Thanks to our longtime readers and fans we’re finishing up the 25th Anniversary Year of the Liaden Universe® and what a grand year we’ve had. We’ve met and talked with many of you at conventions, the BEA, and on our Trade Secret book tour. Jethri’s adventures, like Theo’s, have brought round lots of commentary, and Trade Secret hit the Bookscan bestseller list at Number 6 — a real accomplishment in these days of movie and TV-tie-in domination of the Science Fiction bestseller lists.
One thing we’ve been surprised by is how many of our readers tell us they’ve been with us (or our characters) since close to the beginning. To help us celebrate Trade Secret and our 25th year of Liaden publication please share with us your first Liaden experience — and how many titles you’ve read since then — and we’ll randomly select 5 lucky responders for a free Trade Secret audio book courtesy of Audible! We’ll be selecting winners based on replies received by midnight Friday,December 6 (our time in snowy Maine). You’ve got 5 shots — tell us how you got started in the Liaden Universe®!
Here’s the full complement of Liaden Universe® offerings from Audible!
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Love all the Liad books. I own a used book store and love getting people started on the series and then to talk to them about everything we mutually like about the stories and characters.
I am one of the lucky ones who have been reading and rereading your books for twenty-five years. I was a person who waited impatiently for Plan B but who made do with clapbooks until then. I believe I have all you Liaden items as well as ebooks that I bought of your non-Liaden items.
I discovered you when your books were first reprinted as mass market paperbacks. I’ve read everything since.
I started reading the Liaden Universe books by finding “Partners in Necessity” in a bookstore. Being a fan of Anne McCaffrey, her quote sold the book for me. After that, I purchased every book I could find in the Liaden Universe – then every book by either of the esteemed authors. I’ve never been disappointed.
Thanks for the ride.
and I haven’t left the Liaden Universe since . . .
My first experience with a Liaden book, was seeing my friend online at the library. She held up a copy of a book with small people and big turtles on the cover. She said “its a great book but people don’t read them because the covers are weird.” I did read it. It was Agent of Change, the Del Rey edition. I read Carpe Diem and I think Plan B. But I could not find the rest of the books, so I put it aside for a few years.
Then, about 4 years ago, I was in a used bookstore, and I saw a copy of Conflict of Honors. I bought it and devoured it. Then I read every other Liaden book I could find until Trade Secrets. And I have gotten some friends interested as well.
I first read Agent of Change when I saw a review by Anne McCaffrey. She said that books about Korval were her “comfort reads”. What better endorsement! I’ve never been sorry and have all of your books and chap books on my shelves.
My first Liaden experience was in a library, close to my sister’s house in Sydney, where three paperback covers jumped off the rotating rack onto my head and wanted to go home with me. I read the blurbs on the back covers, and decided to let them. And I’m so glad I did. I subsequently decided that Lee & Miller would be the first authors I would try and buy exclusively via ebook, as I was wanting to travel light. Therefore the answer to ‘How many have you read?’ is ALL of them. Baen made it so easy! And I’ve bought several paperbacks too, they’re handy for handing to people and saying ‘Here, try this, and if you like it, keep it. If not, pass it on.’
I began my adventures in Liad with “Conflict of Honors”, and I don’t think I will ever stop!
My friend Jennifer (the same one that got me hooked on the Honor Harrington books a number of years before) gave me a copy of the Partners in Necessity omnibus saying “Wanted to give you another series to get hooked on.” Since then, I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything in the Liaden Universe that is currently in print — novels, short stories and splinters. A few years ago, I got my wife started on them, and the two of us have introduced multiple friends to the world of Miri, Val Con, Shan, Priscilla & Nova.
First Liaden Universe book I ever read was “Balance of Trade” from the Science Fiction Book Club. Read and collected all of them in print, plus chapbooks, plus an ebook, plus an audiobook – do they come in implantable chips yet? Go Jethri!
I was browsing the Science Fiction section at a small book store called Granny’s Attic in Elmira, NY and found slightly battered copies of Agent of Change and Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem was new out in paperback at the time. If a book looks read, it is usually a good option to buy, so I did, read them, and got hooked. I kept watch and signed up on the website, and as they became available, I bought the combo books from your website. Then I bought them in digital form. I have everything you have written, including Sharon’s mystery series.
I found the first 4 paperbacks of the agent of change series in 2000. I loved them so much I spend hours on the internet looking for more. I have been able to get copies of every thing published including a few with autographs. I was very happy when you started republishing as my 2nd hand paperbacks were getting very ragged.
I don’t remember the exact circumstance of when I first read the Liaden novels; it was so long ago. But I do remember why I read them. At the time, I was playing around with Alexandria Digital Literature and its “Hypatia” collaborative filtering recommender. Alexlit was set up so that it would ask you to rate how well you liked or disliked particular books, and then it would compare your lists with the lists of everyone else in its system to figure out who liked and disliked most of the same books you did. Then it could recommend to you books they’d liked that you hadn’t read yet. And one of those books was “A Conflict of Honors.”
(Alexlit also recommended me a number of other books that became my immediate favorites, such as P.C. Hodgell’s “God Stalk,” Peter S. Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn,” and more. I’m saddened that the site has largely gone by the wayside due to its creator’s lack of time and money to keep it updated.)
So I got my hands on the three-in-one omnibus (I think it was from a public library) and devoured it and went back for more. I think this was right before “I Dare” was published, and so I had a bit of a wait to find out what happened after that. Since then, I hungrily devoured every Liaden book and short story I could get my hands on. I even bought the “main” books in the series from Embiid for my Palm Pilot and was disappointed when they went under—and happily bought them all over again when they came to Baen.
And I expect to keep devouring them as long as you keep writing them!
I first learned of you two with Local Custom. I was so enraptured of this world that you so vividly created in my head that I quickly began finding and reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. I read all the books that were out at that time, every chapbook I could get my hands on and each new novel as it arrived. It was really great to see your creativity at work as you did your online sharing of the creation of Fledging. Love your style and the world you have created!
Maybe 9 or 10 Boskone’s ago now, I joined a group of friends in going to a party that Sharon and Steve threw. I had no idea who these people were, but they were friendly, and funny, and excellent tellers of tales. The next day, I inquired of a friend who those people were, who hosted us the previous evening, and was handed Agent of Change.
(Please pardon the extraneous apostrophe.)
I saw a reference to The Liaden Universe(R) someplace with a notation that it was available as Baen ebooks. I went to the Baen site and bought a couple of books and I was hooked! Returned to the Baen site and bought everything that was available. That was about four or five years ago and I have been an addict ever since, eagerly awaiting each new book of Liad and also the fantasy books.
I began my Adventures in the Liaden Universe with the Partners in Necessity omniverse, and I think Shan and Priscilla remains favorites just because they were First. I (quick, quick) bought the rest of the “main” series from Meisha Merlin, then the two Ace MMPBs for the previous generation. I filled in some gaps with chapbooks, devoured the Dragon books, and reserve a special place on my shelves for Jethri. I must admit I’m a little behind in my buying but up to date on my reading, which is a hazard for working for a library. I am greatly looking forward to the Big Five on the horizon and discovering how the many branches of the Korval tree (including Theo!) continue to grow!
apparently I forgot to proofread … apologies.
