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[A Miles Vorkosigan Story] Miles infiltrates a prison camp at Dagoola IV, where he plots from within to free the prisoners. [Publisher's Note: The Borders of Infinity was originally published as a stand-alone novella in the anthology Free Lancers in September 1987. It was then included in the novel Borders of Infinity (October 1989). For the novel, Ms. Bujold added a short [A Miles Vorkosigan Story] Miles infiltrates a prison camp at Dagoola IV, where he plots from within to free the prisoners. [Publisher's Note: The Borders of Infinity was originally published as a stand-alone novella in the anthology Free Lancers in September 1987. It was then included in the novel Borders of Infinity (October 1989). For the novel, Ms. Bujold added a short "framing story" that tied the three novellas together by setting up each as a flashback that Miles experiences while recovering from bone-replacement surgery. Fictionwise is publishing these novellas separately, but we decided to leave in Ms. Bujold's short framing story for those who may also wish to read the other two novellas (he Mountains of Mourning and Labyrinth).] Locus Poll Award Nominee


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[A Miles Vorkosigan Story] Miles infiltrates a prison camp at Dagoola IV, where he plots from within to free the prisoners. [Publisher's Note: The Borders of Infinity was originally published as a stand-alone novella in the anthology Free Lancers in September 1987. It was then included in the novel Borders of Infinity (October 1989). For the novel, Ms. Bujold added a short [A Miles Vorkosigan Story] Miles infiltrates a prison camp at Dagoola IV, where he plots from within to free the prisoners. [Publisher's Note: The Borders of Infinity was originally published as a stand-alone novella in the anthology Free Lancers in September 1987. It was then included in the novel Borders of Infinity (October 1989). For the novel, Ms. Bujold added a short "framing story" that tied the three novellas together by setting up each as a flashback that Miles experiences while recovering from bone-replacement surgery. Fictionwise is publishing these novellas separately, but we decided to leave in Ms. Bujold's short framing story for those who may also wish to read the other two novellas (he Mountains of Mourning and Labyrinth).] Locus Poll Award Nominee

30 review for The Borders of Infinity

  1. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    I dunno, I'm just not feeling too inspired to write a review, it's like I'm forcing myself here. is it the novella's fault? I don't think so. the story is about intrepid, quick-witted Miles on a secret mission in a POW camp. it's rather a perfect prison: just a big force field dome, the prisoners can do as they like, they are given clothes & bedding & regular food rations and that's pretty much it. the folks who have built the prison trot it out as some kind of benevolent example of how to do th I dunno, I'm just not feeling too inspired to write a review, it's like I'm forcing myself here. is it the novella's fault? I don't think so. the story is about intrepid, quick-witted Miles on a secret mission in a POW camp. it's rather a perfect prison: just a big force field dome, the prisoners can do as they like, they are given clothes & bedding & regular food rations and that's pretty much it. the folks who have built the prison trot it out as some kind of benevolent example of how to do things and how to give the inmates a sort of freedom; they are using this place as a kind of publicity stunt, one designed to allay any criticism and to illustrate their ultimate benevolence. one that exists to hide its creators' true intentions. and the inmates turn on each other while their captors just watch - because it's not their fault after all, right? it's just business. I should be able to write an interesting review about this - interesting to me at least. but I think I'm just being mopey and irrational, because I couldn't help but see all these odd parallels to the nonsense that is happening on Goodreads now, the way Goodreads staff has been changing its own rules and pretending that everything that they are doing isn't actually some repulsive attempt to become a money-making machine that doesn't want to offend the authors who are giving them that money but who are also all too willing to secretly penalize the folks who actually live in this place. who have built a community in this place. was all that community-building just so much wasted effort? ugh. so Miles figures out how to solve things fairly easily - a bit too easily for me, which made for a certain lack of tension. there are a couple deaths in the end and they serve to make a very strong point. still, Miles handles things remarkably well and very little gets in his way. although Miles is a genius, so of course. I wish there were a Miles here on Goodreads, I'd put him in charge. well I guess I wrote a review after all! sorta.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Choko

