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Borders of Infinity Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This collection of short stories includes tales that take place before The Vor Game and others extending past Brothers in Arms. The variation in tone across the tales is handled exceptionally well, as we see Miles mourn and get a better look at his relationship with Illyan. The stories include Miles's first outing as a detective, in which he's faced with a case of infanticide in the mutant-phobic hill country; his largest rescue mission ever; and the most distressed damsel for whom he ever played the knight.

From Library Journal

Reader's Chair continues its inexorable and much appreciated march through the Bujold canon with this latest rendition of the 1989 collection of three Vorkosigan adventures. The first and most successful story, "The Mountains of Mourning," is a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning tale that finds Miles dispatched by his emperor father to investigate an infanticide in a rural and provincially minded region. In "Labyrinth," Miles covertly travels to wild Jackson's Whole as Dendarii Mercenary Admiral Naismith on an undercover mission to extract an important research geneticist who mandates the destruction of his last surviving experimental creature as a condition of his departure. In the title story, Miles infiltrates a Cetagandan prison and performs a memorable poetic dance before women. A thread that works better in print than on audio is the dialog between Miles and Simon Illyan, chief of Barrayar's Imperial Security, which introduces each story. Here, it is confusing, abrupt, and unnecessary. Michael Hanson and Carol Cowan, as they have so often in the past with Bujold's work, once again assert their sure and confident narrative control over the material. Essential for all sf collections.DBarry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671720937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671720933
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lenora Heikkinen on June 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This collection of novellas was my introduction to Miles Vorkosigan, and while I suspect that the first book (The Warrior's Apprentice) Might have been a better opening, it did convince me to read every one that our libraries contained, and finally to begin collecting the series.
This collections contains three complete novellas and a, well, best described as sort-of-a-story to connect the three very different events in Miles' career. This wrap-around story is the main reason I gave the collection a mere four stars; it contains a suggestion of a rather scanty plot against Lord Aral Vorkosigan via Miles' more unusual adventures (Or rather, his monetary expenses), which serves no purpose except to perhaps introduce the idea of the imperial Auditors used in the later book Memory (And much better introduced within that book itself). As another reviewer said, the novellas could probably stand alone safely.
As for the three stories themselves, they vary immensely in theme. "The Mountains of Mourning" is a tale of Miles Vorkosigan's early years, and in theory it is a murder mystery, but the emotional impact on both Miles and myself as reader was quite incredible. This is probably the best of the three stories.
Following this, "Labyrinth" is a bit of a surprise; an almost rollicking adventure of Miles as the little "Admiral Naismith". It was grerat fun, but there was very little real emotional impact. It contained another excellent character, but felt to me like it was lacking depth - it was a plot-driven story, and shamelessly so. Having reread it sicne, it is better than my first impression, but the difference between the two stories was a bit of a shock.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the complicated book of the lot. It's short stories, which take place in various times throughout the series. I recommend reading them in the time-order of the series, not when the book shows up in the series. I mean, read "The mountains of Mourning" after "The Warrior's Apprentice" but before "The Vor Game", etc. These stories fit together so tightly and seamlessly that you might as well just consider the whole series one long book, and read it that way; just think of the individual books as bite-sized packages for the larger story.
Shards of Honor
(these two books are also combined into "Cordelia's Honor")
The Warrior's Apprentice
Short Story: The Mountains of Mourning
(all short stories are contained in "Borders of Infinity")
The Vor Game
Ethan of Athos
Short Story: Labyrinth
Short Story: The Borders of Infinity
Brothers in Arms
The Borders of Infinity
Mirror Dance
A Civil Campaign
Diplomatic Immunity
Now go forth and read...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a collection of stories featuring Miles Vorkosigan. If you haven't encountered Miles before, this is probably the best place to start. Deformed but brilliant, Miles is an aristocrat born into a culture where "aristocracy" still means "duty" rather than "privilege". Unfortunately, it's also a culture that views the handicapped as mutants, objects of hatred and contempt. Miles is forced to challenge, again and again, the preconceptions of those around him. These are brilliant stories, written with wit, insight, and a strong sense of the tragicomic. "Mountains of Mourning" won a Hugo, I think, and one of the others was nominated. Even if you don't like science fiction, you can still enjoy this book thoroughly. If you *do* like sf, you absolutely need to have this book. Bujold's unadorned prose style has been compared to "Heinlein without the preaching", but this may be unfair... to Bujold. See for yourself why this woman keeps winning SF writing awards. Buy this book
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Format: Kindle Edition
While Miles Vorkosigan is in the hospital for surgery, Simon Ilyan, head of Imperial Security, comes to question him about outrageous expenses for the Dendarii Mercenary Fleet. Although physically incapacitated, Miles is mentally alert, and tells Simon three stories. He also teaches Simon a lesson in how appearances can be deceiving, and we get to see Cordelia trump Simon, which is always fun. Fans of the Vorkosigan Saga have probably already read the three novellas, but may not have read the framing story, which has Lois's mixture of great characters, humor, poignancy, and thought-provoking science fiction.

The three novellas are vastly different:

"The Mountains of Mourning" is set in a backwater village in the Dendarii Mountains, which still practices infanticide for "mutant" babies. Then their lord's "mutie" son is sent to judge the latest case.

"Labyrinth" is set in the laboratory building of a sadistic scientist who likes to make unusual beings. Miles is sent to kill one of those beings, and discovers things are not at all what he'd been led to believe. Then the being gives him an unexpected choice.

"The Borders of Infinity" is set in a dome-covered prison camp where Miles ends up naked and has to rely only on his wits, which isn't that bad a thing, considering the brains he has had to develop to make up for his physical weaknesses.

Not a bad introduction to the Vorkosigan Saga for those who haven't tried it yet.
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