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Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #4)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,217 Ratings  ·  397 Reviews
Leo Graf was an effective engineer...Safety Regs weren't just the rule book he swore by; he'd helped write them. All that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Leo was profoundly uneasy with the corporate exploitation of his bright new students—till that exploitation turned to something much worse. He hadn't anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was n ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published June 1999 by Baen (first published 1987)
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Beau Dacious There are two ways to order the Vorkosigan Saga books: by internal chronological order or by publication order. Falling Free is a prequel to the rest…moreThere are two ways to order the Vorkosigan Saga books: by internal chronological order or by publication order. Falling Free is a prequel to the rest of the series (making it book 1), but was the fourth book published (making it book 4). (less)

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mark monday
engineer encounters hideous situation involving exploitation of a unique group of workers. engineer fights against this hideous situation.

so this is really a 2 star book, whatever, I'm giving it 3 stars because yeah I liked it, and more importantly I would never give 2 stars to a friend and at this point I kinda feel like Lois McMaster Bujold is my friend. I've been working my way back and forth through her Vorkosigan Saga and I think that not only do I believe in everything she believes in - th
Jul 12, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prvo imamo Dreamweaver's Dilemma interesantnu pričicu o opsnostima nove tehnologije prikazane kroz blago detektivsku priču. Simpatično ili u suštini ništa posebno.

Druga priča, Falling Free, je daleko interesantnija pošto se bavi grupom modifikovanih ljudi, dece zapravo, i njihovom borbom za svoju budućnost. Ima dobrih momenata, likovi su interesantni jedino što nikako nisma imao osećaj veličine date stanice kao ni da ima puno osoba na njoj (a trbalo bi da bude preko 1000). Lako se čita i drži pa
This is first in chronological order of the Vorkosigan Saga save for the short story Dreamweaver's Dilemma. I now have all the audio books lined up. I've read most of them in published order, but read them generally as they were published, which is a different order & has stretched out for many years. I've never tried them in audio format, but thought them well suited. I was right.

This deals with the origins of the Quaddies, a race that was first introduced in one of the early books about Mi
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

This book reminded me strongly of C.J. Cherryh’s book Downbelow Station. In both books a huge intergalactic company is using and abusing a population of people who are considered somehow “less than” humans. In DbS, it was an alien race, the Hisa (also known as Downers in human slang). Here in Falling Free it is the quaddies, the result of human genome manipulation, who have four arms instead of two arms & two legs, supposedly to be make them more suited to zero gravi
A few hundred years before the events of the Vorkosigan books, a galactic corporation genetically engineered the Quaddies, people perfectly suited to zero gravity engineering and construction work because of their extra pair of arms instead of legs. A human engineer comes aboard the project, and through a series of events which do not need exploring at this juncture he finds himself spearheading nothing less than a revolution in a desperate bid to get the Quaddies safely out of corporate control ...more
Feb 27, 2015 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Falling Free is one of several Hugo winners for Lois McMaster Bujold, she is practically sci-fi’s counterpart to Meryl Streep in term of awards. This book is set in her popular Vorkosigan universe but does not have any Vorkosigan in it, not even a mention. In the time setting of this book Miles Vorkosigan will not be born for another 200 years. However, this does not mean this book is like a cup of coffee without any coffee in it, it is well worth anybody’s time.

Basically this is a story of a ra
- Falling Free is the 11th Vorkosigan Saga novel I've read
- So far... I've been delighted to give 3 of those 5 stars
- Happy to give 6 of them a very solid 4 stars
- Only Shards of Honour has gotten a 3 stars from me (before now)
- Despite being a Nebula award winner, I'd say this is the weakest Bujold I've read.

That's not to say Falling Free is bad - 3 stars is defined as "liked it" and I certainly did that (I read most of it in one sitting in the tub), it's just that I know Bujold can do bet
Unfortunately for me, I've already read a number of the Miles books, so when I got around to reading this, I just wanted Miles. I was doing an injustice to the novel, although I didn't realize it at the time. So, I'm going back and reading all of the novels in chronological order to get a better and more mature grip on the series that I remember so fondly.

Firstly, I like Graf. Secondly, I like the quaddies. I saw that the quaddies were mushrooms and ripe for the picking, and half-expected a Moon
Kat  Hooper
Mar 20, 2015 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Falling Free is an early stand-alone story in Lois McMaster Bujold’s VORKOSIGAN SAGA. It takes place before the events we read about in the other books and tells the story of the Quaddies, those genetically engineered “mutants” who have four arms and no legs and who, therefore, make good workers for zero-gravity situations. They were created in secret by a corporation who is using them as free labor.