    *** 4.25 *** A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria because we love us some Miles!!! Have I mentioned I hate the Catagendans? I HATE their guts! Those heartless bastards have not​ an iota of human empathy or understanding of others​' struggles or emotions. Actually, I think they consider all others beneath their notice, so why would they empathize with worthless beings??? Their disrespect for their opponents is well exhibited in the way they treat their prisoners of war. In a domed prison with no priv *** 4.25 *** A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria because we love us some Miles!!! Have I mentioned I hate the Catagendans? I HATE their guts! Those heartless bastards have not​ an iota of human empathy or understanding of others​' struggles or emotions. Actually, I think they consider all others beneath their notice, so why would they empathize with worthless beings??? Their disrespect for their opponents is well exhibited in the way they treat their prisoners of war. In a domed prison with no privacy and having complete control over their air, temperature, food, waste, clothing, sex, and hygiene... They are being treated as a social experiment, being mastered by pushing and prodding, insisting hatred, distrust, and most of all, despair. From the moment Miles is thrown in the dome, the sense of apathy and hopeless surrender overwhelm him. Then he gets his ass kicked, but that is only the beginning of his stint a Catagendan jail. Then he meets a possibly insane "prophet" who decides that Miles is his second in command, as written in the "scripture". Being the two crazies in the place they are not well liked by the rest of the prisoners. After getting his ass kicked several more times, Miles once again figures out a way to stay alive and charm his way into completing his mission! The boy is brilliant and not a little crazy brave:-) His brashness is a marvelous thing to behold, despite being terrified for his well being throughout his insane schemes. Miles might be his father's son, but he gets his genius from his mother's genetic material:-) She is quite amazing! No wonder he is into women who are somewhat like her ☺☺☺! Loved this book, love this author, love this series! You guys have to give them a chance!!! Now I wish you all Happy Reading and many more wonderful books to come!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Normally I'm the kind of person who skips all the novellas and shorts and just sticks with the main series books. In the case of the novellas associated with Vorkosigan Saga, however, they have all proved well worth reading. The Borders of Infinity is no exception. Normally I'm the kind of person who skips all the novellas and shorts and just sticks with the main series books. In the case of the novellas associated with Vorkosigan Saga, however, they have all proved well worth reading. The Borders of Infinity is no exception.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I was in the last group to board my Southwest flight last night, so I knew there wouldn't be any window seats left. I squeezed in between two women in the fifth row, one with a Nook and one with a hardcover. "Reader's row!" one of them said as I sat down, book in hand. The pilot was expecting such turbulence that the beverage service was canceled and the seatbelt light was never extinguished, but if there were any bumps I didn't notice them. I read this novella cover to cover, hitting the final I was in the last group to board my Southwest flight last night, so I knew there wouldn't be any window seats left. I squeezed in between two women in the fifth row, one with a Nook and one with a hardcover. "Reader's row!" one of them said as I sat down, book in hand. The pilot was expecting such turbulence that the beverage service was canceled and the seatbelt light was never extinguished, but if there were any bumps I didn't notice them. I read this novella cover to cover, hitting the final page just as we touched down. I had a feeling that I knew what was going on from the beginning, but as always, the getting there was an enjoyable ride.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caro the Helmet Lady

