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Author Topic: Female Authors
mr_porteiro_head
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Cordelia's Honor is actually the omnibus edition of two of the books I mentioned earlier, Shards of Honor and Barrayar.
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Tatiana
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Oh, and I love Ursula K. Leguin too. To me, she is a great writer, up there with any of the best of the best. My favorites by her are "The Left Hand of Darkness" and "The Lathe of Heaven". I also love the Earthsea series, of course, particularly "The Tombs of Atuan".

Octavia Butler is also fantastic, as everyone here has said. She's a very good writer, a level below great but well worth reading. One thing I really love about her is that her stories don't have happy, or even reasonably survivable endings, quite often. But the people take whatever horrible new life they are given, and set about making something good out of it. It feels to me as though that comes from her African-American heritage, and her understanding of how it is that a people can survive slavery. It's a radically different outlook on life than most other SF writers I have read. Her stuff is quite powerful and compelling.

It's funny but I rarely listen to female artists. Of all the favorite bands I've had in my life, only a few have had female musicians prominent in them. Exceptions would be Joni Mitchell, maybe Natalie Merchant at one time, and Chrissy Hynde (The Pretenders). I can't think of any others.

I also exhibit sexism in my literary fiction choices. Jane Austen is about the only female lit-fic writer I care much for. I never got into the others. I don't really know why.

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cmc
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Just here to vouch for Octavia E. Butler...
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human_2.0
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I don't actually read much, but a female author who is good that I have read is Diana Wynne Jones, who writes fantasy.

I listen to far more female singers than male: Dido, Hayley Westenra, Imogen Heap, Tori Amos, Shakira (her older stuff), Sarah Mclachlan, Ella Fitzgerald, Jewel, Sade, Selena. After buying an album and listening to it to death, periodically after a few months or so I still go back to their stuff and re-listen it to death, but with male singers I never re-listen. I don't know why.

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blacwolve
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quote:

When I read the end of Diplomatic Immunity I said to myself "Well, that's it -- she's not writing any more in this series." Do you know if my impression was accurate?

I thought the same thing. Or, more accurately, I think the story should have ended with A Civil Campaign, and Diplomatic Immunity is proof of that.

By Diplomatic Immunity Miles is no longer in conflict, and what made the other books wonderful wasn't the plot, although it was good, it was the conflict Miles was going through. By Diplomatic Immunity he's found a place for himself in Barrayaran society and he's found a Barrayaran woman who loves him despite all of the things that make him unattractive to Barrayaran women.

I've heard a lot of people say that she's not writing the next book because she knows she'll have to kill Aral in it. Honestly though, I don't even think Aral's death could destroy Miles now. Though I can definately see a book from Cordelia's point of view dealing with Aral's death. Or more books from Mark's point of view.

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sarfa
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C.J. Cherryh is one of my favorite authors, male or female. someone may have mentioned her already, but I skimmed through the topic and didn't notice her name.
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Shan
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Good female authors:

Mary Gentle, Golden Witchbreed (and many other interesting things)
Katherine Kurtz, Camber and Deryni works (among others)
Sheri S. Tepper, my favorite was The Gate to Women's Country -- the others were indeed hit and miss . . .
Jennifer Roberson, check out the Sword Dancer series for fun, fast reads and her historical/fiction for more serious reads
Patricia Kenneally Morrison for her alternative Celtic stories --

There's many more . . .

I have a decent mix of male and female vocalists -- no preferences really, unless by mood . . .

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
Ooh, forgot Audrey Neffenegger. Dunno if she considers herself an SF writer, but The Time Traveller's Wife remains one of my favorite SF books.

Your right, I forgot about her! One of my favorite books to. I didn't really mean just sci-fi regardless of what she is considered.
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Sterling
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I read a really good horror story by Poppy Z. Brite that has me curious about her novels (one of which I just picked up, but have yet to read.) It may turn out to be gothic vampire angst nonsense, but what I've seen suggests she has a really compelling narrative voice.
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MightyCow
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I just picked up Clay Arc by Octavia E. Butler, and so far it's quite good. I've never read any of her books before, so I'm glad for the recommendation.

