I just finished devouring Lois McMaster Bujold's "Shards of Honor," the first of a series of books in her Vorkosigan saga. It was wonderful. It was everything I remembered in the magic of SciFi books I read in childhood, and written with strong command of language, character, and plot.
It was published in 1986 and I had never heard of it. My only defense is that I was neck deep in finishing graduate school and working in my first professional appointment as a physical therapist in 1986 and wasn't doing a lot of reading for pleasure.
Somewhere along the line, when I did start reading again, I had drifted into fantasy and away from science fiction, believing it to be the province of overly technological or experimental prose, neither of which held a lot of interest.
So I am abashed to admit I had never read a single one of Bujold's books until last week, when in search for something new, I downloaded a novella of hers from the Baen free library. It was "The Mountains of Mourning" which I now understand had won Hugo and Nebula awards. Honestly, I shake my head in shame.
The novella was marvelous. It sent me scurrying to the library to find the first of the saga. Which they didn't have. Sigh. So I surfed over to Amazon and found they had a kindle version. One click later and I purchased it, downloaded it, and started reading. (One thing the Kindle is great for is when you have no patience.)
Run, do not walk, and pick up Bujold's books. She has a deft way of writing that makes the reader connect, on a deep level, with the goals and stakes of her characters.
It's been a long time since I've been able to read a book and get utterly sucked into the story, without my internal writer/editor/storyteller getting in the way.
Thank you, Ms. Bujold.