    When I started this one I immediately realized that, damn!!! - I missed Miles Vorkosigan so badly!!!! In fact I took a break from the series not because I needed it, but because I was afraid to finish it too fast as it sometimes happens with fav series or works of fav writers. Now I guess I'm back on streak, for good or bad - I don't know. I mean it can't be bad but the series might get finished... So here we had three novellas that were amazing in a way only Vorkosigan stories can be. I've actua When I started this one I immediately realized that, damn!!! - I missed Miles Vorkosigan so badly!!!! In fact I took a break from the series not because I needed it, but because I was afraid to finish it too fast as it sometimes happens with fav series or works of fav writers. Now I guess I'm back on streak, for good or bad - I don't know. I mean it can't be bad but the series might get finished... So here we had three novellas that were amazing in a way only Vorkosigan stories can be. I've actually read The Mountains of Mourning ages ago, it was my first encounter with Miles and it moved me in a way like nothing before, young (very young) me was surprised that sci-fi can have protagonists like he was and discuss subjects like infanticide. This is probably so far the only story that doesn't include the usual humour. On a re-read this wasn't so earth-shaking but still very moving. The Labyrinth was funnier. Of course only if you think that getting into aforementioned Labyrinth and meeting there your Minotaur (or something among those lines) can be funny... I assure you - it can This story was so Miles-ish. The last one, titular "Borders of infinity" was probably my least favourite out of the three - but don't get me wrong, it still was good, I just missed some more action in it. Other than that we have our dear Miles in it - naked and honest, so to say. Um, sometimes literally. Enjoyed this book very much and so glad to be back to this series and Miles.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This Vorkosigan Saga is also published in a collection of three novellas which is (redundantly) dubbed Borders of Infinity. The series is really growing on me, even though I don't typically read space opera / sci-fi. I'm becoming fixated on Miles Vorkosigan, a brilliant mind in a brittle body. He's nothing to look at, standing not five-feet tall in his boots, with a skewed spine and bones that easily break. At age 23, his face already bears the stigmata of pain. I love to see him outsmart and o This Vorkosigan Saga is also published in a collection of three novellas which is (redundantly) dubbed Borders of Infinity. The series is really growing on me, even though I don't typically read space opera / sci-fi. I'm becoming fixated on Miles Vorkosigan, a brilliant mind in a brittle body. He's nothing to look at, standing not five-feet tall in his boots, with a skewed spine and bones that easily break. At age 23, his face already bears the stigmata of pain. I love to see him outsmart and out-bluff the big baddies. I chuckle at his fascination with tall, strong-willed redheads. He's a softy with a temper, an impulsive tyrant with boundless energy and ideas. His values are sound, his friendships true, and his escapades alternatively fascinating, worrisome, and hilarious. As a Barrayaran "Vor" (the military / warrior caste), Admiral of the Dendarii Mercenaries, and a secret agent working for ImpSec (Barrayaran Imperial Security), Miles is constantly in danger. In nearly every book, he gets busted up and/or loses a friend or comrade. Bujold does death fairly well -- the grief, the loss, the guilt and sorrow. (Boo-hoo! Some die in this one, too!) This particular novella, Borders of Infinity is aptly named, given the spherical setting, and given that it feels almost profound at times. Philosophy, theology, and human psychology overlap with technology and...the inexplicable. In this book, Miles goes undercover as a Marilacan prisoner-of-war, allowing himself to be captured by the Cetagandans, who have invaded and occupied Marilaca. Miles becomes their POW in order to free one prisoner, the famous Marilacan war hero, Colonel Tremont. He is needed on the front lines -- the war isn't over. (Backstory: No love for Cetaganda, because several decades ago, the Cetagandans ferociously attacked Miles' home planet of Barrayar. Vor warriors, including his grandfather Piotr Vorkosigan, ousted them after years of grim battle.) So, on page one, Miles enters this maximum-security POW camp, far from home on a bleak planet called Dagoola IV. He quickly learns to hate his new digs. Within five minutes, his standard issue clothing, cup, and mat are gone, leaving him bruised, bleeding, and naked but for a hat (loved the hat scene, with Beatrice). There is no escaping the other inmates. No walls. No cells. It's all open space. The dome-shaped prison is actually a complete sphere, but the bottom half is underground. Like a gigantic ping-pong ball, this biosphere has it's own climate. More accurately, it has no weather, no changing seasons, no sky, no stars, no sun or wind. Nothing. Guards never enter the sphere. Ration bars appear twice a day, almost by magic. The sense of isolation is intense, but yet video monitors are recording everything the prisoners do and say. (dreadful) It holds only POWs, about 10,000 of them, male and female, officers and enlisted. The conditions are terrible, yet somehow they FULLY meet the intergalactic prison standards, keeping to the letter of the law scrupulously. (Do the Cetagandans ever get nailed for their mendacity and lose their "good prison" status?) While in prison, Miles is beaten, trampled, and nearly murdered. The troops have become lawless gangs. They've forgotten who the real enemy is -- the Cetagandans. Miles intends to remind them, but first he must gain the trust of a few ringleaders. Thankfully, one frail old soldier-prophet believes in him: Oliver glanced, oddly enough, at Suegar. "Is this guy for real?" "He thinks he's faking it," said Suegar blandly, "but he's not. He's the One, all right and tight." Dealing with Suegar, Miles decided, was like fencing in a hell of mirrors. In a fascinating and courageous display of brains over brawn, Miles wins their trust and whips the whole lot into shape. Admittedly, he rues a few foolish moves, but by the time he's been at Dagoola IV for only three weeks these apathetic, disorderly, and even thuggish POWs see themselves as soldiers again. Alert, organized, obedient. (Well, okay, some are merely "human" again. Some of the time). But a sizable contingent of them might even be eager to fight Cetaganda again -- if they could only get out of the damned dome! They warily yet hopefully trust Miles, but nobody ever dreams what a surprise he has up his sleeve, or how their daily drills for ration bars would serve another purpose. (Nor did I. Half the fun was figuring it out. Not that I succeeded.) We see several secondary characters from prior books, including his beloved Dendarii Mercenaries, which I appreciated. Plus we get to know new characters: Suegar the lonely prophet, Tris and Beatrice, warrior-leaders of the female gang, and Sergeant Oliver, the cynical commando. Also, Pitt and Pitt's lieutenant. Quibbles: 1) I felt some confusion at the beginning. Since I have been reading the series, I was okay, but it might take a while for newbies to catch on. 2) Miles puts himself in danger too much. He knows how easily his bones break, and he knows there is no medical facility in the dome. (But his bones are gradually getting replaced with super-strong plastic.) 3) When a gang tried to kill Miles and frail old Suegar, they were not punished adequately -- not at all. Sometimes, Bujold goes wonky on justice, or even simple consequences. ===================== About the series: The Vorkosigan Saga is space opera with some romantic bits here and there. As science fiction it's not outstanding (but this dome is pretty interesting). In terms of innovations, the series mainly hinges on advanced biomedical technology, including cloning and other types of genetic engineering (no longer fiction). Bujold does a nice job with characterization and plot development. Her pacing is good, too. I enjoy the series. Tip: Many names sound the same. On planet Barrayar, noble houses begin with Vor, as with Miles Vorkosigan, emperor Gregor Vorbarra, Ivan Vorpatril, etc. "Vor-" is a prefix that means "military warrior" or something similar. This naming system began about 600 years ago, after Barrayar's wormhole to Mother Earth collapsed and the Period of Isolation began, transforming (and regressing) advanced Barrayar into a feudal system of government. Barrayarans are descendants of Russian, English, French, and Greek colonists. ======= My reviews of this series (*favorites): Shards of Honor review *Barrayar review *The Warrior's Apprentice review The Vor Game review Cetaganda review The Mountains of Mourning review Labyrinth review *Borders of Infinity review Brothers in Arms review Mirror Dance review *Memory review *Miles in Love: Komarr, A Civil Campaign, Winterfair Gifts review *Komarr review Diplomatic Immunity review Captain Vorpatril's Alliance review Cryoburn review