I had actually read OF the LIADEN UNIVERSE (TM) books in the mid-90’s in the greatest FAQ in the world, but couldn’t get my hands on any of them, until Con-fusion in 2001, where, walking into the Dealers Hall, right inside, was sitting a signed copy of the Meisha Merlin trade paperback featuring the very beginning of the Greatest Story Ever Written, Partners in Necessity.
The rest, as they say, is History.
I began with the PIN omnibus from Meisha Merlin. I was looking for more books by Janet Kagan and was poking around on the MM site and found your books. Which lead me to Korval.com, which led me to chapbooks, which led me to Local Custom and Pilots Choice, which led me to…..well, you get the idea. I have read everything that either of you have written that I could lay my hands on. There have not been any books that I haven’t liked, but my favorite was (and likely always will be) _I Dare_, including characters that have a sense of humor along with a sense of honor!
Saw Pilot’s Choice on the library shelf (spine out), took it out on a whim.
Have since purchased all the Liaden titles
I’m a brand new fan! Earlier this year, I have an internet friend from the old IRC newsgroup days (remember those?!) whose taste in books I trust implicitly. Over the past year and a half or so, she’d been harassing me about this Liaden Universe that I HAD to read. Unfortunately, I made a mission earlier that I’d finish off Lois McMaster Bujold’s entire catalogue, and make some headway into Anne McCaffrey’s (of which I’m now 2/3 through her books… she wrote a ridiculous amount!). I wasn’t going to start a new series until I did that, which I have now done. Though I wasn’t sure this series was going to be the next big one I wanted to start.
A book about Ms. McCaffrey titled Dragonwriter came out this summer, and I noticed there was an essay by a Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I looked them up, and sure enough, these were the Liaden people I’d been harassed about for reading. I’m not one to ignore signs/coincidences, so Liaden got bumped up on the list.
Within the net month or so, I was in a used book store, and saw that there were a few copies of various books there by the Miller/Lee team. I called up my internet friend.
“Hey, there’s a few books here, where should I start?”
“It doesn’t really matter. It’s a shared universe but it’s not a sequential series.”
“That’s not helpful.”
“What are the titles in front of you?”
I listed them for her, one of which was Agent of Change.
“Start with that one,” she said.
“But there’s a giant turtle on the cover… that kinda scares me.”
So I picked up the book, and I read it over the course of about 1 1/2 days. It was suspenseful, gripping, amazing action, beautiful romance, and most of all jaw-dropping worldbuilding. Everything I’ve ever wanted out of a Space Opera and more. I write a little here and there, have been working on my own universe and had trouble on the worldbuilding front, and this book inspired me to no end on that level, but that’s another essay.
Oh, and I loved the giant turtles. They may be my favorite aliens of all time.
I’ve started to clear my plate of other series now, and just recently bought Conflict of Honors on audible. About 1/3 into it and I’m not disappointed in the second book of Liaden at all! Narrator’s doing a great job too, which is a plus. I plan on getting through the whole series in the next few months here and look forward to reading more from you guys in the future!
I found Agent of Change shortly after it was published. I don’t remember if I picked it up new, or in a used book store. Given the date it’s likely I found it used as my budget was pretty tight then. After Agent I was actively looking for books by the authors and found the next two when they released. I’ve been following releases of new books since. I think I’ve read everything in the Liaden sequence shortly after release.
Started with the ACE version of Agent of Change some 20 plus years ago and have read all of your books Have enjoyed all of your books
First book was Agent of Change shortly after it came out in paperback. Bought the full collection from Baen in 2009 when I got my first e reader and have purchased everything since. Have started a number of family and friends on the series and will read everything that Lee and Miller will put out for as long as they will continue.
Conflict of Honors. Found on the rack at Dollar General. Saying I was ENTRANCED fails to do proper Balance. I owe an nigh upon impossible to Balance and Literally a Life Debt for the Liaden books. I’m a Cancer survivor and they were my comfort reading post-surgery and during chemo/recovery. From that- I rather suspect many Fen would have near zero hesitation to sign on with Korval.
My husband (then boyfriend) was introducing me to several authors, and he handed me Balance of Trade. I loved it, and quickly went through all the existing books. That was in 2005. We’ve both enjoyed each book that’s come out since. Usually we get them electronically first, which is great because it means we don’t have to decide who gets to read it first.
I became a fan VERY early. I moved to Maryland in 1989, and soon found some great bookstores in and around Baltimore. I read Conflict of Honors, probably 6 months to a year after it was published, and loved it. Looked for more books by the same authors, since I knew if I liked one book by someone, I usually liked more of their books, and soon found Agent of Change and Carpe Diem. Loved both, and looked for, but never found, more – at least not for many years. I was absolutely ecstatic when I finally found Plan B and then I Dare. I read about your problems getting published, so bought copies of the first 3 books when they were reprinted, both for myself and as gifts for friends. I figured I could get your sales up at least a little to encourage publishers to keep publishing your books. I also bought the omnibus editions when they came out for the same reason. In fact, I have all your books in most of their published editions – hardcover, paperback, trade paperback, omnibus, ebook, ARC. I am currently working on getting them all in audible. I have audible editions for about half now. I don’t yet have Trade Secret in audible ( although I do have 2 editions of it.)
I found out about the Liaden books from some commentary on All About Romance, a romance( mostly) review website I frequent – there’s a reader who rates books by how many times he has re-read them and Lee/Miller were close to the top – I got the Partners in Necessity Omnibus and was hooked – I think this was about the time that Meisha Merlin was tanking…. fortunately I was able to locate as used books all of the “main sequence” and I’m pretty sure I bought several of the MM trade pbs directly from you guys. I’ve always been grateful I didn’t have to wait for Plan B or I Dare like your earliest fans did. I own all the books both as e-book and paper and have read all of them except Trade Secret which is waiting on my ereader for my next trip!
My friend and coworker Suporn came to stay with me for three months in 2000 and teach at the school where I worked in Japan. She brought copies of Agent of Change and Carpe Diem with her. I have been madly searching for more Liaden Universe novels ever since. They were particularly hard to find in Japan but have continued to get easier and easier to find to the point where I now have just about everything in print and electronic form. But no audio, yet. . .
I first learned of the Laiden Universe thanks to the free excerpts you offered through Audible.com. I didn’t get them but they got me curious. When I saw that Agent of Change was available in the Baen free library I gave it a chance. Looking forward to the next installment.
I came late to the party. There were all these people walking around in T-shirts (at Denvention, I think it was) saying Plan B is Now in Effect. After inquiring
as to the meaning, I trotted off to invest in Partners in Necessity. Then bought all the Embiid for my Palm. Then rebought all the electronic when you went to Baen. Then bought all the audiobooks when they came out.
I found your books in 1988 when you were first published. I bought your first 3 books and kept looking until I found Plan B. Great books by great authors.
