Posts Tagged Hugo Award
Hmm, I detect a late-eighties trend in J’ai lu covers – very conan-esque. I thought when I saw the 1992 Barrayar cover, that it was a one-time glitch of awfulness. But nope, it seems to have happened in 1988 too.
Stars: Four of five.Review format: Brief review plus links. Barrayar – Lois McMaster Bujold. Summary: In 1992, Barrayar won both the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cordelia Naismith was resourceful and courageous, but what is Lady Vorkosigan like? When her life is shattered by a soltoxin grenade, the unfortunate Barrayarans who target her husband and hit her child find out. (goodreads) Provenance: Purchased online via webscription.net. It is only published in an omnibus version called Cordelia’s Honor.
Barrayar was thoroughly enjoyable. After slogging through Shards of Honor left me wondering why Cordelia was such a favorite character with some bloggers, I found out with this book why Cordelia is awesome. The pacing is snappy, the characterization is gripping and confident, major and minor characters are important and realistic, and interesting moral/ethical dilemmas are presented.
Why, then, did I give it only four out of five stars? I almost never hand out five stars – so if you start from four-and-a-half… Half a star deducted for not having breathtakingly beautiful writing throughout.
I strongly recommend this book.
An excellent discussion of the book provided by the author as an afterword to Cordelia’s Honor. Bujold points out themes and tells the evolution of the book’s story.
Ware Spoilers below
Stars: Three and three quarters of five.Review format: Note plus links. Summary: Together, they can get into a lot of trouble. Trouble only the combined forces of the Free Dendarii Mercenaries can get them out of. At least, that’s what they’re hoping…
In this latest adventure with the galaxy’s craftiest mercenary leader Miles, starts out by so shaking up the High Command on his home planet of Barrayar that he is sent to the other side of the galaxy – where who should he run into but his old pals the Free Dendarii Mercenaries. And a good thing too, because it turns out that Miles’ childhood chum, that’s Emperor Gregor to you, has been the victim of foul play, and only Miles – with a little Dendarii muscle – can save him. This is very important to Miles; because if Gregor dies, the only person who could become the new emperor is Miles himself – and that he regards as a fate worse than death. (from goodreads) Provenance: Baen Online Store… via the containing omnibus, Young Miles. Date Read: Sometime in late July. Review written 2 months late. 😦
I was surprised to learn this won Bujold her first Hugo for best novel, in 1991. Yes, it’s zippy and funny, but… the novel’s roots as a novella (The Weatherman) do definitely still show. On the other hand, the writing is clearly stronger than either that of Shards of Honor or Warrior’s Apprentice. You should know that she also won the Hugo novel the following year for Barrayar, which is better IMO.
Links and others’ reviews
Stars: Four out of five.Review format: Note plus links. Summary: Mountains was a contrary story, based on the “What’s the worst possible thing we can do to this guy?” plot-generator, taking my new-minted Ensign Miles, his face to the stars, and forcing his head around to take a look at what his feet were planted in. (from the author’s afterword in Young Miles). Miles has just graduated from the Imperial Academy, and is at home at Vorkosigan Surleau with his parents. A woman from the isolated village of Silvy Vale walks for three days to report the suspected murder of her baby, who was born with a cleft lip and palate. Miles’ father sends him to investigate as his Voice (representative with full powers) to gain experience. Miles solves the mystery and exercises justice and mercy in appropriate measures. (from wikipedia) Provenance: Baen Online Store… via the containing omnibus, Young Miles.
In this novella, Miles Vorkosigan must confront his planet’s deep historical prejudice against genetic abnormality, carried out against the most helpless and innocent. The author won her first Hugo award and second Nebula for this work.
Date Read: Sometime in late July. Review written 2 months late. 😦
Cool related links, including other reviews