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vicky N.

    This started as the most ambiguous of the novellas. It starts strangely with Miles been thrown into prison, but it quickly unravels into this engaging story. Sadly, unlike Labyrinth there are no genetically modified teenage werewolves, but there is an overzealous prophet and a Chosen one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    This novella started out as my least favorite of the sequence of stories mainly because it seemed so bleak and inexplicable, but by the end I was supremely happy I had stayed around. It became one of my favorites almost immediately. Little humor was involved, and the idea that Miles could be some sort of religious guru, however tongue-in-cheek, seemed off. However, all became well in the end as a reader. Miles, on the other hand, is only 12/14 well, but oh well. It's a great story and is full of This novella started out as my least favorite of the sequence of stories mainly because it seemed so bleak and inexplicable, but by the end I was supremely happy I had stayed around. It became one of my favorites almost immediately. Little humor was involved, and the idea that Miles could be some sort of religious guru, however tongue-in-cheek, seemed off. However, all became well in the end as a reader. Miles, on the other hand, is only 12/14 well, but oh well. It's a great story and is full of heavier consequences than he normally experiences.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Punk

    I have complicated feelings about Miles and his disability because he's disabled, but he's also privileged. He could choose not to do things that might lead to injury, like running an obstacle course or getting into a physical altercation, but Miles does choose those things. Miles will always choose those things, and it's a source of frustration with me because of course it's only going to end badly, of course he's only going to break himself in the trying. Why can't he just take it easy?? But I I have complicated feelings about Miles and his disability because he's disabled, but he's also privileged. He could choose not to do things that might lead to injury, like running an obstacle course or getting into a physical altercation, but Miles does choose those things. Miles will always choose those things, and it's a source of frustration with me because of course it's only going to end badly, of course he's only going to break himself in the trying. Why can't he just take it easy?? But I think I finally understand him after reading this novella. He hates the pain his disability causes him. He says you never get used to pain, that pain only makes you afraid of being in more pain—something I relate to deeply—but Miles has never lived like a man afraid of pain, and it's here we learn that's the Vor in him. Being Vor, Miles says, means never mustering out. The only way to survive is to win. And here we see that Vor part of him struggling against the part of him that hates pain, and I get it now. I've been reading this series in internal chronological order, but this was published in 1989, near the beginning of the series, and I wish I had read it earlier because it's greatly informed my understanding of Miles's character. He's still an awful horndog, and still acts and thinks inappropriately around women, and continues to do so here in prison, so we have lots of room for improvement, but I now appreciate him more as a disabled character. Also there's nothing I love so much as a character pulled in two directions, caught between socialized expectations and their own desires. See also: Hamlet. As for this story, Miles is working the system again and gets himself thrown into a prisoner of war camp for reasons. The politics were opaque to me because the last time I saw the Cetagandans we were floating around in bubbles looking at...fair exhibits??—which, in publishing order, happens after this story—not mass incarcerating enemy soldiers, but my lack of understanding doesn't affect the premise of the story which is basically prison is terrible and war is hell. Miles is his usual self, bullshitting his way to a position of power, and he meets several people who see straight through him near immediately, which I found to be very satisfying, especially since each of them saw through him in a different way. This is now my second favorite Vorkosigan novella, with "Mountains of Mourning" being the first. Not only is it integral to my understanding of Miles, it's also a well-paced, clever story about political systems, human rights, and what it means to be a prisoner and what it means to be free, and how you can be both at the same time. Contains: incarceration, forced public nudity, violence, starvation, non-explicit references to rape, misogynist language, ableist language.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    I’ve gotten a little behind in my Vorkosigan Saga challenge but it wasn’t difficult to finish this edition as it’s a quite short novella. Never fear though as LMB always manages to fit lots into her novellas, meaning there’s no lack of plot, action or humour. And, actually, there’s even some ‘forward momentum’ of Miles’s characterisation, I thought. The whole story is set up as a report from Miles to Barrayaran Intelligence, so LMB begins the story with Miles entering a high tech POW camp with un I’ve gotten a little behind in my Vorkosigan Saga challenge but it wasn’t difficult to finish this edition as it’s a quite short novella. Never fear though as LMB always manages to fit lots into her novellas, meaning there’s no lack of plot, action or humour. And, actually, there’s even some ‘forward momentum’ of Miles’s characterisation, I thought. The whole story is set up as a report from Miles to Barrayaran Intelligence, so LMB begins the story with Miles entering a high tech POW camp with unfortunately no real explanation to the reader. (We do find out the vague details towards the end though. And I guess LMB never thought it was really relevant to the fun or the moral of the story.) After his initial less-than-friendly welcome to the camp, Miles gains further information about how the camp is run and soon realises that although the Cetagandans (who run the camp) are not breaking any POW camp rules technically, they’re still physically and psychologically abusing the prisoners. To counter the latter especially Miles comes up with, as usual, a plan to get the prisoners working together and focused on fighting their captors instead of each other. Obviously with this subject matter, there’s lots of reflection a reader can do about the chances of rehabilitation vs escalation of violence for those incarcerated and what is a basic human right. As is usual with LMB, she still manages to keep the book funny, mostly from the fact that poor ol’ Miles spends most of the book without clothes on. I think I would have given the book a lesser rating, as I admit I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the other Miles novellas I’ve read, but for the ending and the poignant moment included in the ‘framing’ of the story. This scene, featuring my beloved Cordelia, added another half start at least. 4 out of 5