The story starts when Leo Graf, an engineer, is hired to train students on a distant planet. Leo
Oct 17, 2012 Abbey rated it really liked it
Recommended to Abbey by: Rose Mcguire
BOTTOM LINE: Written in 1988, this is, chronologically, the first in the Miles series, and is a prequel that feels very 1950s in tone and style. Taking place almost entirely on a spacestation and with a very peculiar crew, it's both traditional and, with her own twists, somewhat innovative, making this a wonderful introduction to this long and very popular series.

This prequel to the Vorkosigan saga takes place a couple of hundred years prior to Miles' birth, and introduces us to a very interesti
One thing I love about Bujold is that there is a moral rightness and/or righteousness to her work. She also writes about the workplace and politics so, so well.

Here, for example, is a gem:

"And those who can't teach, Leo finished silently, go into administration."

This book is largely about a race of genetically modified children who can exist well in zero gravity environments. Bujold attacks the kinds of thinking in individuals and corporations/beaurocracies that can cause the justification of t
Ivana Split
Jul 11, 2016 Ivana Split rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first ( and so far the only novel) by Lois McMaster that I have read. I don't know anything about Vorkosigan saga nor about this author save the fact that she got a Nebula award for this novel, which I happen to think she deserved. I’m not sure will I explore this saga or not. I mean, taken the fact how much I was impressed by this novel, sure I would love to but with so many books on my reading list, who knows? In any case, this review will focus solely on this novel and explore it ...more
Jun 25, 2016 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this more than I expected to (since it is a prequel and doesn't actually have any Vorkosigans in it). A great story with some really fun characters. It's heavy on engineering, but not overly so. It has all the wit and humor I have come to expect, and I read it quickly (though, I couldn't tell you for sure if that was because I was enjoying the story that much or if I was just hurrying to get back to Miles and Ekaterin ;) ). It is definitely unusual. It tells the story of a genetically en ...more
Mar 27, 2011 Andreas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not, technically, a Vorkosigan novel since no Vorkosigan family member is so much as lurking in the background, it is nevertheless set in the Vorkosiverse, though, about two hundred years before Miles’ birth. The story is about the origin of the quaddies, humans genetically engineered for work in free fall, whose most striking adaptation is the replacement of their legs with arms (and hands). Leo Graf is an engineer and teacher assigned to the habitat where the quaddies are being “reared”. The c ...more
May 15, 2016 Geoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of science fiction, engineers
My first foray into the Vorkosigan Saga from Lois McMaster Bujold was very enjoyable. There were moral dilemmas, engineers, genetic engineering and megalomaniac bosses. Despite it being a book with a relatively small-in-scope story, you can see the larger world peaking in from references made by the characters.

I'm reading the series in 'internal chronological' order. Mainly because Bujold herself recommends doing so. Falling Free is set many years before the rest of the series. So it will be int
Oct 18, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
On the one hand, I really enjoyed the story of how quaddies were created. On another, it's definitely one of her earlier novels. On the third, she was still a damn good writer at the beginning and was free of some of the phrases that occasionally trip one up in her later books (because you've seen them a million times by then). And on the fourth hand, I felt the "romance" element for the protagonist was shoehorned into the ending. It felt forced and awkward. I liked both characters and could see ...more
3.5 stars

Starts out a bit slow and sophomoric, but by about half-way through becomes a bit more complex and satisfying. The writing style is very straightforward and almost simplistic, and the plot is completely linear.

Still, the characters are mostly charming, the villain not quite a cardboard cliché, and the hero an Engineer, of course.

Bujold is clearly not showing off in this book, and I hope "Shards of Honour" has a bit more depth and breadth.
Aug 20, 2013 j rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four thumbs up!
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 13, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Space Opera Fans
This is marked as the first work in Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, but I don't think it's necessarily the one you want to read first. This is more a prequel to the main timeline of the series. It's known as the "Vorkosigan Saga" because it mostly focuses on the family of that name, and particularly Miles Vorkosigan--who isn't even mentioned in this standalone story set 200 years before the character that gives this series its name was born. It's also an early work of Bujold, only her fourth published ...more
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
Falling Free is part of the Vorkosigan Saga, although I can't (yet) see the connection. I've read both Shards of Honor and Barrayar, the next two books in the saga and Falling Free does not appear to relate, but that is just fine, because I liked this tale.

Leo Graf, our main protagonist, is an engineer who is sent to work at the Cay Habitat in zero gravity with a group of very intelligent yet emotionally naive Quaddies. Quaddies are genetically engineered human beings bred with a second set of a
Maybe only 3.5 stars for the book itself. Grover Gardner once again does a marvelous job with the narration -- I am so glad that the whole series has been recorded with the same narrator!

