Lois McMaster Bujold

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Lois McMaster Bujold
Lois-mcmaster-bujold-by-kyle-cassidy.jpg
Bujold at home in 2009
BornLois Joy McMaster[1]
(1949-11-02) November 2, 1949 (age 64)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
OccupationNovelist
NationalityAmerican
Period1985–present
GenreScience fiction, fantasy
Website
dendarii.com
 
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Lois McMaster Bujold
Lois-mcmaster-bujold-by-kyle-cassidy.jpg
Bujold at home in 2009
BornLois Joy McMaster[1]
(1949-11-02) November 2, 1949 (age 64)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
OccupationNovelist
NationalityAmerican
Period1985–present
GenreScience fiction, fantasy
Website
dendarii.com

Lois McMaster Bujold (/bˈʒld/ boo-ZHOHLD; born November 2, 1949) is an American speculative fiction writer.[1] She is one of the most acclaimed writers in her field, having won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, matching Robert A. Heinlein's record. Her novella The Mountains of Mourning won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. In the fantasy genre, The Curse of Chalion won the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature and was nominated for the 2002 World Fantasy Award for best novel, and both her fourth Hugo Award and second Nebula Award were for Paladin of Souls. In 2011 she was awarded the Skylark Award.[2] In 2013 she was awarded the Forry Award.[3]

The bulk of Bujold's works are part of three separate book series: the Vorkosigan Saga, the Chalion Series, and the Sharing Knife series.

Biography[edit]

Bujold at Finncon 2012 in Tampere

Bujold is the daughter of Robert Charles McMaster[4][5] and attributes her early interest in science fiction, as well as certain aspects of the Vorkosigan Saga, to his influence. He was editor[6] of the monumental Nondestructive Testing Handbook[7] generally referred to as McMaster on Materials.

Bujold writes that her experience growing up with a world-famous father is reflected in the same experience that her characters (Miles, Fiametta) have of growing up in the shadow of a "Great Man". Having observed this tendency in both genders, she wonders why it is always called "great man's son syndrome", and never "great man's daughter's syndrome."[8] Her brother, an engineer like their father, helped provide technical details to support her writing of Falling Free.[9]

She became a member of science fiction fandom, joined the Central Ohio Science Fiction Society, and co-published StarDate, a science fiction fanzine in which a story of hers appeared under the byline Lois McMaster.

Bujold currently lives in Minnesota.[10] She is divorced and has two children.[11]

Science fiction[edit]

Lois Bujold wrote three books (Shards of Honor, The Warrior's Apprentice and Ethan of Athos) before The Warrior's Apprentice was accepted after four rejections. The Warrior's Apprentice was the first book purchased, though not the first Vorkosigan book written, nor would it be the first one to be published. On the strength of The Warrior's Apprentice, Baen Books agreed to a three-book deal to include the two bracketing novels. Thus began her career in writing in science fiction. By 2010 Baen Books claimed to have sold 2 million copies of Bujold's books.[12]

Bujold is best known for her Vorkosigan saga, a series of novels featuring Miles Vorkosigan, a physically impaired interstellar spy and mercenary admiral from the planet Barrayar, set approximately 1000 years in the future. Earlier titles are generally firmly in the space opera tradition with no shortage of battles, conspiracies, and wild twists, while in more recent volumes, Miles becomes more of a detective. In A Civil Campaign, Bujold explores yet another genre: a high-society romance with a plot that pays tribute to Regency romance novelist Georgette Heyer (as acknowledged in the dedication). It centers on a catastrophic dinner party, with misunderstandings and dialogue justifying the subtitle "A Comedy of Biology and Manners".

The author has stated that the series structure is modeled after the Horatio Hornblower books, documenting the life of a single person. In themes and echoes, they also reflect Dorothy L. Sayers' mystery character Lord Peter Wimsey. Bujold has also said that part of the challenge of writing a series is that many readers will encounter the stories in "utterly random order", so she must provide sufficient background in each of them without being excessively repetitious. Most recent printings of her Vorkosigan tales do include an appendix at the end summarizing the internal chronology of the series.

Bujold has discussed her own views on the optimum reading order for the Vorkosigan series in her blog.[13]

Fantasy[edit]

Bujold also wanted to break into the fantasy genre, but met with early setbacks. Her first foray into fantasy was The Spirit Ring. She wrote the book "on spec", shopped it around, and found low offers, sending her back to Baen Books, where Jim Baen bought it for a fair price in exchange for the promise of more Vorkosigan books. Bujold called this experience, combined with the mediocre sales and lack of critical acclaim of that book, very educational.

She would not attempt to break into the fantasy market again for almost another decade, with The Curse of Chalion. This book was also written on spec and offered up to a book auction. This time, she met with considerable critical and commercial success by tapping into a crossover market of fantasy and romance genre fans. The fantasy world of Chalion was first conceived as a result of a University of Minnesota course she was taking about Medieval Spain in her spare time.

The next fantasy world she created was the tetralogy set in the universe of The Sharing Knife borrowing inspiration for its landscapes from ones she grew up with in central Ohio. She writes that her first readers who helped proof-read it said she got it exactly right and they could recognize Ohio features in the descriptions and dialects. She states that the dialect of the "farmers" is one she grew up around.

Selected works[edit]

Vorkosigan Saga[edit]

Main article: Vorkosigan Saga

Cordelia Naismith[edit]

Miles Vorkosigan[edit]

Other[edit]

Internal chronology[edit]

Omnibus volumes
Audiobooks

Cassette tape and CD versions of Falling Free, Shards of Honor, Barrayar, The Warrior's Apprentice, The Vor Game, Cetaganda, Ethan of Athos, Borders of Infinity, and Brothers in Arms were produced by The Reader's Chair. This company is no longer in business.