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maria Dimitrova

    Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny. I absolutely love this story. Even though it leaves me a bit depressed and more than a little heartbroken. I just can't get over (view spoiler)[Beatrice's death (hide spoiler)] <--spoiler for the very end of the story so do not open before finishing it. Why I love it when it leaves me feeling like this, you might ask? Because it's a testament to the power of the Idea. A man with a vision is worth a thousand men and Miles proves it spectacularly here. He is locked Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny. I absolutely love this story. Even though it leaves me a bit depressed and more than a little heartbroken. I just can't get over (view spoiler)[Beatrice's death (hide spoiler)] <--spoiler for the very end of the story so do not open before finishing it. Why I love it when it leaves me feeling like this, you might ask? Because it's a testament to the power of the Idea. A man with a vision is worth a thousand men and Miles proves it spectacularly here. He is locked in a POW camp where things have deteriorated to the point that "purgatory" is the only appropriate word for the place. The Cetagandans are masters at the veiled cruelty. They've constructed a prison in which ever single one of the lines in galactic law for how to treat POW is being implemented. And yet they've managed to find a way to slip past the cracks of those laws and torture their prisoners without ever laying a finger on them by letting the prisoners do the dirty work for them. Miles works his miracle again when he helps these people dig themselves out of the abyss they've dug for themselves. He has that quality that makes for great leaders - the ability to infect the mind with an idea. It's a bit scary because so many like him have abused that power in RL. Miles victory is a triumph of the mind over the matter and it's only at the end of the story where the full brilliance of his mind is revealed. And if you read this as part of the novel Borders of Infinity you'll see just how strong his convictions are and that despite all the lies and subterfuge his moral compass shows true North.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Hansen

    Another extremely compelling and enjoyable novella. Surprisingly sad in the end, and the cause of it felt a bit unnecessary to me, but maybe that's because it was so sudden and I'm guessing that was probably part of the author's point....and perhaps that's somewhat inherent in literary tragedy (at some fundamental level, it IS unnecessary; the author didn't HAVE to write it, but CHOSE to for some reason(s)). I am prone to get quite attached to characters and want them to be immune from hardships Another extremely compelling and enjoyable novella. Surprisingly sad in the end, and the cause of it felt a bit unnecessary to me, but maybe that's because it was so sudden and I'm guessing that was probably part of the author's point....and perhaps that's somewhat inherent in literary tragedy (at some fundamental level, it IS unnecessary; the author didn't HAVE to write it, but CHOSE to for some reason(s)). I am prone to get quite attached to characters and want them to be immune from hardships as I would my dearest friends and loved ones, but that's not life! (Grr...dang Lois McMaster Bujold's talent for capturing reality/humanity so completely!) I'm debating whether I should hide all that as a "spoiler," but I haven't given any names, so I'll go ahead and leave be. There were several lines in this one that made me wish I was reading rather than listening, so I could have marked them. Some profound statements and commentary on interpersonal dynamics and human behavior (power, conflict, struggle, the common good...). Miles continues to dazzle. :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maggie K

