Lois McMaster Bujold

Essays on a Modern Master of Science Fiction and Fantasy


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About the Book

Lois McMaster Bujold has won a shelf full of awards—Hugos, Nebulas, and others—for both her science fiction and fantasy writing. She is one of the most respected names in the field, always delivering polished, thoughtful, and well-crafted writing. She consistently addresses great issues and problems on a human level, where they are faced by quirky, prickly, and very real characters, and her exploration of the theory of reader-response is an important critical contribution. Yet there has been a surprising dearth of serious critical writing about her output—in part because she resists neat and easy classification by genre, politics, or subject matter. This collection of fresh essays aims to correct that situation by presenting critical insights into many aspects of her writing. Attention is given to both her Miles Vorkosigan science fiction series and her Chalion and Sharing Knife fantasy series, as well as the books that fall outside these series.

About the Author(s)

Janet Brennan Croft is liaison to the school of communication and information and librarian for disability services and copyright at Rutgers University Libraries in North Brunswick, New Jersey. She has written on the Peter Jackson films, J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, and other authors, and is editor or co-editor of five collections of literary essays and edits the refereed scholarly journal Mythlore.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Janet Brennan Croft. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6833-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0120-5
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: Forward Momentum (Janet Brennan Croft) 1

A Note on Editions and Abbreviations 7

Love and Death in the Vorkosiverse: An Interview with

Lois McMaster Bujold (Sandra J. Lindow) 9

From Both Sides Now: Bujold and the Fan Fiction Phenomenon

(Amy H. Sturgis) 16

Legitimacy and Legibility: Rereading Civil Discourse Through

Feminist Figurations in Cordelia’s Honor (Regina Yung Lee) 27

The Influence of Family and Moral Development in Bujold’s

Vorkosigan Series (Sandra J. Lindow) 50

The Soldier and the Cipher: Miles, Mark, and the Naming

Plots of Bujold’s Vorkosiverse (Janet Brennan Croft) 61

The Emperor’s Shoe: Power, Home, and the Other in the

Vorkosigan Saga (Andrew Hallam) 77

Chaos and Quest: Miles Vorkosigan’s Disability Narrative

(Virginia Bemis) 104

Broken Brothers in Arms: Acting the Man in The Warrior’s

Apprentice (Linda Wight) 116

Difference and Ability: Conceptualizing Bodily Variation in

the Vorkosigan Series (Shannan Palma) 134

The Decay of the Cyborg Body in Bujold’s Memory (Sylvia Kelso) 148

From Iberian to Ibran and Catholic to Quintarian: Bujold’s

Alternate History of the Spanish Reconquest in the Chalion

Series (David D. Oberhelman) 159

(Absent) Gods and Sharing Knives: The Purposes of Lois

McMaster Bujold’s Fantastic Ir/Religions (John Lennard) 172

Appendix: Bibliography and Awards 195

About the Contributors 197

Index 199