Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Labyrinth”

In this Vorkosigan short story, which follows Ethan of Athos chronologically, Miles takes charge again, heading to Jackson’s Whole for the dual purpose of meeting a new man in power there (Baron Fell) and acquiring a geneticist for a client of the Dendarii Mercs. Things rapidly fall apart, and Admiral Naismith must avoid falling into the wrong hands, killing an innocent woman, and torture by several parties.

I found this story much more in the spirit of the Vorkosigan series than Ethan of Athos. Miles is present and active, and several other recurring characters are introduced (it certainly helps explain Mirror Dance, which I read before this one). I usually dislike short stories, as I prefer lengthy Deed of Paksennarion and Lord of the Rings types of books, but this was very good, with an intricate plot and a satisfying conclusion. It was more like a mini-novel than a short story.

While this isn’t a good place to start reading the Vorkosigan series (I would recommend Cordelia’s Honor), it is a great addition to the series and definitely worth reading (multiple times).