I read one of Sheri S. Tepper's books, and I found it, well, lame is the best word I can think of.

I do have to say that I'm a bit miffed at Butler. I thought I had a cool idea for a book, and then she goes and writes a very similar one 20 years ago :/

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mr_porteiro_head
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Clay's Arc is probably my least favorite Butler book.
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Stan the man
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I own a few books by female authors. They are really good. However, I'm fairly picky even then. But then I am for male authors too.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Clay's Arc is probably my least favorite Butler book.

Agreed. Although it's not bad.
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dkw
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Also Emma Bull's War for the Oaks is one of my favorite books ever. It's a modern urban fantasy.

I may be prejudiced though, because it's set in Minneapolis/St. Paul, which is where I grew up, and I love the idea of fey folk running around Hennepin Avenue.

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rivka
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*odd look* It wasn't you who told me about that book at RaspberryCon, was it? I thought it was ElJay, but my memory is too vague. (I can picture the street we were driving down, but not the driver!)

In any case, it sounded good then, and it does now as well. Hooray for Amazon Marketplace -- I wonder if it will come in time for my trip this weekend.

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dkw
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It was me, although she has a copy too.
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rivka
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[Blushing]
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Tatiana
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I'm fairly certain Marion Zimmer Bradley is a guy.

I didn't read that short story that comes between A Civil Campaign and Diplomatic Immunity.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
I'm fairly certain Marion Zimmer Bradley is a guy.

Nope. Definitely not.
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Tatiana
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lol! I wonder where I got that idea? I have thought that for about a decade now. Obviously, I've never read her. Thanks for the correction! [Smile]
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MightyCow
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War for the Oaks is a perfect example of a fantasy book that just seemed too girly for me. It was verging on a romance novel at some points, and that's the opposite of what I want in a Sf/Fantasy book. I don't mind characters having romantic relationships, but I don't want that to be such a focus of the book.

To be honest, the music in that particular book became way too much for me too, but overall I found it so-so at best.

I guess of the female authors who I don't like, that's my main beef. If they start out with a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book, and then try to turn it into a romance novel, I'm not down. Laurell K. Hamilton used to write some good, pulpy books, but lately they've turned into sex-fests, and I don't want to read them any more.

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Gwen
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quote:
Laurell K. Hamilton used to write some good, pulpy books, but lately they've turned into sex-fests, and I don't want to read them any more.
Ugh. I went to Barnes and Noble recently and was excited at first to see all these books by the author of Nightseer...then I took a closer look at them. Darn.
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Belle
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Add me to the "thoroughly disgusted with Laurell K. Hamilton" camp. I enjoyed the first few books she wrote, but lately they're nothing but porn.
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dkw
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Quite. But implying that War for the Oaks is in that same category is nuts.

Although I can see where you wouldn't like it if you weren't into rock bands and motorcycles.

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MightyCow
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Oh, you're right. War for the Oaks isn't in the same category as the latest of Hamilton's junk. War for the Oaks was pretty good, just a little on the romance side, and too much description of music and how awesome it is.

I love listening to music, but I don't think you can really convey a song by describing it. When books focus a lot on describing music, they usually lose me. War for the Oaks had that against it, as well as the romance novel angle, which made me finish it thinking, meh. Still, it was O.K.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
I'm fairly certain Marion Zimmer Bradley is a guy.

Good God, why? I mean, have you ever read Mists of Avalon or any of her other Avalon books? Granted, the most blatantly separatist lesbian-feminist story I've ever read in my life was written by John Varley, but in general, guys don't write like MZB did.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
I'm fairly certain Marion Zimmer Bradley is a guy.

