For more than three decades, Lois McMaster Bujold has been thrilling science fiction fans with the Vorkosigan Saga. She has won multiple awards in the process. The space opera series now comprises seventeen novels, four novellas, and two short stories. The evolving tale of Lord Miles Vorkosigan now surely vies for the most popular space opera of all time, and no wonder. Bujold is a brilliant writer whose imagination is fully matched by her capacity for understanding the ways and wiles of human beings. These are not knockoffs of film or television productions. They’re highly original creations in their own right.
Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga 7.2) by Lois McMaster Bujold (1987) 73 pages @@@@ (4 out of 5)
The novella, Borders of Infinity, follows Miles at age twenty-four. (The story lies between the novels Ethan of Athos and Brothers in Arms, which are numbers 7 and 8 in the evolving space opera series.) Miles is on assignment undercover for Simon Illyan, Barrayar’s Chief of Imperial Security. In his guise as Admiral Miles Naismith of the Dendarii Free Mercenaries, he has undertaken to free one of his mother’s cousins from a novel prison camp run by the dreaded Cetagandan Empire.
Working alone, Miles has contrived to be captured by the Cetagandans following their successful attack on an outpost of the planet Marilac. According to plan, he now finds himself in an enormous, egg-shaped enclosure maintained by impenetrable force fields in all directions. There are ten thousand prisoners in the camp, and anarchy reigns. To engineer the release of his cousin, Miles must somehow mobilize the prisoners and organize them into an orderly force. Naturally, he will succeed. But the ingenious course he follows is as entertaining as it is engrossing.
Borders of Infinity is a minor but worthy addition to Lois McMaster Bujold’s award-winning space opera series.
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