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Miles Errant (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) Paperback – September 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Miles Vorkosigan Adventures
  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Original edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743435583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743435581
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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
 
Happy reading!
 
-- Lois McMaster Bujold.

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Customer Reviews

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Despite having read all of these books in the last 2 years I am really enjoying the rereading.
Maddi Hausmann Sojourner
This is a Miles Vorkosigan adventure omnibus, a compilation of the short story "The Borders of Infinity," along with the novels BROTHERS IN ARMS and MIRROR DANCE.
Leighland Feinman
And I have to say that not just to sci-fi fans would enjoy it, buy anyone who enjoys a good novel with some well written characters.
TeaCup

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner on August 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
This isn't a new book. If you were hoping to read about the further adventures of Miles Vorkosigan after _Diplomatic Immunity_, you're going to have to wait! Instead, this is a collection of earlier works arranged in a logical sequence.
The three works are "The Borders of Infinity," a novella about Miles' rescue mission to a POW camp; _Brothers in Arms_, a novel that takes place four months later on Earth, where Miles first meets his "evil twin" brother/clone; and _Mirror Dance_, another novel where Miles' brother/clone returns to cause havoc for him by acting on his earlier intent to destroy the clone labs (where he was created and saw dozens of clone-children destroyed) on Jackson's Whole.
I came across the Vorkosigan saga in a somewhat nonlinear order, reading whatever I found with a lot of backing and filling. It is really a pleasure to read these works again, in a way that lets all those asides to previous adventures have the proper resonance instead of experiencing a series of throw-away dialogue. If you already own the books there is no point in buying it, but if you don't, do buy this. Despite having read all of these books in the last 2 years I am really enjoying the rereading. Bujold is such a great writer that her works can be read many times with just as much pleasure.
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219 of 240 people found the following review helpful By Ivy on August 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an anthology - one of the series of Vorkosigan anthologies Baen is releasing. It contains Borders of Infinity (the short story), Brothers in Arms, and Mirror Dance. Don't buy this thinking it's a new book!
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Empyreal on July 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a compilation of two novels and one novella. No new material, but still a wonderful gift for someone just starting off on Bujold. Three books for the price of one! The novella is "Borders of Infinity" and the two novels are _Brothers in Arms_ and _Mirror Dance_
In "Borders of Infinity," Miles winds up as a POW in a Cetaganda camp. in _Brothers in Arms_ he goes to Earth and discovers he has a clone who is part of a conspiracy against Barrayar. In _Mirror Dance_, the clone returns to assume Miles' identity Admiral Naismith, gets himself in huge trouble, and Miles faces his own mortality as a result.
Bujold's writing gets better and better as her books go on, and since her first works are still fabulous you can imagine how great these later works are! Each book is independent enough to stand alone, but still part of a greater web which all the books make up. Even if you've never read a Bujold book, you will still develop an attachment to her various characters in book 10 as you would have in book 1. She's a literary genius.
One of the stronger points about the Vorkosigan saga is that the characters grow. _Mirror Dance_ takes place 10 years after we first saw Miles in his own book, and he has changed in some ways and remained the same in others. He has lived, learned, suffered, and gained. Throughout it all, some aspects of his personality have remained. _Mirror Dance_ also allows his clone Mark to grow and change. He realizes he has his own destiny just as Miles does. Each of the characters are unique and realistic, very deep in their personalities.
Another strength of Bujold's writing is that although it's not from Miles' point of view (it's written in 3rd person), you are just as unsure of what's happening to others as Miles is.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gene Kruger on August 21, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is just a trilogy of 3 previous Miles Vorkosigan books....."The Borders of Infinity" "Brothers in Arms" and "Mirror Dance". I thought I was buying a totally new Miles novel so was quite disapointed to find that I had already read these stories.....notwithstanding that the said stories are up to the usual Vorkosigan high standards.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MarkS on June 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
The two novels included here may well be the best of the whole series. But to fully appreciate "Brothers in Arms", you need to read the novella "Labyrinth" first, because it gives a lot of the backstory (as well as being excellent in its own right). You can find "Labyrinth" in the collection "Miles, Mystery, and Mayhem".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Johann Mitchell on January 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I gave Brothers in Arms to a friend in the hospital after several (simultaneous) operations. They gave her the maximum amount of painkiller, but she was still in bad shape. The only thing that made it stop hurting was the book, because she got so sucked into the story that she was completely oblivious to how much it hurt.

These stories are part of the best series I've ever read. But start with Shards of Honor. If you've never read these books, I envy you the opportunity to read them for the first time.

This is, by the way, several collected previously published works.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Silmarillion on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
A great omnibus, containing three amazing tales of Miles Vorkosigan's military days:

"The borders of infinity": Miles lets himself be sent to a POW camp the Cetagandans have set up to hold the captured Marrilacan soldiers (one who read "Cetaganda" would remember the Marillacans were counting too much on the Cetagandans' help... and it did eventually turn against them). The only hope for Marrilac is a captive officer... and in getting him out Miles will first free everyone alse. Superb writing, highly emotional. I loved it to tears!

"Brothers in arms": following the few intense moments of actual fighting, there are the times Miles (and his Fleet accountants) hate most: the tallying up of the losses and the paying of bills... A bit short of money, Miles juggles with his identities on Earth, unaware that the last Komarrran resistance forces, led by the pretty mad Ser Galen, is plotting to replace him with his clone&torture bred brother Mark-Pierre. Taken by surprise, Miles has only the feeble hope he's not so easily confusable, and that Galen's son, a loyal captain, will help him get escape his would-be tomb. Mark-Pierre emerges powerfully as an anti-Miles personality, but endowed with the same capacities... a threat to the hyperactive little Admiral/Lord.

"Mirror dance": the masterpiece of the series so far!!! Mark-Pierre gathers all his courage and attempts to free the clones on a Jackson's Whole clinic... and the Vorkosigan luck sticks to him as to Miles: he loses the clones, the battle, Miles' Dendarii mercs, and gets Miles killed, all in one day's work!

Saved by payment, in Miles' place, Mark is thrown in the world of Barrayar, the one place in the universe he tried never to set foot upon.
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