A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga)

A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940014126243
Publisher: Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Series: Vorkosigan Saga , #13
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 86,110
File size: 984 KB

About the Author

Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction.  She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children.  She began writing with the aim of professional publication in 1982.  She wrote three novels in three years; in October of 1985, all three sold to Baen Books, launching her career. Bujold went on to write many other books for Baen, mostly featuring her popular character Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, his family, friends, and enemies.  Her books have been translated into over twenty languages.  Her fantasy from Eos includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife series. www.dendarii.com

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Civil Campaign 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Summary: While a lot of, if not most, science fiction has to do with the interplay between culture and technology, A Civil Campaign uses that interplay in service of a romance -- or, as the subtitle puts it, "a comedy of biology and manners." In this case, the manners come in the form of Barrayaran society, which is still clinging to the feudal government and rigid sex roles that it developed during the Time of Isolation. The biology comes primarily in the form of galactic uterine replicators, which, when they were first introduced to Barrayar, were primarily used by the Vor class to produce sons and heirs.However, now that this generation of sons has grown up, they're suddenly feeling the dearth of marriageable women rather sharply. Miles Vorkosigan has never lacked for partners, but the galactic women he'd previously favored all found Barrayar to be backwards and repressive. Miles thinks he has found the answer in the Vor widow Ekatarin Vorsoissin, but she comes with a host of complications: Miles was present at her abusive husband's suspicious death -- the details of which are strictly classified -- and Ekatarin herself has no desire to remarry, ever. However, fearful of losing such an intelligent, beautiful, and eligible woman to other suitors, Miles sets out to woo her in secret -- or, at least, secret from her.Miles isn't the only one that's having relationship trouble: his cousin Ivan has also never lacked for female attention, but now that he's starting to give up his playboy ways and think about settling down, he's run up against the same lack of eligible women. He's got his sights set on a older woman -- and former lover -- but when they re-connect, her recent brush with galactic technology puts a serious crimp in Ivan's plans.Finally, Miles's clone brother Mark has spent the past year of schooling and therapy on Beta Colony falling hopelessly in love with Kareen Kudelka, the youngest daughter of his parents' friends and former armsmen. Mark and Karene have returned to Barrayar with the eccentric Dr. Enrique Borgos in tow, complete with a plan to use biological agents (the truly revolting "butter bugs") to revolutionize Barrayar food production -- and make Mark rich in the process. However, being back at home has put a damper on their relationship, as their freewheeling Betan sexual experience is thrown into direct conflict with the stricter Barrayaran cultural mores.Dealing with interpersonal romantic relationships is not exactly a strong point of Ivan's, Mark's, or Miles's, especially when they're up against some deeply-rooted societal norms, but for the sake of their future happiness, they'll have to learn to think on their feet... and they'll have to do it all while preparing for Emperor Gregor's Imperial wedding.Review: Things that will surprise absolutely no one: I loved this book. I mean, really, what other reaction would you expect when you put an audiobook subtitled "a comedy of biology and manners" into the hands of a period-romance-loving scientist? And, true to its dedication ("For Jane, Charlotte, Georgette and Dorothy -- long may they rule."), A Civil Campaign absolutely reads like a Regency romance... just a Regency romance that happens to be set on another planet. The inheritance disputes and marriage proposals may be complicated by technological advances, but the story remains remarkably true to its roots, with a complicated dance of suitors and titles and courtship and heirs and country manor houses and a disastrous dinner party, not to mention one of the best love letters I've seen this side of Persuasion. This is a book that really highlights how broad the genre of sci-fi can be, and how broad of an audience to which it can appeal.The reason A Civil Campaign is so widely appealing is that while it certainly has all of the trappings of conventional sci-fi -- foreign planets, genetic engineering, uterine replicators, wormholes -- its focus is always