This novel, #4 in the Vorkosigan series, is really a prequel. Set ~200 years before Miles' birth, it explains the origin of the quaddies. I think that I would have liked it more if I hadn't come to it in the middle of reading the series, as I missed Miles & it suffered in comparison to "Miles in Love" which
Jul 22, 2012 Laurel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
You know that song or Frosty the Snowman? The line "there must have been some magic in that old felt hat they found..."

For me, Bujold's writing just has some kind of magical touch. If I'm going through a rough patch, her stories gather me up, take me away for a while, and remind me that the troubles really aren't so bad. Her characters are all real people to me, ones I would hopefully become friends with. They're moral, hard working, humorous, a little flawed, and deeply human. She takes us out
Apr 04, 2016 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread on April 4th. Um. That didn't take very long. It's more of a novella, and I knew how it went. It's always faster to read when you know how it's going to go.
Michael Burnam-fink
Falling Free is an engineering adventure set in the same universe as Vorkosigan books, but separated from the main events by a couple centuries. Very professional engineer Leo Graf is sent to a space habitat to teach vacuum welding to the quaddies, a genetically modified human species with arms instead of legs and a host of subtler adaptations to zero-G. When advances in artificial gravity make the quaddies a net loss instead of a gain for GalacTech, the company decides to pull the plug and disp ...more
I’ve been working my way through the Vorkosigan Saga novels and following the recommendation to read them in the internal chronological order rather than the publication order. So far that has definitely worked out well for me and that’s certainly what I would recommend to other people. There is an exception to that however, which is this book, Falling Free. This book is actually the first book in the series by the internal chronological order reckoning, because it is set about 200 years before ...more
Shea Levy
I could talk about the compelling tale of slavery, abusive psychological manipulation, struggles of conscience, bureaucracy, independence, revolution, and freedom. But really, I just can't get over the fact that the protagonist of our story is a goddamn engineer. Not a mad scientist, doing bizarre research in the hope of a breakthrough discovery. Not a brilliant inventor, coming up with a new widget that changes the shape of history. Not a hot-shot maverick, flying by the seat of his pants and g ...more
Sep 18, 2014 Sub_zero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Después de darle muchas vueltas y de consultar incontables guías sobre cómo adentrarse en el fascinante universo de Lois McMaster Bujold, por fin me decidí a empezar la saga de Miles Vorkosigan. Eso sí, unos 200 años antes de que su carismático protagonista haya ni siquiera nacido. En caída libre, finalista del Premio Hugo y ganadora del Nébula en 1988, me ha parecido una novela sencillamente fascinante. Protagonizada por los cuadrúmanos, seres de apariencia humana modificados genéticamente p
Caprice Hokstad
This was a good story, but I'm glad I didn't read it first. I think there's enough introduction to the concept of Quaddies in Labyrinth that this isn't needed to "explain" them. This story also does nothing whatsoever to introduce any of the Vorkosigan characters or even their setting. Barrayar is not mentioned, as of course, it's suffering its "Time of Isolation" in this period. The planet mentioned here, Rodeo, is never mentioned in the Miles books. Another how-did-it-get-a-name-like-that plan ...more
Hugh Mannfield
Mar 18, 2014 Hugh Mannfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book revolves around the question “What can one man do?” The usual answer is not much. I this case, Leo Graf, finds a different answer and changes the question. Upon reporting for a new job, Leo meets the Quaddies, a race of humans with two sets of arms, four hands, and no legs, genetically engineered for null gee. Leo begins to like these bright young people and becomes dismayed at their plight. The corporation GalacTech sees the Quaddies as nothing more than company property and experimen ...more
Deanna Rittinger
This was one of those books that you end up learning cool things as part of the plot. In this case about the science and engineering of welding. The main character, a welding instructor with strong ethics accepts a position with a space station to train "quaddies" how to do welding in free fall conditions. The quaddies are a genetically engineered new species with a lower set of arms instead of legs. The hitch? They are considered property and not humans. Yes, with those few sentences you now ha ...more
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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)
  • 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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“On the sixth day God saw He couldn't do it all, so He created ENGINEERS” 32 likes
“This is the most important thing I will ever say to you. The human mind is the ultimate testing device. You can take all the notes you want on the technical data, anything you forget you can look up again, but this must be engraved on your hearts in letters of fire. There is nothing, nothing, nothing, more important to me in the men and women I train than their absolute personal integrity. Whether you function as welders or inspectors, the laws of physics are implacable lie detectors. You may fool men. You will never fool metal. That’s all.” 19 likes
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