Vorkosigan Saga Reading Order: Exploring Lois McMaster Bujold’s sci-fi series

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The Vorkosigan Saga is a series of science fiction novels and short stories by American author Lois McMaster Bujold.

Reading the Vorkosigan Saga in Order

You can follow two different reading orders for the Vorkosigan Saga. First, with the chronological order, aka Lois McMaster Bujold preferred order. Second, the publication order.

Vorkosigan Saga in Chronological Order

– “Dreamweaver’s Dilemma” (1995)
Falling Free (1987)
Shards of Honor (1986)
Barrayar (1991)
The Warrior’s Apprentice (1986)
– “The Mountains of Mourning” (1989)
– “Weatherman” (1990)
The Vor Game (1990)
Cetaganda (1995)
Ethan of Athos (1986)
– “Labyrinth” (1989)
– “Borders of Infinity” (1989)
Brothers in Arms (1989)
Mirror Dance (1994)
Memory (1996)
Komarr (1998)
A Civil Campaign (1999)
– “Winterfair Gifts” (2004)
Diplomatic Immunity (2002)
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance (2012)
– “The Flowers of Vashnoi” (2018)
Cryoburn (2010)
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (2016)

Vorkosigan Books in Publication Order

Shards of Honor (1986)
The Warrior’s Apprentice (1986)
Ethan of Athos (1986)
– “The Borders of Infinity” (1987)
Falling Free (1987)
Brothers in Arms (1989)
– “The Mountains of Mourning” (1989)
– “Labyrinth” (1989)
Borders of Infinity (1989)
– “Weatherman” (1990)
The Vor Game (1990)
Barrayar (1991)
Mirror Dance (1994)
Cetaganda (1995)
Dreamweaver’s Dilemma (1995)
Memory (1996)
Komarr (1998)
A Civil Campaign (1999)
Diplomatic Immunity (2002)
Winterfair Gifts (2004)
Cryoburn (2010)
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance (2012)
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (2016)
– “The Flowers of Vashnoi” (2018)

More about The Vorkosigan series

The Story of the Vorkosigan Saga

The saga follows the adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, a physically disabled man who overcomes his disabilities to become a formidable warrior and politician in a future interstellar society. He often has to protect his loved ones and his home planet of Barrayar from various threats.

Here is the official description for the first book in the saga, Shards of Honor:

When Cordelia Naismith and her survey crew are attacked by a renegade group from Barrayar, she is taken prisoner by Aral Vorkosigan, commander of the Barrayan ship that has been taken over by an ambitious and ruthless crew member. Aral and Cordelia survive countless mishaps while their mutual admiration and even stronger feelings emerge.

Does the Vorkosigan Saga need to be read in order?

The Vorkosigan Saga is a series of interconnected stories. For that reason, reading them in order can help provide a better understanding of the overall narrative and the development of the characters.

That said, each book in the series works as a standalone story. It’s not an obligation to read the previously published book to enjoy one randomly picked novel.

That said, if you don’t intend to read all of the books in the Vorkosigan Saga in order, I would recommend starting with the first book, “Shards of Honor,” which introduces the main characters and provides important background information about the setting and the political climate of the Vorkosigan universe.

How many books are there in the Vorkosigan series?

There are currently 16 novels and several short stories/novellas in the Vorkosigan Saga, but also several collections of short stories containing stories that fill in some of the gaps between the novels and provide additional insights into the lives and adventures of the characters.

Where can I find Vorkosigan’s short stories and novellas?

As I was saying before, there are several short stories and novellas that are set in the Vorkosigan universe. You can find “The Mountains of Mourning”, “Labyrinth” and “The Borders of Infinity” in the book (also titled) The Borders of Infinity. All three of them, but also “Dreamweaver’s Dilemma,” “Weatherman,” “Winterfair Gifts,” and “The Flowers of Vashnoi” are available as ebook

Has the Vorkosigan books series ended?

The most recent novel in the series, “The Flowers of Vashnoi,” was released in 2018, but The Vorkosigan Saga has not officially ended. For now, at least, we can say that the series is still ongoing. We are waiting for new books to be published.

Is there an adaptation of the Vorkosigan books series?

Not all book series are destined to be adapted as movies, TV Shows, radio dramas, or others. As of today, at least, there is no adaptation of the Vorkosigan Saga.

About the author of the Vorkosigan Saga

Who is Lois McMaster Bujold?

Lois McMaster Bujold is an American author of science fiction and fantasy novels whose work has won several awards, including six Hugo Awards, three Locus Awards, and two Nebula Awards.

Her interest in science fiction was partly inspired by her father, a famed scientist Robert Charles McMaster, who was an avid reader of the genre. Her passion for the genre expanded with shows like Star Trek, but her tastes in literature expanded beyond the genre over the years.

She began writing the Vorkosigan Saga, completing three books before selling the first one, The Warrior’s Apprentice, which ended up not being the first one published. The first one being “Shards of Honor” which was published in June 1986.

What has she written beyond the Vorkosigan Saga?

Beyond the Vorkosigan Saga, Lois McMaster Bujold is also known for having written the World of the Five Gods, and the Sharing Knife series.