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This was such fun. This is the 12th book in the Vorkosigan Saga, and though I think it probably could stand alone, I think it's even more enjoyable if you read the prior books, starting at least with the omnibus work Young Miles. I think a lot of the enjoyment in the doings of familiar characters and of the political intrigues might be lost--or of lesser interest--if you haven't followed the books. The series is usually described as space opera, but definitely blends genres--often dropping a mystery into the plot. That the main focus of this book is romance is revealed by the dedication: "For Jane, Charlotte, Georgette, and Dorothy¿long may they rule." I could easily fill in the blanks: Jane Austen. Charlotte Bronte, Georgette Heyer, and Dorothy Sayers. There is a gaggle of sisters, parallel sibling romances, failed proposals, second chances, trying to become a couple without losing yourself, witty banter, comedy of manners and lords and a royal wedding. But a conventional, romance-aisle love story? Decidedly not. Although amusingly you couldn't tell from the cover. The hero of the Vorkosigan Saga you see is Miles Vorkosigan. Because of an attack on his mother while she was pregnant Miles was born with several physical defects. He's short (four foot nine inches) crouch-backed, big-headed and brittle boned and scarred from many medical procedures. It's part of his charm that he not only overcomes his disabilities but... um overachieves. He makes Captain Kirk look like a slacker. But what do we have on the cover? A handsome man taller than the blonde woman he's dancing with. (And Miles' romantic interest in this has "dark hair.") Hilariously wrong. But that's a lot of what I love in the series and novel in a nutshell. That it defies expectations. (I can't see a Heyer Regency including a Lord who has undergone a sex change.) The book even has my favorite Bujold quote: "Reputation is what other people know about you; honor is what you know about yourself." And did I mention fun? If Mirror Dance was the darkest in the series thus far, this is definitely the lightest. I guffawed at the "Butter Bug" incident--hell, the Butter Bug chapter! And I laugh out loud at a book even more rarely than I cry--and I'm not easy. In fact, this is the first time I can remember a Bujold book making me giggle madly like that. More than once at that. And that is one of the reasons why this book earned five stars. My favorite Vorkosigan book thus far.
bragan on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This volume marks the culmination of the series' trend over the last couple of installments away from outer space adventures and towards more purely character-based stories. There is no mission here, no great mystery to solve, and very little in the way of violent mayhem. Instead, there are several developing romances, with attendant setbacks and obstacles; the start of an offbeat business venture; and a lot of small-scale political intrigue.I do rather miss the covert intelligence/mercenary exploits of Miles' earlier career, but there's more than enough other good stuff here to make up for their absence. For one thing, Bujold has the rare ability to write a romance plot that actually works for me, one that genuinely engages me, rather than making me want to roll my eyes and shake my head. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it's less about over-the-top Grand Romantic Passions and more about mutual respect and genuine compatibility, the kind of romance story for which marriage is a beginning, rather than an ending.There's also a lot of terrific humor, including what surely has to be the most painfully hilarious -- or hilariously painful -- dinner party scene in the history of literature. The political intrigue is interesting, too, especially in that it deals with some of the effects of a society with a basically medieval structure abruptly finding itself in possession of biotechnology. The question of what happens to laws of succession once you introduce human cloning into the equation is only the beginning... It's a fascinating idea, and I'd love to see it explored at even greater length.
roworthing on LibraryThing 11 months ago
One of the funniest books ever!! I would so love to have been at that dinner party.Deserves more than 5 stars.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
One of my favorites. Except I've never managed to read the dinner-party scene in detail. Too mortifying. (I've skimmed it well enough to know what happens, but I can't make myself read every word.)
clong on LibraryThing 11 months ago
I didn't want to like this book. A Civil Campaign was only the second book that I read in the Vorkosigan series (the first being Memory--obviously I haven't been reading them in order), and I approached it with some trepidation given that, from the illustration and intro copy on the cover, it felt more like a harlequin romance than sci-fi. Fear not!, all you red-blooded adventure loving scifi readers who wouldn't be caught dead reading a romance, you won't get any cooties from this one. It is a deeply satisfying and hilariously funny book. At times I found myself howling with laughter, and at other times almost moved to tears. The central dinner party is truly one of the funniest scenes I have read in a long time, and the climactic council scene successfully brought the various elements of the story to a satisfying conclusion. The central characters are likable and Miles certainly demonstrates an admirable capacity to learn from his mistakes. Highly recommended.
infjsarah on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Absolutely brilliant. The dinner party is hysterical as Miles trips himself up through not keeping his mouth shut. Also Mark returns to Barrayar. I love Mark - he's so desperately vulnerable and yet sharp as a tack too.One of the best Vorkosigan books.