Many years ago I started with Conflict of Honors. Read it twice thru then started gathering as many Liaden universe stories as I could find. I have the whole series now and just finished reading through them in chronological order; The life order, not the printed order. I feel an affinity for the characters that I don’t remember ever feeling before. I don’t tire of reading them. 🙂
I read Agent of Change back when the cover included two short people with sidearms and a tall turtle.
It’s my friend (and fellow book reviewer) Tom’s fault. He read chapbooks to me while I sewed or knit, years ago. “To Cut an Edge” remains a favorite of mine. I read it to my knitting circle last month and we’re still shouting, “he hissed and said ‘pretty’, at each other.
March, of this year, Tom read NECESSITY’S CHILD, and the PIN omnibus to me while I was recovering with a broken leg. Recovery was slow but the reading was fast, and very enjoyable. I like being read to.
I found Agent of Change in a small English language bookstore in a back alley in Bangkok in 1990. I was on holiday and looking for something to read. I’m glad I found it because I have read, and enjoyed, every Liad book since.
While prowling the Science Fiction section of a favorite little Independent Book Store, I came upon A Portal to The Liaden Universe. The title caught my eye, Agent of Change. But My First Love, was The Cover! I was further seduced by the blurb on the back. I was truly fortunate that day. Conflict of Honors and Carpe Diem sat there on the same shelf, just waiting to come home with me to Live In all Honor. I’ve been a fan and fervent reader, ever since. I have shelves overflowing with Books and Chapbooks set in The Liaden Universe. I still have some Embiid ebooks on disc. The Baen ebooks are loaded on my ereaders. Now, I’m waiting on that 5 of 5!
Started with Conflict of Honors when it first came out. Didn’t realize for a while that there were other books in the series until I got the compendium put out by the Science Fiction Book Club a long time ago. Then I’ve read every single Liaden book and chap book since almost as soon as they come out. (and now with Baen’s e-arcs I can get them even before they come out!)
I’d had the Liaden books on the “should look these up someday” list for quite a while, based on recommendations from several Net groups (mostly rec.arts.sf.written). I came across a (new) copy of Partners In Necessity (the Meisha Merlin omnibus of Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change, and Carpe Diem) in a bookstore, and picked it up. Almost as soon as I started it, I knew this was a series I was going to need to read whatever was available. How many titles? I think it’s 17 (haven’t gotten to Trade Secret yet), counting the two Liaden Universe Companion volumes. (Side question: how much overlap is there between these and the new short story collections?)
Have not heard of this before tonight but they do sound interesting from the comments. Please get me started with an audio and then I guess I will just have to check out the rest. Comments have me interested. But I bet my son has read all of them and I will just have to check with him.
I don’t remember how or when I found the Liaden Universe in the 1990’s. I do know that I first read Conflict of Honors in an Embiid edition. I bought all of the available books then, and have kept up since then. I replaced all my Embiid editions with Baen issues as they came available. I also have all the Meisha Merlin editions
My favorite book is Conflict of Honors. I fell in love with Shan just like Priscilla did.
While roaming the science fiction section of the bookstore, I saw Anne McCaffrey recommending a book as a wonderful story. I saw there were 3 books out and the store had all three. I picked them up that day and never looked back. I was so disappointed the publisher’s pulled a fast one on you and did not publish past the initial trilogy. And then thrilled when you started publishing again. Conflict of Honors is one of my favorite books. Keep them coming! lol
My first book was I Dare proabaly 20 years ago. I have since read all the Liaden books though everything is on my e reader now.
I was working in a library and had just checked a book back in. While walking over to put it on the correct shelf I read the blurb on the back and was hooked. This was “Scout’s Progress”, and I didn’t go to sleep that night until I had finished reading it! That was about 10 years ago. I’ve since read everything in the Liaden universe, plus everything Sharon and Steve have published since then – I have a few hardbacks on my shelf, most of the paper chapbooks, a couple of books locked in Embiid’s proprietary software, and even saved HTML files of the written-live-without-a-net online serialization of Fledgling and Saltation (no audiobooks though).
I found Carpe Diem in a bookshop while traveling, in the old days. I loved it and then looked for more – buying what I could find. Managed to collect the first three and then a few chapbooks here and there and now with EArcs and the internet I can get all much sooner and much easier than relying on chance finds. Have a full collection and they have all been read and reread several times. 🙂
My introduction to the Liaden Universe was thru Anne McCaffrey’s endorsement. I picked up Agent Of Change in 1992 and have read the further adventures of clan Korval et al in the years since. Am eagerly awaiting “untitled” numbers 1-5 in the coming years.
I saw a used book at Curious Books. It had two people and a giant turtle on the cover – Agent of Change. How could I leave it on the shelf? I found others and then when Ace did the reprints I made sure I had everything available. I found your website and from that point I have bought everything you write.
I saw a used book at Curious Books. It had two people and a giant turtle on the cover. How could I leave the book? I found others in the pre-internet days. Then I found your website & I purchased your chapbooks. I have copies of everything you have written.
I may have come a bit later to the Liaden(c) Universe than some readers, starting with the Meisha Merlin issues but I have tried to make up for it since then. I read Scouts Progress first, and fell in love with the story, with the characters, with the plot and with the universe. I was very ill with pneumonia but had driven to my sister’s house in Placerville in the California foot hills when I collapsed. I could only breath when I was sitting up, so reading something that kept my attention was really important. I started with the Scouts Progress, then Agent of Change, and kept going. I’ve never stopped, waiting impatiently for each snippet, short story, book, collection etc. I have signed hard copies, well worn paperbacks (several of which I had to replace) and all the chapter books. I have e-arc copies as well. I have audiobooks of three books, would love to have more. Waiting anxiously for 1-5, and the next short story on Baen. )Thanks to you, and to Baen and Toni too for keeping my favorite authors published. Kathy
I discovered you later, sadly. I was actually trying to track down a copy of P.C. Hodgell’s latest book on the internet, and found the Miesha Merlin website. Partners in Necessity caught my eye, Anne McCaffrey’s review sold me instantly on the book, and I have been a huge fan ever since!
I’ve been reading your books so long, I was looking for info on Liad with a gopher client
A friend of mine wrote a filk song based on Agent of Change. It inspired me to buy a copy of Agent of Change at Westercon 2010. Did not get around to reading it till maybe summer of 2012 or so. I have since read all the novels except for Trade Secret. Borrowed a number of them from the library. Bought a few as ebook, and have a couple in my home library. Have not read all the short stories yet, but am working on it!
I wrote the filksong “Agent of Change”
to the tune of Meg Davis’s “Captain Jack and the Mermaid.” It can be found at
My husband and I started reading the Liaden books with AGENT OF CHANGE (Dell, 1988).
We don’t remember which of us bought it, or whether it was new or used, or at which convention. We bought others as we found them (and found a lot more at 2006 at the Meisha Merlin table). My song has gotten a number of filkers to start reading the books.
