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A Civil Campaign: A Comedy of Biology and Manners (The Vorkosigan Saga)

Written by Lois Mcmaster Bujold

Average Score: 71(3)

Bujold dedicates her new novel to the Bront's, Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers, which gives a pretty good indication of the territory she's staked out in this well-done addition to her popular Miles Vorkosigan series. Miles, forced by ill heath to give up his military career and having embarked on a second career as an Imperial Auditor (a kind of peripatetic judge and ambassador), is madly in love with the beautiful and brilliant Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Unfortunately, Ekaterin is the recent widow of a crooked government official whose death Miles holds himself partially responsible for. Their courtship is made even more difficult by a series of interrelated events. First, Emperor Gregor is getting married, and Miles, like everyone else in the government, is caught up in the complex social and diplomatic whirl surrounding the impending nuptials. Second, Miles's disaster-prone clone brother, Mark, has concocted a scheme to make a fortune marketing "butter bugs," unattractive, cockroachlike creatures that secrete a bland tofulike food product. Worse, Mark has set up his laboratory in Vorkosigan House, the bugs have gotten loose and Miles's parents, Lord Aral and Lady Cordelia, are due home any second. And then there's the dirty infighting going on in the Council of Counts over who should inherit two vacant districts, plus an attempt to frame Miles for murder. Through all these often hilarious and occasionally dangerous incidents, Miles strives heroically to keep his eye on the prize -- the winning of Ekaterin's hand in marriage. Bujold successfully mixes quirky humor with just enough action, a dab of feminist social commentary and her usual superb character development in a sprightly SF romance that her many fans will find enormously satisfying.

Book Details

Science Fiction
Mass Market Paperback, 544 Pages
Published by Baen on August 01, 2000
First Published by Baen Books in 1999
ISBN-10 0671578855
ISBN-13 978-0671578855


SF Site | Nicki Gerlach
Review Rating: 80
[Audio Version] The reason A Civil Campaign is so widely appealing is that while it certainly has all of the trappings of conventional sci-fi -- foreign planets, genetic engineering, uterine replicators, wormholes -- its focus is always on the people, not the technology
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Fantasy Literature | Marion Deeds
Review Rating: 75
Early in the VOR SAGA, Bujold gave herself a huge canvas and filled it with an extended ensemble of characters.
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SF Reader | Aaron M. Renn
Review Rating: 60
Again Bujold treats us to solid writing, solid characters, and solid plotlines, resulting in a few hours of light but satisfying entertainment.
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