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General - Group Business > Miles Vorkosigan Series Discussion: reading order

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Hi everyone,

Our first Beyond Reality Series is the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. Below is some info about the books, including the reading order, the dates we'll start discussing each book, and which editions are available. I hope this will be helpful!

The reading order for the Miles Vorkosigan series would be really straightforward, except for the fact that some of the earlier books were published out of order, and there are a few short stories that fall in between the novels. However, Baen thoughtfully provides a time line in the back of the books (which, by the way, you should NOT look at unless you want huge spoilers --- the entire story for the whole series is spelled out in the back of book 1!)

Anyway, here is the list of original Miles Vorkosigan novels, according to the internal chronology. I've added the original publication date in parentheses, as well as the dates we will start discussing each of the books:

1. Shards of Honor (1986) - June 15th, 2009
2. Barrayar (1991) - July 15th, 2009
3. The Warrior's Apprentice (1986) - August 15th, 2009
4. The Vor Game (1990) - September 15th, 2009
5. Cetaganda (1995) - October 15th, 2009
6. Ethan of Athos (1986) - November 15th, 2009
7. Brothers in Arms (1989) - December 15th, 2009
8. Mirror Dance(1994) - January 15th, 2010
9. Memory (1996) - February 15th, 2010
10. Komarr (1998) - March 15th, 2010
11. A Civil Campaign (2000) - April 15th, 2010
12. Diplomatic Immunity (2002) - May 15th, 2010

However! You can find (almost) all of these novels, plus some additional goodies, in Baen's omnibus editions, so if you're planning to buy the books new, the following editions are your best bet. I've added the number of the original book according to the internal chronology in parentheses:


* Cordelia's Honor: contains (1) Shards of Honor and (2) Barrayar
* Young Miles: contains (3) The Warrior's Apprentice, short story "The Mountains of Mourning", and (4) The Vor Game
* Miles, Mystery & Mayhem: contains (5) Cetaganda, (6) Ethan of Athos, and the short story "Labyrinth"
* Miles Errant: contains short story "The Borders of Infinity", (7) Brothers in Arms, and (8) Mirror Dance
* Miles in Love: contains (10) Komarr, (11) A Civil Campaign, and the short story "Winterfair Gifts"
* Miles, Mutants and Microbes: contains Falling Free, (12) Diplomatic Immunity, and the short story "Labyrinth"

IMPORTANT NOTE for people getting the omnibus editions: The 9th book in the series, Memory, is NOT included in any of the omnibus editions. For some reason, they just skipped it. Luckily it's still in print as a single novel. Don't forget to get "Memory" if you're going with the omnibus editions - it is a vital part of the story.

My advice: if you want to buy these books, save yourself some trouble and get the omnibus editions. The first few are sold at mass market paperback prices, so you basically get 2 novels for the price of 1. I think the last 2 are only available as trade paperbacks, but at $12 or so it's still cheaper than buying 2 separate mm paperbacks. And if you do the eBook thing, Baen sells the omnibus editions for $5 each! (http://www.baen.com/author_catalog.as...)
However, if you have access to a good second-hand store, you'll have a good chance of finding the original books, because many people sold them when the omnibus editions came out. Libraries will often have the original books too. You can of course also mix and match - as long as you can get some edition of the book by the time we start discussing it!

Some more notes:

1. The novel Falling Free (included in the last omnibus) is an SF novel set in the same universe as the Vorkosigan books, but 200 years before the start of the series. I chose not to include it in the discussion because a) it doesn't have anything to do with Miles and the Vorkosigans and b) it's frankly not very good. If you're not interested in this one , you can actually skip the last omnibus and just buy "Diplomatic Immunity" separately.
2. Some of the short stories that are included in the omnibus editions are collected in Borders of Infinity (1989) ("The Mountains of Mourning", "Labyrinth" and "The Borders of Infinity"). The stories are very good, so if you don't buy the omnibus editions and see that collection separately, grab it. (Baen actually used to sell it for $1.99, which always reminded me of drug dealers: "Here ya go, the first one is free".) However, the stories aren't strictly necessary to understand the series or join the discussion. (Also, one of the stories is available for free here: http://www.baen.com/library/ - and this is probably the most essential one of the three in terms of understanding how Miles became Miles.)
3. I've added all the omnibus editions, and the novel Memory, to the old Beyond Reality Amazon store, so if you choose to buy these books through Amazon, you can find all the books in the right order at this link: http://astore.amazon.com/beyondreali0...

And that's about it! I hope you'll all join the discussion on June 15th.

Stefan


message 2: by William (new)

William (williamjm) It does seem bizarre that Memory isn't in the omnibus editions, especially since some bits of the plot in it are important for the later books in the series.