I found Agent of Change at a used book store and loved it. Went looking for your books and found them at Meisha Merlin’s site. Bought from them and then followed you to Baen. Now I wait for your books and e-arcs. I buy them in both hard bound and e-book format. My friends lost me for a while at a Westercon because Plan B was in the dealers room, I picked it up and retired to the hotel room to read it. I did emerge for dinner and was social the rest of the time but did get teased a bit – by the people who then went and bought their own copies!
I started reading the Liaden books after Nalini Singh recommended it on her Friday bookclub: http://nalinisingh.blogspot.com/search?q=Liaden In retrospect, I should probably send her an email thanking her for the recommendation, because I’m so thrilled that I found this series! A certain amount of research suggested Agent of Change was a logical point of entry, so I found it in what was then my local public library. The rest is history. I’ve bought all of the ebooks, and about half of the audiobooks, too. (At this point, I’m up to date on everything but Trade Secret, since I’m rereading Balance of Trade first.) I’ve recommended them, repeatedly, to friends and family, and I think they’ve all been enchanted, too. Most recently my sister has been turned on to this series, and we’re having in depth discussions on a weekly basis after she has devoured each new one. This is EASILY one of my favorite series, and I wax poetic about it at conceivable opportunity.
Baen ebooks was having a sale, and I can’t resist a sale. Read the preview for ‘Conflict of Honor’ and immediately bought the megapack of ebooks. Shortly thereafter found and joined baen’s bar, and then the website for ‘fledgling’ when it was 3 chapters long. now I think I have every books you have ever written, from the tomorrow log through to an eArc of Trade Secret. Especially proud of my signed copies of Fledgling/Saltation. Haven’t gotten any audiobooks, they’re pretty pricy and I already have most in another format – but would love to win one!
Val Con caught me from the beginning.
I began with Conflict of Honors when it first came out. I think that I have read them all, usually just after they came out. Conflict of Honors & Carpe Diem have been on my ‘comfort shelf’ for years. You know, the one where you reach for a book when you can’t sleep, or woke up from a bad dream or are stressed.
Not sure but what I bought “Agent of Change” brand new. If not, I got it & “Conflict of Honors” at the same time from the local (sorry!) used book store within a year of publication. I knew instantly that they were keepers, and that I’d be watching for more in that world.
I’ve read everything but “Dragon Ship” and “Necessity’s Child” in the mass produced issues, as far as I’m aware. I’ve one chapbook, a gift from brother, and a couple of the compilations.
Love ’em all.
First saw reference to your work on Elizabeth Moon’s web-site, from there posted a question about where to start, git enthusiastic replies… started with Agent of Change but thereafter read what I could get not necessarily in any order – still catching up with some of the chapbooks and short stories. (Actually I’m reading the hardcover Trade Secret now having previously read the eArc.)
Read First read Your books back in the late 80’s. Conflict of Honors, then Agent of Change and Carpe Diem. Wrote Jim Baen back then that he should pick you up when (Ace?) didn’t get you another book contract. I was pleased when I found you again on an ebook website, and VERY pleased when Baen picked you up! I have most of your signed chapbooks from SRM. Keep up the good work!
I picked up Partners in Necessity in Galaxy bookstore in Sydney by sheer random luck; I was browsing through the L’s and thought the cover looked interesting. Priscilla’s dilemma was the perfect introduction to the Liaden universe. How many toes should a prebatout have, indeed?
I saw a recommendation on Amazon that if I liked LMB’s Vorkosiverse I should try Lee and Miller. It took a while as at that time your work was not readily available in hardcover in Austraila. Eventually I started with Agent of Change and have read everything since. The embiid chapbooks were the first ebooks I owned and my first paperback versions of Plan B and I Dare have been read to death and had to be replaced. Thanks for many hors of reading pleasure!
I discovered Conflict of Honors at my local bookstore, but could not find any more of the series (must have been at the time the publishers fell out with you). Eventually I was able to acquire Agent of Change and looked round for more by you.
Now, after the coming of the Internet (where I could find many books that my local stores did not carry) and eBooks, I have read all Liaden books and shorts available.
Liaden Universe is older than me. When a friend recommended me “Agent of Change” I finished “I Dare” 3 days later. Your books have probably changed me forever and made my childhood brighter. Much obliged.
…and I also had to read most of the series in english as they were not found in my mother tongue, so you gave me a good chance to learn the language. Though being a bad language learner I didn’t quite accomplish that mission. Still I’m much improved.
I was trolling for good SF in my local B&N and discovered Partners In Necessity. You also gave me courage to check out fandom and then SF cons when you came to COSine. I never really followed writers before joining the FoL, but now I check up on several. Thank you.
I was in grad school at Cornell in the mid 90’s and Ithaca NY has a huge friends of the library sale every year. (Some people camp out to be first in the door.) I went and was perusing the science fiction section and found a set of the first three books. The covers caught my eye, and the blurbs sounded interesting so I picked them up, and once I started reading them, I couldn’t put them down. I liked them so much that when I was back in Minneapolis for a vacation and was asked by the owner if I’d read anything good lately, I told him about the Liaden series. He promptly showed me the Liaden chapbooks on hand which I purchased. From those I found the Liaden email list (where I’ve been lurking ever since then) and have been acquiring every Lee and Miller book as it is published.
I think I’ve told this story before…I read Conflict of Honors first, probably bought from a Waldenbooks, based on the cover. Who the heck is this woman, facing off against another woman who has a child hostage? Then Agent of Change which I adored. I wanted a sequel *so* bad.
I was traveling to New Orleans to meet my mother for a mini-vacation with a change of planes in Chicago O’Hare. I stopped in the bookstore just to see what was on offer. SQUEEEEE! There was Carpe Diem. I sat on the plane, devouring it, practically drooling in excitement and laughing out loud (where appropriate). That was a fantastic trip.
Since then, I’ve read everything in the Liaden Universe ™, as far as I know, and I plan to continue to read everything for as long as I’m able.
I first heard the books mentioned on a Lois McMaster Bujold mailing list I was on at the time. People talking about whether Shan or Val Con was their favourite etc. So when I got given a book voucher for the local SF book store (in compensation for someone losing or possibly just completely mangling a book I had loaned them) I saw the authors names and figured that I might as well give it a go. Now, it possibly wasn’t the best place to have started, since the one that was there was Carpe Diem, but it was certainly an exciting beginning, coming in mid cliffhanger so to speak, and made me want to go back and read about the happenings in the previous books. Since then I manged to obtain Agent of Change, and pretty much every Liaden book since then. Some in both physical and ebook format. And ebook versions of most of the chapbooks (since I came in a bit late for some of the physical copies). I also have the original audiobook of Local Custom read by Michael Shanks.
I just got my hardcopy version of Trade Secret as my birthday present.
Thank you for many happy hours of reading and re-reading.
I first heard about the Liaden universe from something Anne McCaffrey wrote – she said the Liaden books were her “comfort books”. We used this comment to kick off a discussion in a book group – what are comfort books? I decided I had to read the books to find out what Anne McCaffrey (one of my favorite authors) found so interesting about them. I started with Local Custom – and fell in love with the whole universe.