Good God, why? I mean, have you ever read Mists of Avalon or any of her other Avalon books? Granted, the most blatantly separatist lesbian-feminist story I've ever read in my life was written by John Varley, but in general, guys don't write like MZB did.
quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
lol! I wonder where I got that idea? I have thought that for about a decade now. Obviously, I've never read her. Thanks for the correction! [Smile]

(emphasis mine)
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Samuel Bush
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Stephan, I havenít had a chance to read through this whole thread, but I intend to because it interests me. Meanwhile I can tell you this: There have been times when Iíve deliberately skipped women writers. I used to read a lot of Star Trek novels and after a while I just refused to read any Star Trek novel written by a woman. (That is, except for Vonda McIntyre and Diane Duane.) It was not because I didnít think the other ladies were not good writers. They were probably good enough writers. It was just that I got sick and tired of hearing about the oozingly sweet relationship between Kirk, Spock, and Bones. (Or is it ďamong Kirk, Spock, and Bones.ď) Whatever. Anyway, I wanted lots of phazer gun fights, explosions, and star ship chases. Just forget all that relationship stuff.

I guess I just figured that ladies are into that relationship stuff or maybe they had secret fantasies about . . . . ahem . . . helping Spock solve his emotional impairment. I donít know. At any rate, I stopped reading their Star Trek novels.

In all fairness, Iím probably unfairly pre-judging all of the women Star Trek writers by the few I did read. What can I say? [Dont Know]

But as for all the other categories of literature I have no preference between the guys and ladies. I love the writings of Nancy Kress, Octavia Butler, Jane Austin, Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie, . . . well I could list a bunch of them.

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ElJay
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dkw, I bet you have a hard time finding that book to loan blacwolve. 'Cause I'm pretty sure I noticed it in my sunroom last weekend and was surprised I had never given it back to you.

Also, you may have told rivka about War For The Oaks, but I'm pretty sure I did, too, as we were driving along Minnehaha Blvd towards the falls. [Smile] Not on my motorcycle, though. [Wink]

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Noemon
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I was part of that conversation too, wasn't I ElJay? I could be fabricating the memory, but I don't think so.
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ElJay
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Hmmm. I thought it was before anyone but rivka was in, but I guess I could be mistaken. Or maybe we're all just imagining different conversations. [Smile]
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Gwen
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quote:
That is, except for Vonda McIntyre and Diane Duane.
Ooh, good authors. I've read the whole So You Want To Be A Wizard series, and I have a short story by Vonda McIntyre set in Theives' World in a collection of MZB Theives' World short stories.
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AvidReader
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Most of my books are Dragonlance, so I've got plenty of Weis and Jean Rabe on the shelves. (I just picked up Dragons of the Dwarven Depths at GenCon and got it autographed by Weis and Hickman. It's so cool!)

The only new author I can recommend is Kristen Britain. She wrote Green Rider and First Rider's Call. The idea is that a young woman runs away from school and finds one of the King's messengers half dead on the road. He begs her to carry a vital message to the king. Of course, people promptly try to kill her for it.

There is some romance, but it's what I remember from middle school. "Gee, I think I like him. I hope he doesn't find out, I'd be so embarressed." Mostly I like that Karigan's a teenager with some brains and a lot of spunk. She makes some childish decisions, but she learns from her mistakes, and she does the best she can. Not a lot of authors remember being young. It's refreshing to see a fictional teen who isn't moody and self-absorbed.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
Hmmm. I thought it was before anyone but rivka was in, but I guess I could be mistaken. Or maybe we're all just imagining different conversations. [Smile]

Last night I dreamed about having this supposed conversation with Dana, and thought it was a memory. Now I think I recall having it with you . . . and I think we were alone in the car.

O_o

Clearly, the entire Con did not actually happen, and the aliens who abducted us and planted false memories did a really lousy job. [Razz]





So where did the rhubarb in my freezer come from?

