Next SFF Author: Mikhail Bulgakov
Previous SFF Author: Christopher Buehlman

SFF Author: Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold(1949- )
Lois McMaster Bujold burst onto the SF scene in 1986 with SHARDS OF HONOUR, closely followed by BARRAYAR, and THE WARRIOR’S APPRENTICE, which introduced the physically handicapped military genius, Miles Vorkosigan. Since then she has won four Hugo Awards and two Nebulas. The mother of two, Bujold lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read more about her at The Bujold Nexus website.



testing

Falling Free: An early stand-alone VORKOSIGAN book

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold

Falling Free is an early stand-alone story in Lois McMaster Bujold’s VORKOSIGAN SAGA. It takes place before the events we read about in the other books and tells the story of the Quaddies, those genetically engineered “mutants” who have four arms and no legs and who, therefore, make good workers for zero-gravity situations. They were created in secret by a corporation who is using them as free labor.

The story starts when Leo Graf, an engineer, is hired to train students on a distant planet.


Read More



testing

Shards of Honor: Fall in love with the Vorkosigans

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Editor’s note: This is Marion’s review of Shards of HonorBarrayar, and The Warrior’s Apprentice. Kat’s comments about Shards of Honor and Tadiana’s and Stuart’s reviews are below.

Do you like fancy military uniforms? Shiny spaceships that blow things up? Brooding aristocrats with hulking stone castles and dark secrets? Snappy comebacks and one-liners? Voluptuous women warriors? Swords and secret passages? Surprising twists on standard military tactics of engagement?

If you answered “Yes” to three or more,


Read More



testing

Barrayar: Culture shock

Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

Editor’s note: This is Marion’s review of Shards of HonorBarrayar, and The Warrior’s Apprentice. Kat’s comments about Barrayar and Stuart’s review are at the bottom.

Do you like fancy military uniforms? Shiny spaceships that blow things up? Brooding aristocrats with hulking stone castles and dark secrets? Snappy comebacks and one-liners? Voluptuous women warriors? Swords and secret passages? Surprising twists on standard military tactics of engagement?

If you answered “Yes” to three or more,


Read More



testing

The Warrior’s Apprentice: You’ll want to read more!

The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

Editor’s note: This is Marion’s review of Shards of HonorBarrayar, and The Warrior’s Apprentice. Kat’s comments about The Warrior’s Apprentice are at the bottom.

Do you like fancy military uniforms? Shiny spaceships that blow things up? Brooding aristocrats with hulking stone castles and dark secrets? Snappy comebacks and one-liners? Voluptuous women warriors? Swords and secret passages? Surprising twists on standard military tactics of engagement?

If you answered “Yes” to three or more,


Read More



testing

The Vor Game: Mixes space opera with political drama

The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold

This is Marion’s review of The Vor Game, Brothers in Arms, and Mirror Dance. Kat’s comments about The Vor Game are at the bottom.

Miles Vorkosigan is nearly a dwarf, with bones as brittle as fine porcelain, and he is a Vor, one of the elite, the son of the Imperial Regent. The Vor, and everyone on Barrayar for that matter, are terrified of mutation because of their history, and Miles looks like a mutation even though he isn’t one.


Read More



testing

Cetaganda: A murder mystery in space

Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold

Cetaganda (1996) is the ninth novel that Lois McMaster Bujold published in her popular VORKOSIGAN SAGA but, chronologically, the story takes place earlier in the sequence, between The Vor Game and Ethan of Athos. If you’re new to this series, I (and the author) recommend reading these novels in order of internal chronology which is how we have them listed here at Fantasy Literature. I read some of them out of order because of how they were presented in the Baen Omnibus editions and I regret that.


Read More



testing

Ethan of Athos: Amusing side story

Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold

Athos is a planet of men. No women are allowed — they are evil and they ruin good men. Since there isn’t a lot of immigration to Athos (their advertising campaigns just don’t seem to be very effective), they need to create baby boys to keep the population from dying out. Dr Ethan Urquhart is one of the men who’s responsible for using stock ovarian cultures to create and incubate male babies in uterine replicators. When the ovarian cultures begin to give out, Ethan orders new stock,


Read More



testing

Borders of Infinity: Three important stories about Miles

Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold (contains the novellas “The Mountains of Mourning,” “Labyrinth,” “The Borders of Infinity”)

Borders of Infinity has a different structure than the earlier VORKOSIGAN books. It’s actually three previously published novellas with a frame story. Simon Illyan, head of Imperial Security, is visiting Miles while he’s recuperating in the hospital after a surgery for bone replacements. Knowing that the government will start asking questions, Simon needs Miles to justify three large vague items in his expense reports. When Miles protests,


