Lois McMaster Bujold quotes

Lois McMaster Bujold photo
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Lois McMaster Bujold

Birthdate: 2. November 1949

Lois McMaster Bujold is an American speculative fiction writer. She is one of the most acclaimed writers in her field, having won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, matching Robert A. Heinlein's record, not counting his Retro Hugo. Her novella "The Mountains of Mourning" won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. In the fantasy genre, The Curse of Chalion won the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature and was nominated for the 2002 World Fantasy Award for best novel, and both her fourth Hugo Award and second Nebula Award were for Paladin of Souls. In 2011 she was awarded the Skylark Award. In 2013 she was awarded the Forry Award. In 2017 she won a Hugo Award for Best Series, for the Vorkosigan Saga.

The bulk of Bujold's works comprises three separate book series: the Vorkosigan Saga, the Chalion Series, and the Sharing Knife series.

Works

Vorkosigan Saga
Lois McMaster Bujold
The Hallowed Hunt
Lois McMaster Bujold
The Curse of Chalion
The Curse of Chalion
Lois McMaster Bujold
Paladin of Souls
Paladin of Souls
Lois McMaster Bujold
A Civil Campaign
A Civil Campaign
Lois McMaster Bujold
Memory
Lois McMaster Bujold
Diplomatic Immunity
Diplomatic Immunity
Lois McMaster Bujold
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance
Lois McMaster Bujold
The warrior's Apprentice
The warrior's Apprentice
Lois McMaster Bujold
Mirror Dance
Mirror Dance
Lois McMaster Bujold
The Sharing Knife
Lois McMaster Bujold
Brothers in Arms
Brothers in Arms
Lois McMaster Bujold
The Vor Game
The Vor Game
Lois McMaster Bujold
Komarr
Komarr
Lois McMaster Bujold
Labyrinth
Lois McMaster Bujold
Falling Free
Falling Free
Lois McMaster Bujold
Borders of Infinity
Borders of Infinity
Lois McMaster Bujold

„Not justice, please, not justice. We would all be fools to pray for justice.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion

The Curse of Chalion (2000)
Context: "Mercy from the Father and the Mother, mercy from the Sister and the Brother, Mercy from the Bastard, five times mercy, High Ones, we beseech you."… Mercy, High Ones. Not justice, please, not justice. We would all be fools to pray for justice.

„If you can't be seven feet tall, be seven feet smart.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, book Labyrinth

Source: Vorkosigan Saga, Labyrinth (1989), p. 106

„You don't pay back your parents. You can't. The debt you owe them gets collected by your children, who hand it down in turn.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, A Civil Campaign (1999)
Context: You don't pay back your parents. You can't. The debt you owe them gets collected by your children, who hand it down in turn. It's a sort of entailment. Or if you don't have children of the body, it's left as a debt to your common humanity. Or to your God, if you possess or are possessed by one.

„They weren't supermen, or immune to pain. They sweated in confusion and darkness. And … they won.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, Borders of Infinity (1989)
Context: The loonies who sought a glorious death in battle found it very early on. This rapidly cleared the chain of command of the accumulated fools. The survivors were those who learned to fight dirty, and live, and fight another day, and win, and win, and win, and for whom nothing, not comfort, or security, not family or friends or their immortal souls, was more important than winning. Dead men are losers by definition. Survival and victory. They weren't supermen, or immune to pain. They sweated in confusion and darkness. And … they won.

„The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, Shards of Honor (1986)
Context: The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in that future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present — they are real.

„I suppose my determination to be a soldier stems from that date.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, Shards of Honor (1986)
Context: I suppose my determination to be a soldier stems from that date. I mean the real thing, not the parades and the uniforms and the glamour, but the logistics, the offensive advantage, the speed and surprise — the power. A better-prepared, stronger, tougher, faster, meaner son-of-a-bitch than any who came through that door.

„Reading is an active and elusive experience. Every reader, reading exactly the same text, will have a slightly different reading experience depending on what s/he projects into the words s/he sees, what strings of meaning and association those words call up in his/her (always) private mind.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold

The Vorkosigan Companion (2008)
Context: Reading is an active and elusive experience. Every reader, reading exactly the same text, will have a slightly different reading experience depending on what s/he projects into the words s/he sees, what strings of meaning and association those words call up in his/her (always) private mind. One can never therefore, talk about the quality of a book separately from the quality of the mind that is creating it by reading it, in the only place books live, in the secret mind.