I find I like to have all the books in all formats – paper, electronic, and audio versions, because I too find them to be comfort books. They are good to read at any time and always pull me in (no matter how many times I read them). I remember I was in heaven when I discovered there were chap books – and had to buy all of them all at once (because there was something new about my favorite universe and favorite people).
I hope you never stop writing about the Liaden universe. (and I promise to buy everything you write)
My introduction to Korval and the Liaden Universe was at a Con and seeing buttons warning me that “Plan B is now in effect”. They lead me to a nice room party with pleasant hosts. So I knew a book was soon to be released and I was going to look for it. Alas, life happened and no book made it into my hands.
Then a friend was in rare good humor, his explanation was that Lee and Miller released a new chapbook. He let me borrow his lending copy of the chapbooks. This led me to hunt down the various titles so I could get to know these wonderful characters better.
How many of the books have I read? As many as have come into my hands.
My mother introduced me to the Liaden books via the SFBC combo “Partners in Necessity”, around 2000 or 2001. I’ve read ALL of the Liaden books since then, including most of the chap books.
I am probably one of the few (left) who started on the series WAY-Way-way back when Agent of Change first came out. Loved the book and kept searching for years until more books came out. I have been a serious fan ever since and have purchased many copies and passed them on to friends. Thank you so much for the many many hours of enjoyment I have received from the books. Now that I am on computer am working on getting reunited with my many old friends through Ebook and Audio.
I was introduced to Liad and Korval by Steve, while he was Assistant Librarian in Oakland, Maine. I fell in love immediately and have read everything you have published since.
I used to keep extra copies to loan to my friends. Then I realized that I was doing my favorite authors a disservice by providing my other friends with the books instead of encouraging them to BUY their own. NOW I will loan a person ONE book. They, in tern, invariably go out and purchase as much of your work as they can get their mitts on.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, a million times for all the happy hours I have spent reading and talking about your collective works.
I discovered Miri and Val Con in the 1980s while browsing the Science Fiction shelves at a book store and being intrigued by the turtle on the cover of the original edition of Agent of Change. I snatched up Conflict of Honors and waited anxiously for Carpe Diem. I had cleared out my stash of paperbacks (stupidly) and couldn’t find any copies at used book stores, so I chose to pay my library for a copy of Agent of Change that I couldn’t bring myself to return! I kept checking book stores and libraries fruitlessly for the sequel (since the story did not end there!) before finding Steve and Sharon online. I bought chapbooks each year until Meisha Merlin began publishing new works (and found their compilation of Zenna Henderson’s “People” stories that I had loved and lost). Then came the wait for Plan B, while Meisha Merlin republished the earlier volumes. I kept on the trail of each new revelation of the story, because THE STORY DIDN’T END THERE! I even kept the tree-and -dragon denim shirt that was ordered in tan and received in blue, so The Authors wouldn’t have to eat the cost of correcting the order. It is now a delight to see the universe to continue to grow on library and bookstore shelves.
I have been reading the Liaden books since the mid-90’s. I had just come back with my family from living in the UK for a year and a half, and “Local Custom” captured so much of what I found disconcerting. You think you understand a culture, but the same words mean something different!
My two grown children have gotten hooked, and last year I spent most of my annual Audible book points on Liaden audiobooks. It was the best gift to myself!
I have been buying the chapbooks, too, and was so glad when Baen released them, so that a wider audience could enjoy the shorter gems!
My first Liaden books was Local Custom, and then Scout’s Progress, which is still my favourite. This was last summer, and I’ve since read the Agent of Change books, plus Unibus I. Next up is Crystal Soldier!
I was innocently attending an AlbaCon convention and found two things (among others) on a table. One was a small pad of paper with Plan B is Now in Effect, which was fabulous by itself. There was also a CD with EBK and UBK samples of many authors’ books. I did see Sharon and Steve at the conference and liked the way they came across but had never heard of them before this. I tried the samples of the Lee/Miller books and immediately ordered them (first of many formats). Loved them. After that I kept looking and grabbed what I found. Found a few in mass paperback (second format), some in trade size (third format), finally found the websites and blogs to get some chap books (fourth format). I’ve got some in hard cover and Local Custom in MP3. I have some in .RTF, some in .EBK, some in .EPub (DRM less and Nook), some drafts in .TXT, some in .Mobi, some in .LIT, some in .PDB. Most of the stories and novels I have in multiple formats. For me the books/stories hold up well to multiple readings over the years. You’ve keep me going through the good and bad times, please keep writing!
I read Local Custom first. I saw it on Buzzy Multimedia as an audiobook read by Michael Shanks (Stargate SG1) and listened to a sample (pretty good!) but realized I wanted to devour it a bit faster than spoken word would allow, so I bought the paperback and had swallowed it in just under two hours. After that I raided and pillaged my local library for any other Liad series books – Balance of Trade and I Dare, and then on to the Theo Waitley arc with Fledgling, Saltation and Ghost Ship. I’m looking forward to Dragon Ship, which I hope Santa will leave under our tree for Christmas, and Trade Secret, if I win 🙂
I discovered Agent of Change and Carpe Diem when they were new, but spent years looking in every new and used book store I came across for Conflict of Honors. It wasn’t until I was on a family vacation 500 miles from home that I finally found it. After that I was one of the many fans who wandered and wondered what had happened to the authors until I finally found Sharon and Steve on-line in the late ’90s.
The better story is how my wife discovered them. Back when we first started dating she came to stay with me during her Christmas break. Since I was working and had piles of books around, she asked for a recommendation for something to read while I was at work. Handing her one of my great treasures, that illusive copy of Conflict of Honors, I extolled the many virtues of the Liaden Universe. Examining the book with a lukewarm expression she said, “I don’t do space opera.” Affronted that my favorite books had been so easily dismissed I heatedly indicated that, if she was unwilling to take a chance on my recommendations, she should refrain from requesting them in the future. That convinced her that maybe they were worth the effort. By the time I came home from work she was hooked and finished all four books that were available at the time in the next few days. Despite the rocky beginning we went on to get married a couple years later and have eagerly awaited each new installment of the Liaden Universe together.
Back in ’88 – ’89 I was a perpetual undergrad working security at night. During one very long and relatively uneventful shift I found an orphaned copy of Agent of Change left behind in the guard booth. I completely devoured it that night; found a copy of Conflict of Honors the next week, and picked up Carpe Diem a few months later. After that I spent the next five or six years patrolling bookstore shelves looking in vain for anything new by ‘Lee & Miller.’ When I finally made the technological leap to the interweb I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Liaden chapbooks, which made the long wait for Plan B a bit more bearable. I have read every Liaden novel and most of the short fiction – many several times over – and plan to go on doing so as long as the Gods will.