Read More



testing

Brothers in Arms: Adds a new facet to the Vorkosigan character

Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold

This is Marion’s review of The Vor Game, Brothers in Arms, and Mirror Dance

Miles Vorkosigan is nearly a dwarf, with bones as brittle as fine porcelain, and he is a Vor, one of the elite, the son of the Imperial Regent. The Vor, and everyone on Barrayar for that matter, are terrified of mutation because of their history, and Miles looks like a mutation even though he isn’t one. During the middle books of this series,


Read More



testing

Mirror Dance: A fine metaphor

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

This is Marion’s review of The Vor Game, Brothers in Arms, and Mirror Dance. Kat’s comments about Mirror Dance are at the bottom.

Miles Vorkosigan is nearly a dwarf, with bones as brittle as fine porcelain, and he is a Vor, one of the elite, the son of the Imperial Regent. The Vor, and everyone on Barrayar for that matter, are terrified of mutation because of their history, and Miles looks like a mutation even though he isn’t one.


Read More



testing

Memory: Why Bujold is secretly revolutionary

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold

My copy of Memory looks like it was reread several dozen times and then shoved in the bottom of a backpack and schlepped a few hundred thousand miles (it was). It’s my favorite book in Lois McMaster Bujold’s VORKOSIGAN SAGA, which is a series made up of some of my favorite books. But it isn’t high literature or uber-intellectual science fiction or the kind of book that people call “genre bending.” The plot is pure, fast-paced, crime-solving fun, like the rest of the series.


Read More



testing

Komarr: A futuristic detective novel

Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold

This is Marion’s review of MemoryKomarr and A Civil Campaign. Kat’s thoughts about Komarr are at the bottom.

In Memory, Komarr and A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold turns the VORKOSIGAN SAGA from space opera to planetary politics.

Miles Vorkosigan has always been a risk-taker. Usually the person he puts at risk is himself,


Read More



testing

A Civil Campaign: Romance, politics and comedy

A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold

I was afraid I wasn’t going to like A Civil Campaign as well as the previous VORKOSIGAN novels because, according to the description, the plot takes place all on the planet Barrayar and it deals mostly with relationship issues for several of the characters. Most of the various editions of the book sport covers with couples dancing or getting married. So, yeah, I thought it was a romance novel.

Well, A Civil Campaign is a romance novel,


Read More



testing

Winterfair Gifts: Miles gets married

Winterfair Gifts by Lois McMaster Bujold

Warning: Contains spoilers for previous VORKOSIGAN books.

Winterfair Gifts is a novella that tells the story of Miles Vorkosigan’s wedding to the widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. It you want to follow the chronology, it should be read after A Civil Campaign and before Diplomatic Immunity. You will probably also want to first read the short story “Labyrinth” which can be found as a stand-alone or in the novel Borders of Infinity.


Read More



testing

Diplomatic Immunity: The honeymoon is over

Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold

Warning: Contains spoilers for previous books.

In Diplomatic Immunity, Miles and Ekaterin are on the final leg of their interplanetary honeymoon and are anxious to return to Barrayar where their two full-term babies (one boy and one girl) are ready to be released from their uterine replicators. But, as usual, something happens to delay their return. In this case, it’s a diplomatic issue — a Komarran merchant ship with a Barrayaran military escort is being held up at Graf Station in Quaddiespace — and Emperor Gregor asks Miles to go straighten it out on his way home.


Read More



testing

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance: A romp from start to finish

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold’s newest entry in the VORKOSIGAN SAGA, Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, is a romp from start to finish. It’s not great literature, but it’s a great deal of fun, and I enjoyed every minute reading it.

Bujold appears to have exhausted the possibilities in Miles Vorkosigan’s life, now that he is as highly placed a government official as he can be, as well as happily married and the father of at least two children.


Read More



testing

Cryoburn: A good installment in a great series

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

Cryoburn is the long-awaited new novel in Lois McMaster Bujold’s excellent VORKOSIGAN SAGA, following 2002’s Diplomatic Immunity. If you’re not familiar with this series yet and are in the mood for some intelligent, character-driven and consistently entertaining SF, drop everything now and go find the first few books. Almost all of them are conveniently available in affordable omnibus editions from Baen. You can start with the Cordelia’s Honor omnibus if you want to read the series according to internal chronological order,


Read More



testing

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen: A different VORKOSIGAN book

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold

Note: This review discusses a major revelation for readers of this series, disclosed in the first chapter of this book.

