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

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  10,363 Ratings  ·  471 Reviews
Set in Bujold's Vorkosigan universe, this independent novel follows a doctor as he braces himself for his first encounter with that most alien of aliens--a female of his own species. Dr. Ethan Urquhart is chief of biology at a District Reproduction Center. He delivers babies from uterine replicators. You see, on Athos there are no women. In fact, the planet is forbidden to ...more
Audio CD, 1 page
Published March 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published December 1st 1986)
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Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
A buddy read with Choko and Maria.

A group of guys from Miles Vorkosigan universe decided it was a good idea to create a man-only planet. The technology at the moment was good enough for such project and thus Athos was born. The biggest and the most obvious problem was procreation. The locals had to get some fresh female eggs from time to time, but it was not a problem and the men lived in practically complete isolation without seeing a single woman all their lives and thinking it was the way it
Richard Derus
Apr 11, 2012 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
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 4.35 ***

A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria, because we love Science Fiction!!!

I love this author, I love this Universe, and I love this world of extremes. Every time I approach the next volume of this series, I experience this trepidation as to what weirdo society are we going to be introduced to this time. The genius of the series lays in the ability of the author to present a system of life which seems extremely outlandish, until you get to the basic premise and you see how everything must
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
Jun 16, 2012 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
Caro M.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing I missed in this Vorkosigan saga installment was Miles himself. Everything else was quite awesome - adventure, intrigue, characters. And the "science" part was pretty cool too. I like Bujold's writing a lot, it always pulls me in and keeps me till I finish the book. It's rational, not overloaded with detail and often humorous and ironic.
It's a skippable book if you want to read saga only for Miles, but in general it's a good sci-fi story, so you can leave it aside for later.
Rachel Hartman
Dec 29, 2011 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
Maria Dimitrova
Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.

At first look this book is a lot different from the rest of the Vorkosigan Saga because it misses a Vorkosigan. Neither Miles nor any of his extended family shows up in this volume. But that doesn't make it any less entertaining! And if you look closely you will see that EoA follows the general theme of the series - a modern day ideology taken to the extremes.

One of the most interesting and useful inventions in this universe is the uterine replicator. This wonde
Feb 23, 2016 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
Jamie Hansen
Surprisingly entertaining. While I missed Miles and the main characters of previous books, I liked Ethan more than I expected to and especially appreciated getting to know and see Commander Elli Quinn in action. I look forward to her character returning as I am told she will. :)
Kaje Harper
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2009 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
Executive Summary: After a slow start, I thought it finished much stronger. 3.5 stars, rounded up.

Audiobook: Grover Gardner once again does a good job. I don't think he really does voices (I find myself drawing a blank as I write this), but I enjoy listening to him. The volume and inflection is good, which for me is often the most important thing anyways. I plan to continue this series on in audio.

Full Review
This is a pretty short book. It's only about 8 hours in audio. It started a bit rough
Nov 19, 2009 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.
Vicky N.
May 29, 2016 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
It reads as a backwater boy gets thrown into intergalactic espionage, but I particularly liked the setup for a planet of nothing but men eventually becoming the galaxy's largest repository of something that would spoil your reading of the book if you learned about it before-hand.

As sci-fi as social commentary, it wasn't very deep, but it did have significance for the eighties.

Overall, the novel was intended and succeeded at being a light adventure, but I'm slightly shallow in what I want from M
Not my favourite Vorkosigan book, but very fun nonetheless. I like Elli Quinn a lot, and Ethan Urqhart is a terrific character.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly original idea of what a world without women would look like, and an entertaining read as well.
Feb 08, 2009 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
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
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.
Lisa Butterworth
Mar 25, 2011 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2016 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
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
When I was a teen, I learnt about the existence of Mount Athos: the land forbidden to women. I think this was probably while my best friend and I were reading The Three Musketeers; I famously decided my favourite character was the evil-ish Cardinal Richelieu (and if forced to choose between the Musketeers themselves would doubtlessly choose Aramis, because a promiscuous Jesuit at least seemed to know how to enjoy himself - though a choice between him, a rapist, a murderer and a drunk may not be ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 06, 2012 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
Aug 02, 2015 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
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
Aug 26, 2012 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
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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)

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“Change is a function of time and experience, and time is implacable.” 2 likes
“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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