    Miles has a way of taking advantage of every opportunity presented him, always making for a great ride. In this installment, he breaks out some POWs, but of course the real story as always is seeing the lessons he learns this time around. My favorite insight-His crush on fellow prisoner Beatriz comes to a very humasn end, as he watches his mother stride into his hospital room and realizes there is probably a psychological reason he always crushes on leggy redheads. Its moments like these that give Miles has a way of taking advantage of every opportunity presented him, always making for a great ride. In this installment, he breaks out some POWs, but of course the real story as always is seeing the lessons he learns this time around. My favorite insight-His crush on fellow prisoner Beatriz comes to a very humasn end, as he watches his mother stride into his hospital room and realizes there is probably a psychological reason he always crushes on leggy redheads. Its moments like these that give this series its depth, and make me love it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I’ve been feeling a little bummed out lately. The beginning of this novella is quite bleak and sad so I struggled with it and sat on it, even though I have read it before and quite liked it. The second half of the novella is more exciting, although no less tragic really. Still, it is worth reading. Three and a half stars rounded up to four.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kingley

    Miles the always enigmatic, smart, devious and cunning little mastermind does it again. Another great story from the Vorkosigan Saga. Tyrion Lannister ain't got shit on Miles Vorkosigan (Admiral Naismith) Miles the always enigmatic, smart, devious and cunning little mastermind does it again. Another great story from the Vorkosigan Saga. Tyrion Lannister ain't got shit on Miles Vorkosigan (Admiral Naismith)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rosario (http://rosario.blogspot.com/)

    This is the 3rd story in the anthology of the same title. As I mentioned in my recent review of Labrynth, the first story is set much earlier in the series, so I read it a while ago. This one comes right after Labrynth. It starts right in the middle of things, with Miles being dropped into a Cetagandan POW camp. It's a fiendishly ingenious camp, one which complies with the letter of galactic rules for how POWs must be held, but definitely not with the spirit. Prisoners are simply dumped into a f This is the 3rd story in the anthology of the same title. As I mentioned in my recent review of Labrynth, the first story is set much earlier in the series, so I read it a while ago. This one comes right after Labrynth. It starts right in the middle of things, with Miles being dropped into a Cetagandan POW camp. It's a fiendishly ingenious camp, one which complies with the letter of galactic rules for how POWs must be held, but definitely not with the spirit. Prisoners are simply dumped into a force-field dome and left. The exact amount of food required by the rules is sent in all in one lump, with no distribution. The result of this has been chaos and the victimisation of the weak by the strong. And into this chaos goes Miles, naked and on his own, and creates a functioning, functional society. It's a really clever story. Miles obviously knows what's going on and what he's there to do, but we readers don't. Bujold manages to give us his point of view in a way that makes sense taken at face value, but which I'm sure will reward a second reading with a further layer, once readers find out what was really going on. It's a hell of an "a-ha!" moment. The only thing I wasn't crazy about is really an incremental issue. Miles seems to be taking a page out of the James Bond rulebook and having a different love interest in each book or story. I don't have a problem with each of those romantic threads in isolation, but the fact that there's one in each story, and that they're all with different women, bothers me. It's not the women themselves. They've all been quite fabulous characters, and I have no issue with their portrayal, or even with the way Miles has treated them. It's just a distaste for the device, I guess. MY GRADE: An A-.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    Yes, another one in the Vorkosigan saga. I can't stop reading them. I love Miles. Oh, how I love Miles. This novella shows Miles at his indomitable best and it's got some stand up and cheer moments. Bujold is really, really good at the novella-length work, I'm coming to understand. She tightens up her plots a little and really delivers a lot of emotional wallop. This story of how Miles comes naked and friendless to a prison camp and what happens next was too exciting and involving while I was re Yes, another one in the Vorkosigan saga. I can't stop reading them. I love Miles. Oh, how I love Miles. This novella shows Miles at his indomitable best and it's got some stand up and cheer moments. Bujold is really, really good at the novella-length work, I'm coming to understand. She tightens up her plots a little and really delivers a lot of emotional wallop. This story of how Miles comes naked and friendless to a prison camp and what happens next was too exciting and involving while I was reading it for me to notice the subtleties going on just below the surface. But once it was over, it started to echo and reverberate. Well done indeed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    Bujold is exceptionally talented when it comes to the short format of the novella. Loved this story. Yet another building block for Miles. Poor Miles has had to endure so much loss already! Fast paced, engaging, and so, so sad. This one is a Hunger Games/Maze Runner type story well ahead of the dystopia craze and much more well-crafted. So good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    The Borders of Infinity has a different structure than the earlier VORKOSIGAN books. It’s actually three previously published novellas with a frame story. Simon Illyan, head of Imperial Security, is visiting Miles while he’s recuperating in the hospital after a surgery for bone replacements. Knowing that the government will start asking questions, Simon needs Miles to justify three large vague items in his expense reports. When Miles protests, Simon explains that because he’s the prime minister’ The Borders of Infinity has a different structure than the earlier VORKOSIGAN books. It’s actually three previously published novellas with a frame story. Simon Illyan, head of Imperial Security, is visiting Miles while he’s recuperating in the hospital after a surgery for bone replacements. Knowing that the government will start asking questions, Simon needs Miles to justify three large vague items in his expense reports. When Miles protests, Simon explains that because he’s the prime minister’s son, Miles must avoid even the appearance of shady accounting practices. And so Miles explains each item and thus we get the stories in the novellas “The Mountains of Morning,” originally published in Analog in May 1989, “Labyrinth,” (Analog, August 1989) and “The ... Read More http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    The Borders of Infinity has a different structure than the earlier VORKOSIGAN books. It’s actually three previously published novellas with a frame story. Simon Illyan, head of Imperial Security, is visiting Miles while he’s recuperating in the hospital after a surgery for bone replacements. Knowing that the government will start asking questions, Simon needs Miles to justify three large vague items in his expense reports. When Miles protests, Simon explains that because he’s the prime minister’ The Borders of Infinity has a different structure than the earlier VORKOSIGAN books. It’s actually three previously published novellas with a frame story. Simon Illyan, head of Imperial Security, is visiting Miles while he’s recuperating in the hospital after a surgery for bone replacements. Knowing that the government will start asking questions, Simon needs Miles to justify three large vague items in his expense reports. When Miles protests, Simon explains that because he’s the prime minister’s son, Miles must avoid even the appearance of shady accounting practices. And so Miles explains each item and thus we get the stories in the novellas “The Mountains of Morning,” originally published in Analog in May 1989, “Labyrinth,” (Analog, August 1989) and “The ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Again, Bujold is shown to be a master of her craft here. She seems to excel at writing novellas, and this one is just brilliantly tightly plotted, funny, moving, and shows Miles to be a brilliant tactician who is also incredibly human and utterly humane. Miles is thrown into a prison dome by the Cetagandans to join other prisoners of war who have sunk into despair (and some into depravity) in sparse, barely legal conditions. It is only towards the end of the story that you actually get the full p Again, Bujold is shown to be a master of her craft here. She seems to excel at writing novellas, and this one is just brilliantly tightly plotted, funny, moving, and shows Miles to be a brilliant tactician who is also incredibly human and utterly humane. Miles is thrown into a prison dome by the Cetagandans to join other prisoners of war who have sunk into despair (and some into depravity) in sparse, barely legal conditions. It is only towards the end of the story that you actually get the full picture of why he is there.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paraphrodite