CaUplWL on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Something of a departure from Bujold's Vorkosigan series, in that instead of a space opera this is a comedy of manners set on Barrayar. Instead of a military problem to solve, Miles is trying to court the lady -- and recent widow -- he met in the last book (Komarr). Miles being Miles, his tactics are unique and amusing, at least to those watching. He also gets involved in the politics of the Council of Counts. I found this book vastly entertaining, in a somewhat different way than the earlier novels in this series. The pleasure in this novel is more in the nature of watching the characters interact with each other and with their culture.
librisissimo on LibraryThing 11 months ago
The intrigue and humor is up to par, but again the romance is unsatisfying, because it is too obvious. Miles ought not realize he is really, really in love until he blurts out his proposal at the dinner. The main structure of the book could, in fact, remain unchanged except for having him in obvious self-deception mode. And we should see Kat being so wonderful, not just have him tell us so.How anyone dedicating a book "For Jane, Charlotte, Georgette, and Dorothy" could get something so wrong is a terrible mystery.
FrozenFlame22 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This is easily one of my favorite Vorkosigan books to read, because it is overflowing with witty lines and colorful imagery. We get a rare treat in the Ivan, Ekaterin, and Kareen points of view, which I hope will be repeated in future books. I especially loved seeing Miles' dismal failure at courtship through other eyes than his own.
Blacksmith42 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
One of her best!I have to stress that this one should not be read without first reading Komarr first. Read them back to back and they make for a wonderful storyline. This one doesn't have much in the way of action, but it does have a great deal of intrigue. And, best of all, Miles cousin Ivan features prominently in the story. I think "that idiot" Ivan is not so dumb as others, and he, try and pretend.And hopefully, we'll see a lot more of him later. Perhaps in a book with him as the Protagonist?
lizbee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A favourite of many years standing. Genre-crossing science fiction with a dash of mystery and a twist of comedy of manners.
kellyoyo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Civil Campaign is absolutely wonderful but would only be enjoyable if you've read most of or all the books leading up to it. You need to be familiar with the background and the backstory of the characters or it'll just seem shallow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the whole series and just updated my collection to include the digital copies. Love, love, love that short, crazy man Miles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bugs are histerical
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the whole series in order, this book is the cherry on top.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In Komar, Miles met Ekaterin while working as an Auditor with her uncle. In Civil Campaign, Miles woos the widowed Ekaterin while helping in the Council of Counts and doing his part in support of Emperor Gregor's wedding. It all ends well and is well worth reading. Miles new direction as an auditor is interesting. I will enjoy new books as well as I have previous ones.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent continuation of Miles' (and Mark's) Story. Read the last chapter (not Epilogue) three times. Can't wait for the next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lois McMaster Bujold writes yet another great space opera which was impossible for me to put down. This is sci-fi, comedy, romance, and a all around page turning good read. I pray that Mrs. McMaster Bujold continues writing as I can hardly wait for the next adventure of Miles and his assorted companions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being Miles, he treats love the same way he would a campaign strategy... of course, he wasn't expecting that Gregor's wedding, Mark's love life, Ivan's sordid past, and swarms of butter bugs would complicate his life this much. It may be illegal to enjoy a book this much. I was swept from one engrossing plot point to another, torn between hysterical laughter and sympathy for Miles, Mark, Ekaterin, and Kareen. While the story revolves around Miles' attempts to woo and win Ekaterin's heart, the intricate sub-plots unfold, gripping the reader in typical Bujold style. One of Ivan's past love affairs comes back to haunt him, unexpectedly setting the whole of Vor society in uproar, and he finds the population imbalance is *really* weighted against him now :-) Actually, Ivan displays unexpected intelligence in resolving an important plot element - some real character development for the boy at last. Gregor might find him some genuinely significant work to do in future, now that he's showing unexpected depth. Poor Ivan! All the other stuff one has come to enjoy in the Vorkosigan saga: deep political plots, romance, angst, humour, drama, intelligently written science; the Koudelka sisters play a prominent role, Cordelia resolves knotty problems in Betan style, and Ma Kosti cooks up a storm. Space opera at its very best!