Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold
We gathered at Adventures in Crime and Space to talk about Lois McMaster Bujold’s Cetaganda, a fast-spaced space opera/ mystery featuring Bujold’s best-known character, Miles Naismith Vorkosigan. Our discussion again had seven members, including two newcomers. All but one us had finished the book, and it turned out that most of us had read nearly the complete works of Bujold. That led to an informed and lively discussion, but every few minutes we’d have to steer ourselves from general discussion of Bujold’s ouevre to the specific book in question. We all enjoyed the book, although most felt it was not up to the level of Bujold’s best work (generally acknowledged to be Mirror Dance). Cetaganda successfully depicts a meeting of two distinct alien cultures invented by Bujold. Several striking images are evoked, particularly the “kitten bush”. Notable quotes from our discussion include “began like a mystery, but wasn’t a whodunnit”, “this society is as plausible as any far future”, and “this book should have been either shorter or longer”.
–A. T. Campbell, III