My first experience in the Liaden world was many years ago when I was first given a copy of Conflict of Honors by my best friend. I was down visiting her and she gave it to me to start reading. Then she told me there were 2 more books and a bunch of these little chapter phamplets.( At least that is what they had looked like to me. I thought, how good can these books be if they have to print out booklets that look like the programs we printed for school plays!) Well I was completely hooked that first night. I couldn’t put it down. I was up til after 3 in the morning. I actually fell asleep reading when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Picture my nose as a bookmark! The next morning my friend took one look at me and started laughing. Then began the search for my own copies of the books since she wouldn’t part with hers, suprise suprise. It was then that she told me that they were almost impossible to find. After a dozen bookstores we finally found them. She also told me how to find Lee and Miller on the internet so I could order my own chap books. So I ordered every one that was available. I have been hooked ever since.
I found Fledgling at the library 2 years ago and went back 2 days later for Saltation. Shortly thereafter, I tracked down and purchased all of the books, spent a glorious month reading, and then began the process of introducing them to select friends.
My boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to the books. He’d been reading them from the very beginning, and was THRILLED when I went looking and found that there were now MORE, and yet MORE!!!!
This likely played a part in my decision to marry the man. 😉
Gosh, I don’t remember exactly when I started reading your books, but I do know they were out of print and I was so excited when I was able to find them used. Your books were highly recommend by the people on RRA-L (Romance Readers Anonymous Listserv hosted by some university) and the Romantic SF group, so it’s been at least 15 years, maybe 20!
I tracked down the original omnibus with Conflict of Honors because I’d read that the books were on Anne McCaffrey’s comfort shelf and was hooked. Have multiple copies of every one of the books written and hooked two of my daughters on them as well.
I first found out about your books in the late 1990’s. I first read about them on the Internet, but had trouble finding them for awhile.
I finally found the first one (an omnibus) at the library and then at a local bookstore when they were reissued. After that I was so happy to discover new books being published. I give the books to family members for Christmas and read the books over and over again. I haven’t listened to any of the books yet so I have to check that out, too. Please keep writing books about Liad!
P.S. I was also excited a few years ago when I read you live in Maine since my sister-in-law lives in Waterville!
And our PO box is back in Waterville after the scenic drive to Unity (where I worked for awhile) became a gas-mileage burden …
I was lent copies of Agent of Change and Conflict of Honors sometime between `93 and ’95. I can’t remember for sure, but I really loved them and didn’t want to give them back. Unfortunately, by the time I came onto the scene, they were not available at the bookstore and the Internets was still “download a picture if you want to see it” stages (does anyone else remember having tons of saved .jpgs?)
When I moved out of town in 1996, I found copies in a local used Bookstore, including a copy of Carpe Diem, which I hadn’t even known existed! I was so thrilled that I called the girl who originally lent me the books on the phone to tell her.
I have since given away several sets of the paperbacks to people I thought would enjoy them. I have most of the set in hardback (and signed!) editions now, but I also keep them on my kindle so that I can read them whenever I want.
My favorite character is Pat Rin.
I was browsing the SF/Fantasy shelves and saw the title Conflicts of Honor. Loved the name, picked up the book, read it and that was it. Went back for Agent of Change and then eagerly awaited new ones.
I cannot begin to count the number of times I have reread the first three, particularly Conflicts but it had to hold me until Plan B finally came out. I tried to devour Plan B but couldn’t quite finish it because I was going to a book signing of a favorite mystery author. I told her the story and about half way through she stopped me saying something like – You mean Plan B?!!? She hadn’t gotten her copy yet but was so excited that I had mostly read it. I later her saw her blurbing one of the books – Maureen Tan.
I should never try to write when I am tired – Conflict of Honors, Conflict of Honors!
Late 80’s I think – first book was Conflict of Honours, immediately followed by Agent of Change, and then many, many months of haunting bookstores waiting for Carpe Diem. And if I had thought that wait was long….. but it was worth it eventually when Plan B etc finally appeared. I own all, I think, most in multiple formats, and I’m looking forward to 1 of 5 and its successors. (But the notion that 5 of 5 may really be the end is disturbing – please keep up the good work.)
Burton from Montreal
Start reading the Liaden series with the original Del Rey trilogy in mass market paperbacks. Which Steve & Sharon kindly signed when they come up to Montreal for Con*Cept (sadly no more). Don’t remember why I pick up the Del Rey MMPBs. The first one got me interested enough to pick the other two up when they got published. Unfortunately the TPTB at Del Rey discontinue the series after three books.
Eventually from Locus Magazine article/review started to acquire the remaining Liaden titles as they get printed or digitally available. Starting with Meisha Merlin and SRM onto Baen.
Also I was one of the people that encourage Steve & Sharon to write the first two Theo Waitley books after Meisha Merlin suddenly gone bankrupted. What fun it was to throw money at the authors until they got shell-shocked! They figure to write a chapter every few months from the Paypal donations. Both of the Theo Waitley books got over subscribed and fully funded in that couple of months. Fun times.
As so many have said- once started, hooked. I got the omnibus from the SF book club, and then found the others as they came out, found the blog, got the chapbooks, got each new one as it happened, subscribed to Fledgling, et al. and have all of the available audio books, multiples of many others, hard and paper, and when I need a comfort book ( what a lovely description), it is either your books or Kim. So there we are. Hoping for many many more wonderful books. Oh, also have all of Sharon’s books , also in paper and on Audible.
I think my introduction to Liad was with Carpe Diem, the original mass market edition. I called it “Honeymoon on an Interdicted Planet” in my mind, I had also read Agent of Change about then, but was unable to find the third book until finally, the Meisha Merlin trade paperbacks came out, and I then caught up with all of them through I Dare at one time. Then I had this long, long wait for anything, until you began Fledgling on line. I read it, and Saltation, as you wrote them. When Baen put the entire universe on line, I bought all of them, including the two collections of short stories, and have tried to buy everything as it came out even since.
I first encoutered the Liaden Universe due to my friends Keris and Rika – I posted on my blog that I was looking for something new to read, and posted things that I had enjoyed, and they pointed me in the direction of “Conflict of Honors”, which I then went and bought, and which has remained my favourite Liaden book ever since. It is also the most listened-to audio book that I own, and I go back to it whenever I feel as if I need a hug, and cannot get a real one.
Small indie new/used bookstore (no longer there …Turtle on the cover caught my eye. Can’t remember if I got all three available at once or over the next little while, but was so disappointed nothing new came out. Being a librarian, I haunted Forthcoming Books to no avail. Finally found Steve and Sharon on the internet and devoured the chapbooks as they appeared. As so many have said , they are on my comfort book shelf – all of them!. I’m also thrilled that Mozart is still supervising – he was born in my house, unfortunately fell in with some people who didn’t deserve him and after I rescued him,. hooked up with the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory which he did deserve as they deserved him.
I found the first editions of Agent of Change and Carpe Diem at the same time in a lovely independent bookstore in the town where my grandparents lived, while I was in high school. I still have a clear memory of picking them up and mental image of the corner I found them in. I bought both and re-read them often but for many years didn’t realize that Conflict of Honors existed or that anybody else had heard of the books, so I didn’t get to read CoH until 10 years later when I hunted it down on inter-library loan, and not long after the new editions started coming out, at which point I bought copies to lend, because while I wanted to recommend them, I’d been unwilling to let the originals out of my house for fear of not getting them back. Eventually found other fans via Uncle Hugo’s and a friend who has a tree-and-dragon tshirt.
