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Falling Free (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2008


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Falling Free (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) + Cordelia's Honor (Vorkosigan Saga Omnibus: Shards of Honor / Barrayar) + Miles Errant (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures)
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Product Details

  • Series: Miles Vorkosigan Adventures
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reissue edition (January 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416555463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416555469
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This recording, based on a Nebula Award-winning sf novel, centers on the moral dilemmas created when a bioengineered breed of humanoid workers are considered capital assets. The narration is shared between Michael Hanson and Carol Cowan, who handle the male and female roles, respectively. The narrators attempt to give each character a unique voice, and although they succeed, the subtle nuances of a single reader are absent. Perhaps more disturbing is the lack of messages instructing the listener on such things as when to turn the cassette over and when to insert a new cassette. The packaging is also a problem, as this reviewer cut his finger on two separate occasions while trying to extract a cassette. Regrettably, not recommended.?Ray Vignovich, West Des Moines P.L., Ia.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Superb. . . . Read, or you will be missing something extraordinary. --Chicago Sun-Times

Bujold's best work in my opinion. --Science Fiction Chronicle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Looking forward to reading it once November is over.
Terri L. Teegarden
The story is utterly believable, has a great plot, and as always is centered on the lovable characters who stick with you long after you've finished the books.
Herve Bronnimann
There are human characters and characters whose ancestors were, mostly, human and thir relationships are fascinating.
William Reich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison (dallison@biochem.med.ufl.edu) on June 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Bujold's novel won the 1988 Nebula Award for best science fiction novel of the year. It is centered in an orbiting workstation of a megacorporation. The corporation has genetically engineered humans (most of whom are teenagers or younger) having no legs and four arms, called quaddies, so that they are more effective and efficient in a zero gravity environment. The corporation considers them property rather than workers since it was the corporation that actually made them. A visiting welding instructor and engineer named Leo Graf sets out to free them. Actually, this novel is a part of Bujold's science fiction series, most of which are centered around members of the Vorkosigan family. The action in "Falling Free" occurs about 200 years before the action in Bujold's first novel, "Shards of Honor" (1986). The question of who is the real owner of genetically engineered products is a hot topic in biochemistry and molecular biology circles today and, believe it or not, Ms. Bujold's novel has been discussed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is only marginally in the Vorkosigan Saga, but this does not make it a minor book by Bujold. The story is breath-taking, as are all Bujold stories. But the depth of some characters (Leo Graf in particular) is maybe even better here. Bujold's remarkable humanism, which is a constant throughout her work (Ethan of Athos, Mountains of Mourning, etc.) is here at its best.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Aimee on July 19, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely love Lois McMaster Bujold; she is one of my all-time favorite authors. But one of the problems I have with recommending her books is that I don't know where to start! It's hard to find the beginning of her Vorkosigan series. Falling Free, although not really part of the series, is the chronological beginning and a good introduction to LMB. In this book (as with all her books), she combines intelligence, humor, drama, and a touch of philosophy and blends them into a rollicking, quick-moving adventure story. This particular novel also has some good, hard science-fictional ideas, ideas which I found fascinating.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is set in the same Universe as the Vorkosigan adventures, but about 200 years earlier.

It is a much more "straight" work of science fiction than some of the Miles Vorkosigan stories, e.g. it is not quite as side-splittingly funny. The tone and style are quite similar to the two books about the romance between Mile's parents, "Shards of Honour" and "Barrayar."

"Falling Free" is the story of the quaddies, a group of modified humans who have been bioengineered for zero gravity, the main change being that they have four arms instead of two arms and two legs. An engineer, Leo Graf, is concerned at the way the quaddies are exploited and decides to do something about it.

It is a well-told story and highly entertaining.

There are two subsequent stories with quaddie characters set in Lord Miles Vorkosigan's time, some 230 years later. The first is the novella "Labyrinth" which is part of the book "Borders of Infinity" - Miles and Bel Thorne meet a beautiful quaddie musician, Nicol, on Jackson's Whole.

A picture of the society which quaddies make for themselves in the years which follow "falling Free" is given in the tenth and currently most recent Vorkosigan adventure, "Diplomatic Immunity" which is set on a space station in Quaddie space.

Bottom line - this is an extremely good book, and if you liked any of Bujold's other SF novels you are very likely to enjoy this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is set in the 'Vorkosigan' Universe, several hundred years prior to the birth of Miles. A huge Corporation in the Space Habitat construction business has bred a race uniquely suited for zero-gee, the "Quaddies". Not only are Quaddies quite...handy in free fall, they also are physiologically suited to long spells in orbit w/out expensive 'downtime'. A seasoned professional engineer, Leo Graf, reports to the Rodeo system to conduct training classes for the Quaddies - at first he is put off by their unusual appearance, but soon becomes an enthusiast. Technological progress in the form of artificial gravity comes along to steal the Quaddie's rice bowl - most of their cost advantage over humans is nullified in one swift blow. As the Corporation gropes for a way to rid itself of a now costly, risky and worthless investment, Leo finds himself remoreslessly caught up in extermporizing a scheme to save the Quaddies from extermination via cost-accounting hell. Putting his life, his career, his savings and his links to the rest of humanity on the line, Leo eventually discovers the virtues of 'Falling Free.' If you're a fan of Bujold you can imagine the rest. Interesting characters manipulating fascinating circumstances with a engaging and humorous edge. Bujold discovers the inner secrets of the human heart in the unlikeliest places - like a gruff old engineer confronted by a boisterous crowd of mutant children who must surmout impossible odds to survive. A rousing good read.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Craig MACKINNON on August 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Leo Graf arrives at GalacTech's top secret research installation to train some people in the art of deep space welding. He soon discovers that the secret research involves genetically creating a new race of semi-humans with 4 arms (called Quaddies) who can stay in weightless conditions indefinitely (without loss of muscle mass) and who, with their 4 hands, will be extremely efficient deep-space workers. Unfortunately, not all is as it seems: cost overruns and new technology threaten the existence of the project, and then what happens to the mutants that have been created?

Bujold sets this book in her Vorkosigan universe, but you wouldn't know it - it happens 200 years before the birth of Miles, the hero from that series. Therefore this is a good entry point into Bujold's universe. The book is interesting and readable; if it's a little short, it's because Bujold tells her story efficiently and effectively, much like an old-time sci fi writer (Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein). It's no wonder the Sci Fi Writer's Association voted it best novel - it's old-school style married to modern (genetic engineering) problems.

I bring up Heinlein for another reason. To say this book's plot and characters are borrowed from Heinlein might be harsh, but to say "inspired" is too weak. All Heinlein's favourite characters are there - the hero is an engineer and slight outsider (like the heroes of Farnham's Freehold, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and The Door Into Summer), one character might as well be named Jubal Hershaw (from Stranger in a Strange Land), the themes of slavery, political/managerial stupidity, and the clash of old-fashioned know-how vs. high tech are all explored here, in almost exactly the same way as Heinlein has presented them.
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