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

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  7,451 ratings  ·  294 reviews
Dr. Ethan Urquhart, an obstetrician on a planet forbidden to women, is Chief of Biology at the Severin District Reproduction Center and one of the busiest men on the planet Athos. Then a mysterious genetic crisis threatens Athos with extinction. Drafted to brave the wider universe for his cloistered fellows in quest of new ovarian tissue cultures, Ethan braces himself for ...more
CD-ROM, 1 page
Published March 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc. (first published December 1st 1986)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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
mark monday
"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
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
Rachel Hartman
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
Nov 24, 2009 Jon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Kaje Harper
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
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Butterworth
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 06, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Caprice Hokstad
Aug 07, 2014 Caprice Hokstad rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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.

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
This story is set in the Miles Vorkosigan world, but really happens completely apart from those characters save for one member of the Dendarii Mercenaries joining forces with the protagonist as part of her own investigation.

One of the key technologies of this universe is the uterine replicator, a piece of equipment that lets people make babies without a women carrying the baby to term herself. So the idea of a bunch of religious nuts deciding women are evil and settling a remote planet with a b
Ethan is a doctor specializing in reproductive medicine on a planet that's basically an overgrown "No Girls Allowed" treehouse. The men of Athos reproduce using donated eggs and uterine replicators, but after two hundred years their stock of female genetic material is starting to deteriorate. When their attempt to mail-order more ovary cultures goes badly, Ethan leaves home to make the new purchase himself. But on Kline Station, he'll face things even more frightening than women.

This one was slo
This book was written early in the Vorkosigan series and fits chronologically about the same time as Cetaganda. It does not however, feature Miles or his family. The protagonist is Dr. Ethan Urquhart, a leading reproductive expert on the planet Athos. This is an extremely important position because Athos has no women. All the men are born from a combination genetic material contributed by a male on Athos who has achieved parental status by earning it thorough community service. The female part o ...more
Serena Yates
I really loved this book. Heidi Cullinan recommended it to me in an "unofficial" side bet of the M/M Romance group "monthly pick it for me challenge" - or I might have never even picked it up.

Even though it was written in 1986, it contains quite a few new (to me - and I've read lots of sci-fi) and interesting ideas. It tells the story of an obstetrician/geneticist on the all-male planet of Athos. I liked the descriptions of a society where religious doctrine prescribes isolation from women, gay
I'm wavering between three and four stars. I think I liked this one more than a lot of you did. I like that Bujold felt confident enough in her series that she could step away from her main character entirely. I'm not sure whether this one was written earlier or whether she slotted it into the chronology of the other books. Either way, I enjoyed getting to know more about Elli Quinn. Ethan's terror about women and skewed world view made him an entertaining character to follow as well. It was fun ...more
This book is not directly in the sequence of books about Miles Vorkosigan, although set in the same universe. It is still excellently written and contains vivid and memorable characters. It is an exploration of the themes of what it means to be the "Other" and what it means to society to exclude some. The main characters are Ellie Quinn (from the Miles Vorkosigan books) a beautiful but deadly mercenary, Ethan of Athos, a homosexual doctor on a mission and Terrence Cee a telepath and runaway from ...more
Bujold is one of those authord that can become an addiction. Ethan of Athos is the third book in the Vorkosigan saga, and it's just great, with moments of humor, satire, pathos and everything in between. E. Quinn, Ethan's sidekick in the book, was a minor character in the warrior's apprentice. She suffers an unfortunate accident early in the story and remains faceless (literally)until the end of the book. It's great to see her back in action, with a whole new and attractive face guiding poor clu ...more
I picked up Ethan of Athos because it was on a list of books that involved characters breaking traditional gender roles/alternate sexuality/stuff like that. I'm really glad I did, I quite enjoyed it. As I started getting into the book, I started to suspect that I would have a problem with Ethan and his entire woman-hating religion. But instead the author handled it so well that I didn't really think on it in that way and (I think) followed her lines of thinking onto the more important topics bei ...more
I had to check the publication date for this one a few times, as I think that the subject matter is extremely progressive! A planet composed entirely of men, working hard to contribute to the economy, doing community service to earn the right to have a child, some of these issues could be ripped from the headlines today.

The book becomes an action adventure romp through a space station, in true Bujold style. But the book is always grounded by two very remarkable characters. Elli and Ethan are fla
Rachael L Moore
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.

It was kind of hard for me to ignore i
Athos is a strange all-male colony founded by misogynists. When their replication technology wears out, naive young Ethan is selected to venture out into the big, bad world to buy new genetic material. He gets inadvertently involved in a plot involving intergalactic smuggling, spies, psychics, et al.

This is technically part of Bujold's Vorkosigan adventures but can be treated as a stand-alone. Quinn is the only major character to appear, and the events here don't have any impact on Miles and the
What a pleasant surprise this book was. Bought it at a library book sale and got much more than I expected. I kind of expected anything that starred an emissary from an all-male planet to be a little heavy with the Big Ideas. What I got instead was a book that works as a fast-paced SF mystery and whose only real Big Ideas are the importance of friendship and keeping an open mind. The ending is really touching--I've never read Bujold before, but I'll definitely be looking for more on the strength ...more
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Romance Lovers fo...: Ethan of Athos, by Lois McMaster Bujold , sometimes in October 35 20 Oct 28, 2013 02:34PM  
Sci Fi Aficionados: Ethan of Athos 18 39 Sep 16, 2013 09:48AM  
Goodreads Ireland: This topic has been closed to new comments. Ethan of Athos 4 11 Jan 11, 2012 07:46PM  
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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)
  • 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)
The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1) Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7) The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2) Paladin of Souls (Chalion, #2) Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)

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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
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