Although I was buying the omnibuses when reading the series initially, Miles Errant was the last omnibus that was out at the time, so I bought the books after that separately.


message 3: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 32 comments Oh, fantastic! I am so glad this series was picked. I've read about half of it and was meaning to get to the other half very soon anyway because I enjoyed it so much. I've got some time to get my hands on the volumes that I don't yet own.


message 4: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) Wow - thanks for doing all that work to spell it all out Stefan! I have not read any of these books, so I definitely needed the help! Appreciate all the tips as well!
Looking forward to the discussion!






message 5: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments This is a favourite series, so I'm really looking forward to the encouragement to reread them.

For any audiobook fans, almost the entire series is available on Audible.com (I think only Barrayar is missing at this point) if you're rather listen than read.


message 6: by Elena (last edited May 18, 2009 04:03AM) (new)

Elena | 19 comments Hi, I just join the group. I was browsing the groups an ran into this discussion. I have this series in my to read pile so I am jumping in!
Thanks for the chronology order, very helpful.


message 7: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane | 176 comments Awesome! I actually have the first book on my shelf and will commence shortly. Really looking forward to this. Thanks Stefan, for the reading order and all your hard work!



message 8: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
You're welcome! I actually enjoyed putting that list together - those books are just so much fun, and I'm just hoping lots of people will join me in (re-)reading them. I just ordered Miles in Love, the only omnibus edition I didn't have on my shelves yet (got those books from the library at the time, I think), so soon I'll have the full set.

I just read this excellent post by Jo Walton about different types of series, which references the Vorkosigan books. While it's true that you can read the books out of order, I think it makes sense to read them in the chronological order - which is why I put that list together.


message 9: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Stefan, I agree you can read them in any order, but personally I prefer chronological as well. I was lucky the first time I read them, as I got introduced to the series just as Barrayar came out, so I had the series laid out before me in order, ready to go.


message 10: by C12vt (new)

C12vt | 14 comments My favorite series ever! I'm really excited for the discussion.

On the same site (tor.com) referenced in message 8, Jo Walton reviews all the books in the series - and there are some interesting discussions (for anyone who can't wait 'til June).

I have several of the audiobooks, and they are fairly well read.


message 11: by Jane (new)

Jane (hippygoth66) | 101 comments Just placed my order with Amazon for the first in the series. Looking forward to reading it. I have read the author before but not her sci fi



message 12: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Excellent! I plan to start re-reading the first book in a week or two, so I can finish right before June 15th. If I recall correctly, the first two books, while not the best ones in the series, are short and fast reads.


message 13: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 338 comments I picked up a copy of "Cordelia's Honor" when I went in for the 6th Dresden Files book. I have to finish "Blood Rites", "Gilead" and "Let the Great World Spin" before I can start.


message 14: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
I just bought Miles in Love - the only omnibus I didn't have yet. I know we're not getting to those books until March of next year, but it looked so pretty on the shelf... I just couldn't let it sit there... Argh.

I am so excited about re-reading these books, it's making me make silly purchasing decisions... :/


message 15: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 82 comments I have been very ill what order are we reading? publication or chronlogical. Will the author join us again? LOL the last is just wishful on my part. I love these books they will be a welcome dose of fun in my life


message 16: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 338 comments Renee wrote: "I have been very ill what order are we reading? publication or chronlogical. Will the author join us again? LOL the last is just wishful on my part. I love these books they will be a welcome dose o..."

I think we're reading by internal chronology.

I'm sorry you've been ill. I hope you're all better now.



message 17: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3277 comments Mod
See the list at the beginning of the topic thread--that's the order.

I've never read any of these books, so I'm excited.

Rae--gentle hugs!!


message 18: by Elena (new)

Elena | 19 comments I started the book last night. I confess this is the first science fiction book I read. I decided to read it since a lot of my friends are hooked on the serie. I got to 10% (kindle edition...) and like it so far. Fast moving and easy to read.


message 19: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Excellent, Elena! I just started re-reading the first book last night. I'd forgotten how good it is!

Everyone, let's keep the more in-depth discussion until we start on June 15th, and make sure to avoid spoilers for the later books. I'll create a folder for the discussion on the 15th.




message 20: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane | 176 comments Unfortunately I'll be on vacation in Italy when the discussion gets underway, but I'll be returning soon after. I plan to read the book while sitting on the beach, enjoying the warmth and desperately trying not to get a sunburn. :-)



message 21: by Shanon (new)

Shanon (boban) HA! Did you really just say Unfortunately and Vacation in the same sentence?!? I'm super jealous of the Italy part too. Have fun on your vacation.