Three years after the sudden death of her husband Aral, Cordelia Vorkosigan is still the Vicereine (governor) of the colony planet Sergyar, and is still recovering from the grief of losing Aral. Cordelia is now seventy-six, but still young both at heart and physically, since she enjoys the much longer-than-usual lifespan of a native of Beta Colony. Barrayaran Admiral Oliver Jole,


Read More



testing

The Flowers of Vashnoi: Hope blossoming in harsh circumstances

The Flowers of Vashnoi by Lois McMaster Bujold

This VORKOSIGAN SAGA novella is a blast from the past, accompanied by a large dose of radiation. After Lois McMaster Bujold apparently wrapped up this long-running series in 2016 with Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, she returned once again to her immensely popular series with this brief novella, backtracking in the series timeline to just a few years after Miles Vorkosigan’s marriage to Ekaterin, when their oldest children, twins Sasha and Helen,


Read More



testing

The Curse of Chalion: Beautifully written, excellent audiobook

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold has long been esteemed in the science fiction genre, so I expected great things from The Curse of Chalion, and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed. This is an excellent piece of work! Bujold’s story is completely fresh, and the world-building and magic system are unique, too. I was hooked from page one and it proceeds at a pleasant pace with plenty of surprises and plot twists. Characterization is deep and somehow Bujold made me really like the main character,


Read More



testing

Paladin of Souls: Another wonderful book in the Chalion series

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

Paladin of Souls takes place just after the events of The Curse of Chalion and focuses on Ista, one of the minor middle-aged female characters from that book. Paladin of Souls can stand alone, but you’ll get a lot more out of it if you read The Curse of Chalion first.

Bujold’s world of Chalion is believable and complex, the magic is deep, fascinating, and just plain scary. Bujold is particularly good at developing multi-faceted characters who have beautiful relationships with each other.


Read More



testing

The Hallowed Hunt: Fresh characters and plot

The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold

I think Lois McMaster Bujold has exactly the right idea with the Chalion series. Each book stands alone, but if you have read the first one (Curse of Chalion), you get all the background material you need to understand the geographical, political, and religious systems of her world. This means that later books (Paladin of Souls and The Hallowed Hunt) can have fresh new characters and plots,


Read More



testing

Penric’s Demon: A new Five Gods story!

Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

It’s been ten years since Lois McMaster Bujold, one of my favorite authors, published a story set in her FIVE GODS fantasy world. This is the award-wining series that consists of The Curse of Chalion (2001, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award), The Paladin of Souls (2003, Hugo, Nebula, Locus Award) and The Hallowed Hunt (2005). I read these when they were first released, and I loved them, so maybe you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Bujold has written a new novella set in the same world.


Read More



testing

Penric and the Shaman: Penric solves a murder mystery

Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold’s FIVE GODS novels — The Curse of Chalion (2001), The Paladin of Souls (2003), and The Hallowed Hunt (2005) — are some of the most beloved in fantasy literature. They won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards. That’s why her fans (of which I am definitely one) where so pleased when she began writing novellas set in the same world.


Read More



testing

Penric’s Fox: Another murder mystery for Penric

Penric’s Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold

Penric’s Fox is the third (according to internal chronology) novella in Lois McMaster Bujold’s PENRIC AND DESDEMONA series, a spin-off from her well-decorated FIVE GODS trilogy. Each of these novellas is essentially a chapter in Penric’s story and I assume that someday they’ll be combined together in one volume.

This particular story takes place after the events of Penric and the Shaman, so I would recommend reading it after that story and before Penric’s Mission.


Read More



testing

Penric’s Mission: The best Penric story so far

Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold

Penric’s Mission (2016) is the fourth novella in Lois McMaster Bujold’s PENRIC AND DESDEMONA series which is part of her multiple-award-winning FIVE GODS series (The Curse of Chalion, The Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt). It follows the novellas Penric’s Demon (2015), Penric and the Shaman (2016) and Penric’s Fox (2017) which you should read first to get caught up.


Read More



testing

Mira’s Last Dance: An amusing episode in Penric’s continuing story

Mira’s Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Note: Contains mild spoilers for the previous PENRIC novellas.

Around 15 years ago, Lois McMaster Bujold published her much-acclaimed WORLD OF THE FIVE GODS series which contained three stand-alone novels: The Curse of Chalion (winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, nominated for the Hugo, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards), Paladin of Souls (winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award, nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award) and The Hallowed Hunt (nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award).


Read More



testing

The Prisoner of Limnos: Another chapter in Penric’s life

The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Prisoner of Limnos (2017 print, 2018 audio) is another of Lois McMaster Bujold’s PENRIC AND DESDEMONA novellas. It is a direct sequel to Mira’s Last Dance, so I’d recommend reading that (and its prequels) first.

