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Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #3)

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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,845 Ratings  ·  355 Reviews
On Athos, a world without women, Dr. Ethan Urquhart delivers babies from uterine replicators. But when the ovarian cultures start dwindling, he is sent abroad on a mission to replenish the planets stocks.
Audio CD, 7 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published December 1st 1986)
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Richard Derus
Sep 08, 2013 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: The familiar old SF "planet of women" chestnut is reversed in the planet of Athos — an all-male planet made possible by the invention of the uterine replicator. Ethan, drawn out of his beloved Athos by a quest, finds himself an alien in more mainstream human society, and cannot help but find women disturbing aliens as well, especially the ultra-competent, ultra-beautiful Elli.

Ethan of Athos is Lois McMaster Bujold's third novel. It departs from the concerns
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mark monday
Sep 25, 2013 mark monday rated it it was ok
"How do you do," Ethan began politely. "I represent the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of the Planet Athos. If I may, I'd like to tell you about the pioneering opportunities for settlement still available there--"

The sudden dead silence of his audience was interrupted by a large worker in green coveralls.

"Athos? The Planet of the Fags? You on the level?"


was Bujold on the level when she wrote this? sad to say, this book is sort of a mess. although it does have the genial tone, fast pac
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Clouds
Feb 17, 2015 Clouds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For fans of the Vorkosigan Saga, this represents an interesting break from the norm. There are a couple of books in the series focused on Miles' mother, Cordelia (Shards of Honour & Barrayar), the bulk (10+?) are focused on Miles Vorkosigan himself, (although they often feature many other POVs) - and there's one set way earlier in the universe's timeline that doesn't feature any members of the Vorkosigan family at all.

And then there's this one...

Ethan of Athos is set during Miles' Admiral
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Rachel Hartman
Dec 29, 2011 Rachel Hartman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's actually been years since I read this, but I was reminded of it today by one of Sean's status updates for Angelfall, the one where he laments that the MC and the angel are going to start romancing each other. I sympathized (though I haven't read Angelfall), and that got me wondering whether the romancing is inevitable or necessary to make a good book.

Skip ahead to the answer: it's not. Here's proof.

(Bear in mind that the following is from memory, and forgive me if I get details wrong. I thi
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Jon
Nov 24, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality Series Selection November 2009
3.5 stars

Miles is completely absent from this Vorkosigan series installment. Elli Quinn returns, with a new face and a new mission. The story is told mostly from the point-of-view of Ethan. Again, the theme swirls around genetics and reproduction, but definitely with a twist. The flip side of the female controlled genetic finesse of Cetaganda proves to be Athos, an all male planet rapidly running out of viable ovary cultures at their Rep Centers. When the batch of new ovaries is sabatoged, Athos
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Kathi
Nov 21, 2009 Kathi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaje Harper
Sep 09, 2013 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, m-m, scifi
I read this when it first came out in 1986 (and several times since). Fantasy and SF were, at the time, one of the few places you could find gay main characters who were content, unapologetic, and sometimes in the story for reasons other than being gay. This book deals with Ethan, a physician raised on a planet originally settled by some misogynistic gay men, who, in a future where babies could be selected for sex and gestated in uterine replicators, were spared the necessity of having women aro ...more
Linda Abhors the New GR Design
3.5 stars.

I started this series on a recommendation, bc I dont read much sci fi. And am amazed at how she jumps around between the books. Space opera in number one, couple is married with a son leaving his teen years book two, this is book three and its completely different. But I understand that in book 6, she goes back to the space opera.

As I was nearing the end of this, I was thinking, Well, its not that nice guys finish last...this one, from the looks of it, is lucky to have finished at all.
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Vicky N.
Jul 12, 2016 Vicky N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ethan of Athos is a non-Vorkosigan book that is severely lacking with the absence of Miles Naismith, but tried to mimic his spirit with the audacious Ellie Quinn.

So the idea behind this book is that a group of people took an uterine replicator, a contraption simulates an uterus, to create an all men planet and make them believe women are evil and that they have entrapped men from all over the universe so they must never leave the planet to not contaminate themselves with women.

I really liked A
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Jennie
Apr 23, 2016 Jennie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this one won't go down as my favorite Vorkosigan book (I missed Miles and his family too much :) ), it was certainly interesting and entertaining. I'd say I'm a solid 3.5. Only Bujold can write about a man from a planet that has based their entire religious philosophy on the divinity of the male and evilness of the female (their planet is entirely male due to scientific advancements where babies can be grown in uterine replicators) and somehow have him be likable and good. I love that abou ...more
Lisa Butterworth
Mar 25, 2011 Lisa Butterworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had utterly forgotten this book When Artemis told me I needed to read it. A world of men, uterine replicators, and parenting/nurturing being one of the most prestigous occupations a man can choose. Sounded fascinating.

