujold has not disappointed. This audio book is no exception. Grover Gardner reads it superbly, giving Rach character the right feel and inflection. I love this series. I would highly recommend it.
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