Currently, unabridged audio CD editions are available (retail and library), via iPhone/iPod Touch apps using the Folium enhancedAudio player, MP3, Playaway and cassette versions through Blackstone Audio for Falling Free, Shards of Honor, Barrayar, The Warrior's Apprentice, The Vor Game, Cetaganda, Ethan of Athos, Brothers in Arms, Mirror Dance, Memory, Komarr, A Civil Campaign, Winterfair Gifts, Diplomatic Immunity, and "CryoBurn".

Most titles produced by Blackstone Audio are also available for download on Audible.com and from the websites of several public libraries via overdrive.com. The enhancedAudio app versions are available via the Apple iTunes Store and can be previewed at the BlackstoneAudioApps.com website.

Comic books

The Vorkosigan Saga has also been made into a comic book in France:

Chalion series[edit]

In the fantasy-genre Chalion universe:[24]

Sharing Knife series[edit]

The Sharing Knife is another fantasy-genre series:

Other titles[edit]

Audiobooks

Blackstone Audio produces CD editions, MP3, Playaway, and cassette versions of The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt, The Sharing Knife Vol 1: Beguilement, The Sharing Knife Vol 2: Legacy, The Sharing Knife Vol 3: Passage and The Sharing Knife Vol 4: Horizon. All of these titles are also available from Audible.com and emusic.com.

Awards[edit]

Hugo Awards

Wins

Nominations

Nebula Awards

Wins

Nominations

Locus Awards

Best Science Fiction Novel

Best Fantasy Novel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bujold, Lois McMaster". Revised February 17, 2014. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (sf-encyclopedia.com). Retrieved 2014-08-14. Entry by 'PN/NT'.
  2. ^ NESFA. "Skylark Award". NESFA. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  3. ^ Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. "Forry Award". LASFS. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  4. ^ "Robert Charles McMaster - a tribute". Dendarii.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  5. ^ cf. a Memorial Tribute in his honor
  6. ^ "Nondestructive Testing Handbook (9780318215020): Robert C. McMaster: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  7. ^ The American Society for Nondestructive Testing[dead link]
  8. ^ Bujold, Lois Mcmaster (1997). Young Miles. BAEN. p. 830. 
  9. ^ Bujold, Lois McMaster. Forward to Miles, Mutants, Microbes Omnibus edition, paragraphs 11 & 13
  10. ^ "Lois McMaster Bujold, Biolog". Dendarii.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  11. ^ "Locus Lois McMaster Bujold Biography". Dendarii.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  12. ^ Jeremy L. C. Jones. "A Conversation With Lois McMaster Bujold". Clarkesworld Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  13. ^ Lois McMaster Bujold. "The chef recommends". Myspace. Retrieved 2011-10-27. 
  14. ^ a b "1992 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  15. ^ a b c "1991 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  16. ^ "1988 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  17. ^ "1989 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  18. ^ a b "1997 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  19. ^ "1995 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  20. ^ "2000 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  21. ^ "2003 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  22. ^ "2013 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Renovation Hugo nominee announcement". Renovationsf.org. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  24. ^ "Chalion universe". Dendarii.com. 2005-05-16. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  25. ^ "2002 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  26. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  27. ^ "2006 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  28. ^ "1993 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 

Further reading[edit]

  • BFN; Strickland, Diane; Slusser, Linda S.; O'Neil, James Francis; Tyson, Edith S.; Wehmann, Claudia J.; King, Richard L. (October 1993). "Booksearch: Favorite Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy" (PDF). English Journal (National Council of Teachers of English) 82 (6): 83–85. doi:10.2307/820174. JSTOR 820174. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  • Carl, Lillian Stewart, & Helfers, John (2008). The Vorkosigan Companion: The Universe of Lois McMaster Bujold. Riverdale, NY: Baen Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-5603-9. 
  • Haehl, Anne L. (Fall 1996). "Miles Vorkosigan and the Power of Words: A Study of Lois McMaster Bujold's Unlikely Hero". Extrapolation (Kent State University Press) 37 (3): 224–233. ISSN 0014-5483. 
  • Kelso, Sylvia (Winter 1998). "Lois McMaster Bujold: Feminism and 'The Gernsback Continuum' in Recent Women's SF". Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (JFA) 10 (1 [37]): 17–29. ISSN 0897-0521. 
  • Kelso, Sylvia (2009). "Loud Achievements: Lois McMaster Bujold's Science Fiction". In Sylvia Kelso. Three Observations and a Dialogue: Round and About SF. Seattle: Acqueduct Press. ISBN 978-1-933500-28-7. OCLC 430954881. 
  • Lennard, John (2010). "Of Marriage and Mutations: Lois McMaster Bujold and the Several Lives of Miles Naismith Vorkosigan". In John Lennard. Of Sex and Faerie: Further essays on Genre Fiction. Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks. pp. 70–111. ISBN 978-1-84760-171-1. 
  • Lindow, Sandra J. (Autumn 2001). "The Influence of Family and Moral Development in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Series". Foundation: the International Review of Science Fiction (Foundation) 30 (83): 25–34. ISSN 0306-4964. 
  • Wehrmann, Jürgen (2007). "Jane Eyre in Outer Space: Victorian Motifs in Post-Feminist Science Fiction". In Margarete Rubik and Elke Mettinger-Schartmann. A Breath of Fresh Eyre: Intertextual and Intermedial Reworkings of Jane Eyre. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi. pp. 149–165. ISBN 978-90-420-2212-6. OCLC 144615405. 
  • Yung, Regina (2007). Reading Her Machine Flesh: Permutations of the Cyborg Body (M.A. thesis). University of Alberta (Canada). OCLC 261212307. 

External links[edit]