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Publisher's Summary

A delightful collection of Lois McMaster Bujold's early stories and a comprehensive introduction by this New York Times best-selling author.

Protozoa is a word from biology via the Greek, meaning "first animals". These short stories were indeed among the first life spontaneously generated in Lois McMaster Bujold's nascent writing career. Along with an introduction by the author, this collection features the short stories "Barter", "Garage Sale", "The Hole Truth", "Dreamweaver's Dilemma", and "Aftermaths".

©2011 Lois McMaster Bujold. “Barter” © 1985 by Lois McMaser Bujold. “Garage Sale” ©1987 by Lois McMaster Bujold. “The Hole Truth” ©1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold. “Dreamweaver’s Dilemma” © 1995 by Lois McMaster Bujold. “Aftermaths” © 1986 by Lois McMaster Bujold (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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5 good shorts

An excellent compilation of short stories by LMB prefaced by her comments.
>Chapter 1: Author Comments

>Chapter 2: Barter
Mary Alice is cooking pancakes on Saturday morning for her family when she opens the front door to an alien. This is my personal favorite and makes me laugh outright.

>Chapter 3: Garage Sale
Harold Krieger has issues with a demanding neighbor who harangues about grass cutting, painting, cats, pigeons, etc. He decides to hold a garage sale - at her house. This one has me laughing with varying degrees of horror at points.

>Chapter 4: The Whole Truth
What do you do when a pothole keeps getting bigger? This is a riff humorously taken to the absurd. Neighbor Harold Krieger makes a guest appearance

>Chapters 5-6: Dreamweavers Dilemma:
Anias is an artist with a past due contract deadline to create a daydream for commercial distribution. Things are not so straightforward when she accepts a lucrative private contract to create an almost nightmare.
Chalmas Dubauer, ancestor to Ensign Dubauer of Shards of Honor, makes an appearance. He’s a retired pilot who calls himself an Exile in time, having spent 25 yrs each way traveling to and from Earth to Beta Colony, pre wormhole jump technology.

>Chapter 7: Aftermaths: This was eventually added to the end of Shards of Honor as an epilogue.

I wonder how many times I’ve mentioned that Grover Gardner is a wonderful narrator?

10 people found this helpful

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Lois McMaster Bujold is the best!

I love Lois McMaster Bujold characters, so well developed flawed funny and Excellent. My favorite reader too. can't get enough!

3 people found this helpful

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Aftermaths - Best Short Story Ever

For Bujold & Grover Gardner fans, this duo is superb. Interesting Author's note. The first three stories are just OK. The fourth, Dreamweaver's Dilemma was pretty good, very worth a listen. The five starts is really only for the last story, Aftermaths. This is, hands down, the best short story ever. Aftermaths does in 28 minutes what most books fail to do in ten plus hours. It grabs you, and makes you feel. Can't speak highly enough about this story.

1 person found this helpful

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Classic Bujold if a bit underdeveloped.

First, Ms. Bujold's narrator is, as always, perfect. I don't believe she has ever used anyone other than Grover Gardner and I applaud her good sense in this. The narration is excellent in each and every Vorkosigan saga. That said, I could have lived without this entry in that saga. It is well written but totally disjointed and confusing as to how it relates to any of her other books except, of course, the last entry which is already published in Shards of Honor (I think, or is it in Barrayar?).

My vote says good writing, great narration, but poor storyline in this compendium. I will listen again after digesting the other two stories that just came out and perhaps change my mind but first impression is that this should have been held back and released during the long drought between books and not at the same time as two other books from Ms. Bujold's are released.

1 person found this helpful

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Nice addition for Bujold lovers

Nice addition for Bujold lovers. I liked the proto-Beta-colony novella more than the short stories. "aftermath" is just the epilog of shards, so i find it redundant.

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Interesting to see Ms. Bujold’s roots!

She is my favorite author, so it was with great interest I read her earliest works. And astounding that her first novel dovetailed so well with the final story!

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Strange short pieces.

Bujold has an amazing impact. Her universe is thronged with horror and wonders with her wormholes thru time and space.

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Three Weak, One Repeat, One Very Good Short Story

These are very early, mostly note previously published, short stories. Most are better than average short stories, but that is not saying a lot as the vast majority of short stories are very weak. "Barter", "Garage Sale", "The Hole Truth" are short stories with rather weak, slightly humorous Twilight Zone endings. These were all previously unpublished, for good reasons. "Dreamweaver's Dilemma" is a very good short story, and was Bujold’s first published work. It is set in the Vorkosigan universe with interesting characters and a pleasant little mystery. "Aftermaths" was previously published in Cryoburn and is an excellent short story, but all Vorkosigan readers will have read this before. Nevertheless, it was pleasant to hear this again.

Only Bujold completests need to read the first three stories. “Dreamweaver” makes the rest of the book quite worth the time and “Aftermath” is nice to rehear.

Grover Gardner’s narration is, as usual, wonderful. He makes the lessor stories quite tolerable, and brings life and humor to the best of the stories.

7 people found this helpful