Last year, I dipped a tentative toe into the realm of military science fiction. I read On Basilisk Station by David Weber, and Cordelia's Honour (the first Vorkosigan Saga omnibus book) by Lois McMaster Bujold.
Now, On Basilisk Station had a very good story and a pretty exciting battle at the end, but it was so full of techwank and was pretty dry. I guess that's what happens when you do Hornblower in space.
But Cordelia's Honour? Now that was a book that actually made me care about the characters, and had a certain amount of wit and humour. Often dark humour: read Barrayar, and you'll understand why 'shopping trips' can be both gruesome and funny. I was hooked, and enjoyed the later books, whereas I'm not sure that I am going to go back to David Weber's Honor Harrington series.
Why? Well, the main character of the Vorkosigan saga is a four-foot-nine brittle-boned hyperactive silver-tongued guy by the name of Miles Vorkosigan. And considering how much I love Doctor Who, consider this statement carefully: this is one of the few characters in fiction who I reckon could outmatch the Doctor in terms of wit and improvisation.
Lois McMaster Bujold is probably the best female author I have read since JK Rowling. Not only does she write extraordinarily interesting characters, but she is a master of blending humour with drama. Probably the most funny book of the series is A Civil Campaign, which is, at times, on a par with Terry Pratchett.
I recently (thanks to my birthday) completed my collection of the Vorkosigan Saga. A very excellent series that any fan of science fiction should try.
Anyone else here read any of the Vorkosigan Saga?
I've lived for over 2000 years, and not all of them were good ones. I've made many mistakes. And it's about time I did something about that.
-The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: Deep Breath