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Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
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2,081524,598 (3.67)1 / 126
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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
I always enjoy books about fixing stuff.
This book is also about a new species being exploited, finding their voice and making a break for freedom, and the engineer who makes it happen. And he does it by fixing stuff.
A fun read. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
How is Lois McMaster Bujold not one of the first authors to be recommended to people starting scifi? Falling Free introduces the Quaddies (humans with arms instead of legs), as seen and told by an Engineer, capital E. It's awesome, and it's got everything you'd wish for: a new culture, social implications, lots and lots of economic and corporate implications (I see where Charlie got his Laundry File bureaucracy from), and the cultural implications aswell. Also, very sweet and cool characters all around, and funny af. Leo Graf, the protagonist, is just ♥ ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
It has been quite a while since I’ve delved into a sci-fi, and I’m so happy that I’ve done so with a Bujold book. Falling Free is a novel set in the Vorkosigan Saga that’s separated from the rest of the main storyline; no Vorkosigans are involved. Rather, it tells the story of the quaddies and how Leo Graf helps them free themselves and live as people rather than a corporation’s property.

There’s something magical about Bujold’s works, and I really can’t put my finger on just what it is. I fall in love with the characters every time — despite living in a completely different world, they seem so real and genuine; their concerns are very similar to our concerns, and I can’t help but internalize them and think of these characters as friends. The story of Falling Free is no different. Leo comes in to train “the quaddies” — people who were created for zero-gravity work and are considered the property of a corporation because they paid to genetically modify humans to create them; they are essentially humans, but have four arms rather than a pair each of arms and legs. He struggles with how the staff and higher-ups in the corporation that created them view them and talk about them, but tries to be a professional and insists to himself that he’s just there to train them — that’s all he needs to concern himself with. However, he gets to know the quaddies and befriends them, inspired by their innocence and strength. I love how real the struggle is for him and how we can see deep internal conflict within his actions.

One of my favorite things about sci-fi is that it gives us a different context for talking about issues; in this case, Bujold explores the meaning of humanity, the ethics of genetic experimentation and the results of that, among other things. She’s a pro at crafting a suspenseful, interesting story line around deep issues, which is part of the reason why I love her books so much. They’re fun, have just the right amount of action and romance, and then give food for thought. Absolutely perfect, in my opinion.

Falling Free is a fun romp in the Vorkosigan universe; we see a bit of the science stuff being developed that will be touched on in future novels and get to see how the quaddies originated. I greatly enjoyed reading this novel and recommend it to any science fiction fan — even if you haven’t read anything in the Vorkosigan series, you’ll be able to follow along without any trouble and I guarantee you will enjoy yourself.

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
1 vote sedelia | Dec 15, 2017 |
Book grabbed because I'm trying to read as many Hugo and Nebula award winners as my library system has.

I made it through a quarter of the book before realizing that I was not enjoying myself in the least. There are big ideas in this book, important ones even. These capital "I" ideas are what kept me reading as long as I did. Ultimately, the value of a book rests on more than big ideas. It relies on how well it tells a story and how well developed the characters are.
I had to think long and hard about what it was with this book that put me off. All of the sentences are grammatically correct. All of the characters are described when first met, or soon thereafter. This book is not personal, by which I mean all characters are dealt with very formally and as such exhibit virtually no personality, with the exception being a very stereo-typical middle management type. The cast, supporting and main, do what is needed for the particular events to occur, though many, many actions are outside of the auspices of the characters. For example, a doctor who is all about serving the company needs over the needs of a patient and the main characters don't even question this action - as if the Hypocratic oath is not in place, even though the author mentions how the doctors and medics are obligated to help everyone. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I feel kind of bad as this is the second book by Ms. Bujold that I have started and stopped (both in the same series). I will try her other award winning book which is part of a different series because maybe it's only the books in this series that are written this way. And I did like the ideas in this book, just not the execution. ( )
  Eric.Cone | Sep 28, 2017 |
Leo Graf is assigned to a space station as a welding instructor, where he meets the quaddies - genetically engineered people who, instead of legs, have a second set of arms. Perfect for zero-gravity situations, but a tad off-putting to us "downsiders". What's more, all of them are under the age of 25, and even the oldest are so naive that the entire thousand-strong population could reasonably be considered children. But when the quaddies - who are technically owned by the massive corporation that employs Leo - cease to be profitable, Leo must make some tough decisions. And that's great, but what really got me were 1. the diversity of characters and 2. that the science, even when made up, sounded legit. And when I say diversity, I don't just mean skin color, but there was a good distribution of men and women in a variety of roles, not sticking to the stereotypes that have plagued science fiction for eons. I'm a little surprised that this is the first Bujold I've read, but I'm definitely going to have to pick up other books by her. ( )
  melydia | Jul 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Falling Free is one of Bujold’s early books, and it isn’t as technically accomplished as her later work. It’s definitely one of her minor books, but she’s so good that a minor book for her would be a major one for anyone else.
added by Shortride | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Aug 6, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gutierrez, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nicolazzini, PiergiorgioPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pietri, Maria CristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seeley, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, PatrickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Dad.
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The shining rim of the planet Rodeo wheeled dizzily past the observation port of the orbital transfer station.
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There was no limit to what one man might do, if he gave all, and held back nothing.
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Haiku summary
Four-handed quaddies
In a race to live freely
Saved by Leo Graf.
-rretzler

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067157812X, Mass Market Paperback)

Leo Graf was an effective engineer ...Safety Regs weren't just the rule book he swore by; he'd helped write them. All that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Leo was profoundly uneasy with the corporation exploitation of his bright new students - till that exploitation turned to something much worse. He hadn't anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither safe, nor in the rules...Leo Graf adopted 1000 quaddies - now all he had to do was teach them to be free.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:05 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Apaga la tele, enciende la imaginacin. Estudios recientes han revelado que los nis y las nias de nuestra sociedad pasan ms de tres horas diarias frente al televisor. Los pedagogos advierten que este hbito favorece la obesidad, los problemas de visin y la pasividad en los ms pequeos. Qu podemos hacer?" Las propuestas de este libro proporcionan a los nios alternativas a la televisin o a la videoconsola. Estas iniciativas didticas nos permiten disfrutar de buenos ratos al lado de nuestros hijos, e incluso darles los intrumentos para que se diviertan solos mientras aprenden"--Contraportada.… (more)

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