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?
Four minutes? That's ages! What if I get bored? I need a television, a couple of books. Anyone for chess? Bring me knitting.
-The Eighth Doctor, defiant in the face of death, in Doctor Who: The Night of the Doctor