Lois McMaster Bujold Books In Order

Publication Order of Cordelia Naismith Books

Shards of Honor (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Barrayar (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Miles Vorkosigan Books

The Warrior's Apprentice (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ethan of Athos (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Falling Free (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brothers in Arms (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Vor Game (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mirror Dance (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cetaganda (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Memory (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Komarr (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Civil Campaign (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Diplomatic Immunity (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cryoburn (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Miles Vorkosigan Short Stories

The Mountains of Mourning (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Labyrinth (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Winterfair Gifts (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Weatherman (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Miles Vorkosigan Collections

The Borders of Infinity (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chronological Order Miles Vorkosigan Books

The official chronological/suggested reading order of all Miles Vorkosigan-related fiction is: Falling Free; Shards of Honor; Barrayar; The Warrior's Apprentice; The Mountains of Mourning; Weatherman; The Vor Game; Cetaganda; Ethan of Athos; The Borders of Infinity; Brothers in Arms; Mirror Dance; Memory; Komarr; A Civil Campaign; Winterfair Gifts; Diplomatic Immunity; Cryoburn; Captain Vorpatril's Alliance.

Publication Order of Curse Of Chalion Books

The Curse of Chalion (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Paladin of Souls (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hallowed Hunt (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Sharing Knife Books

Beguilement (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Legacy (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Passage (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Horizon (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Spirit Ring (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Dreamweaver's Dilemma: Short Stories and Essays (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Proto Zoa (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lois McMaster Bujold is one of the giants of modern science fiction. Born in Columbus, Ohio in 1949, she became a voracious reader as a child, influenced by her father, an engineering professor at Ohio State University. Robert Charles McMaster was very well known in the scientific community, editor of the most important text in the field of welding engineering. He was also an avid science fiction fan and frequently bought paperbacks and had subscriptions to several SF magazines. Lois picked them up and was very quickly hooked. She started writing in Junior High School and collaborated with a friend on a story all through high school. While still in high school, she had the opportunity to spend a summer hitchhiking through Europe with her older brother, an adventure that produced many ideas for writing.

In college at Ohio State University Lois initially studied English, but then became interested in biology. She was able to participate in a six week program in East Africa, an experience that supplied her with scenery and ecology for her first novels. After college she worked as a pharmacy technician for six years until she married. The marriage failed, ending in divorce, but she had two children, Anne and Paul. She has credited them with teaching her about birth and growth and parenthood.

She started writing seriously in 1983, while working and struggling as a single mother with two young children on a very limited income. One of her earliest works, a short story, was about a single mother who puts her children into suspended animation.

She wrote her first novel, Shards of Honor, in 1983 and it was published in 1985. The story brings together Cordelia Naismith, captain of a small Betan starship, engaged in exploring a newly discovered planet, and Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan, captain of a Brarrayan starship. The two are enemies in a war instigated by a dying emperor of Barrayar, where a feudalistic society, isolated from the galactic milieu for 500 years, has been abruptly cast back into the modern, technologically advanced culture by the discovery of a nearby wormhole. Cordelia, who comes from the advanced civilization, is marooned on the unexplored planet with Vorkosigan, a product of an archaic aristocracy. During their shared ordeal, they are drawn to each other. The novel takes them through battles and imprisonment, torture and disgrace. Aral asks her repeatedly to marry him, but she consistently refuses until she finds that she cannot go home again. She flees to Barrayar and marries Lord Vorkosigan, third in line to the throne.

Lois McMaster Bujold’s second novel, written in 1984, The Warrior’s Apprentice, introduced her quirky, dwarf-like hero, Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, the son of Cordelia and Aral. Poisoned in utero during an assassination attempt on his parents, Miles has extremely brittle bones that break with very little force. He spent his childhood in casts since he insists on trying to be the man he thinks his father wants him to be. He applies to the Barrayan military academy, but breaks both legs attempting to complete the endurance course. Feeling despondent and shamed by his physical disabilities, he leaves Barrayar and wanders, eventually acquiring a group of followers. He organizes them into the Dendarii mercenaries and takes on a new persona, that of Admiral Miles Naismith, commander of the mercenaries.

The relationship between Miles and his father, Aral Vorkosigan, derives somewhat on Bujold’s relationship with her own father, a world famous engineer and highly respected educator, a man she admired immensely. She depicts Miles trying to win his father’s respect in a society where abnormal babies are routinely killed. The aristocracy into which he was born admire strength and valor above all and Miles fails miserably at physical strength. But his character has extraordinary depth and his perseverance in the face of pain and repeated defeats, along with his hyperactive, somewhat manic depressive personality, make him one of the most unusual and likeable protagonists in science fiction.

While most of the main characters in Bujold’s novels are male, some of the most engaging and perhaps the strongest characters are female. Cordelia’s chronic battles with the patriarchal Barrayan aristocracy eflect the emergence of a feminist movement on Barrayar. Her introduction of the uterine replicator, a machine in which a fetus can be brought to term after the first few weeks in utero, promises liberation of women from the physical demands and dangers of child bearing. Lois McMaster Bujold herself has noted that she believes that women cannot be liberated except in a technologically advanced society, where machines take over much of the work, freeing both men and women for more intellectual activities.

Since the publication of her first two Vorkosigan novels, the series has been extended by more than a dozen novels, as Miles and his companions age. The stories also have grown as Bujold delves deeper into the characters of Miles and his family. The novels are also rollicking adventure tales, fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable.

She has branched out into the fantasy field with her novel, The Curse of Chalion, published in 2001. The book was nominated for the Hugo Award (her seventh nomination), and for the World Fantasy Award. It won the Mythopoeic Award as the best adult fantasy. She followed that with a sequel, Paladin of Souls, which won the Nebula Award for 2005. The Sharing Knife, Volumes 1 through 4, has also been widely acclaimed in the world of adult fantasy.

As an indication of her status as one of the best science fiction writers of our time, Lois McMaster Bujold has won four Hugo Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the field, with ten nominations, more than any other author except Robert Heinlein. She has also won two Nebula Awards, as well as a string of other prizes. She continues to write prolifically, continuing the Vorkosigan series, as well as writing in the fantasy field. None of her books have been made into movies or television series, possibly because the worlds she creates are so complex and her characters so unusual that Hollywood would have a hard time doing justice to her creations.

She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but her imagination roams freely through this universe and many others.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Lois McMaster Bujold