Captain Vorpatril's Alliance - Lois McMaster Bujold Bujold spins a wonderful, delightful, sweet, and let's face it: a romantic tale. I've always appreciated her novels for their wonderful characters and excellent plots, but I also have to say that the writing is always top-notch. This novel does not fail in any way. I laughed out loud many times, thanks to Ivan. Miles has always been a favorite of mine, but he shows up only briefly, here. It's been over a decade since I read all of those novels, but now I'm really motivated to dig into them and delight all over again.

As for this, the last of the hugo nominees for this year, should I have it bump my previous favorite? No, I still think that Redshirts kicks some major ass, as a whole, and I'll stick with it. The biggest problem I have in picking Hugos is very simple. A very long series, be it all of Bujold's sci-fi, or Martin's fantasy in Songs of Ice and Fire, or the complete Wheel of Time, have a weight to them that I'm sure every fan will want to push into a higher orbit, but I have to be honest here... a single novel versus an ongoing series has a serious disadvantage in weight class. Even Scalzi's Old Man's War series suffers from it. We're still trying to choose the best out of fantastic choices, but I think we ought to have a new hugo award for complete series, consistently great books, ongoing themes, and the like. Just my opinion, of course.

But back to this novel: It doesn't really matter, in the long run, if anyone has every read Bujold's other novels in this universe. In the end, this novel does stand out on it's own and is worth consideration for the Hugo on it's own. It just happens to be so much more of a treat if it is read with prior knowledge. Thank you for your gift to us!