Thanks for posting the order of the series - I would have read it out of order if you hadn't.


message 22: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I just ordered the Young Miles omnibus (used) from an Amazon member. I was digging around for the next book, Miles, Mystery and Mayhem and was a bit disappointed that it's only available in hardcover or mass-market paperback. I really don't like mass-market paperbacks, and prefer the trade paperback size. Anyone know why it wasn't realized in that format?


message 23: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Odd, isn't it? I have no idea why. I believe there are one or two that were only released as trade paperbacks (which I found annoying because I actually prefer the smaller format).

Jon, IIRC from the Kindle/eBook thread, I think you don't mind the electronic format. You can order all of the omnibus editions for $5 each from Baen directly. Might be a good deal if you really don't like m.m. paperbacks and want something more affordable than the hardcover. The link is somewhere in the first post of this thread.

(I just finished re-reading Shards of Honor this morning - can't wait until June 15th!)


message 24: by Jon (last edited Jun 05, 2009 10:40AM) (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Good to know about ordering ebooks direct from Baen. I'll go check that out. I hate to admit it but being in my mid-40s means either reading glasses or larger print, which I can control in an ebook reader. :)




message 25: by Elena (new)

Elena | 19 comments I am getting lost with the names. Vorghalas, Vorkosigan, Vorhartung, Vorrutyer...


message 26: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Elena wrote: "I am getting lost with the names. Vorghalas, Vorkosigan, Vorhartung, Vorrutyer..."

I started ignoring the "Vor" part and it became easier to differentiate.


message 27: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3277 comments Mod
I ordered some of these books, including the first one, but they have not yet been delivered and I'm leaving tomorrow for a week-long visit to my dad & sister. Hope they will be at the post office waiting for me when I return. I'll have to read fast so I can dive into the discussion, although it sounds like the first book is a quick read.


message 28: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Stefan, would it be possible to have a couple of threads - one spoiler free and one for spoilers? I found some interesting foreshadowing to later events that can't really be discussed without spoilers.

If you want to stick to one thread that's okay, just thought I'd toss out the possibility.


message 29: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Definitely a good idea. I've actually been thinking we should do that for all book discussions, so people who are still reading the book don't get accidental spoilers.


message 30: by Ken (new)

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments I am not really sure, how much discussion can be generated if you havent finished the book yet. Everyone will never be in the same place so Spoilers will still be a hinderance.
I do agree with the concerns with Vorkosigan cause some people have read all the books and there could be some leakage from future events
One of the advantages with Goodreads is that you have to make an effort to read a thread.


message 31: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane | 176 comments Shanon wrote: "HA! Did you really just say Unfortunately and Vacation in the same sentence?!? I'm super jealous of the Italy part too. Have fun on your vacation.
-..."


Ah, yes, I did say that! I know it's hard to feel sorry for me...


message 32: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 847 comments FYI - The group's calendar shows A Civil Campaign coming after Diplomatic Immunity


message 33: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Ah, that was my mistake - fixed now. Thanks!


message 34: by Patrik (new)

Patrik | 2 comments Thanks for the recommendation. I will just order the first Omnibus today.


message 35: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Since I've never heard of these, will try the first book from Audible.com as it's easy to get. Wish the others were available in ebooks. My Nook is new and hesitate to buy from other sources in case I can't figure out how to get them to my Nook.


message 36: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments It appears that my library has audio versions of Memory and Mirror Dance, so that's good.


message 37: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments The publisher, Baen, offers ebook versions, but I'm not sure what format they come in. If it's the EPUB format, you can synch it to your device (nook) from your computer.


message 38: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Can you read it on the computer, also? I'm pretty sure the Nook reads .pdf files.


message 39: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Yes, I have two or three different ereader software packages installed on my laptop: MobiPocket, B&N's eReader and Adobe Digital Editions. Between and among those, I usually find something that will read an ebook.


message 40: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Ah, thanks.


message 41: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Baen are wonderful, selling ebooks at a reasonable price, in multiple formats, without any DRM. With all of that, I'm sure you and your computer/reader will find they have a format you can read easily.

I love Baen and wish more publishers would approach ebooks they way they do.


message 42: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 847 comments Kerry wrote: "Baen are wonderful, selling ebooks at a reasonable price, in multiple formats, without any DRM. With all of that, I'm sure you and your computer/reader will find they have a format you can read eas..."

Baen was an eager ebook supporter back in the early days and their enthusiasm hasn't appeared to wane. I've a lot of respect for the choices they have made.

Looks like the formats they offer are:
EBookWise/REB1100/Rocket
Mobi/Palm/Kindle
EPUB/Stanza Reader
Microsoft Reader
Sony Digital Reader
RTF
HTML


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