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Publisher's Summary

Dr. Ethan Urquhart is chief of biology at a District Reproduction Center. He delivers babies from uterine replicators. You see, on Athos there are no women. In fact, the planet is forbidden to them. Isolated from the galactic community by distance and a lack of exploitable resources, the Athosians have peacefully lived their peculiar social experiment for two hundred years. But now, the ovarian cultures dating back to the original settlement of the planet are giving out.
With the future of Athos at stake, Ethan is chosen on behalf of his cloistered fellows for a unique mission: to brave the wider universe in quest of new ovarian tissue cultures to replenish Athos' dwindling stocks. Along the way, he must tangle with covert operatives, killers, telepathy, interplanetary politics, and - perhaps most disturbingly - an indomitable female mercenary named Elli Quinn.
©1986 Lois McMaster Bujold (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Don Gilbert on 03-31-11

No Miles- but still great!

I have read all of the Vorkosigan series and I almost let this one go becasue there was no Miles; that would have been a huge mistake. This story is great!

Set in Buold's universe, Ethan comes from the male only world of Athos where woman are stricly forbidden. Having no woman on the planet they must replensih the population by two methods: recruits and uterine replicators. Since not many males are willing to come to Athos they rely heavily on the former method. Ethan's job is to bring heathty new baby boys into the world and when the good supply of ovarian tissue becomes nearly depleted, it becomes his assignment to go out into the universe and procure more.

Once off world he comes face to face with the first woman he had ever seen; Elli Quinn.

Louis bujold writes with her usuall mastery and I can't imagine anyone reading her books other than Grover Garner.

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17 of 18 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Andrea on 06-17-09

Interesting concept, great series

The absence of Miles Vorkosigan in this installment of the Vorkosigan series was not as ruinous as I had at first feared. On the contrary, the story was just as intriguing and witty as the others in the series.

In a previous review an audible listener seemed to take offense at the word "peculiar" being used to describe the lifestyle on the planet Athos, even going as far as to accuse the writer of being homophobic. Completely ridiculous - an entire planet of men that are scared to death of women (forcing them to have to procreate using 200 yr old uterine cultures) is a bit peculiar no matter what your view on homosexuality is. Being forced to be homosexual (like all the men of Athos) is quite peculiar indeed. Nevertheless, great concept and great writing. Bujold never fails to amaze me with her creativity and wit. The entire series is worth your next few month's worth of audible credits.

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15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By osionide on 06-09-11


I had my doubts about this book but decided to take the plunge and was very happy I did. More Sci-Fi than Fantasy the narators voice has a wonderful twilight zone feeling to it which after a few minutes I was hooked on. The story line is interesting though it does need half an hour to get going, and the characters well-rouded. It does have hints of M/M but on a world without women what do you expect really? And most surprising of all there is actually a female character I DONT want to hit over the head! How wonderful! Try it, you'll love it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Sophie C Butcher on 12-18-17

A novel without miles.

This is a spin off and, for those who follow Miles, maybe one you can afford to miss. A sweet story but lacking punch.

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