A Baen Book,
Lois McMaster Bujold, 1998,
cover art by Gary Ruddell.
Last weekend, a pair of my Infants showed up to exchange a box of books.
I feed them. They feed me.
Komarr is the 12th in Bujold's The Vorkosiagan Saga, a series which features the adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, the Lord Regent's son and sometimes spy, who has a genius for getting into - and out- of the impossible situations that sometimes occur between cultures of empire, honour, conquest and rebellion.
This is a good book - but this is not a book review.
Rather, I shall keep this book because for me it is a text book/tool-box book: for three crafty reasons.
(1) an illustration of how to develop a non-conventional and thoroughly engaging hero. Among other things, Miles, as a result of an attack on his mother when he was in vivo, is short. Very short. But there is nothing quaint or clown-like about him.
(2) a model showing how to introduce expositional/backstory material essential to the plot without boring the reader. In this case it's hard SF - with jump-points, worm holes and terraforming - but the technique applies to foundation facts in any genre.
(3) an example of how to develop a romantic sub-plot, naturally and effectively so it dove-tails beautifully and seemlessly with the main conflict at the climax.
The story also delivers psychological depth along with action. With minimal effort.
Not many stories satisfy both the reader and the writer at the same time.
My Bumper Sticker: Do you want to die now - or in my next novel?