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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny, fast-moving, involving book
Ethan of Athos is a very pleasant addition to Bujold's 'Vorkosigan' books. It takes a bit of a side route from her main timeline, concentrating instead on Elli Quinn and one of her adventures while working for the Dendarii Mercenaries.
The idea of an all-male society (only possible with advanced technology) is well explored, as is the culture clash when a member of...
Published on 5 Jan 2001 by rmc28

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3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing short romp
Ethan is a young man looking to get ahead in life and start a family when his career hits a problem: the fertility clinic where he works is running out of viable eggs. And the obvious solution of asking for or buying new donations is impossible as Athos has no women and is isolationist to boot (we're told that they have religious reasons for this, but the book doesn't go...
Published 20 months ago by John Potts


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny, fast-moving, involving book, 5 Jan 2001
By 
rmc28 (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
Ethan of Athos is a very pleasant addition to Bujold's 'Vorkosigan' books. It takes a bit of a side route from her main timeline, concentrating instead on Elli Quinn and one of her adventures while working for the Dendarii Mercenaries.
The idea of an all-male society (only possible with advanced technology) is well explored, as is the culture clash when a member of this society (Ethan) has to deal with that most mysterious entity - a woman.
This however, is merely one thread of an amusing, engaging plot involving interplanetary espionage, genetics, space station life and eels (yes, eels - I won't spoil the plot by explaining them).
If you've never read any Bujold, but you like quality writing and convincing characters, this is a great book to start on, with very little 'past history' to deal with. If you've read and liked anything else by her, you should enjoy this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly rated, 24 Mar 2003
By 
Sock-Cheng Tang (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ethan of Athos (Paperback)
This is a very good story, well plotted with a sympathetic hero who is out-of-the-ordinary. The atypical swaggering hero, he is the casual everyday-Joe who is caught up in events beyond his knowledge. Happily he is, unbeknownst to him, benignly guarded by Elli Quin, of the Dendarii Mercenaries.
Better yet, this story is well written. It is set in the future universe of Miles Vorkosigan (of which there is a whole series) where uterine replicators free men from the shackles of women - at least for a few centuries before senescence proves the nature of genetics is female.
It covers lightly but incisively homosexuality-homophobia, and the everyday-Joe, and the rights to freedom, and commercial exploitation. It also includes spies and espionage, and urban tactical warfare, and conflict within an enclosed urban area.
If it all sounds like heavy-going reading in a science-fiction space-opera novel, then it's obvious that you haven't picked up a Lois McMaster Bujold book _ever_! She writes her stories so well that your imagination can produce a movie from the sketches of her words.
Buy this book and read it! I won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing sci-fi, 10 April 2011
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Michael Finn (Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Don't start this one thinking Miles is in it. You'll only be disappointed. The little guy is mentioned quite a bit though and one of the major characters is Elli Quinn, some might remember her from The Warrior's Apprentice. The main protagonist is this chap Ethan. He lives on a male only planet inhabited by blokes who live in superstitious dread of women (otherwise known as uterine replicators with legs). The fun starts when he has to leave his home planet in search or a replacement supply of ovarian cultures to replace the failing existing cultures, without which his society can't reproduce. Due to massive culture shock (women everywhere) Ethan soon gets up to his neck in trouble. It's all quite light hearted but very amusing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing short romp, 30 Mar 2013
Ethan is a young man looking to get ahead in life and start a family when his career hits a problem: the fertility clinic where he works is running out of viable eggs. And the obvious solution of asking for or buying new donations is impossible as Athos has no women and is isolationist to boot (we're told that they have religious reasons for this, but the book doesn't go into this). So when the purchase goes wrong (they receive a pile of biological waste instead of eggs) Ethan is sent to proquire replacements. Of course he will be rewarded for this if only he can resist the evil siren call of... women.

Given the gynophobic nature of Athos, naturally the first person Athos runs into is Eli Quinn (on a mission from Miles, though at first we're just told that she's visiting her "Home Planet", Kline Station). After she rescues Ethan from an assassination attempt, she acts as a sort of native guide for the naive Ethan and they are drawn into a world of Cetagandan spies, Jackson Hole enforcers and telepathic agents.

While this is a rather disposable book in the grand sweep of the Vorkosigan series (there is a reference to the goings on here in, I believe, "Cetaganda", but it otherwise has almost zero impact on events elsewhere), it does have some suitably "Bujoldian" touches. Women are referred to (on Athos, at least) as "Uterine Replicators with Legs" and Athos is one of the few planets where childcare costs are fully accounted for (a cynic - especially a female cynic - might comment that when a men have to bear the costs of bringing up a baby, of course they fully account for childcare costs). Kline Station's "Hat" is "terrified of (xeno-)biological infections", which results in a scene where Eli in a suitably "Milesian" moment brings the wrath of Kline Station down on a Cetagandan agent by accusing him of having an STD.

Overall, it'll keep you amused for a couple of hours but isn't exactly a "Must Read".
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars <NO TITLE>, 14 Jun 2003
By 
Neal Reynolds (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
I quite enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, but the last 3rd let me down. The concept of an all male planet based on the idea of a monastary was well done. The Athos prejudice against women was a bit on the strong side until you consider that, after all, the planet's residents had never seen women in their life. To them, heterosexual sex would seem disgusting because they had no knowledge of it or of the female sex. To be sure, Athos isn't a planet I would ever want to be even near to, but their attitude towards women would be as natural as our attitude is toward those who are totally alien to us.
My disappointment with the latter part of the novel stems from my feeling of just plain tiring of the characters. I would still recommend it to most science-fiction readers, but not as strongly as CETAGANDA.
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Ethan of Athos
Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold (Hardcover - Aug 2003)
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