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Labyrinth (Vorkosigan Saga Book 11) [Kindle Edition]

Lois McMaster Bujold
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99

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Book Description

Miles and his Dendarii mercenaries are on a mission in Jackson's Hole to retrieve a geneticist, who unexpectedly says he won't leave until a certain "monster" is neutralized and a tissue sample is taken from it. What Miles finds is something vastly different from what he was led to expect… ("Labyrinth" follows ETHAN OF ATHOS in the Vorkosigan Saga)

Written by Hugo and Nebula Award winning New York Times bestselling author Lois McMaster Bujold.

Novella chronology: "The Mountains of Mourning", "Weatherman", "Labyrinth", "The Borders of Infinity", "Winterfair Gifts"

“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

“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


Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Author's Note:
 
The Vorkosigan Saga Reading Order Debate: The Chef Recommends
 
 
Many pixels have been expended debating the 'best' order in which to read what have come to be known as the Vorkosigan Books, the Vorkosiverse, the Miles books, and other names, since I neglected to supply the series with a label myself.  The debate now wrestles with some fourteen or so volumes and counting, and mainly revolves around publication order versus internal-chronological order.  I favor internal chronological, with a few caveats.
 
I have always resisted numbering my volumes; partly because, in the early days, I thought the books were distinct enough; latterly because if I ever decided to drop in a prequel somewhere (which in fact I did most lately with Captain Vorpatril's Alliance) it would upwhack the numbering system.  Nevertheless, the books and stories do have a chronological order, if not a strict one.
 
It was always my intention to write each book as a stand-alone so that the reader could theoretically jump in anywhere, yes, with that book that's in your hand right now, don't put it back on the shelf!  While still somewhat true, as the series developed it acquired a number of sub-arcs, closely related tales that were richer for each other.  I will list the sub-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 Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar.  Shards was my very first novel ever; Barrayar was actually my eighth, but continues the tale the next day after the end of Shards.  For readers who want to be sure of beginning at 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 in between.)  The Warrior's Apprentice introduces the character who became the series' linchpin, Miles Vorkosigan; the first book tells how he created a space mercenary fleet by accident; the second how he fixed his mistakes from the first round. Space opera and military-esque adventure (and a number of other things one can best discover for oneself), The Warrior's Apprentice makes another good place to jump into the series for readers who prefer a young male protagonist.
 
After that: Brothers in Arms should be read before Mirror Dance, and both, ideally, before Memory.
 
Komarr makes another good alternate entry point for the 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 the five currently extant novellas, makes a good Miles Vorkosigan early-adventure sampler platter, I always thought, for readers who don't want to commit themselves to length.  (But it may make more sense if read after The Warrior's Apprentice.)  Take care not to confuse the collection-as-a-whole with its title story, "The Borders of Infinity".
 
Falling Free takes place 200 years earlier in the timeline and does not share settings or characters with the main body of the series.  Most readers recommend picking up this story later. It should likely be read before Diplomatic Immunity, however, which revisits the "quaddies", a bioengineered race of free fall dwellers, in Miles's time.
 
The novels in the internal-chronological list below appear in italics; the novellas (officially defined as a story between 17,500 words and 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  (upcoming in late 2012)
CryoBurn
                  
 
Caveats:
 
The novella "Weatherman" is an out-take from the beginning of the novel The Vor Game.  If you already have The Vor Game, you likely don't need this.
 
The original 'novel' Borders of Infinity was a fix-up collection containing the three novellas "The Mountains of Mourning", "Labyrinth", and "The Borders of Infinity", together with a frame story to tie the pieces together. Again, beware duplication.  The frame story does not stand alone, and generally is of interest only to completists.
 
 
The Fantasy Novels
 
My fantasy novels are a bit easier to order.  Easiest of all is The Spirit Ring, which is a stand-alone, or aquel, as some wag once dubbed books that for some obscure reason failed to spawn a subsequent series.  Next easiest are the four volumes of The Sharing Knife--in order, Beguilement, Legacy, Passage, and Horizon--which I broke down and actually numbered, as this was one continuous tale divided into non-wrist-breaking chunks.
 
