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Lois McMaster Bujold: Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy

af Edward James

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"Readers have awarded Lois McMaster Bujold four Hugo Awards for Best Novel, a number matched only by Robert Heinlein. Her Vorkosigan series redefined space opera with its emotional depth and explorations of themes such as bias against the disabled, economic exploitation, and the role of women in society. Acclaimed science fiction scholar Edward James traces Bujold's career, showing how Bujold emerged from fanzine culture to win devoted male and female readers despite working in genres--military SF, space opera--perceived as solely by and for males. Devoted to old-school ideas such as faith in humanity and the desire to probe and do good in the universe, Bujold simultaneously subverted genre conventions and experimented with forms that led her in bold creative directions. As James shows, her iconic hero Miles Vorkosigan--unimposing, physically impaired, self-conscious to a fault--embodied Bujold's thematic concerns. The sheer humanity of her characters, meanwhile, gained her a legion of fans eager to provide her with feedback, expand her vision through fan fiction, and follow her into fantasy. "-- "Lois McMaster Bujold has won more Hugo Awards for Best Novel than anyone except Robert A. Heinlein; both authors won four. Her Falling Free (1988) won both the Nebula and the Hugo Awards, and her Vorkosigan series, still underway, has become the standard of comparison for space opera. She is one of the several sf authors who have successfully bridged sf and fantasy. Professor James's book surveys all her works (how otherwise to do her justice) but concentrates on the sf books, including the Vorkosigan series. While working within established genres, Bujold has displayed her mastery of them by introducing themes seldom encountered in sf--especially disabilities and biases against them--and extending some of the most important traditional themes--especially the treatment of aliens as forms of racism. Bujold has a wide following, an official Web site (http://www.dendarii.com/), and can boast of several significant essays written about her. But this is the first full-length study of her work and should be one of many in the series to set the foundations for further study and discussion"--… (mere)
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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2591385.html#cutid2

It's a jolly good and fairly short read, looking at Bujold's sf and fantasy work (arguing in passing that the Sharing Knife books are really sf rather than fantasy), and also looking at her treatment of culture, characterisation, disability / genetic modification, women / sexuality and war, leadership, and honor. It's a text in dialogue with a lot of other work, including The Vorkosigan Companion, A Reader's Companion to A Civil Campaign, Jo Walton and the author herself. It's always nice when an author you like writes a book you like about a subject you like. ( )
  nwhyte | Jan 23, 2016 |
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"Readers have awarded Lois McMaster Bujold four Hugo Awards for Best Novel, a number matched only by Robert Heinlein. Her Vorkosigan series redefined space opera with its emotional depth and explorations of themes such as bias against the disabled, economic exploitation, and the role of women in society. Acclaimed science fiction scholar Edward James traces Bujold's career, showing how Bujold emerged from fanzine culture to win devoted male and female readers despite working in genres--military SF, space opera--perceived as solely by and for males. Devoted to old-school ideas such as faith in humanity and the desire to probe and do good in the universe, Bujold simultaneously subverted genre conventions and experimented with forms that led her in bold creative directions. As James shows, her iconic hero Miles Vorkosigan--unimposing, physically impaired, self-conscious to a fault--embodied Bujold's thematic concerns. The sheer humanity of her characters, meanwhile, gained her a legion of fans eager to provide her with feedback, expand her vision through fan fiction, and follow her into fantasy. "-- "Lois McMaster Bujold has won more Hugo Awards for Best Novel than anyone except Robert A. Heinlein; both authors won four. Her Falling Free (1988) won both the Nebula and the Hugo Awards, and her Vorkosigan series, still underway, has become the standard of comparison for space opera. She is one of the several sf authors who have successfully bridged sf and fantasy. Professor James's book surveys all her works (how otherwise to do her justice) but concentrates on the sf books, including the Vorkosigan series. While working within established genres, Bujold has displayed her mastery of them by introducing themes seldom encountered in sf--especially disabilities and biases against them--and extending some of the most important traditional themes--especially the treatment of aliens as forms of racism. Bujold has a wide following, an official Web site (http://www.dendarii.com/), and can boast of several significant essays written about her. But this is the first full-length study of her work and should be one of many in the series to set the foundations for further study and discussion"--

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