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Will B
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There are certainly many great female authors of soft SF. But suppose you want to stay in hard SF? My favorites for this are Connie Willis (my favorite living author) and Octavia Butler. Willis's work doesn't feel like hard SF, yet it is sometimes about how science is done (Passage, Bellwether). Butler's got the best aliens I've ever read (Dawn and its sequels).
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dkw
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Jake was definitely in the car when I was talking about War for the Oaks. Rivka might have got the recommendation twice.
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blacwolve
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Nancy Kress is another good hard sci fi author.
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Noemon
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Was that you, Dana? I think that I actually am starting to recall that that was the case, but at this point I'm not trusting my memory of the conversation at all, beyond believing that someone recommended the book to me, and thinking that it was probably in a car. Oh, and being certain that we were passing some trees that I found interesting as we talked about it.

Butler as a hard SF author? I'm not seeing it. You're absolutely right, Will, that her aliens in the Xenogenesis trilogy are brilliantly drawn--probably the most successfully alien aliens I've seen in fiction, period--but that doesn't make her work hard SF.

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Chris Bridges
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An aside - I finally grabbed Elizabeth Moon's "The Speed of Dark" off my shelf this morning to read it. I suspect I'm going to be sorry I waited this long.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
Jake was definitely in the car when I was talking about War for the Oaks. Rivka might have got the recommendation twice.

Aha! Ok, I'm not going crazy after all. [Wink]
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
There's a reason why Bujold has won so many Hugo awards but no Nebula awards.

This is incorrect. She has won two nebula awards. On was for Falling Free which I thought was OK, and the other was for Mountains of Mourning also won the Hugo and completely deserved both.
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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
My wife said something to me the other day that I had never really noticed. I don't read books written by women. I tend to read horror, sci-fi, and thrillers. I know women write in those genres, I just wonder why none of their books has caught my eye before. Is it because sci-fis, horrors, and thrillers are all in a way fantasies, and male authors know what fantasies male readers like? Could it be sexism on my part without realizing it, or even the publishing companies in some way? One big giant conincidence?

You know, I hardly ever read women-written spec-fic, either. How weird. I just realized this now. Especially bad, since I plan to become a spec-fic writer in the near future.... I wonder why that is.
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IndigoKnight1
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Wow, I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned Barbara Hambly, Mercedes Lackey, Ann Rice ...
Nevermind, not my place to rant about the lack of authors any one has or hasn't read, sorry.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I've read Anne Rice. I've just never recommended her.
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rivka
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Barbara Hambly, yes! Well, not everything of hers -- I still haven't managed to get through Icefalcon's Quest. But her ST novel Ishmael was marvelous. As were The Silent Tower and The Silicon Mage (which has probably one of the best opening lines of all time).

I should get some of her more recent books from the library.

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Noemon
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Looks like amazon doesn't have a scan of the first page of The Silicon Mage, and my copy is in a box somewhere. What is the first line, rivka?
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rivka
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In all honesty, I had forgotten, but one of the reviews at Amazon reminded me: "The worst thing about knowing Gary was dead was seeing him every day at work."
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Noemon
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[Smile] That is a good opening line. I've been lugging that book from apartment to apartment for years; maybe it's time I dug it out of its box and read it.
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Teshi
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quote:
I thought the same thing. Or, more accurately, I think the story should have ended with A Civil Campaign, and Diplomatic Immunity is proof of that.

Are you saying here that "Diplomatic Immunity" is no good? I got it out the library because of this thread, but if it's not a good one of Bujold's to read first I suppose I should probably not.

Thoughts?

Suggestions as to which Bujold I should read?

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Theaca
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
She's said she has no current plans to write another book in it, but she hasn't ruled it out if she gets an idea that would fit well.

She's started another series too -- the first book is due out Oct. 1, so I'd guess she's focusing on other worlds for awhile.

I was at baen.com just yesterday and checked out Bujold's forum. She has recently announced that she has signed with Jim Baen's successor for another Miles universe novel, which she hopes to start in mid 2007 or 2008. But she admitted she didn't know what it would be about yet.

She also said she'll be the guest of honor for Worldcon 2008. I think it'll be in Denver in August 2008. I'm already considering going.

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