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Since then at least years before Falling Free or years before Shards of Honor , dozens of planets were colonized and have developed divergent cultures. Due to low genetic diversity on Barrayar during the time of isolation, as well as the memory of the mutations resulting from a nuclear war , a cultural phobia about mutation developed that leads to a high level of xenophobia.
Within the series, exploration and colonization of new planets is still ongoing, most notably on the planet Sergyar. Interstellar travel is achieved by "jumping" from solar system to solar system via spatial anomalies known as wormholes that create tunnels in a five-dimensional space.
Typically wormholes are bracketed by space stations, military or commercial, which provide ports for jump travel. Stations may be owned by planetary governments, or by specific commercial organizations, or they may be completely independent of any planetary organization. Barrayar was later re-discovered via a wormhole jump from Komarr. Komarr allows the neighboring Cetagandan empire to use their wormhole to conquer Barrayar, and is later conquered in its turn when Barrayar eventually defeats the Cetagandans.
The stories feature several planetary systems, each with its own political organization, including government by corporate democracy, rule by criminal corporations, monarchies, empires and direct democracies. Both Cetaganda and Barrayar have empires, acquired by conquering other planets via neighboring wormholes. As a tool to simplify the writing process, Bujold devises a standard system of timekeeping universal to all planets regardless of the length of their day and year.
Bujold herself has commented that her posited system is neither technologically nor economically feasible, but is rather a convenience for storytelling.
Biomedical advances such as cloning, artificial wombs named "uterine replicators" and cryochambers to preserve and revive recently deceased people are featured heavily in the series.
Two jump pilots with obsolete navigational brain implants and a number of characters created by genetic manipulation are psychologically stranded by the termination of the programs for which they were designed. The series features gravity manipulation, both artificially generated in spaceships, and artificially suppressed in ground transport and elevators. Falling Free and Diplomatic Immunity explore the relationship between a culture adapted to an environment without gravity and one which depends on gravity.
Computing and communications[ edit ] In most societies featured in the series, paper has been mostly replaced by either plastic sheets or electronic devices, and two-dimensional video is replaced by three-dimensional holograms. Most characters use portable computers called "wristconsoles" and personal computers named "comconsoles". Military technology[ edit ] As the series features a military background in several novels, special attention is paid to military technology.
Ship-to-ship combat includes plasma rays and attacks based on gravity manipulation, and defensive countermeasures.
Personal combat includes the use of combat suits, plasma rays, needlers, and nerve disruptors, which emit rays that destroy nerve tissue.
Biological weapons are also mentioned in the form of wide-spectrum toxin bombs and genetically modified microbes that target specific races, and in some cases, specific people. A truth serum , "fast-penta", is a widespread tool used in interrogation. Several defenses are devised, such as induced allergies that kill the subject before they can reveal information, genetic engineering to create immunity, or compartmentalization of information on a need-to-know basis.
Miles Vorkosigan has an atypical reaction to the drug, which enables him to thwart his enemies on at least one occasion. Biospheres[ edit ] In the Vorkosigan saga, humans live on planets with diverse degrees of habitability, and have developed diverse adaptation strategies to environments that are only approximately fit for human life.
For example, Komarr is a cold planet with high CO2 that is going through long-term terraforming to make it habitable, while Beta Colony is a hot, sandy planet where humans must live underground. In spaceships and space stations, people live in closed ecologies in which air and waste are continuously reprocessed. The most ubiquitous are "uterine replicators", devices that allow complete in vitro reproduction, with gene therapy "gene cleaning" to correct for congenital defects.
In Ethan of Athos , this also makes possible an all-male society in which eggs are produced by ovaries maintained in a lab. The Cetagandan haut go beyond gene cleaning, deliberately engineering the human genome in an attempt to produce a post-human species Cetaganda , Diplomatic Immunity.
Other advances include genetic manipulation to produce microbes and animals tailored for specific purposes, including decoration, or humans adapted for combat or to live and work in zero gravity. Fertile hermaphrodites have been created in an attempt to surpass gender roles.
Medical prolonging of human life has advanced to achieve natural lifespans of years or more, though Barrayar lags galactic civilization on this. Barrayar is an exception to most of these advances due to its long isolation from the rest of humanity.
Women carrying their babies to term without uterine replicators are the rule at the beginning of the series, and there is an ingrained fear of mutation in its society. Society[ edit ] The time required for wormhole jumps between planetary systems means travel and communication require far more time and effort than in the real-life 21st century, which isolates each planet and allows it to develop its own culture, most of them derived to some extent from a culture known historically on Earth.
The novels do not focus much on several sources of social organization and prejudice on Earth, such as language, skin color, and religion. In general, Nexus inhabitants speak a common language, though they may know other languages or have a planetary accent. On the other hand, the most prominent genotype on Barrayar is olive skin and brown eyes and dark hair. The environment and history of the planets dictate their social structures and prejudices.
For example, because of the isolation of Barrayar, located with a single wormhole to connect it with the rest of the galaxy, and its people having to defend a broadly habitable planet, Barrayarans both need and can afford a militaristic society. Their genetic isolation has led them to create a patriarchal society to preserve genetic purity. The Betans, on a hostile planet where they must live in domes, rely on industrial export and limit not only childbearing but also every kind of behavior that might be considered "antisocial".
From their point of view, Barrayaran society is irrational and backward, while the Barrayarans view them as sexually and politically undisciplined, referring to a "Betan vote" as an obstacle to decision-making. Finally, some dwellers in space habitats look down on those who call one planet home as "dirt suckers". The Vorkosigans and Barrayar[ edit ] In all the books except Ethan of Athos and Falling Free, the protagonists are connected to the planet Barrayar, home of the Vorkosigan clan.
