Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday eBook Review: Falling Free

Falling Free
(cover from Shelfari:
this is the 1999 mass market paperback cover)

Published 8/1/2007

Ebook Price: $5.00 

Available from Baen Books as the first part of Miles, Mutants and Microbes(by Lois McMaster Bujold).

(For reasons known only to God and Google, this got saved as a draft and did not get posted when I wrote it last year. I post it now. My apologies, Ms Bujold.)

1. Short review:  

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  Well-conceived, well-written SF by LMB. 
Roller coaster or walk in the park?  Roller coaster.

2.2. What I did not like:  Falling Free is one of LMB's early works.  At the time she wrote Falling Free, she had not yet shed the use of adverbs and saidisms; for example, "Thank you."  Leo smiled back automatically.  / "I'm head of the Cay Project now; I'll be your boss," Van Atta amplified.   ['automatically' is a null; it adds nothing.  Most adverbs add nothing.  'amplified' is a saidism.  It is redundant.  'said' works as well.  Better.  'said' is no longer a word; it is punctuation.]

2.3. Who I think is the audience:  Hard SF fans.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes.  12 and up will enjoy it.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the next book in the series?  Yes, but LMB wrote in an author's note that she has not written much else about the quaddies (creatures in the book).

2.6. Other:  (my highlights from the book follow)

'The human mind is the ultimate testing device.'

'You may fool men.  You will never fool the metal.'  (I've half a mind to get this one engraved on a brass plaque and mount it over my desk.)

'There was no limit to what one man might do, if he gave all, and held back nothing.'

'It's not what we do next week, it's what we do next that counts most.'

'We make our own luck.'

'I know better than to humiliate a man like this, and then leave him alive.'

'If you ever have to make a choice between learning and inspiration, boy, choose learning.  It works more of the time.'

'[W]hat is the most important leg of a three-legged stool?  The one that is missing.'

'[D]on't be afraid of troubles.... They're a sign of life.'

Falling Free ends 39% of the way through the volume Miles, Mutants and Microbes.

2.7.  Links:  Baen's Bar
To find where Lois McMaster Bujold hangs out, register at Baen's Bar (link above) and scroll down to the thread titled 'Miles to Go'.  (If you are an LMB fan, you get the joke.)  From time to time, you can find me on the Bar, too, but I don't have my own thread.

2.8.  Buy the book:  Baen's Books, Miles, Mutants and Microbes


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