Ethan of Athos PDF Â Ethan of PDF/EPUB or


  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 237 pages
  • Ethan of Athos
  • Lois McMaster Bujold
  • English
  • 02 February 2018
  • 067165604X

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Ethan of AthosA buddy read with Choko and Maria.A group of guys from Miles Vorkosigan universe decided it was a good idea to create a man only planet The technology at the moment was good enough for such project and thus Athos was born The biggest and the most obvious problem was procreation The locals had to get some fresh female eggs from time to time, but it was not a problem and the men lived in practically complete isolation without seeing a single woman all their lives and thinking it was the way it A buddy read with Choko and Maria.A group of guys from Miles Vorkosigan universe decided it was a good idea to create a man only planet The technology at the moment was good enough for such project and thus Athos was born The biggest and the most obvious problem was procreation The locals had to get some fresh female eggs from time to time, but it was not a problem and the men lived in practically complete isolation without seeing a single woman all their lives and thinking it was the way it should be However a huge interplanetary crisis was coming and the governing committee of the planet volunteered a guy named Ethan to go outside for help The poor guy had bad luck all around the very first person he met outside of his planet happened to be a dreaded woman As soon as his shock passed Ethan ended up right in the middle of intergalactic conspiracy Needless to say his life became very cheap as a result I need to get the following off my chest right away I think this is the weakest book of the series so far let me count the reasons I consider Miles, Cordelia, and Ivan to be the best characters of the series in that order Well, none of them are here On a relative note I did not feel any of the characters presented had any depth The main villain looked outright wimpy and non threatening compared to some people Miles encountered The complete inability of local security forces to keep him isolated became a bad joke by the end of the book This in my opinion was his only strength The novel tried hard to show Ethan s culture shock this shock can carry the plot only so far Once again by the end this became old On the positive side I learned that a lot of apparently delicious dishes some of them sounded like outright delicacy can be cooked from newts This made me glad I was not living in that world The plot is fast moving and one familiar face appear actually disregard this no familiar faces appear read The Warrior s Apprentice to learn the reason for the paradox Lois McMaster Bujold is a skillful writer to make even her minor efforts worth reading 3 stars On Athos, a world without women, Dr Ethan Urquhart delivers babies from uterine replicators But when the ovarian cultures start dwindling, he is sent abroad on a mission to replenish the planets stocks 4.35 A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria, because we love Science Fiction I love this author, I love this Universe, and I love this world of extremes Every time I approach the next volume of this series, I experience this trepidation as to what weirdo society are we going to be introduced to this time The genius of the series lays in the ability of the author to present a system of life which seems extremely outlandish, until you get to the basic premise and you see how everything must 4.35 A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria, because we love Science Fiction I love this author, I love this Universe, and I love this world of extremes Every time I approach the next volume of this series, I experience this trepidation as to what weirdo society are we going to be introduced to this time The genius of the series lays in the ability of the author to present a system of life which seems extremely outlandish, until you get to the basic premise and you see how everything must have started in a very average world where an idea for The Greater Good takes root, be it ideological, religious or purely economic, and goes to the most extreme end of that idea, to where the final product has only a passing resemblance to the original Often, the very thing it had tried to prevent is a likely side effect This is another perfect example Imagine, a group of religious leaders of a strict church, who believe that fornication and sexual temptation are sins but are having a really hard time controlling themselves around women The temptation, in this case any woman, becomes equated with the sin The woman then is of the Devil, but unfortunately She is needed for procreation, so the poor righteous saints have to endure and suffer by engaging in sin over and over, against their will, but they have no choice Well, one day, the sinful scientists on Beta Colony come up with uterine replicators, a way in which, if you have ovum and sperm samples, and with genetics being advanced, by utilizing one of the replicators you can skip the woman all together This must have been like the greatest gift from G D to those long suffering dudes So, armed with the needed biological materials, geneticists, a charter for terraforming a new planet, their religion, and the firm resolution to never suffer a demon woman ever again, the Founding Fathers established the first all male planet on Athos 200 years into this social experiment, the society has settled down and Dr Ethan U is one of the leading geneticists on the planet, happily producing sons for qualified fathers and their Designated Co Parent However, all the ovum they had counted on since the establishment of the planet, is degenerating and not viable, so in order to keep up with the population replacement, if not growth, they have to orderfrom another planet Since not many people agree with the peculiarities of Athos and the fact that women are not allowed to even be in the vicinity of this planet, they get a shuttle only once a year The shipment of the priceless for the survival of the planet ovum is delivered, but is wrong There has been a big mistake and the council for Population Growth decides to send poor Ethan to the planet of the shipment s origin, among the sinners and women the HORROR He needs to straighten things out and return withviable genetic material This is how Ethan found himself not only in a foreign place, full of people who think him a freak, in the middle of a major international conspiracy, people trying to kill him, but worst of all, he met a woman And was kind of shocked that talking to her did not suck his life force and surrender him to the Devil He just had to give it some time The woman is Ellie Quinn, the mercenary who Admiral Miles Naismith took to his grandmother on Beta Colony and left her with some money to be able to receive skingrafts for the horrible burns of her body and face after a mission gone bad The last time we saw her, she was barely alive and in a horrible pain and depression I was so happy to see her here back in shape, with successful grafts and a brand new face And she was a force to be reckoned with This is her first spy mission and she doesn t want to disappoint The Admiral, who gave her his blessings and told her she would love it It is very endearing to see how much she admires Naismith and in his absence tried to think What Would Naismith Do in the absurd situations she and Ethan were put in over and over again As always in this series, there is a mystery, adventure, difficult choices, and nonstop action from beginning to end Also as always, there is the core of ethical dilemmas which is the base of the series We can see some of us making similar decisions for our lives, but we are also shown the double edged sword of our decisions What can we as humans live with and justify in our minds in order to make it fit the idea of who we are Isn t that the infernal question of our reality today too I recommend this series to all who love Sci fi adventure and fantasy It is written in a dynamic manner without sacrificing quality and emotion Give this series a chance After all, what could you loose Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a Good book How do you do, Ethan began politely I represent the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of the Planet Athos If I may, I d like to tell you about the pioneering opportunities for settlement still available there The sudden dead silence of his audience was interrupted by a large worker in green coveralls Athos The Planet of the Fags You on the level was Bujold on the level when she wrote this sad to say, this book is sort of a mess although it does have the genial tone, fast pacHow do you do, Ethan began politely I represent the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of the Planet Athos If I may, I d like to tell you about the pioneering opportunities for settlement still available there The sudden dead silence of his audience was interrupted by a large worker in green coveralls Athos The Planet of the Fags You on the level was Bujold on the level when she wrote this sad to say, this book is sort of a mess although it does have the genial tone, fast pace, semi amusing banter, bursts of action, and attempted emotional depth of other Vorkosigan Saga novels it really doesn t work it feels half baked and, even worse, just rather silly and easily dismissed ah well can t win em all, Bujold.so the planet Athos was founded by some fanatical religious dudes who thought women were the root of all evil there are certainly plenty of equivalents in our world s history and hey, right here in the modern world too and so that basic idea could have been an, ahem, fertile concept but it charges right to the brink of HUH WHAT when we learn that millennia later, Athos has remained a planet of men only, men who fear women as evil s spawn and who procreate by importing ovaries and doing various reproductive science y type things that I barely understood or cared about all in all, Athos is a peaceful and pleasant planet full of what appears to be a bunch of sweet simpletons but something goes wrong with the latest shipment of female parts and so the shy but apparently attractive Dr Ethan Urquhart must brave the big scary galaxy full of women to track down a new shipment while out and about, Ethan finds himself caught right in the middle of nefarious activities involving the lovely mercenary Ellie Quinn, space station administrators, humorless military types, a telepath on the run, and egads some threatening flirtation from various women.basic questions about sexuality remain unanswered or irritatingly ambiguous on a planet of men, what happens to the heterosexuals although I imagine a world of men only ugh may perhaps be appealing to some gay gents, I would think that basic sexuality would make this an unendurable prospect for the heteros stuck there like a gay man forced to live in a lesbian sorority for the rest of his life is Bujold saying sexuality is based on nurture, not nature sorta sounds like it, because there is a whole planet of men who seem perfectly fine without the fairer sex Athos is such a happy place has the heterosexuality just been nurtured out of 9 out of 10 men how in the world are they happy without any women whatsoever Athos is only the background, as most of the novel takes place on Kline Station unfortunately, squarely in the foreground is Dr Ethan he is surely one of the most vapid, uninteresting, passive, whiny, basically useless heroes I ve had to deal with in a sci fi actioneer hey, I just made that word up actioneer , I like the ring of that anyway, I really missed this series usual protagonist Miles Ethan was an exceedingly poor substitute For fans of the Vorkosigan Saga, this represents an interesting break from the norm There are a couple of books in the series focused on Miles mother, Cordelia Shards of Honour Barrayar , the bulk 10 are focused on Miles Vorkosigan himself, although they often feature many other POVs and there s one set way earlier in the universe s timeline that doesn t feature any members of the Vorkosigan family at all.And then there s this oneEthan of Athosis set during Miles Admiral N For fans of the Vorkosigan Saga, this represents an interesting break from the norm There are a couple of books in the series focused on Miles mother, Cordelia Shards of Honour Barrayar , the bulk 10 are focused on Miles Vorkosigan himself, although they often feature many other POVs and there s one set way earlier in the universe s timeline that doesn t feature any members of the Vorkosigan family at all.And then there s this oneEthan of Athosis set during Miles Admiral Naismith era, but does not feature him It features Elli Quin, one of Naismith s top sidekicks, but even she is only a supporting character this story is about the eponymous Ethan, a character who does not crop up in any other story in the series, as far as I can recall so it definitely breaks the mould.EoA has the lowest average Goodreads ratings for any book in the series, which is why it has remained unread by me for so long looks like I ll have to read some other reviews now, to see what issues other readers took with it, because I really enjoyed it a very solid 4 star Miles and Cordelia are both incredibly competent, natural heroes They square up to challenges and overcome them Ethan on the other hand is a reluctant hero, an innocent sent out into the big bad universe on a medical mission of mercy to save his planet He gets sucked into the tangled world of espionage and lurches from one disaster to another Sure, Quin is there to save his ass and drag him over the line but for a Doc from the sticks, Ethan does his best to fight back I m guessing a lot of readers took exception to Ethan s home planet Athos the all male world, where fathers grow their sons in tanks Personally, I thought it was well done the idea that the planet will always be an economic backwater because it s fighting the uphill cost of 100% artificial reproduction is a nice spin, and as always Bujold handles them personal relationships with a gentle and deft touch for a sci fi writer, she s exceptionally good at likeable characters.As it stands outside of the main Saga, this is very much a bonus book but I thought it was a cracking read and the pages flew by Without Miles it lacks that element of insane gleeful forward momentum that makes the best Vorkosigan books go whoooshbutEthan of Athoscomfortably stands it s own I originally finished this book and began the review on Christmas Eve, and had to cut it off unfinished because I had Santa business to attend to I ve only just circled back to finish itAfter this I read Behemoth It s actually been years since I read this, but I was reminded of it today by one of Sean s status updates for Angelfall, the one where he laments that the MC and the angel are going to start romancing each other I sympathized though I haven t read Angelfall , and that got me wondering whether the romancing is inevitable or necessary to make a good book.Skip ahead to the answer it s not Here s proof Bear in mind that the following is from memory, and forgive me if I get details wrong I thi It s actually been years since I read this, but I was reminded of it today by one of Sean s status updates for Angelfall, the one where he laments that the MC and the angel are going to start romancing each other I sympathized though I haven t read Angelfall , and that got me wondering whether the romancing is inevitable or necessary to make a good book.Skip ahead to the answer it s not Here s proof Bear in mind that the following is from memory, and forgive me if I get details wrong I think I m remembering correctly, however, based on the reviews I ve looked at Also I suspect there are spoilers, even though most of the book is kind of a blur to me The important stuff is not Ethan is from Athos, a planet populated entirely by men, and he has never seen women before He has a male partner, I recall, whom he loves, and there is some artificial mechanism for reproduction The book also has a plot, which I don t remember at all except to say it was serviceable and it involves Ethan having to join forces with a beautiful woman.One of the reasons I don t recall the plot is that I spent the entire book waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it were Waiting for this woman to turn Ethan straight , or at least tempt him to experiment with it, even if he rejects it later He s only culturally gay, after all Surely the possibility is there.Doesn t happen.And it feels great I can t even tell you They get through all the adventures and misadventures was there smuggling involved Something like that , and then Ethan goes home to his partner, and you just want to give a very loud HAbecause it is so unexpected and so rare and Bujold has played your expectations like a violin.This is why she is the Mc Master, friends, and don t you forget it Do you like your SF with a healthy dollop of intellect and social commentary Sure you do This is the breakfast of champions.So yeah, Sean, I d also kind of like to see the angel NOT fall in love with someone, just once The only thing I missed in this Vorkosigan saga installment was Miles himself Everything else was quite awesome adventure, intrigue, characters And the science part was pretty cool too I like Bujold s writing a lot, it always pulls me in and keeps me till I finish the book It s rational, not overloaded with detail and often humorous and ironic.It s a skippable book if you want to read saga only for Miles, but in general it s a good sci fi story, so you can leave it aside for later The only thing I missed in this Vorkosigan saga installment was Miles himself Everything else was quite awesome adventure, intrigue, characters And the science part was pretty cool too I like Bujold s writing a lot, it always pulls me in and keeps me till I finish the book It s rational, not overloaded with detail and often humorous and ironic.It s a skippable book if you want to read saga only for Miles, but in general it s a good sci fi story, so you can leave it aside for later.Worst Cover GalleryNot that much this time, but still OK, I get the idea, but that lookslike a pee sample Peeing wasn t involved in this book Just saying Not to discourage you or something After an average volume that was Cetaganda, I fell for Bujold s writing and the world of Vorkosigans again Ethan of Athos is a strange little story Strange in a way that it s both very simple and yet when you start to think about it all, it gives material for long discussions It s both gay and so very heterosexual, it s adventurous and also you could probably skip most of the action parts and it will be still fine And all that not because the novel is so complex, it s just strange in this After an average volume that was Cetaganda, I fell for Bujold s writing and the world of Vorkosigans again Ethan of Athos is a strange little story Strange in a way that it s both very simple and yet when you start to think about it all, it gives material for long discussions It s both gay and so very heterosexual, it s adventurous and also you could probably skip most of the action parts and it will be still fine And all that not because the novel is so complex, it s just strange in this wonderful way that gives lots and lots of joy.As far as I know this books is a standalone that happens in the world the readers know from other Vorkosigan novels Ethan, a doctor from a reproduction centre, spent all his life on Athos, a planet inhabited only by men He never saw a female in his life thanks to the planet s censorship but of course, after a failed shipment of ovarian cultures essential for the community survival, he is chosen to travel to distant planet to personally select and purchase new cultures On an extremely ecological rightfully so station called Kline Station he quickly meets Elli Quinn, who you might remember from The Warrior s Apprentice She is still a member of the Dendarii Mercenaries and has quite complicated feelings towards her Admiral Naismith which made me both smile and move me, Miles, you precious idiot , a giver of her new face or rather funds for it Suddenly mild mannered Ethan and a force of nature called Elli are thrown into an adventure of conspiracies, assassins, adventures, newts and the station s systems And believe me, it s fun But what I liked the most, were of course the characters I liked all of them the ones that were developed enough and I liked slow paced and subtle change of Ethan It s not in the foreground but his choices in the end tell a lot view spoiler And as his status on Athos is growingandrespectable, I believe that the change is awaiting the planet in the future I loved, loved the very ending of the book As well as the fact that Ethan was as closed to falling in love with Elli as it was possible in his indoctrinated brain I wouldn t mind a triad, believe me hide spoiler.There is also a romance, a light but very sweet one, neatly written into the adventures Something I looked for passionately a few years ago when I wanted to read a m m romance but with some plot not focused on the romance as such I adored Ethan s love interest from the start and cheered for their happy ending.There were some things that made me a bit uneasy The whole planet of Athos, although not shocking in most ways remains a place infiltrated by the authorities, censored, with people kept in the dark about many things I may understand and respect such a place as a refuge but it s tough when it s presented in this dystopian way And yet, it s beautiful and Ethan loves it as his home, so I can only hope it will change for the better and view spoiler with an army of little Urquhart Quinns hide spoiler the people will be given a choice in the years to come.Finally, this book is so unassuming Yet, I cried a lot in the end Not because it s sad but it pushed just the right of my buttons I hope one day we will know exactly what happened later If you had told me two days ago that I would enjoy reading a book that departed from the main characters of the series and instead had a misogynist male protagonist from a misogynistic planet that follows a worldwide explicitly misogyny based religion, and that further, I would find said protagonist charming, sweet, well intentioned and over, ETHICAL, I would have laughed in your face.And I would have been wrong.I failed to take into account Lois McMaster Bujold Who is maybe a sorceress If you had told me two days ago that I would enjoy reading a book that departed from the main characters of the series and instead had a misogynist male protagonist from a misogynistic planet that follows a worldwide explicitly misogyny based religion, and that further, I would find said protagonist charming, sweet, well intentioned and over, ETHICAL, I would have laughed in your face.And I would have been wrong.I failed to take into account Lois McMaster Bujold Who is maybe a sorceress of some kind The evidence suggests it Feminine wiles So yeah, beyond all expectation this book is amazing and hilarious and very fast paced, and above all, human Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.At first look this book is a lot different from the rest of the Vorkosigan Saga because it misses a Vorkosigan Neither Miles nor any of his extended family shows up in this volume But that doesn t make it any less entertaining And if you look closely you will see that EoA follows the general theme of the series a modern day ideology taken to the extremes One of the most interesting and useful inventions in this universe is the uterine replicator This wonde Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.At first look this book is a lot different from the rest of the Vorkosigan Saga because it misses a Vorkosigan Neither Miles nor any of his extended family shows up in this volume But that doesn t make it any less entertaining And if you look closely you will see that EoA follows the general theme of the series a modern day ideology taken to the extremes One of the most interesting and useful inventions in this universe is the uterine replicator This wonderful piece of technology has changed the way humanity views procreation It s made possible for couples of all varieties to have biological children, it s safer for the mother and child and permits genetic clean up thus eliminating some of the most common genetic disorders And in this case it has given a bunch of extreme misogynists a chance to create their perfect world free of women As my friend Choko pointed out in her review this was most likely done by men who have very poor control over themselves but would never admit it so they blame the women Back when I first read this book, I thought that this must be a paradise for gay men Fast forward a few years to the present, when I have actually met gay people and they are no longer an abstract construct based on what the media shows and I know that they would be horrified You see, this society isn t natural Not because there are a lot of homosexual couples but because there s no chance for anything else It doesn t matter if you are gay or not, if you want to have any sexual relationship it has to be with another man They don t even know what a woman looks like But in their eyes a woman is the epitome of all things evil To them the idea that woman equals the Devil is so ingrained that at a certain moment in the beginning of the book view spoiler one of the doctors responsible for the procreation of the Athosans suggests that they can grow themselves a few female fetuses, harvest the ovaries before birth and get rid of the baby right after I deliberately use the word baby because the primodial follicle take about 150 days to develop into a preantral follicle primary and another 120 days to form an antral follicle secondary If you do the math that means that it takes 9 months for the proper level of development of the ovaries the Athosans will need to be able to extract eggs So that doctor suggested to essentially kill a newborn just because it s female We re not talking abortion here, we re talking growing a human being for spare parts It s just plain evil and they can t even see it Oh the rest of that council had a problem with the suggestion But it wasn t the murder, it was the fact that there would be a girl on their planet for about 9 months This is how screwed up the Athosan society is hide spoiler The Athosans aren t inherently evil, in fact they re pretty decent people who love their world and their sons They re just so brainwashed that anything that is outside of their worldview is incomprehensible That kind of total close mindedness is terrifying As a general rule a human being is capable of understanding another s point of view even if they don t agree with it The Athosans have managed to suppress that ability to the degree that not even their leaders are capable of it anyIf they weren t so well isolated by sheer distance this would have led to disaster after disaster But suppressed doesn t mean eliminated, as we see after the MC Ethan is trust into the galactics society when he has to go and purchase ovarian cultures for his homeworld The cultural shock is like a sledgehammer to his head but despite everything he manages in this crazy by his standards society It s the resilience of human nature that lets him survive in this world Disguised as an adventure Ms Bujold is great at this we see how that suppressed ability resurface, how he slowly but inexorably starts to see that the world isn t black and white and that his religion has gotten a lot of things wrong It s a wonderful journey and in the end we see an Ethan who is so changed that he is almost unrecognisable from the one who left Athos in the beginning.This story has two connections with Miles world apart from being set in the same universe One is obvious Elli Quinn, the mercenary we met in The Warrior s Apprentice and Terrence Cee The latter is a less obvious connection that ties in with the novel Cetaganda It s actually subtle enough that I missed it the first time I read the series In my defence at the time I didn t read the books in the chronological order Terrence Cee is an interesting and conflicting character I sympathize and pity him but at the same time can t help but loath him a little for what he tried to do I understand why he did it but it still strikes me as wrong and immoral And very, very dangerous with consequences no one can foresee This novel is sort of introduction to one of the main characters for the next few books Sure we ve met Elli before but we didn t have the chance to get to know her EoA establishes a few things about her 1 She s recovered from the plasma torch injuries and has been given an extremely beautiful face that makes men drool, 2 she really smart and devious and 3 she has a major crush on Miles and one of the worst cases of hero worship D She s shown as capable and funny to be around character and I can t help but admire her On other words she is the perfect counterpart for Admiral Neismith So for those of you who are tempted to skip this book because Miles isn t around don t You ll be missing on some major awesomeness and added depth to the Vorkosiverse


About the Author: Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife tetralogy her science fiction from Baen Books features the perennially bestselling Vorkosigan Saga Her work has been translated into over twenty languages.A listing of her awards and nominations may be seen here A listing of her interviews is here older fan run site devoted to her work, The Bujold Nexus, is here