RogerBW's Blog

The Flowers of Vashnoi, Lois McMaster Bujold 23 December 2018

2018 short science fiction novella in the Vorkosigan universe (set between Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and Cryoburn). Ekaterin, Lady Vorkosigan, is supervising an experiment in cleaning up radioactive contamination round the former city of Vorkosigan Vashnoi; but something's going awry, and old secrets will come to light.

As with most of Bujold's recent work in this setting, it's much more about the people than anything else. There is a technical element to the plot, but the story is about how Ekaterin interacts with and resolves it; if one dropped any of Bujold's other characters into the same situation, they'd deal with it differently.

Of course, that means it will make more sense if you already know Ekaterin, which means that Komarr and A Civil Campaign are effectively prerequisite reading. It probably wouldn't hurt to read The Mountains of Mourning, either, since both touch on Barrayaran culture away from the cities.

There's a bit of Miles here too, but this is mostly Ekaterin's story and it works well; we haven't had her first-person perspective at any length before, and she manages to be both consistent and unexpected. The conclusion is surprisingly open, and I suspect – and hope – Bujold may have more to say about this situation in a later book.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Series: Vorkosigan | Next in series: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread humour in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux lovecraftiana mecha men with beards museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1