Vorkosigan Saga

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Name: Vorkosigan Saga
Abbreviation(s): Vorkosigan, Vorkosiverse (for fanfic)
Creator: Lois McMaster Bujold
Date(s): 1986 - present
Medium: Novels originally in English
Country of Origin: United States of America
External Links:
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The Vorkosigan Saga refers to the series of books written by Lois McMaster Bujold that feature the character Miles Vorkosigan or his parents. The series is also referred to as the Barrayar novels after the home planet of most of the main characters. The first novel was published in 1986, and the series is ongoing. The early novels are rolicking adventures in the space opera genre, but later books incorporate elements of the detective and romance genres.

The Vorkosigan chronicles are space opera—but space opera with a twist. Lois McMaster Bujold, the author, is quite adept at drawing from and blending a variety of genres: comedy, tragedy, romance, mystery, adventure, coming-of-age, military SF, you name it, you’ll find it somewhere in the series. Bujold is a woman of wit and intelligence, and a sharp knowledge of human nature; her works are character-centered, full of vibrant and real-seeming people and places. You can read her works as adventure novels, and enjoy them immensely; they function equally as well on the “literary” level, with deeply moving and relevant themes and some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever seen. Also, her explorations of biotechnology and its implications are well-thought-out and get more relevant with time, not less, which is something few SF writers can say about their technology. (Beatrice Otter)[1]

See also Timeline of Bujold Fandom

English-language Fandom

More than one fan community is available for fans of Bujold's work:

  • Lois McMaster Bujold Fanfic Community (link) {or bujold-fic for short) is also based on LiveJournal. This community provides a place for sharing fan-fiction set in any of Bujold's universes, of which the most popular is the Vorkosiverse.
  • The Bujold Nexus Mailing List has been active since October 1994 and was the first resource available on the Internet for fans of Lois McMaster Bujold.

The fandom is fairly small, but the series is still being written, so there are always new fanworks produced and new meta discussions held.

Russian-language fandom

This article or section needs expansion.

There is a huge segment of fandom within the Russian community and there have been frequent ficathons ran since 2005.

http://lavka.lib.ru/bujold (or http://lavka.lib.ru/bujold/buj_eng.htm in English)

http://barrayar.slashfiction.ru (main archive in Russian)

Rock Opera

Fan music videos have been made using audio from the rock opera. For example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQtYgLoABHk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCSIF0BP5ag

Giant Russian Barrayaran Cosplay Events


There is a wide range of fanfic, gen, slash and het and stories range from drabbles to novel-length fiction. One of the most well-known stories is the novel-length, A Deeper Season, a Miles/Gregor Vorbarra story.[2]

The Miles/Gregor pairing is popular with fans as are stories exploring more minor characters and expanding on canon relationships. There is a small clutch of Ivan Vorpatril/Byerly Vorrutyer stories and several exploring the relationship of Miles' parents, Aral/Cordelia, as well as Simon Illyan/Alys Vorpatril and Gregor Vorbarra/Laisa Toscane.

The canon text lends itself to fanworks exploring gender identity, sexuality and sexual mores. The repressed, sexist and isolationist culture of Barrayar is contrasted with the futuristic, open and egalitarian society of Beta in the marriage of Aral and Cordelia. The Betan hermaphrodite character Bel Thorne, the character Dono Vorrutyer who has undergone sex reassignment surgery, and the canonically bisexual Aral Vorkosigan have all featured in works exploring these issues. Some fans feel that the treatment of homosexuality and bisexuality in the original sources is problematic, that Aral Vorkosigan is written as het now! once he has married Cordelia, although this is addressed to some extent in Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (2016). There is also criticism of Dono Vorrutyer, with fans questioning if the character can be termed a transman, since the motivation for Donna Vorrutyer to undergo sex reassignment is written as wholly political and economic. These perceived flaws have led fans to write stories that examine or illuminate the issue, or just fix-it.[3]

Crossovers are comparatively rare and are most commonly with Doctor Who and related fandoms and with Harry Potter.

Example Fanfiction

A few prominent authors & sample works include:

Yuletide and Winterfair

Until 2010 Bujold's Vorkosigan fandom was nominated (and accepted) onto Yuletide each year, generating a handful of fics. In October 2010, Vorkosigan fans discovered the number of fanfic had grown too large to continue to be considered a 'rare' fandom. [4]. Even though this decision was soon reversed [5], fans took note of the fact that the Vorkosigan universe had consistently been one of the more popular Yuletide fandoms since its inception, and therefore began making alternative plans for a gift fic-exchange roughly coinciding with Christmas/New Year, but not competing with Yuletide. These plans were initiated within bujold-fic [6] and led to the first year of 'Winterfair'. The concept behind this exchange is that everyone who writes a fic will get a fic. Prompts are submitted in late December with initial fic posted in January to early February. The intention is that everyone who writes a fic for someone else before a date in early February will get a fic written for them by late February. The Winterfair exchange also integrated the English and Russian language sides of the fandom into one event.

Vorkosigan Saga was at first ineligible for Yuletide before the decision was reversed and considered eligible for Yuletide 2011.[7]

Winterfair 2011 masterlist

Winterfair is being run again for 2012 (http://bujold-fic.livejournal.com/289564.html)




Fanfic Recs and Reviews



  1. ^ Crack Van: Aral Vorkosigan's Dog by Philomytha (accessed 24 June 2016)
  2. ^ A Deeper Season at the Archive of Our Own
  3. ^ Complicated by schemingreader, accessed March 29, 2011
  4. ^ No Yuletide on Barrayar Accessed 07 January 2011.
  5. ^ Hey! We're Yuletide-able again! Accessed 07 January 2011.
  6. ^ Request for Comment Accessed 07 January 2011
  7. ^ Yuletide Rarity and an Incomplete List of Ineligible Fandoms Accessed 12 December 2011
  8. ^ reference link.
  9. ^ "The One That Proves That My Childhood Wish to Live in a House with Secret Passages and Rooms and Dungeons Would Probably Not Have Worked out All That Well in Reality. Oh, the Pain of Disillusionment. A Maze of Twisty Passages, All Alike, by Merry, aka merryish. Vorkosigan series, gen.