Gentleman Jole and The Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
I haven’t been this disappointed with a ‘Vorkosigan’ novel since ‘Ethan of Athos’ and ‘Falling Free’. Bujold’s Mary-Sue Cordelia heads off to Sergyar to be an awful, smug, judgmental, morally superior person with Oliver Jole. There is a massive and unwanted retcon of Cordelia and Aral’s marriage. Cordelia is selfish, horrible, superior and as usual is never wrong, gets her own way in everything and anyone who opposes her is a wretched person.
Cordelia goes on about the cultural opportunities on her sex manic homeworld of Beta. I intensely disliked this book and its inconsistencies of plotting. Cordelia is a bad person, a terrible mother and a mythic swanner-about who sneers at conventional notions. Jole is made a major character and there is a remarkable insensitivity to Aral’s memory and a complete exclusion of sense. This was extremely vexing and Cordelia and Jole revel in being f##k
“The Nightmare Barn.”
“Kept irrationally refusing to be culturally uplifted.”
“So how long has my mother had this questionable fetish for bisexual Barrayaran admirals.”
“A culture hero.”
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The 1911 classic about a girl, a boy, an overly strict man, a weird house, malignant sadness and a very secret garden. Okay.
Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Aliens that look like elephants invade with a Bussard ramjet. Humans fight back with an Orion ship. This was not that good.
“God was knocking, and he wanted in bad.”
Down To A Sunless Sea by David Graham
This 1979 novel is a dated, post-apoc tale of a pilot trying to save his plane and passengers after a nuclear war. This novel has two endings, I read the downer version. This wasn’t good.
Drakas! Edited by S.M. Stirling, part 1
This 2000 anthology has short stories by other writers inspired by Stirling’s dystopian world of the Draka. This had a horrible cover.
Custer Under The Baobab
In another world, on another continent, Custer faces the end. This is an okay tale of awful people and the unromantic practicalities of the growth of the Domination of the Draka.
Hewn In Pieces For The Lord
This has sexism, a man named Gordon, various low elements of humanity and this was ridiculous and full of objectionable content.
Written By The Wind: A Story of the Draka
The Draka watch the Japanese fight the Russians. This has technobabble, fighting and boredom.
“Civilizing everybody we meet with a Ferguson.”
As the Draka fight their version of WWII, quintessentially disgusting people do nasty things. This was okay with an unfussy approach and a dark twist.
The Big Lie
A re-telling of the 1st Draka novel ‘Marching Through Georgia’ and that novel’s ‘hero’ Eric’s moral horrors are revealed. Far from being understanding and placid, he was bad. This was dull.
“Those were the days when Draka were humans.”