Borders of Infinity: 07/18/08
I can't even begin to describe in this short entry how much I enjoyed Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold. This limited edition novel is actually made up of three novellas previously published in science fiction magazines. Then a few extra pages were written to wrap the stories together as a series of interviews between Miles Vorkosigan (the protagonist) and Simon Illyan.
The first story: "The Mountains of Mourning" was published in Analog in 1989. It covers Miles time back home after graduating from the military academy. He is sent by his Prime Minister father to investigate an infanticide case in a rural village 4 days walk away. It's a heart-wrenching story that also serves to build Miles as a character and to introduce readers to the world/universe in which he lives. There are spaceships, hover cars and other high tech conveniences. But there are also areas still living in extreme poverty who rely on horses and primitive technology to eke a living.
The second story: "Labyrinth" shows Miles as a mercenary. Although a lieutenant , he works under the pseudonym of Admiral Miles Naismith. He's sent to recover some data that's been implanted in what he's told is a medically enhanced soldier-monster. What Miles finds is nothing at all what he expected.
Another fantastic story!
The final story is the cover title "Borders of Infinity": Here Miles is a POW and must work the other POWs to gain his freedom. The prison, a dome, meets all the criteria to the letter for the IJC's rules but it's hell and inhumane nonetheless. In the process of figuring a way out, Miles lets himself be mistaken for a prophet.
So what does this mean for me... it means I must now read every Bujold book, especially the Vorkosigan Saga, that I can find.