Aloha – Hopefully I won’t get in trouble copying in a cover page from one of Lois McMaster Bujold’s books. In this blog I do one of three things: (1) comment on current news stories that relate or could relate to science fiction, (2) write and excerpt from books that I am currently writing, and (3) comment on my favorite science fiction writers. Most of my favorite science fiction writers are dead. Some of those writers have been dead for decades. I love the naivete and Saturday serial style of those writers from the 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s. Protagonists are heros. Antagonists are villains. Black is black and white is white. I think this is one of the reasons I like Robert Heinlein is he kept the innocence in his juvenile science fiction, but took us to a higher level with deeper thought. Still, I didn’t have to think too deep :o)
In recent years, it has been difficult to find books that are nearly as entertaining. Juvenile Science Fiction has been overwhelmed with fantasy. I like some fantasy. I’m a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and also of the Harry Potter series. But that is for another time. Today I want to discuss my favorite active writer in the field of science fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold.
Bujold can be a bit intimidating as I categorize her writing as literature. Don’t be put off by the fact that she is a brilliant writer, she still creates eccentric characters that are full of life and adventure. They sometimes brood, but not for too many pages :o). Shards of Honor was the first of her books that I became acquainted with several years ago. What a ride! Two strong central characters from dramatically different cultures…. think 1950s Russia versus 2010 San Francisco. Despite their differences they do, reluctantly fall in love, after they fall in respect with each other. Actually, the female lead is more interesting than the male character is this story. This was followed up with Barrayar that continued the alliance of these two characters in a post-war, politically intriguing setting. I had finished reading the book a second time before I even realized that there was virtually no space travel involved.
Ms. Bujold, then developed an entirely new character; a hyperactive, physically challenged offspring of the couple: Miles Vorkosigan. Oh, the trouble he gets into in subsequent novels. It would be interesting to put young Miles in contact with Debbie’s character from the Demeter series. They’re sewn from the same cloth. Although, most of Debbie’s antics are simply her real life counterpart’s antics if she were Debbie. Confusing to understand if you’re not writing this, but accurate.
The Miles Vorkosigan novels were so delightful, that I would be waiting, and checking, to see when the next volume would be out. Then Ms. Bujold did something unthinkable; she started writing a different series. Not only was it a different series, but it was an adult fantasy series. I was heart broken until I read the first of the books, The Curse of Chalion. Oh my goodness, fantastic story, fantastic troubled characters.
There are many good, perhaps even great, science fiction writers today, but I believe the most talented active writer is Lois McMaster Bujold. May she live and write many more novels…. and hopefully, more Miles Vorkosigan stories.