Proto Zoa

Proto Zoa

Lois McMaster Bujold

Language: English

Published: Dec 21, 2011

Words: 31749
Pages: 136


A delightful collection of Lois McMaster Bujold's early stories and a comprehensive Introduction by this New York Times bestselling author. Bujold's "work remains among the most enjoyable and rewarding in contemporary SF" - Publishers Weekly “Bujold continues to prove what marvels genius can create out of basic space operatics.” - Library Journal “Bujold is not just a master of plot, she is a master of emotion.” - SF Site “Bujold is one of the best writers of SF adventure to come along in years.” - Locus Magazine “A superb craftsman and stylist, Ms. Bujold is well on her way to becoming one of the great voices of speculative fiction.” - Rave Reviews "Boy, can she write!" - Anne McCaffrey “Bujold has a gift, nearly unique in science fiction, for the comedy of manners.” - Chicago Sun Times “Superb far-future saga.” - Publishers Weekly on the 'Vorkosigan' series Bujold's "work remains among the most enjoyable and rewarding in contemporary SF." - Publishers Weekly "Bujold is also head and shoulders above the ruck of current fantasists as well as science-fictionists." - Booklist author bio: Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children. She began writing with the aim of professional publication in 1982. She wrote three novels in three years; in October of 1985, all three sold to Baen Books, launching her career. Bujold went on to write many other books for Baen, mostly featuring her popular character Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, his family, friends, and enemies. Her books have been translated into twenty-one languages. Her fantasy from Eos includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife series. ** ### From the Author *Author's Note*: **The Vorkosigan Saga Reading Order Debate: The ChefRecommends** Many pixels have been expended debating the 'best' order inwhich to read what have come to be known as the Vorkosigan Books, theVorkosiverse, the Miles books, and other names, since I neglected to supply theseries with a label myself.  The debatenow wrestles with some fourteen or so volumes and counting, and mainly revolvesaround publication order versus internal-chronological order.  I favor internal chronological, with a fewcaveats. I have always resisted numbering my volumes; partly because,in the early days, I thought the books were distinct enough; latterly becauseif I ever decided to drop in a prequel somewhere (which in fact I did most latelywith *Captain Vorpatril's Alliance*) it would upwhack the numberingsystem.  Nevertheless, the books andstories do have a chronological order, if not a strict one. It was always my intention to write each book as astand-alone so that the reader could theoretically jump in anywhere, yes, withthat book that's in your hand *right now*, don't put it back on theshelf!  While still somewhat true, as theseries developed it acquired a number of sub-arcs, closely related tales that werericher for each other.  I will list thesub-arcs, and then the books, and then the caveats. *Shards of Honor* and *Barrayar.*  The first two books in the series proper,they detail the adventures of Cordelia Naismith of Beta Colony and AralVorkosigan of Barrayar.  *Shards*was my very first novel ever; *Barrayar* was actually my eighth, butcontinues the tale the next day after the end of *Shards*.  For readers who want to be sure of beginningat the beginning, or who are very spoiler-sensitive, start with these two. *The Warrior's Apprentice* and *The Vor Game*(with, perhaps, the novella "The Mountains of Mourning" tucked inbetween.)  *The Warrior's Apprentice*introduces the character who became the series' linchpin, Miles Vorkosigan; thefirst book tells how he created a space mercenary fleet by accident; the secondhow he fixed his mistakes from the first round.Space opera and military-esque adventure (and a number of other thingsone can best discover for oneself), *The Warrior's Apprentice* makesanother good place to jump into the series for readers who prefer a young maleprotagonist. After that: *Brothers in Arms* should be read before *MirrorDance*, and both, ideally, before *Memory.* *Komarr* makes another good alternate entry point forthe series, picking up Miles's second career at its start.  It should be read before *A Civil Campaign*. *Borders of Infinity*, a collection of three of thefive currently extant novellas, makes a good Miles Vorkosigan early-adventuresampler platter, I always thought, for readers who don't want to committhemselves to length.  (But it may makemore sense if read after *The Warrior's Apprentice*.)  Take care not to confuse thecollection-as-a-whole with its title story, "The Borders of Infinity". *Falling Free* takes place 200years earlier in the timeline and does not share settings or characters withthe main body of the series.  Mostreaders recommend picking up this story later.It should likely be read before *Diplomatic Immunity*, however, whichrevisits the "quaddies", a bioengineered race of free fall dwellers, in Miles'stime. The novels in the internal-chronological list below appearin italics; the novellas (officially defined as a story between 17,500 wordsand 40,000 words, though mine usually run 20k - 30k words) in quote marks. *Falling Free* *Shards of Honor* *Barrayar* *The Warrior's Apprentice* "The Mountains of Mourning" "Weatherman" *The Vor Game* *Cetaganda* *Ethan of Athos* *Borders of Infinity* "Labyrinth" "The Borders of Infinity" *Brothers in Arms* *Mirror Dance* *Memory* *Komarr* *A Civil Campaign* "Winterfair Gifts" *Diplomatic Immunity* *Captain Vorpatril's Alliance* *CryoBurn* Caveats: The novella "Weatherman" is anout-take from the beginning of the novel *The Vor Game*.  If you already have *The Vor Game*, youlikely don't need this. The original 'novel' *Borders ofInfinity* was a fix-up collection containing the three novellas "TheMountains of Mourning", "Labyrinth", and "The Borders of Infinity", togetherwith a frame story to tie the pieces together.Again, beware duplication.  Theframe story does not stand alone, and mainly is of interest to completists. **The Fantasy Novels** My fantasy novels are a bit easierto order.  Easiest of all is *TheSpirit Ring*, which is a stand-alone, or aquel, as some wag once dubbedbooks that for some obscure reason failed to spawn a subsequent series.  Next easiest are the four volumes of *TheSharing Knife--*in order, *Beguilement*, *Legacy*, *Passage*,and *Horizon--*which I broke down and actually numbered, as this was onecontinuous tale divided into non-wrist-breaking chunks. What have come to be called theChalion books, after the setting of its first two volumes, were also written,like the Vorkosigan books, to be stand-alones as part of a larger whole, andcan in theory be read in any order.  (Thethird book actually takes place a few hundred years prior to the more closelyconnected first two.)  Some readers thinkthe world-building is easier to assimilate when the books are read inpublication order, and the second volume certainly contains spoilers for thefirst (but not the third.)  In any case,the publication order is: *The Curse of Chalion* *Paladin of Souls* *The Hallowed Hunt* The short story collection *ProtoZoa* was an e-book experiment; it contains five very early tales--three(1980s) contemporary fantasy, two science fiction--all previously published butnot in this handy format.  The novelette"Dreamweaver's Dilemma" may be of interest to Vorkosigan completists, as it isthe first story in which that proto-universe began, mentioning Beta Colony butbefore Barrayar was even thought of. My latest original e-edition is *Sidelines: Talks and Essays*, which isjust what it says on the tin--a collection of three decades of my nonfictionwritings, including convention speeches, essays, travelogues, introductions,and some less formal pieces. I hope it will prove an interesting companionpiece to my fiction. Happy reading! -- Lois McMaster Bujold. ### About the Author **Lois McMaster Bujold** is one of the most honored writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, having won five Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. Her second novel, The Warrior's Apprentice, introduced young Miles Vorkosigan, one of the most popular characters in science fiction. In 2011, she was awarded the Skylark Award for her significant contribution to science fiction. The mother of two, she lives in Minneapolis.