While on a free hour from University, I was perusing a pile of “imported” books in a small Forbidden Planet store and stumbled upon a copy of Conflict of Honors. That was back around the turn of 2000.
In fact, when I managed to snag myself a copy of the Partners in Necessity omnibus a bit later, I gave a friend that original copy of Conflict of Honors and got them hooked on the Liaden Universe.
Started with Agent of Change and have read all but Trade Secret so far…some of them twice! Great universe.
I borrowed and re-borrowed “Plan B” from our local Library: the trade paperback edition which was all they had. I nagged them to no avail to find the others, and it wasn’t until years later that I managed to collect my own copies. Typically I ended up reading them completely out of order the first time through, and it took me a couple of goes to get everything sorted out in my head.
I was introduced to the Liaden Universe through goodreads twoish years ago on a Bujold forum. A couple of people recomended, if you like Vor-universe, you will like this. So I checked out the samples on Baen’s website and was hooked. I have read all the books and all the short stories.
I became a fan due to the Baen Free Library. I read everything in the library one very difficult year and found many authors that were new to me. Since that year the author(s) have been an auto buy.
I think I first saw your works mentioned on the All About Romance website (best sci/fi romance? for Scout’s Progress, I think) in 2002 or so. Saw the recs from Anne McCaffrey and others, and gave it a try, and loved it. Bought all the Ace books, bought the chapbooks, hunted down omnibuses and all the Meisha Merlin books and editions I could, pitched in to crowdfund Fledgling and Saltation, have all the Baen editions, and e-books, and am now being tempted by the audiobooks. Favorite rereads. Have started my kids on them, and now having fun talking with them about favorite bits. So many hours spent so well. So glad you’re still exploring this universe, while still growing with the characters we know. I’m grateful.
Scott Imes was just putting Agent of Change out way back in 1988 when I wandered into Uncle Hugo’s, and he made sure I had a copy. Somewhere along the way I also hooked my sister and my dad, which makes buying presents easy!
I was searching one of the online bookstores to see if there was a new Anne McCaffrey title when Partners in Necessity came up because she wrote the intro. I always had enjoyed authors Ms. McCaffrey recommended and this was no exception. After that, it became a toss-up as to who my favorite author was!
I know no author likes to hear that their books were remaindered, but that’s how I found my first Liaden book in 2002. I was working at a bookstore that specialized in such things and we had Local Custom. Remaindered, plus my employee discount, introduced me to a lot of new worlds while I worked there. The Liaden books are in good company with David Weber’s Honor Harrington, Janet Evanovich, Terry Pratchett, Sharon Shinn, Lois McMaster Bujold, Julie Czerneda, Jacqueline Carey and others that must not have impressed me as much, since I’ve forgotten them.
Funny, as I’m thinking about it, the only one of those worlds that I’m still really enthusiastic about is Liad. I’ve read everything, can’t wait for more to read, and have introduced a whole lot of friends to them as well. To cap off my love, I even have a cat named Miri.
It’s now December 4th, 2013, so I’ve been reading Liaden books for fourteen months. I decided to do it in internal chronological order, which I failed at due to not understanding where each of the short stories fit in.
Then I started my wife down that path, and found myself rereading half of them.
I’d picked up three grocery bags of random sci fi & fantasy at the end of a library book sale in either 2004 or 2005. They were sitting in a pile in the corner of my dining room waiting to be mailed to a friend deployed in Iraq. I’d pretty much picked up all the paperbacks and hadn’t gone through them yet. The guy I was dating at the time had an aversion to clutter and my 1000+ books weren’t helping, so I wasn’t really looking for more.
During a dinner party, a friend started going through the pile, pulled out Conflict of Honors and said “you’ll like this.” She was right – I found copies of all of Sharon and Steve’s books over the next six months. These days I’m thrilled they have a publisher and buy every ebook from Baen as soon as it comes out.
A friend handed me a copy of Pilot’s Choice and said “I think you’ll like this”. He was wrong, I absolutely loved it, and then proceeded to devour all the other books in the series to that time. Some time later I stumbled upon Fledgeling (around 5 chapters posted) and enjoyed watching you write without a net. And it was really interesting to see what happened in the first draft and compare it to the eventual printed version. Thank you both so much for writing your stories, and for continuing to write them even when life was trying really hard to make you stop.
My first Liad book — Agent of Change in the Del Rey paperback edition. I still have all 3 of my original Del Rey editions… and after that all the Merlins. Wherever they come out, I will find them.
I was introduced to the Liaden series by way of the Baen Free library, i read Agent of Change and was hooked!! Luckily for me there was a sale on for the 2 liaden bundles and bought all 10 books. Have devoured everything new that has come out since, read Fledging and Salatation online (waiting for each chapter was test of patience) Thank you so much for writing such an entertaining and enduring series. I am beyond pleased that my addiction will conitinued to be fed for the next few years with the next 5 novels:) I cant wait to see what happens to Clan Korval and allies
Saw an ad in Romantic Times magazine. Looked interesting. Read some sample chaps online and never looked back.
I found Agent of Change at my library-Betts Branch of the Onondage County Public Library system in New York. I loved it so much I have gone on to find everything I can that both/either of you have written!
Years Go I found Agent of Change at my local library. I have been hooked on Tree and Dragon ever since.
I was introduced to your books by an ex boyfriend about 10 years ago. Since then I have gotten all of the Liaden writings, most of them in paper, electronic and audio. I also tend to introduce friends to the books randomly. 🙂
I was first gifted Agent of Change as a recuperation gift after a knee surgery, a few years back, but I admit I found myself confused by all the Terrans, Liadens, and Clutch. So while I enjoyed that book, I didn’t pick up another one in the series for a while. Then last winter, on a forum of some favored author of mine, the other voracious readers were listing the other series they enjoy while waiting for the Next Book, and many many people recommended the Liaden series. I picked up Fledgling then, and found it a much easier starting point, and was hooked. I promptly caught up with nearly the whole series in a month (constrained by book availability in libraries and stores near me), and have been rereading my favorites since. And, of course, I’m sharing the recommendations with my fellow bookworms 🙂
I was browsing at the local bookstore and found the original paperback of Carpe Diem, it sounded interesting so I bought it, got part way into it and figured out it was a sequel. I hate reading books out of order to I went back and had the store special order the first two in.
I liked them so much that when the books got packed up and weren’t readily available to re-read when I wanted to, I had another set special ordered in for me.
I first discovered Liad when I visited my favorite library to see what science fiction they had bought that I hadn’t read. While browsing the SF section, I found Conflict Of Honors. It was filed under M among Elizabeth Moon’s novels. I can only surmise the person doing the cataloging thought that Miller was the last name of both authors. I decided to read it. The next day, I ordered the rest of the novels through InterLibrary Loan as a stopgap measure. At the same time I ordered an entire set them from my local bookstore.
Tanya Van Der Ploeg gave me several Liad novels and I started with Partners in Necessity. I am going to read everything in order next.
