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The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #5.3)

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  3,157 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
[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
Kindle Edition, 78 pages
Published (first published September 1987)
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinOld Man's War by John ScalziOn Basilisk Station by David WeberThe Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Best Military Science Fiction Books
134th out of 584 books — 661 voters
Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster BujoldThe Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster BujoldStarshine by G.S. JennsenBorders of Infinity by Lois McMaster BujoldThe Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
Female Hard SF Writers
41st out of 149 books — 30 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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 ...more
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
Jun 18, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
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 ...more
Vicky N.
Jun 06, 2016 Vicky N. rated it really liked it
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.
Maggie K
Sep 19, 2013 Maggie K rated it really liked it
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
Jan 10, 2016 Kingley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vorkosigan-saga
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)
Rosario (
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
Apr 29, 2016 Jennie rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 31, 2016 Paraphrodite rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
For a novella, this one packed a lot in. Too many deaths though. Sad.
Kat  Hooper
Nov 11, 2013 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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’ ...more
Feb 14, 2015 André rated it it was amazing
Well, this was a fun little adventure with Miles I wonder why there's half an hour left in the audiobook. Oh. Oh no. NO STOP SO MUCH DEATH EVERYTHING IS AWFUL NO WHY.

five stars.
Jun 07, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2012, space-opera, 2015
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
Feb 24, 2016 LadyCroft86 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novella starring Miles and Co. I was a little confused since I read Cetaganda before this one and thought they weren't at war with anyone, but of course things change quickly in this universe. It also took me a little while to even understand what was going on. How did Miles get to this POW camp, why didn't the Cetagandans recognize him or maybe they did? Where was the rest of the mercenaries?
Once I kind of figured out what was going on, I really got into the story of the
Michael Burnam-fink
Oct 12, 2014 Michael Burnam-fink rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2014
Borders of Infinity is nearly the perfect pocket-sized Vorkosigan story. Miles is dropped into a Cetagandan POW camp with orders to rescue one man and turn him into the nucleus of a future resistance. The target is already dead, and so Miles improvises, going from one religion fanatic to an army of 700 soldiers and unquestioned power in the hellish POW camp (24 hour light, enough food to meet Red Cross obligations, and a blank forcefield separating the camp from the outside world. No information ...more
Sep 07, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 25, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, grown-up-books
I really enjoyed this set of three novellas, interspersed between other books in the Vokorsigan saga. I read this after Ethan of Athos and before Brothers in Arms (read all three novellas at once via audiobook.) It fit well enough into the timeframe here, though I've seen some lists that suggest slightly different orders. I again really enjoyed the narrator, I think he's one of the best in the business. I of course love Miles' character and his quirky ability to view situations with a little dif ...more
Oct 12, 2014 Drsilent rated it liked it
This novella was an interesting read, falling under the "escape thriller" category with some kind of Shawshank vibe to it. Things do seem to come a little too easy to Miles but then again, that's kind of the point I suppose.

It was also published before "Cetaganda", which I read first as it is supposed to come later in chronological order. As such there appears to be some inconsistency somewhere either in the chronology or in Miles' relationship with the empire, or I missed something. Either way
Jun 13, 2014 Nashoa rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the best entry in the Vorkosigan Saga out of the eleven I've read so far.

The Borders of Infinity is Miles Vorkosigan coming into his own. Previously Miles has been a swashbuckling adventurer, bucking authority, lying and wheedling and outthinking his enemy to destruction. Some of that side of Miles is still present, but it's turned in a different direction. Instead of blowing the plots of others wide open, here he must build up others using his mind and charisma.

Miles built something out
Aug 06, 2014 Balkron rated it really liked it
Shelves: space, reviewed, phone
My Rating Scale:
1 Star - Horrible book, It was so bad I stopped reading it. I have not read the whole book and wont
2 Star - Bad book, I forced myself to finish it and do NOT recommend. I can't believe I read it once
3 Star - Average book, Was entertaining but nothing special. No plans to ever re-read
4 Star - Good Book, Was a really good book and I would recommend. I am Likely to re-read this book
5 Star - GREAT book, A great story and well written. I can't wait for the next book. I Will Re-Read th
Jun 04, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2014 Feodore rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning novella with a confusing start and suspenseful and tragic end.


Miles is in an prison that's basically an asteroid with a dome. We don't know how he was captured. The Cetas inflict all sorts of clever psychological torture on the captured soldiers while not doing anything explicitly illegal. Miles reforms the prison camp with some rather clever moves and time goes by only for us to find out, at the end, that it was all part of a rescue mission.
Oct 01, 2013 Tamara! rated it really liked it
The edition I read was a reflection on some past stories in Miles adventures and incorporated another I hadn't read yet. Having Miles hold nothing back and justify his 'expenses' while laying in a hospital meant a bit of re-reading, while getting some new material as well. Labyrinth was quite an adventure and more than a bit disturbing at times but was nice to see a 'quaddie' involved, as I was wondering when that would happen. The final story with the prison camp rescue gone awry yet again havi ...more
This is the third novella which is included in the novel of the same name. The novellas are strung together loosely with a bit of connecting story. In this one, Miles finds himself in a war time prison camp and has to ad-lib to survive. It's much better than that sentence sounds!

We listened to this book via and the narrator is very good. This series, in fact, is awesome for long road trip entertainment!

Mayank Agarwal
May 12, 2015 Mayank Agarwal rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fiction
This review is only for the story Borders of Infinity

Basically the short story is about Miles getting captured and sent to Prison camp and how he survives it, liked the setting’s and plot but it had many huge holes. Felt the story would have fitted better on a character like Quinn then Miles, also things could have fallen into place better with words then blind luck.
Liz B
Sep 20, 2015 Liz B rated it it was amazing
I think Bujold really shines in the novella format. The plot is tightly paced, but we learn enough about characters to care for them. And while we know Miles is up to something, we don't know what, and so it is a joy to watch everything fall into place. And there are elements of danger, fear, and pathos that make this more than a fun plot. So well done.
May 05, 2015 Faith rated it it was amazing
I'll admit to certain reading kinks, and "Thing-that-is-broken gets put back together" is one of them. The reconstruction of morale in a prison camp is a particular variant I've seen before: I liked it when Sanderson did it, I liked it when Huff did it, and I sure as hell like it when Bujold does it.

Oh, Miles, how do I love you? Let me count the ways...

Another excellent series entry. I did start to think that it was all going a bit to easily...and then the ending, and no, it wasn't easy at all.
Fantasy Literature
Jul 29, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
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’ ...more
Sebastian H
Dec 13, 2015 Sebastian H rated it really liked it
A Miles' novella where our protagonist plays his cards so close to his chest we, the readers, won't know what's really going on until almost the end. It also includes one of those sudden heart-wrenching moments the saga likes to throw out once in a while, especially when you least expect them...

Onwards to Arms!
May 26, 2014 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bujold and Vorkosigan fans
Recommended to June by: Erin
Shelves: sciencefiction, adult
Miles is visited by Illyan as he recuperates in the hospital to explain his mission reports.

Mountains of Mourning: Miles is sent by his father to investigate the killing of a mutie baby.

Labyrinth: Admiral Naismith is sent to pick-up Dr. Canaba from Jackson Hole and ends up rescuing Taura and Nicol also.

Admiral Naismith infiltrates an escape proof prison to rescue one man - guess how many they end up rescuing...
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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.

Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife tetralogy; her science fiction from Baen Books features the perennially bestse
More about Lois McMaster Bujold...

Other Books in the Series

Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
  • Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga, #3)
  • Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
  • Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)
  • The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)
  • Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7)
  • Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)
  • Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)

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