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Miles Errant

Miles Errant
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Published by Baen Books, 2001
Amazon.com: paperback
Amazon.ca: paperback
Amazon.co.uk: paperback
Highly Recommended by: Greg Slade
[Miles Errant]

Book Rating
Rated 3 (Highly Recommended) by: 1 person
Rated 2 (Recommended) by: nobody
Rated 1 (Suggested) by: nobody
Rated 0 (Reviewed) by: nobody
Total Votes: 1 person
Average Rating: 3.00 (Highly Recommended)
Score: 0.30 (Reviewed)

Some time ago, I wrote to Bujold, and asked her whether Baen would ever put out a boxed set of her complete works (or at least her complete works to date.) She told me that, at that time, there were no such plans, but that Baen was planning to reprint all of her works in omnibus editions. This is the fourth omnibus collection, (the first three were Cordelia's Honor, Young Miles, and Miles, Mystery & Mayhem), and Baen is coming perilously close to catching up with Bujold's output.

This collection picks up a few years after "Labyrinth", the last story in Miles, Mystery & Mayhem. In "The Borders of Infinity", he is sent to break an officer out of a maximum security Cetagandan P.O.W. camp. When he discovers that the officer he has been sent to rescue is on death's door, he calls for a major change in plans. The story is witty and touching, pays homage to Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress, and explains some of Miles' actions in later books, especially Komarr.

Picking up the story a couple of months after "The Borders of Infinity", Brothers in Arms details Miles' adventures on Earth, where he has gone to take refuge from Cetagandan vengeance for his last adventure, only to discover that the Cetagandans are right near his hiding spot. To make things worse, he has multiple run-ins with the Cetas, Earth authorities, the forces of nature, and yet another enemy. Since this is a series, you know he's going to survive, but for a while there, he's in a pretty tight spot, stuck between a rock, a hard place, Scylla, and Charybdis. But, of course, knowing Miles, you know he's going to come out of this, saving the day, getting the girl, and without a scratch on him.

[Best Novel] A few years after Brothers in Arms, Miles learns, in Mirror Dance, that even adventures he thinks he has put safely behind him can come back and bite him when he's least expecting it. Bujold has a philosophy of plotting which boils down to thinking up the worst things she can do to her characters, and then doing them. Mirror Dance is definitely her darkest work yet, and yet for many readers, it is also her strongest. Miles begins on the road to maturity (which develops yet further in Memory, the next book in the series.) Mirror Dance won the Hugo for Best Novel.

Judging by some of the comments on some of the books vendor sites, some people have gotten to the point of blindly buying anything by Bujold, and then get disappointed when they realise that these volumes are only repackaged editions of earlier works. Personally, I have a hard time sympathising with anybody who buys a book without even bothering to read the end papers and the introduction. Besides which, I simply refuse to loan out my Bujolds, because losing one of them would be much more annoying than losing a book by a lesser author. Therefore, these repackaged editions are great for loaning to friends who have not yet discovered Bujold, and thus, gaining new "converts."

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