In the conservative backwoods, some still practice infanticide if signs of mutation are detected. Barrayar is a planet colonized by humans some four hundred years prior to Shards of Honor, the first Vorkosigan novel. Shortly after colonization, the 50, settlers are cut off by a failure of the sole wormhole connecting Barrayar to the rest of humanity.
During the following centuries, the "Time of Isolation", the colony regresses socially and technologically, eventually developing a feudal form of government, in which the Emperor of Barrayar is supported by sixty regional counts and other minor aristocrats, identified by the honorific prefix Vor- in their names. The Vor caste is a military one, and Barrayaran culture is highly militaristic and hierarchical. Barrayar is eventually rediscovered via a different wormhole route controlled by the rich merchant planet Komarr.
The Komarrans allow the neighboring expansionist Cetagandan Empire to invade Barrayar in return for commercial rights and concessions. Due to a massacre initiated by a subordinate, Aral Vorkosigan acquires the sobriquet "Butcher of Komarr.
Forced to work together to survive on a hostile planet, they fall in love and eventually marry, resulting in the conception of Miles. An attempt to poison Aral during his regency for the child Emperor, Gregor Vorbarra, leads to the exposure of a pregnant Cordelia to a teratogenic compound, the antidote to the poison. Desperate experimental medical procedures are required to save the unborn baby, and the side effects of the antidote threaten to kill Cordelia.
Miles is transferred to a uterine replicator to allow medical procedures that would threaten his mother. As an adult, he is subtly but noticeably misshapen and no taller than a nine-year-old boy.
As a result, he has to deal with the deeply ingrained prejudice against mutants on his native world though he is not technically a mutant since the damage is teratogenic.
With nearly pathological determination and high intelligence, aided by his supportive parents and their high social rank, he fashions an extraordinary military and civilian career for himself in the Barrayaran Empire. The title story features Beta Colony, and another story contains a character named Cordelia Naismith, perhaps a distant ancestor of the Vorkosigan character.
When beginning her first novel, Shards of Honor, Bujold incorporated these elements, but greatly expanded. While all the books and novellas are currently in print as ebooks, in America they are in print as omnibus editions. Bujold has stated on her blog that she is generally in favor of reading the books in internal chronological order. It was published in the book of the same name, which is a collection of short stories and essays by Bujold that had been previously unpublished and that she gathered together prior to her appearance at a NESFA convention.
It is also the only Vorkosigan Saga story not published or republished by Baen Books. Main article: Falling Free years before the birth of Miles Vorkosigan, engineer Leo Graf encounters the Quaddies, who are genetically engineered to have an extra pair of arms in place of legs in order to work better in the free-falling environment of space.
Collected in the omnibus edition Miles, Mutants and Microbes. After being captured by the Barrayarans and then escaping twice, she returns home a war hero. However, her own people believe she has been brainwashed and try to "cure" her of her love for Aral.
She eventually flees to Barrayar to be reunited with him. Count Vordarian launches a coup. On a visit to Beta Colony, he obtains a ship, a pilot, and a contract to run guns to a blockaded government.
He eventually takes over much of the blockading mercenary fleet through brilliant improvisation, sheer audacity and much luck. He hastens home to foil a plot against his father. Collected in the omnibus edition Young Miles. The Mountains of Mourning novella [ edit ] Miles has just graduated from the Imperial Academy, and is at home at Vorkosigan Surleau with his parents. A woman from an isolated rural village demands justice for the murder of her baby, who was born with a cleft lip and palate, but was otherwise healthy.
Miles solves the mystery and exercises justice and mercy in appropriate measures. Collected in the omnibus editions Young Miles and Borders of Infinity. The Vor Game[ edit ] Main article: The Vor Game Miles is shipped off-planet to the Hegen Hub after refusing to obey what he considers to be a criminal order at a training camp and being accused of treason again. He finds himself having to rescue his friend and emperor, Gregor Vorbarra.
Main article: Cetaganda Miles and Ivan are sent to the homeworld of the Cetagandan Empire to represent Barrayar at an Imperial funeral, and quickly become entangled in a murderous Cetagandan plot involving power, poisons, and the peculiar application of eugenics in the Cetagandan haut ruling class. Miles helps defeat the plot, which would have greatly amplified the Cetagandan threat to Barrayar and other systems, and in the process collects a piece of information that causes him to dispatch Elli Quinn on her mission in Ethan of Athos.
Collected in the omnibus edition Miles, Mystery, and Mayhem. Ethan of Athos[ edit ].
Since then at least years before Falling Free or years before Shards of Honor , dozens of planets were colonized and have developed divergent cultures. Due to low genetic diversity on Barrayar during the time of isolation, as well as the memory of the mutations resulting from a nuclear war , a cultural phobia about mutation developed that leads to a high level of xenophobia. Within the series, exploration and colonization of new planets is still ongoing, most notably on the planet Sergyar. Interstellar travel is achieved by "jumping" from solar system to solar system via spatial anomalies known as wormholes that create tunnels in a five-dimensional space. Typically wormholes are bracketed by space stations, military or commercial, which provide ports for jump travel.
GURPS Vorkosigan Saga
If you spot any broken links or other problems with this page, please report them to webmaster sjgames. Bibliography for The Vorkosigan Saga Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game These books are the history so far of the Vorkosigan universe, from hundreds of years ago through the marriage of Miles Vorkosigan. The books are listed in chronological order, but they can be read in any order, and none of them actually requires prior acquaintance with earlier books in the series. Years in parentheses following each title give the original publication date. The title story is set not long after the invention of the wormhole drive. The book also includes pronunciation and genealogical notes by Suford Lewis.
GURPS VORKOSIGAN SAGA PDF
Vorkosigan Saga Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game