Really most of the book is a fun action adventure in which the new eggs headed for Athos get ovarynaped and Ethan enters the frightening outside world (full of evil and dangerous women) (he's never seen one before) to buy ovaries from a reputable dealer, only to be dragged into
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Holly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Mar 27, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All the people
If you had told me two days ago that I would enjoy reading a book that departed from the main characters of the series and instead had a misogynist male protagonist from a misogynistic planet that follows a worldwide explicitly misogyny-based religion, and that furthermore, I would find said protagonist charming, sweet, well-intentioned and moreover, ETHICAL, I would have laughed in your face.

And I would have been wrong.

I failed to take into account Lois McMaster Bujold. Who is maybe a sorceress
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Renee M
Finished this page-turner in a day. I really enjoyed the topics introduced by Bujold's world-building. It gets my mind speculating way past the story itself and that's always most enjoyable to find in a novel. I don't know if she does anything with the future generations on Athos in the rest of the series but she's certainly given herself an interesting vein to mine.
Ash
Mar 11, 2015 Ash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space-opera, 2015
This book is a trainwreck and yet I love it so much?

The plot doesn't make sense! There's far too much nudge-nudge wink-wink nonsense going on, either in terms of 'I'm bored let's make Ethan uncomfortable' or 'another oblique reference to the main series'. All of the homophobic slurs and such feel painfully out of date on board a goddamn space station, especially since the other half of the time everyone just shrugs and continues being vaguely uninterested in other people's sexuality. Somewhere j
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Wanda
Men like writing about all-female planets, so why shouldn’t a woman write about an all-male planet, Athos? Although we don’t see too much of Athos in this novel—quite quickly it becomes apparent that Dr. Ethan Urquhart will have to leave the womb of his planet and deal with out-worlders, a scary proposition for someone who has been raised to believe that women are dangerous.

Ethan is a talented doctor, in charge of conceiving test-tube babies and establishing them in the uterine replicators that
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Punk
Mar 31, 2015 Punk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Science Fiction. Athos is a planet of religious men at the ass-end of nowhere. Contact with women is forbidden, and the men rely on uterine replicators to produce their sons, but something is wrong with the ovarian cultures their doctors have used for generations, and now someone must leave the planet to purchase new samples. The Population Council volunteers Dr. Ethan Urquhart for the job. Too bad about how he gets mistaken for a spy his first day on the space station.

Though this is part of the
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 06, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
Ethan of Athos is listed as the sixth novel in the Vorkosigan Saga, and within the context of the series is an oddity. Almost all of the other stories in the series have to do with events surrounding the Vorkosigans of the planet Barrayar and most of them center on Miles Vorkosigan, one of my literary heartthrobs. No Vorkogans appear in this book though--it's just set in the same universe--so this could possibly stand alone. (And there is a minor character here that is associated with Miles.) On ...more
Andreea Daia
3.5 stars. I feel sad to write a less-than-laudable review for anything that Ms. Bujold wrote, but this book was a little disappointing.

First of all "Ethan of Athos" is very short, a novella of barely 180 pages. Obviously the size is not a problem in itself but the cause of other issues, as for instance the flat and bidimensional characters. If someone else wrote this story I would have rated it higher, but I got to expect so much more from Ms. Bujold's actors. The other novellas from this seri
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Siria
Having read the blurb on the back cover—Dr Ethan Urquhart, a specialist in reproductive medicine from the male-only planet Athos, who has never before seen a woman, has to leave his isolationist, backwater homeworld to seek out some new ovarian samples so that the Athosian population doesn't die out—I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book. It could all have gone horribly wrong, but somehow Bujold manages to turn this book, despite its fairly thin plot, into a clever, funny romp. Parts ...more
Kris Sellgren
Jul 26, 2016 Kris Sellgren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Ethan of Athos is overwhelmingly my favorite Lois McMaster Bujold novel, and one of my all-time SF favorites as well. Ethan Urquhart is a doctor of reproductive medicine on the all-male planet of Athos. The latest shipment of ova to Athos has been sabotaged, so Ethan is sent to directly purchase ova off-world... where there are women, the source of all sin. He tangles immediately with murderous spies in pursuit of stolen genetic material, then is rescued by Elli Quinn of the Dendarii mercenaries ...more
Stevelvis
Feb 19, 2008 Stevelvis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ETHAN OF ATHOS by LOIS McMASTER BUJOLD -- A SciFi spy thriller with medical technology, intrigue, fast paced action, and humor. Highly recommended as a lot of fun.