What have come to be called the Chalion 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, and can in theory be read in any order.  (The third book actually takes place a few hundred years prior to the more closely connected first two.)  Some readers think the world-building is easier to assimilate when the books are read in publication order, and the second volume certainly contains spoilers for the first (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 Proto Zoa was an e-book experiment; it contains five very early tales--three (1980s) contemporary fantasy, two science fiction--all previously published but not in this handy format. The novelette "Dreamweaver's Dilemma" may be of interest to Vorkosigan completists, as it is the first story in which that proto-universe began, mentioning Beta Colony but before Barrayar was even thought of.
 
My latest original e-edition is Sidelines: Talks and Essays, which is just what it says on the tin--a collection of three decades of my nonfiction writings, including convention speeches, essays, travelogues, introductions, and some less formal pieces. I hope it will prove an interesting companion piece to my fiction.

Happy reading!
 
-- Lois McMaster Bujold.

Product Details

  • File Size: 246 KB
  • Print Length: 101 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YXBDG4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,997 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(12)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth in advertising May 22, 2011
By Snaz
Format:Kindle Edition
Anything Vorkosigan is great but these kind of partial reprints that don't match the title of the book they were take from really need to have the INITIAL DATE it appeared in publication, and where, PROMINENTLY displayed.

I didn't get suckered but there is no reason I should be forced to read through the full description to make absolutely sure it was a work I'd already read (as any date before 2011 certainly would have told me).
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BUYER BEWARE!!!! July 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an unconscionable con. Why an author of Bujold's stature would stand for this worries me. This is reprint of a much earlier book in the Vor series, not a current or new release as the dating would have you believe. I now double check each title I buy from Amazon to make sure its not something I've already read and so should you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treading the Labyrinth July 20, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
All of Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan books are great reads. There's always an excellent, fast-paced story, with really good characterization - and her world is consistent and reasonable. There are no jarring anachronisms. I like the fact that Bujold's stuff is being reprinted in a format that allows the reader to clearly follow the timelines. With these titles separated, it's easy to keep track of what you've read and what you haven't. Those of us who have been reading for a long, long time have long been familiar with reprints and re-releases; at least with Bujold the title is the same, and recognizable. What I hate is when they put something out with a totally different title - like Cadell's stuff in the old days. Anybody who ever read Labyrinth, wherever they read it, will recognize this title.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bogus copyright date August 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The advertising on Amazon says 2011, when in fact this is a much older work. Amazon habitually does this whenever it transfers a book to kindle. This is false advertising.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but slight March 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
In his disguise as commander of the Dendarii mercenary fleet, Miles Vorkosigan is dispatched by Barrayaran intelligence to rendezvous with a defector on the anarchic world of Jackson's Whole. However, it isn't long before Miles is up to his neck in political intrigue between three feuding houses, with the defector, a mutant and a werewolf to worry about...

Labyrinth is a short novella featuring Lois McMaster Bujold's signature character of Miles Vorkosigan, once again up to his neck in trouble after a simple mission goes wrong (as they usually do). It's a fun little piece, featuring lots of Miles getting captured, smart-talking his way through interrogations and then escaping whilst throwing an entire world into turmoil but retaining deniability for Barrayar.

Whilst it's good, it's slight. There's some interesting stuff about genetic engineering, not to mention the first appearance in the Miles timeline of the quaddies, people who have had their legs replaced with arms to better cope with life in zero-gee. Between the quaddie, the werewolf (actually a genetically-altered super-soldier), the dwarf (Miles) and the hermaphrodite (recurring character Bel Thorne), the novella can be said to be about people who are outcast from some societies due to unthinking prejudice. Unfortunately, the novella's short length prevents Bujold from exploring any of the issues in any real great depth, especially as the fascinating sociological stuff is put on hold for most of the story as we instead follow Miles trying to break out of a prison.

That said, Labyrinth (***) is a fun read which cracks along fairly smartly and packs a fair amount of character development and action into a short page count.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Almost Lost My Job :-) December 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
How the heck did I miss reading any of these in SciFi reading career? I cut my teeth on Tom Swift, first editions I bought with lawn mowing income. This is hands down the best SciFi series of books I've ever read. I bought the first one and simply couldn't stop. The Flying Spaghetti monster only knows how many hours of sleep I missed and how much work time I procrastinated to read these books. I read them in the order the author recommended and they were right on target. Don't put it off, just buy them all now, tell your wife and kids goodbye and read your heart out.
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