Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

Thanks are due, first, to Bill Regier of the University of Illinois Press: for inviting me out of the blue to contribute a book on a major British writer to his new series; for being enthusiastic when I noted that this writer already had several books written about him and that I would like to be the first to write a monograph on Lois McMaster Bujold instead; and for being very tolerant...

Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xvi

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Chapter 1. An Introduction to Lois McMaster Bujold

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pp. 1-18

In 2012, when she turned sixty-three years old, Lois McMaster Bujold remarked that her life had been strangely balanced—she had been single for twenty-one years, married for twenty-one years, and divorced for twenty-one years. She noted, however, that “the thirds don’t all seem to have the same weight.”1 In terms of her writing career, however, each third has equal, but different,...

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Chapter 2. The Science Fiction

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pp. 19-49

Lois McMaster Bujold has to date written fourteen science fiction books and a number of short stories: approximately six thousand pages of text. Almost all of her science fiction stories are set in the same future history, and most concern the Vorkosigan family, who live on the human-colonized planet Barrayar some two thousand years in our future. The Vorkosigan sequence,...

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Chapter 3. Fantasy Worlds

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pp. 50-72

Although the series in which this book is published is about science fiction, it is impossible to understand Bujold without looking at her fantasy too: there is the standalone novel The Spirit Ring, the Chalion trilogy, and the four books of the Sharing Knife sequence. Since the turn of the millennium Bujold has produced seven fantasy novels and just three science fiction novels. Bujold is not,...

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Chapter 4. Cultural Critique

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pp. 73-93

The clash of cultures, between societies and within societies, with both negative and positive results, is an underlying theme in much of what Bujold has written. This chapter will examine this theme primarily as it appears in Bujold’s science fiction; to some extent we have already, in chapter 3, treated the theme as found in the fantasy books. We shall see that one of the main...

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Chapter 5. Character

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pp. 94-119

At the end of Diplomatic Immunity Miles visits Cetaganda for a second time. He has yet again been instrumental in defeating a plot against Barrayar’s old enemy, the Cetagandan Empire and is again rewarded by the Cetagandan emperor. This time he does not receive a medal that he would never dare wear on Barrayar but is honored by having his genetic material sampled for the...

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Chapter 6. Disability and Genetic Modification

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pp. 120-135

At the time of the London Paralympic Games in September 2012, the magazine SFX published a list of “10 Inspirational Disabled Characters from Sci-Fi and Fantasy.”1 Given the bias of the magazine toward the visual media, SFX naturally led with the autistic Gary from Alphas and the blind Geordi LaForge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Indeed, there was only one inspirational...

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Chapter 7. Women, Uterine Replicators, and Sexuality

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pp. 136-155

An earnest young male fan once came up to Bujold and said, “Ms. Bujold, you write like a man.” Bujold claims to be slow at thinking on her feet, and only afterward did she realize she should have said, “Oh, really? Which one?”1 She adds, naturally enough, that she is still trying to work out whether or not...

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Chapter 8. War, Leadership, and Honor

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pp. 156-170

Traditionally, since the days of E. E. “Doc” Smith, a central theme of space opera has been warfare. The earlier Vorkosigan novels do not buck the trend: the very first, Shards of Honor, begins in the middle of a war between Barrayar and Beta Colony. The Vorkosigans, from Piotr to Aral and to Miles himself, define themselves or create themselves through military service. It is one of...

A Lois McMaster Bujold Bibliography

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pp. 171-174

Stories in the Vorkosigan Universe

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pp. 175-176

Notes

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pp. 177-182

Critical Bibliography

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pp. 183-188

Selected Interviews with Lois McMaster Bujold

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pp. 189-190

Index

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pp. 191-208