A delightful collection of Lois McMaster Bujold's early stories and a comprehensive introduction by this New York Times best-selling author.
Protozoa is a word from biology via the Greek, meaning "first animals". These short stories were indeed among the first life spontaneously generated in Lois McMaster Bujold's nascent writing career. Along with an introduction by the author, this collection features the short stories "Barter", "Garage Sale", "The Hole Truth", "Dreamweaver's Dilemma", and "Aftermaths".
©2011 Lois McMaster Bujold. “Barter” © 1985 by Lois McMaser Bujold. “Garage Sale” ©1987 by Lois McMaster Bujold. “The Hole Truth” ©1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold. “Dreamweaver’s Dilemma” © 1995 by Lois McMaster Bujold. “Aftermaths” © 1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
These are very early, mostly note previously published, short stories. Most are better than average short stories, but that is not saying a lot as the vast majority of short stories are very weak. "Barter", "Garage Sale", "The Hole Truth" are short stories with rather weak, slightly humorous Twilight Zone endings. These were all previously unpublished, for good reasons. "Dreamweaver's Dilemma" is a very good short story, and was Bujold’s first published work. It is set in the Vorkosigan universe with interesting characters and a pleasant little mystery. "Aftermaths" was previously published in Cryoburn and is an excellent short story, but all Vorkosigan readers will have read this before. Nevertheless, it was pleasant to hear this again.
Only Bujold completests need to read the first three stories. “Dreamweaver” makes the rest of the book quite worth the time and “Aftermath” is nice to rehear.
Grover Gardner’s narration is, as usual, wonderful. He makes the lessor stories quite tolerable, and brings life and humor to the best of the stories.
First, Ms. Bujold's narrator is, as always, perfect. I don't believe she has ever used anyone other than Grover Gardner and I applaud her good sense in this. The narration is excellent in each and every Vorkosigan saga. That said, I could have lived without this entry in that saga. It is well written but totally disjointed and confusing as to how it relates to any of her other books except, of course, the last entry which is already published in Shards of Honor (I think, or is it in Barrayar?).
My vote says good writing, great narration, but poor storyline in this compendium. I will listen again after digesting the other two stories that just came out and perhaps change my mind but first impression is that this should have been held back and released during the long drought between books and not at the same time as two other books from Ms. Bujold's are released.
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