Tag Archives: space opera

Brothers in arms

Brothers in arms / Lois McMaster Bujold

That ain’t no clone, that’s my brother

I’ve been having trouble deciding what I want to post about next so I’m just gonna go back to the Vorkosigan series.

Brothers in arms is set more or less directly after the novella Borders of infinity (as opposed to the book of the same title), and is the first in a series of five novels that are fairly closely linked. Borders of infinity is itself the catalyst for this “set”, but it’s not strictly necessary to have read the novella for the rest of this to make sense.

Brief plot summary

After [events of Borders of infinity], the Dendarii Free Mercenaries are forced to stop on Earth for repairs. Problems arise when Miles, technically part of the Barrayaran military hierarchy, is assigned to a desk job while his nominal commanding officer waits for approval to release the funds to cover the repairs to the Dendarii fleet.

Separated from his troops, Miles is forced to conspire with his cousin Ivan to make contact with the Dendarii to prevent mass desertion, mutiny, bankruptcy, and/or the repossession of the fleet by their creditors. All the while, Miles is forced to attempt to reinforce the crumbling wall between his two identities.

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Blackcollar

Blackcollar / Timothy Zahn. Originally published 1983.

In which I am severely disappointed.

Blackcollar is a the first novel in a series by Timothy Zahn, an author best known for his massively successful Star Wars EU novels. Blackcollar is, as far as I can tell, Timothy Zahn’s first published novel. If you’re the type who’s inclined to start reading from an author’s first book, I abjure you: don’t do that here, you’ll end up with a totally twisted sense of Zahn’s writing. I came to it having read a decent percentage of his more recent books, grabbing it on Kindle when it was on sale, and was not a fan of what I found.

Brief plot summary

The Earth has lost its war against the alien Ryqril,* but an underground resistance movement still thrives. Allen Caine is tasked with finding the elite blackcollars, guerrilla heroes of the war now in retirement and under close observation by the Ryqril and their human collaborators.

*Don’t ask me how to pronounce it. It’s a space opera from the 80s, which means that all alien names are contractually obligated to be a random mish-mash of letters.

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