    For a novella, this one packed a lot in. Too many deaths though. Sad.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    NMG but I enjoyed this foray into another genre. Narrated by Grover Gardner ... one of my favorite narrators.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tsana Dolichva

    The Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold is a novella about Miles Vorkosigan and chronologically comes after Labyrinth, another novella. I first read it about five years ago and have now reread it as part of the ongoing Vorkosigan Saga reread you might have noticed if you're a regular reader of this blog. This was one of the more memorable novellas in the Vorkosigan Saga, I thought. My memories of it turned out to not be entirely reliable — it's not set on an ice moon prison, just a normal The Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold is a novella about Miles Vorkosigan and chronologically comes after Labyrinth, another novella. I first read it about five years ago and have now reread it as part of the ongoing Vorkosigan Saga reread you might have noticed if you're a regular reader of this blog. This was one of the more memorable novellas in the Vorkosigan Saga, I thought. My memories of it turned out to not be entirely reliable — it's not set on an ice moon prison, just a normal crappy but almost habitable planet. What I remembered liking most about the story was Miles being clever, but of course I couldn't remember his actual plan when I was rereading. In any case, Miles being clever is hardly something new for readers familiar with the character. The most notable aspect of this story is that it is not really funny like most of the Vorkosigan stories are. Miles is in a crappy PoW camp, surrounded by death and brutality, and outside of the camp watching Cetagandans have total control over their lives. Even Miles can't remain indefinitely upbeat in such a situation, even when he has faith that rescue is coming. Bujold uses the opportunity to show us another side of war, which has at most only been hinted at in previous books. We saw wartime prisoners of the Barrayarans in Shards of Honour, but what we saw there wasn't nearly as bleak as the situation in The Borders of Infinity (which is not to say it couldn't have been as bad in a Barrayaran rather than Cetagandan PoW camp, just that Cordelia and Aral didn't allow it to be so). Overall, this is a solid instalment in the Vorkosigan Saga and one that works pretty well as a standalone story. You don't have to know anything much about Miles's past to make sense of this present and there are only a few oblique references to external events, the missing of which wouldn't diminish the story, in my opinion. I recommend it to fans of Bujold and the other Vorkosigan stories and suggest that it is a reasonable sample of the same with the caveat that they are usually a bit more cheerful (albeit sometimes darkly so). 4 / 5 stars You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Antti Värtö