Lois McMaster Bujold's Ethan of Athos is an action packed fun romp of a science fiction book with secret agents and political intrigue. On Athos, a completely isolated all-male planet located at the end of the galaxy, the ovarian tissue cultures used for reproduction in the labs have decayed and Doctor Ethan Urquhart the chief biologis
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Rachael L Moore
Dec 28, 2015 Rachael L Moore rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, sci
There are so many social and ethical issues danced around in this book. That, more than anything, is its failure.

I mean, there is some seriously serious stuff happening on Athos on a lot of levels. And we just sort of breeze right by it in the interest of...something that's not even all that entertaining.

This book could have said, like, anything--anything at all--about socialization, sexism, theocracies, cloning/artificial reproduction and...didn't, really.

Some of it was so egregious that it wa
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Caprice Hokstad
Aug 07, 2014 Caprice Hokstad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
NOT a Vorkosigan Saga book at all, really. Elli Quinn appears and mentions Admiral Naismith quite a bit (seemed more than natural, to me), but beyond that, it was really quite bereft of the great characters Bujold normally gives us. The "telepath" hardly does any telepathy and I generally just pitied Ethan because he's been brainwashed all his life to believe all women are monsters and only good for producing egg cultures so his all male planet can use them to produce only boys.

Spoiler:
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Jayne Fury
Nov 23, 2015 Jayne Fury rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lois McMasters is a national treasure to the SciFi community. Her Space opera swerves easily from SFR to hard Scifi to pulp from book to book in the Vorkosigan saga. Ethan of Athos brings another long term element to the universe build of her space opera.

Picture a world where there are no women, by design. Highly religious men created Athos where women are an abomination. Thanks to uterine replicators (introduced in Falling Free) they only need viable ovaries which in turn enable this society t
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Fernando Gonzalo Pellico
En esta ocasión, veremos el mundo de Bujold bajo los ojos de la mismísima Quinn. Bueno, y de un pobre athosiano, inocente y perdido en un mundo de conspiraciones que ni sabía que existían.

Bujold patea nuestros traseros de chupapolvo con una entrega interesante que nos habla más bien de Quinn. De Miles sólo aparece la versión Dendarii y nominalmente. Si bien la nueva visión resulta interesante, pues a Bujold lo que más le interesa de una novela son sus personajes y se nota, no está a la altura, a
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Becky
Oct 06, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know I've been rating these books kind of low because the first two were so amazing and I keep going, "It was great, but not as good as Cordelia's Honour and that was five stars so this gets 4" and here I am giving Ethan five stars, and that's because this was amazing. It was as good as the Cordelia books just in a different way.
Everyone I know who has read these assured me I would love this book.
Dude, they were not wrong.
I love this book.
I fucking love this book.

The other day Andre was comin
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Katherine
Ethan of Athos is another Vorkosigan Saga novel. This one is a little strange as it doesn’t feature Barrayar or Miles Vorkosigan. It starts on the planet of Athos, a colony inhabited solely by men. They view women as sinful and evil and no women are allowed on the colony. Instead they produce their sons in a medical laboratory using ovaries that have been kept in storage since the colony was founded. Ethan is a doctor in one of these reproduction centres and they are facing a crisis because thei ...more
Rebecca
This is the first book I've read in the Vorkosigan Saga that ought to be skipped.

Ethan of Athos makes one interesting contribution to the world of the Vorkosigan Saga: (view spoiler). Otherwise, the protagonist is about as far from Miles Vorkosigan as you can get: somber, stuffy, and terrified of half the population of the universe because of what's (not) between their legs. Despite his unusual origins, Ethan plays the role of the Everyman. He wants to
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Carolyn F.
Jan 06, 2013 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, sci-fi
Ethan comes from a planet of men only with women not allowed to visit or communicate or have any kind of influence on the planet. So, in a planet with men only they fall in love or not with each other. Ethan is sent for women's eggs as the eggs they have are not viable and they will no longer be able to birth sons (in mechanical wombs). Ethan's afraid of the evil influence of women but finds beyond the first scare of what they may do, they're really not a problem, at all. Which is refreshing bec ...more
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16094
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
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)
  • 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)
  • Komarr (Vorkosigan Saga, #11)

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“Ethan thought he understood how a propaganda-stuffed young soldier must feel the first time in combat, stumbling by some sudden chance over his enemy's human face. He had gloried for a red moment in his power to break her. Now he stood foolishly with the pieces in his hands. Not at all heroic.” 1 likes
“Change is a function of time and experience, and time is implacable.” 0 likes
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