"'A Conversation With Lois McMaster Bujold", an interview with Lillian Stewart Carl, p. 52

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„All great human deeds both consume and transform their doers. Consider an athlete, or a scientist, or an artist, or an independent business creator. In the service of their goals they lay down time and energy and many other choices and pleasures; in return, they become most truly themselves.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold

Cordelia's Honor (1996), "Author's Afterword"
Context: All great human deeds both consume and transform their doers. Consider an athlete, or a scientist, or an artist, or an independent business creator. In the service of their goals they lay down time and energy and many other choices and pleasures; in return, they become most truly themselves. A false destiny may be spotted by the fact that it consumes without transforming, without giving back the enlarged self. Becoming a parent is one of these basic human transformational deeds. By this act, we change our fundamental relationship with the universe — if nothing else, we lose our place as the pinnacle and end-point of evolution, and become a mere link. The demands of motherhood especially consume the old self, and replace it with something new, often better and wiser, sometimes wearier or disillusioned, or tense and terrified, certainly more self-knowing, but never the same again.

„Acting or reacting, we carry him in us. You can't walk away from him any more than I can. Whether you travel toward or away, he'll be the compass.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, The Warrior's Apprentice (1986)
Context: Acting or reacting, we carry him in us. You can't walk away from him any more than I can. Whether you travel toward or away, he'll be the compass. He'll be the glass, full of subtle colors and astigmatisms, through which all new things will be viewed. I too have a father who haunts me, and I know.

„Leadership is mostly a power over imagination, and never more so than in combat.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, Shards of Honor (1986)
Context: Leadership is mostly a power over imagination, and never more so than in combat. The bravest man alone can only be an armed lunatic. The real strength lies in the ability to get others to do your work.

„Adulthood isn’t an award they’ll give you for being a good child.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, A Civil Campaign (1999)
Context: Adulthood isn’t an award they’ll give you for being a good child. You can waste … years, trying to get someone to give that sort of respect to you, as though it were some sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just … take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, "I’m sorry you feel like that", and walk away.

„Interim reports tend to elicit orders. Which you must either then obey, or spend valuable time and energy evading, which you could be using to solve the problem.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, Brothers in Arms (1989)
Context: No, no, never send interim reports. Only final ones. Interim reports tend to elicit orders. Which you must either then obey, or spend valuable time and energy evading, which you could be using to solve the problem.

„Some problems could only be solved by running away from them.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, book Paladin of Souls

Paladin of Souls (2003)
Context: You can't solve problems by running away from them, it was said, and like the good child she had once been, she had believed this. But it wasn't true. Some problems could only be solved by running away from them.

p. 36

„The loonies who sought a glorious death in battle found it very early on. This rapidly cleared the chain of command of the accumulated fools.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan Saga

Vorkosigan Saga, Borders of Infinity (1989)
Context: The loonies who sought a glorious death in battle found it very early on. This rapidly cleared the chain of command of the accumulated fools. The survivors were those who learned to fight dirty, and live, and fight another day, and win, and win, and win, and for whom nothing, not comfort, or security, not family or friends or their immortal souls, was more important than winning. Dead men are losers by definition. Survival and victory. They weren't supermen, or immune to pain. They sweated in confusion and darkness. And … they won.

„Be passionate, be picky, have enough self-criticism to demand of yourself your best and not sort of let it slide by. And remember that the greatest defect any piece of fiction can have is not to be finished.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold

A Girl's World interview (2006)
Context: Don't worry about that depressing old dictum "Write what you know". If you need to know something, look it up. Learn how to find out what you need to know to make it right. Be passionate, be picky, have enough self-criticism to demand of yourself your best and not sort of let it slide by. And remember that the greatest defect any piece of fiction can have is not to be finished.

„The demands of motherhood especially consume the old self, and replace it with something new, often better and wiser, sometimes wearier or disillusioned, or tense and terrified, certainly more self-knowing, but never the same again.“

—  Lois McMaster Bujold

Cordelia's Honor (1996), "Author's Afterword"
Context: All great human deeds both consume and transform their doers. Consider an athlete, or a scientist, or an artist, or an independent business creator. In the service of their goals they lay down time and energy and many other choices and pleasures; in return, they become most truly themselves. A false destiny may be spotted by the fact that it consumes without transforming, without giving back the enlarged self. Becoming a parent is one of these basic human transformational deeds. By this act, we change our fundamental relationship with the universe — if nothing else, we lose our place as the pinnacle and end-point of evolution, and become a mere link. The demands of motherhood especially consume the old self, and replace it with something new, often better and wiser, sometimes wearier or disillusioned, or tense and terrified, certainly more self-knowing, but never the same again.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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