    This novella begins in medias res : Miles is thrown in Cetagandan POW camp. How did he get there? Why is he there? What war is this, anyway? What's Miles' plan? The reader will find answers to these questions bit by bit. I liked the novels, but there were pretty many things that didn't really make sense. (view spoiler)[The way the camp had fallen into anarchy was a bit unbelievable: why are they fighting over the rat bars, if there are so many of them? And if the situation is so bad, it's pretty This novella begins in medias res : Miles is thrown in Cetagandan POW camp. How did he get there? Why is he there? What war is this, anyway? What's Miles' plan? The reader will find answers to these questions bit by bit. I liked the novels, but there were pretty many things that didn't really make sense. (view spoiler)[The way the camp had fallen into anarchy was a bit unbelievable: why are they fighting over the rat bars, if there are so many of them? And if the situation is so bad, it's pretty unbelievable that Miles is able to solve the whole problem so fast he does. (hide spoiler)] But that aside, this was good entertainment, reminiscent of The Warrior's Apprentice. Once again Miles is lifting himself up from his own bootstaps, building momentum and bedazzling everyone with his quick wits and quicker tongue.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    A really interesting look at how a state can be keeping to the letter of the international conventions on treatment of prisoners and still be torturing and dehumanising every one of their prisoners. I like how this flirted with Miles's madness as he had to carry out his plan completely isolated. Also how the book addressed the cost of Miles being Miles - too many other people get killed - too many of his friends. The book was too short and peremptory though in looking at all these things, nothing A really interesting look at how a state can be keeping to the letter of the international conventions on treatment of prisoners and still be torturing and dehumanising every one of their prisoners. I like how this flirted with Miles's madness as he had to carry out his plan completely isolated. Also how the book addressed the cost of Miles being Miles - too many other people get killed - too many of his friends. The book was too short and peremptory though in looking at all these things, nothing was developed as fully as it could have been and yet, now that I look back on it, the punch is still there, so maybe Bujold's famous brevity is still doing its job.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Margot

    The Borders of Infinity is one of my favorite Miles stories. To say much about it is probably to give away too much. I'll just say that the beginning of this novella finds Miles newly interred in a Cetagandan POW camp, where thousands of soldiers live inside a dome that never goes dark, eating two ration bars a day, where peace among the prisoners is tentative at best, and hope is nearly a four letter word. I love Bujold's mastery of information-flow, in this story. How she slowly reveals more a The Borders of Infinity is one of my favorite Miles stories. To say much about it is probably to give away too much. I'll just say that the beginning of this novella finds Miles newly interred in a Cetagandan POW camp, where thousands of soldiers live inside a dome that never goes dark, eating two ration bars a day, where peace among the prisoners is tentative at best, and hope is nearly a four letter word. I love Bujold's mastery of information-flow, in this story. How she slowly reveals more and more about the situation. How everything falls neatly into place, in the end. Gripping, amusing, so so smart.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Slater

    The Borders of Infinity is another Miles Vorkosigan novella (like The Mountains of Mourning and Labyrinth), rather than a full-length novel. In this one, Miles goes undercover in a Cetagandan prisoner-of-war camp. When he arrives, life in the camp is nasty and brutish in the extreme, despite the Cetagandans' technical compliance with interstellar codes on the treatment of prisoners. Miles being Miles, he sets about restoring order armed with nothing but the force of his personality (literally no The Borders of Infinity is another Miles Vorkosigan novella (like The Mountains of Mourning and Labyrinth), rather than a full-length novel. In this one, Miles goes undercover in a Cetagandan prisoner-of-war camp. When he arrives, life in the camp is nasty and brutish in the extreme, despite the Cetagandans' technical compliance with interstellar codes on the treatment of prisoners. Miles being Miles, he sets about restoring order armed with nothing but the force of his personality (literally nothing, as his clothes were stolen as soon as he entered the camp). I particularly love Miles when he's out-thinking everyone in sight, so I very much enjoyed this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is one of my favorite of the Miles stories and one you have to read several times to get a full sense of the magic, especially because Miles is communicating his secret plans without outright saying what they are. The readers gets the same clues that the rest of his Dendarii get--and that's not much. You also get a sense of how close to the edge Miles is all the time and how deeply he feels for the people in his charge. This is one of my favorite of the Miles stories and one you have to read several times to get a full sense of the magic, especially because Miles is communicating his secret plans without outright saying what they are. The readers gets the same clues that the rest of his Dendarii get--and that's not much. You also get a sense of how close to the edge Miles is all the time and how deeply he feels for the people in his charge.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Teleseparatist

    I can't help feeling the story would have been stronger without the comparisons to concentration camps. It was certainly slightly more emotionally resonating than the previous novella, but still, I'm looking forward to finally returning to the main plotline. I can't help feeling the story would have been stronger without the comparisons to concentration camps. It was certainly slightly more emotionally resonating than the previous novella, but still, I'm looking forward to finally returning to the main plotline.

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