Leo Graf was just your average highly efficient engineer: mind your own business, fix what's wrong, and move on to the next job. But all that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat, where a group of humanoids had been secretly, commercially bioengineered for working in free fall. Could he just stand there and allow the exploitation of hundreds of helpless children merely to enhance the bottom line of a heartless mega-corporation?
He hadn't anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither safe, nor in the rules. Leo adopted a thousand quaddies. Now all he had to do was teach them to be free.
©1988 Lois McMaster Bujold (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic reviews

Nebula Award Finalist, Best Novel, 1988
"Superb....Read, or you will be missing something extraordinary." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Bujold's best work in my opinion." (Science Fiction Chronicle)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Alex on 20-02-15

Good old-fashioned science fiction

Straightforward and fun: engineers are good, managers are bad, individuals good, corporations bad. Like much sci-fi of the era, it oozes with optimistic projections of American values of that time - don't look for any modern political correctness Some nice sci-fi ideas, and a story the trots along cheerfully, if a little implausibly.

The reader was no better than OK, but didn't get in the way too much.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Rosemary Swords on 06-05-17


if you don't know these books run and get them. pure joy. having read them several times I am now enjoying them as audio and delighting again. I was not sure about the narrator because having read a book I have a version of people in my own imagination, but the narrator was so good I found him totally compelling.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Carol on 20-02-13

Don't read this one first

The Vorkosigan series is one of the best! But this "prequel"--set 200 years before the "real" series--is an outlier, very different from the others and (in my opinion) not nearly as good. Its story is almost totally exclusive of the series; the "Quaddies" do figure in later Vorkosigan books, but in a fairly minor way. "Falling Free" is best approached after you've already become hooked by the Vorkosiverse.

Start with either Shards of Honor or The Warrior's Apprentice. An interview with Lois McMaster Bujold appears with her book listings on Amazon and will advise the best order in which to read the series.

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61 of 63 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kelly Howard on 11-01-10

if you want the books in order...

I stumbled across the 1st "Miles" book (--Falling Free; it's sort of a prequel, actually, 200 years in the future) by accident, & enjoyed listening to the audiobook. When I went to go on to the next books, I found it annoying that they're not numbered. I did find a site that lists the books in order, for those who want a shortcut:

As to how good they are, I've enjoyed the next 2 books enough that I bought them in order, & am about to buy the next. I like her characters, good plots that keep moving right along, & her 'sociological' sci fi of the planets Barrayar vs Beta is interesting.

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51 of 53 people found this review helpful

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