Monday, May 12

"Labyrinth" - Lois McMaster Bujold

Miles takes the Dendarii cruiser Ariel on a mission to Jackson's Whole, a plantet where genetic manipulation is the norm and anything can be sold, for the right price. Miles' cover story is arms purchase but his real mission is to smuggle an arrogant geneticist off world and to Barrayar. Dr Canaba refuses to leave without some of his prize creations, chief among which is an enginnered super-soldier, created from a cross of wolf, equine and human DNA. To complicate matters the creature has been sold to Ryoval by the House that employed Canaba; the same paranoid, sadistic Baron Byoval recently offended by Miles.
Bujold manages to pack an enormous amound into a small space - in "Labyrinth" she fleshes out the world of Jackson's Whole, sets the groundwork for another novel set there, introduces a spectacular new character, adds dimensions to Miles that complement his character, force questions about the nature of humanity and of consent, raise other issues (highly relevant to us today) about genetic manipulation and ownership of the results, and throws in a spectacular plot. - Alex

No comments: