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Falling Free [Hardcover]

Lois McMaster Bujold , Suford Lewis , James A. McMaster
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Sep 2004
LEO GRAF WAS AN EFFECTIVE ENGINEER... Safety Regs weren't just the rule book he swore by; he'd helped write them. All that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Leo was profoundly uneasy with the corporation exploitation of his bright new students - till that exploitation turned to something much worse. He hadn't anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither safe, nor in the rules... Leo Graf adopted 1000 quaddies - now all he had to do was teach them to be free.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Nesfa Pr (30 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781886778535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886778535
  • ASIN: 1886778531
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,245,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The shining rim of the planet Rodeo wheeled dizzily past the observation port of the orbital transfer station. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Prequel to the Vorkosigan Universe 25 Aug 2006
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is set in the same Universe as the Vorkosigan adventures, but about 200 years earlier.

It is a much more "straight" work of science fiction than some of the Miles Vorkosigan stories, e.g. it is not quite as side-splittingly funny. The tone and style are quite similar to the two books about the romance between Mile's parents, "Shards of Honour" and "Barrayar."

"Falling Free" is the story of the quaddies, a group of modified humans who have been bioengineered for zero gravity, the main change being that they have four arms instead of two arms and two legs. An engineer, Leo Graf, is concerned at the way the quaddies are exploited and decides to do something about it.

It is a well-told story and highly entertaining.

There are two subsequent stories with quaddie characters set in Lord Miles Vorkosigan's time, some 230 years later. The first is the novella "Labyrinth" which is part of the book "Borders of Infinity" - Miles and Bel Thorne meet a beautiful quaddie musician, Nicol, on Jackson's Whole. ("The Mountains of Mourning" is the previous novella in the same book.)

A better picture of the society which quaddies make for themselves in the future is given in the tenth and currently most recent Vorkosigan adventure, "Diplomatic Immunity" which is set on a space station in Quaddie space.

Bottom line - this is an extremely good book, and if you liked any of Bujold's other SF novels you are very likely to enjoy this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand Theft 25 Oct 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Leo Graf was only an engineer, moving on from one job after another as the needs of the company required. But when he arrived on GalacTech's orbital above Rodeo, he was... startled to find out the nature of his trainees. Known as quaddies all had been bioengineered to have a second set of arms where their legs should have been. It was Leo's job to train these people to build the booming space habitats and they were doing well right up until Beta Colony announced their gravity generator that made the Quaddies uneconomical and with the local GalachTech director only looking at the bottom line, the Quaddies were now an embarrassment. Seen as freaks by most, Leo saw his trainees as people and along with a few other sympathetic employees they pull off the biggest heist in history.
This is set about two hundred years before the events in the rest of Ms Bujold's Vorkosiganiverse. It does have a common denominator with those books - Beta Colony and GalachTech both get mentions in the other books and we also meet a quaddie in one of the short stories in 'Mountains of Mourning' as well as finding out how quaddie civilisation got on in 'A Civil Campaign'. This is a different style of book in a way than the rest of the books but has its similarities as well. Unlike Miles, Leo is settled in his job but like Miles he is incapable of sitting idly by while an injustice is carried out. Also like Miles Leo finds things don't always run smooth and he has to think on his feet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evidence that science fiction can still be fun 7 July 2003
Format:Paperback
This takes place some 200 years before the Vorkosigan Saga, and is an enjoyable introduction to that universe, although far different from the later stories.
This is one to sit down with, relax, and enjoy. It's the story of welding engineer, Leo Graf, and his assignment to the planet Rodeo to teach welding to a group of genetically altered humans, Quaddies. He soon learns of the attitude toward these Quaddies which is held by most of those on the planet, but he comes to recognize them as qualified, if not yet fully developed into maturity, humans.
This conflict in viewpoints leads to a rip roaring adventure tale which for all it's lightness of tone, has some very touching sequences, and fully rounded characters, human and mutated human alike.
A very good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy! Buy! Buy! 26 Jan 2001
By MJS
Falling Free was the first novel by Lois McMaster Bujold I read and I haven't been able to stop reading her stuff since.
I read the whole of Falling Free in one sitting, not so much on purpose, I just forgot to put the book down. It was originally serialised in a magazine before being collected here, considering that it's amazing how well the story flows together.
For those not in the know: the story involves genetically enginneered beings designed to work in zero-gravity (they have four arms no legs). That's about as far as the science-fiction element stretches as the bulk of the novel is beautiful human drama featuring great characterisation and development between all the main characters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who actually own genetically engineered products? 28 Jun 1999
By R. D. Allison (dallison@biochem.med.ufl.edu) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Bujold's novel won the 1988 Nebula Award for best science fiction novel of the year. It is centered in an orbiting workstation of a megacorporation. The corporation has genetically engineered humans (most of whom are teenagers or younger) having no legs and four arms, called quaddies, so that they are more effective and efficient in a zero gravity environment. The corporation considers them property rather than workers since it was the corporation that actually made them. A visiting welding instructor and engineer named Leo Graf sets out to free them. Actually, this novel is a part of Bujold's science fiction series, most of which are centered around members of the Vorkosigan family. The action in "Falling Free" occurs about 200 years before the action in Bujold's first novel, "Shards of Honor" (1986). The question of who is the real owner of genetically engineered products is a hot topic in biochemistry and molecular biology circles today and, believe it or not, Ms. Bujold's novel has been discussed.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graet story, greater characters. 21 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is only marginally in the Vorkosigan Saga, but this does not make it a minor book by Bujold. The story is breath-taking, as are all Bujold stories. But the depth of some characters (Leo Graf in particular) is maybe even better here. Bujold's remarkable humanism, which is a constant throughout her work (Ethan of Athos, Mountains of Mourning, etc.) is here at its best.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun sci-fi adventure with some deeper philosophical issues 19 July 2001
By Aimee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I absolutely love Lois McMaster Bujold; she is one of my all-time favorite authors. But one of the problems I have with recommending her books is that I don't know where to start! It's hard to find the beginning of her Vorkosigan series. Falling Free, although not really part of the series, is the chronological beginning and a good introduction to LMB. In this book (as with all her books), she combines intelligence, humor, drama, and a touch of philosophy and blends them into a rollicking, quick-moving adventure story. This particular novel also has some good, hard science-fictional ideas, ideas which I found fascinating.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent prequel to the Vorkosigan Universe 7 Mar 2007
By Marshall Lord - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is set in the same Universe as the Vorkosigan adventures, but about 200 years earlier.

It is a much more "straight" work of science fiction than some of the Miles Vorkosigan stories, e.g. it is not quite as side-splittingly funny. The tone and style are quite similar to the two books about the romance between Mile's parents, "Shards of Honour" and "Barrayar."

"Falling Free" is the story of the quaddies, a group of modified humans who have been bioengineered for zero gravity, the main change being that they have four arms instead of two arms and two legs. An engineer, Leo Graf, is concerned at the way the quaddies are exploited and decides to do something about it.

It is a well-told story and highly entertaining.

There are two subsequent stories with quaddie characters set in Lord Miles Vorkosigan's time, some 230 years later. The first is the novella "Labyrinth" which is part of the book "Borders of Infinity" - Miles and Bel Thorne meet a beautiful quaddie musician, Nicol, on Jackson's Whole.

A picture of the society which quaddies make for themselves in the years which follow "falling Free" is given in the tenth and currently most recent Vorkosigan adventure, "Diplomatic Immunity" which is set on a space station in Quaddie space.

Bottom line - this is an extremely good book, and if you liked any of Bujold's other SF novels you are very likely to enjoy this one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not her best. 17 May 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
It took a little while to really get into, but this book is a good read. It is not, however, as good as much of Bujold's other work, most of which, for some reason, Amazon does not seem to carry. She has a series of books featuring the very engaging character Miles Vorkosigan (and before that, his parents) that are truly outstanding. 9s and 10s all the way. Some of these have been collected two or three at a time into large-format paperbacks. For the sake of the unitiated (and Amazon stock-holders), I hope Amazon adds all of Bujold's titles to their listings soon
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