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Memory (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) by Lois…

Memory (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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2,777543,051 (4.48)226
Title:Memory (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures)
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Info:Baen (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:General, Your library

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Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)

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Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold is another entry in the excellent Vorkosigan science fiction series. This series is full of adventure and excitement, romance, mystery, humor, space battles, diplomatic struggles yet in this volume everything changes. Miles Vorkosigan has been living a double life, he is both Lord Vorkosigan of the Barrayaran Empire and he is also Admiral Naismith, leader of a galactic mercenary force. Unfortunately he is suffering some effects from a near death experience and has been having seizures. Instead of coming clean about his health problems, he tries to cover up his problems and falsifies a mission report. When the truth comes out, he loses his Barrayaran commission and also realizes that this is the end for Admiral Naismith as well.

Now confined to Barrayar, needing a surgical procedure to correct his seizures, Miles feels very alone and unsure of what his future is going to be. He gets involved in another crisis that involves his previous supervisor and solving this case leads him to discover the next direction his life is going to take.

In Memory, the author has brilliantly executed her story-line in an entertaining way and laid some groundwork toward Miles melding his two identities into one as well as giving this series a fresh start. Now I am very excited for the next book to find out what Miles will be doing next as leaving his mercenaries and his girlfriend, Elli, behind opens this series up to be completely re-invented. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jun 13, 2018 |
"Miles hits 30. 30 hits back."

This is the one line description of this book in the timeline, and honestly it's a much better summary than the one on the back of the book. The back of the book is deceptive, as it implies that you will be living Simon Illyan's memories, which is not true. This book is probably the most introspective of the Miles books I've read so far and, as a result, is also a slower paced book. That doesn't mean it wasn't engaging (I read it in about a day), it just means that it was very different from the books that have preceded it. It feels like the transition that it is, a transition from a reckless, careless, hyperactive Miles to a more grown-up version, who thinks about others (and himself) a bit more deeply. It changes him and makes him more aware of himself, something that he has been sorely lacking.

All in all, a very good book, if not exactly what was promised on the package :) ( )
  fogisbeautiful | Feb 13, 2018 |
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold is the latest book in my re-read of the Vorkosigan saga. It comes chronologically after Mirror Dance and before Komarr. I had remembered this as "the Illyan book", but of course, it's still mostly another Miles book, focussing on a transitionary period in Miles's life (and also in Simon Illyan's life).

This book follows Miles on a more internal journey than usual. Although there is some excitement in it, there is less action and fewer daring rescues. In fact Miles spends a lot of the book coming to terms with the fact that all his adventures have caught up with him, medically speaking. After having spent so long overcoming his disadvantages though sheer determination, the abrupt realisation that he can’t will his way past his latest problem is not a shock he deals with well. But, Miles being
Miles and also the protagonist, events conspire to push him in a new and interesting direction.

As I hinted in my introduction, this is also a book that features Simon Illyan quite prominently. Previously he appeared in Miles’s life mostly as a slightly distant authority figure — despite having known Miles since birth, their professional relationship was mostly very professional (avoiding mild treason notwithstanding). But now we get to learn more about Illyan’s job and it’s demands. And we see that Miles is actually one of the closest people to him. And of course, it’s useful to have Miles on your side if something goes wrong.

The other character we get to see more of in this book (not for the first time) is Ivan. He provides an amusing side plot and counter to some of Miles’s darker moments. And of course, he gets dragged into Miles’s plans.

This book is clever and, even though I remembered most of the ending, it stood up well upon rereading. It’s a thoughtful book and, while parts of it are very difficult for Miles, it wasn’t as difficult for readers, compared with its immediate prequel, Mirror Dance, for example. Because it’s such a transitionary book, I don’t think I’d recommend it as a stand-alone, but it works very well in the broader context of the series and as a marker of this turning point in Miles’s life. And, as (almost) always, it made me excited to read the next book in the series.

4.5 / 5 stars

You can read more of my reviews on my blog. ( )
  Tsana | Nov 18, 2017 |
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.

( )
1 vote 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 |
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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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For Trudie Senior and Trudie Junior.
First words
Miles returned to consciousness with his eyes still closed.
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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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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