Penric and Nikys, the widow Penric is in love with, are safe at court in Orbas when Nikys gets an encrypted letter stating that her mother has been taken prisoner by political enemies in Cedonia.


Read More



testing

The Orphans of Raspay: An action-packed PENRIC story

The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold

Those of us who are big fans of Lois McMaster Bujold, now age 71, are always thrilled to have a new story from her. These days she’s been writing novellas and most of them are PENRIC AND DESDEMONA stories, a spin-off from her award-winning FIVE GODS / CHALION trilogy.

The Orphans of Raspay (2019) is the seventh of these novellas, if we go by publication order,


Read More



testing

The Physicians of Vilnoc: Penric and the plague

The Physicians of Vilnoc by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Physicians of Vilnoc (2020) is another installment in Lois McMaster Bujold’s PENRIC AND DESDEMONA series which is set in the same world as her award-winning FIVE GODS / CHALION trilogy. You don’t need to read the CHALION books first, but I highly recommend them. Most of the PENRIC AND DESDEMONA novellas can stand alone, but it’s best to read them in order if you can.


Read More



testing

Beguilement: A chatty romance

Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold

After reading Lois McMaster Bujold‘s first Chalion book, I was an instant fan (see review above). So, I was really excited to get my hands on the audio versions of the first two novels in her second fantasy series: The Sharing Knife.

Alas, it really pains me to have to write a lackluster review for anything Bujold does, but here we go.

First, let me say that Beguilement is a romance novel,


Read More



testing

Legacy: Shut up, Fawn.

Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold

It sincerely hurts me to give Lois McMaster Bujold the “DNF,” but I didn’t get very far into The Sharing Knife: Legacy before giving up. It tried it on audio, with the same reader who read Beguilement (see above).

The first scene was a sex scene: Dag (who’s 55 years old) and Fawn (who’s 19) on their wedding night. I rolled my eyes through most of it, and when Fawn started chatting about her family’s propensity to produce twins and other unsuitable topics for a wedding night scene (this is during the act,


Read More



testing

Passage: It’s about the journey

Passage by Lois McMaster Bujold

Fantasy comes in all forms. Epic fantasy. Dark fantasy. Contemporary fantasy. Historical fantasy. Erotic fantasy. Then there’s The Sharing Knife series by award-winning author Lois McMaster Bujold (THE VORKOSIGAN SAGA, The Spirit Ring, the FIVE GODS novels), which is an altogether different kind of fantasy…

In a familiar world that recalls The Last of the Mohicans, there are two peoples — Lakewalkers and farmers — who are ignorant of each other’s ways.


Read More



testing

Knife Children: A pleasant stand-alone SHARING KNIFE novella

Knife Children by Lois McMaster Bujold

Knife Children (2019) is a stand-alone novella set in Lois McMaster Bujold’s SHARING KNIFE world. I wasn’t a fan of that series because I didn’t like its main character, Fawn, but I’m a huge fan of all of Bujold’s other work, and I think she’s one of the best speculative fiction writers that’s ever existed, so I was happy to try this stand-alone story in which Fawn played only an insignificant role. You don’t need to be familiar with SHARING KNIFE to understand and enjoy Knife Children.


Read More



testing

Proto Zoa: Five early short stories by Bujold

Proto Zoa by Lois McMaster Bujold

Proto Zoa, whose title literally means “first animal,” collects five of Lois McMaster Bujold’s earliest short stories:

“Barter” — (Originally published in 1985 in The Twilight Zone Magazine) Mary Alice has a lazy husband, three young bratty children, and a couple of clumsy cats. She’s having her usual rough morning when a strange little man shows up on the doorstep asking for a bottle of ammonia. Mary Alice decides to make a deal with him. This cute story will especially be appreciated by harried mothers.


Read More



Next SFF Author: Mikhail Bulgakov
Previous SFF Author: Christopher Buehlman

We have reviewed 8326 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

Subscribe to all posts:

Get notified about Giveaways:

Support FanLit

Want to help us defray the cost of domains, hosting, software, and postage for giveaways? Donate here:


You can support FanLit (for free) by using these links when you shop at Amazon:

US          UK         CANADA

Or, in the US, simply click the book covers we show. We receive referral fees for all purchases (not just books). This has no impact on the price and we can't see what you buy. This is how we pay for hosting and postage for our GIVEAWAYS. Thank you for your support!
Try Audible for Free

Recent Discussion:

  1. Marion Deeds
  2. Avatar
  3. Marion Deeds
  4. Avatar
July 2024
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031