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Memory (1996) by Lois McMaster Bujold
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Member:senio
Title:Memory (1996)
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Info:Nord, cosmo oro
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)

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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
I love all the Vorkosigan books, but I love this one the best. Sometimes I read it alone, sometimes I read it at its place in the internal chronology, sometimes I start with it, read in order looping back to the beginning with a final read of this one again. Currently I'm reading in publication order, and I still love it best.

I love the changes that take place, and the way the author deals with people who are changing.

Some favorite quotes:
Miles, as he dresses in uniform with ALL his decorations, for a visit to the Emperor, "If you expect to open a can of worms, you'd best trouble to pack a can-opener." (page 220)

After a late night, "The crack of noon found Miles up, fully uniformed." (page 315)

"Then Ilyan remarked, 'I thought that crack about wrestling with temptation was a joke.'
'Best two falls out of three, Simon. It was that close.'"
(page 413)

Miles, near the end of the book, "The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." To which Emperor Gregor replies, "Oh." (page 415)

This story stuck in my mind. At first I couldn't remember where I had read it, but I marked it this time to include in my review.

"'I had a professor at the Imperial Service Academy once,' Miles went on . . . 'who taught the introduction to tactical engineering course. He said he never bothered changing his tests from term to term to prevent cheating, because while the questions were all the same, the answers changed. I thought he was joking.'"

And one more item. Something like the thirteenth time I read it, I noticed an anomaly on page 142, where Miles observed that Ivan had to be cautious about jokes on Miles' birthday, because his own was coming up in a few months. But wait, Ivan's birthday was a few months before Miles' (see Barrayar). It was Gregor's birthday which followed shortly after Miles'.

The Navajo weavers always include a deliberate flaw in their hand-woven rugs, because the think it an affront to the gods for a human being to claim to make a perfect thing. I wonder if Lois knows about that tradition.

Edited to add:
Looks like I was the one who made a mistake. Rereading Warrior's Apprentice, I discovered that Miles celebrates his birthday on the anniversary of the day he went into the replicator, not the day he came out. (I wonder how Cordelia's Betan perspective accommodated this interpretation.) Anyway, THAT birthday really was a few months before Ivan's. So call me a person who is sloppy with details. Or one who follows the Navajo tradition.

( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
Hilarious - it had me chuckling throughout - and exquisitely plotted, as always. This one, I think, marks a major turning point in Miles's life. It is set mainly in Vorbar Sultana, the capital of Barrayar and, while Miles never stops using his brains and is still caught in fraught situations, he's not ricocheting from pillar to post with his hitherto customary frenetic activity. Maybe Miles is growing up?

After inadvertantly slicing the legs off the hostage he was rescuing while on a mission with the Dendarii, Miles returns to Barrayar to await his next mission. He is left kicking his heels for a while and the news, when it comes, is shocking. Then Simon Illyan, head and nerve centre of ImpSec, Barrayaran Imperial Security, starts to fall ill, as it seems that the experimental eidetic memory chip implanted in his brain is failing. Concerned that his friend and mentor is being treated as a security asset rather than as a person, Miles swings into action, and the whirlwind that is centred on Miles starts to spin.

We also get to see a bit of Vor life and Miles's duties as Gregor's cousin, and there are some complications when it looks like the Komarran revolt might be raising it's head again. I love the touches of humour throughout the book, and the way Bujold reminds us that though humans may have inhabited Barrayar for centuries, it is still being terraformed.

And though we barely glimpse Aral and Cordelia, they are my foundation stones of the whole series. Cordelia (though she feels more distant to me here, as a reader, being mainly referred to as 'the Countess') is always practical and supportive without being cloying, and I love the way that Bujold conveys Aral's deep love and pride in his son in the simplest of sentences; though maybe I'm projecting the way I feel about my kids.

At the end of the story, when Miles feels he has finally stepped out of his father's and grandfather's shadows:

"I'm the first in the family," Miles informed him smugly. "I am unprecedented."

The Count smiled. "This is not news, Miles."


A great addition to one of my favourite series.

5***** ( )
  humouress | Jul 20, 2016 |
(see review on copy-1) ( )
  librisissimo | Jun 4, 2016 |
(see review on copy-1) Sometimes you read a book because it's new, and sometimes because you know what's in it. (At least reading #3, maybe #4) ( )
  librisissimo | Jun 4, 2016 |
A fitting culmination to the Miles Vorkosigan Saga recounting the Adventures of Admiral Naismith (not to be confused with the succeeding volumes about Lieutenant Vorkosigan).
Probably one of the best poplar fiction books I have ever read, with the possible exception of Bujold's "Curse of Chalion" and Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles. ( )
  librisissimo | Jun 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Trudie Senior and Trudie Junior.
First words
Miles returned to consciousness with his eyes still closed.
Quotations
Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
One life to live...well, two, actually.

Dying is easy. Coming back to life is hard. At least that's what Miles Vorkosigan thinks and he should know, having done both once already.

Thanks to his quick-thinking staff and the specialist who revived him, his first death won't be his last. But his next one might be, a realization he finds profoundly unsettling. Even after he returns to military duty, his late death seems to be having a greater effect than he's willing to admit. Unfortunately, his weakness reveals itself to the world at large at just the wrong time and in just the wrong way, and Miles is summoned home to face Barrayaran security chief Illyan. But when things begin to go subtly wrong in Imperial Security itself, "Who shall guard the guardians?" becomes a more-than-rhetorical question, with a potentially lethal answer.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067187845X, Mass Market Paperback)

Miles turns 30, and--though he isn't slowing down just yet--he is starting to lose interest in the game of Wall: the one where he tries to climb the wall, fails, gets up, and tries again. Having finally reached a point in his life where he can look back and realize that he has managed to prove his courage and competence, he can move on to bigger and better things.

Depending on how you count it, this is the eighth, ninth, tenth, or eleventh book in a series--not all are about Miles or even his extended family. A good place to start is with the first Vorkosigan story, Shards of Honor.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A disgraced space hero gets a second chance. Miles Vorkosigan lied about the state of his health and is dismissed from service by his superior. But when his superior falls mentally ill and starts making mistakes it is to Miles he turns for help. By the author of Mirror Dance.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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