I became disabled with migraines in 2001. I had an unbroken migraine for the next 8 years. During the early time, I was blessed enough to have a friend Kathy, who sat for weeks, reading your books, starting with Agent of Change. She would stop and explain things to me whenever I had a question. She is a sci fi / fantasy addict, but I wasn’t at all. I have been addicted to the Liadan Universe ever since. I own all of your books on audio, so I tell this story not to win anything. It was to thank you for hours of enjoyment, as I spent years purchasing the books through the University Bookstore, with Duane telling me when new Chap Books came out. I was lucky enough to read all the Theo books online as they were written. Thank you for the most amazing worlds to get lost on, with the most enthralling characters ever. I think its Kathy who deserves to get the audiobook – what would I have done without her?
Some time ago – don’t ask me how long ago exactly, it feels as if it’s been Eons and only seconds at the same time – I was in a difficult situation: I had finished my “To-Read”-List. I had caught up with all of my watched authors … so I went prowling for something new, the way I usually do: Check the homepage of authors I like for their recommendation. Which is how Lois McMaster Bujold redirected me to the workings of Clan Korval (And a few other, not insignificant realms).
Looking for a ‘perfect reading’ order (ugh) I ended up reading ‘Agent of Change’ first. Don’t much remember the weeks after that, but … I ended up cleaning out another pair of author’s literary cupboard. Devouring Book after Book, Short Story after Short Story (On that note: Gimme more Lute & Moonhawk! Moon’s Honor for Full Book! 🙂 ).
What really got me hooked was Miri I think. Oh, and the first line of Agent of Change – that was a really strong one! But rather Miri. She was … a very interesting mix of weak and strong, I think.
Well, that’s how I got addicted. 🙂
– Thanks for all the other interesting stories on “How I met Korval”
– Please do not include me in the drawings for the Audiobooks – I prefer the eBook version (which I already have), and literally can’t concentrate on listening to an Audiobook for more than 5 Minutes at a time (sharing the story for sharing-the-stories’-sake is more than enough for me)
My best friend gave me Partners in Necessity and Plan B for my birthday. I was hooked initially by the way Shan talked. When I finished those books, I rushed to the bookstore immediately for I Dare and Pilots Choice. I eventually found the chapbooks (I think there were 10 out at that point) and the FOL list, and since then have kept up with everything as it’s been published.
My first Liaden adventure was Fledgling in 2010. The enjoyment I got from reading Fledgling sent me on a quest for all things Liaden. My latest is Trade Secret. I have everything Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have printed, at least to my knowledge.
Many thanks to Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. You fast became my favorites. Ranked up there with Anne McCaffrey, Lois McMaster Bujold, David Weber, Robert Jordan, and many others.
P.S. I already have Trade Secret so please don’t enter me to win the audio edition.
Like Chris Meadows, I was introduced to the Liaden Universe by the much-missed Hypatia. (Who also introduced me to P. C. Hodgell, and to Janet Kagan’s novel Hellspark, which I love in much the same way as I love the Liaden books.)
I began with the Meisha Merlin Partners in Necessity omnibus, and started reading it while I was laid up with a bad leg. I had to give over partway through Carpe Diem because my copy had pages 609-656 repeated in place of pages 657-704. (Meisha Merlin very kindly sent me a new copy without charge, but I still have the old copy, and I would be interested to hear if anybody’s ever encountered a copy with the inverse problem.)
After that, I moved on to all the other Liaden books Meisha Merlin published, then each new thing as it came out. (I’m about halfway through Trade Secret now, having used it as an excuse to re-read everything that comes before it, and intend to go on and re-read everything that comes after it as well.) I also have the entire series, including the chapbooks, in electronic form. I really like Baen’s ebooks – so many great books I’d likely never have had a chance to read otherwise!
(Not the audiobooks, though. I find that I don’t do well with audiobooks unless the narrators click with me in some way I can’t put in words, and based on the free excerpts none of the Liaden audiobooks have that click. Including the new one, so if this comment gets drawn for the prize, please feel free to toss it back and pick someone more likely to appreciate it.)
With apologies for the length, but hopefully you may enjoy the information…
Actually, I first encountered the Liaden Universe in a bookstore in Japan — I think it was in Kobe. Anyway, one of the few stores that had some English language books, and among those, were a few precious science fiction titles.
I visited that store from time to time — we must have been living in Nishinomiya at the time. Anyway, there was this one with a giant turtle on the cover! And the first line was wonderful! So I bought it, and happily devoured Agent of Change.
The next time we were in the US, I looked for those authors. Found something called Conflict of Honors. YES! A year or so later, there was Carpe Diem.
But the next year, there was nothing on the shelves. Well, maybe it was coming soon. I believe two years passed, and I took an unusual step for me — I wrote to the authors, by way of the publishers. Will there be a new book?
I was amazed, and gratified, to receive an answer. Along with a little chapbook, all about The Naming of Kinzel!
Thus began the long hiatus, when times were dark, and the souls of readers (and authors) were sorely tried!
Surprisingly, I still have the letter that Sharon Lee sent me. It’s printed on a dot matrix printer. At the top there’s a PO Box and telephone number, followed by the date. October 18, 1991. I won’t copy the whole thing here, but here are the main parts:
I’m sorry to have left you hanging in limbo for this while. Life has been a tad complicated (see gory details, below) and we’re only now getting to the knee-high stack of correspondence.
I’m afraid there will be no new Liaden book for you in 1992 either. A fourth book was in the works, but was put aside due to a bout of very ill health…
Right now Steve is re-plotting the fourth book (Del Rey turned down our original proposal), but that doesn’t mean it will ever see press (Del Rey says our books don’t sell well, so a year’s hiatus may have killed us). Believe me, I’m sorry not to be able to reassure you – I love the Liaden universe and our characters; I want to continue telling all about their adventures.
… I’ve just submitted a non-Liaden space opera, “The Tomorrow Log,” to our agent; with luck that one will go. And as Steve works on the plotting and first draft of the fourth Liaden book, I’m roughing out a “Lute and Moonhawk” novel – kind of a prequel to “Conflict of Honors” . . . Kind of. If the timing works, we’ll each finish our first draft at about the same time and then switch.
As for other things we may have written – I’m afraid there’s not much that’s going to be readily available to you: a smattering of short stories and poems, a chapbook about a wizard named Kinzel, a novella set in a computer gaming world – bought and paid for, but never distributed – sundry articles, book reviews, music reviews, TV and radio ads…
Thank you for your letter and for your interest. It’s always good to meet the friend of our friends.
It’s signed Sharon, over the printed Sharon Lee.
This was accompanied by a copy of the chapbook about the wizard named Kinzel. Special Midnight Edition book number 80 of 300. The chapbook and the letter occupy an honored position among the other chapbooks and the stack of Liaden Universe books that would come out after the great hiatus. I’m very glad to have been one of those who found turtles in their science fiction at an early date and was privileged to follow the continuing adventures.
Thank you, Steve and Sharon.
It was Spring of 2000, shortly after Partners in Necessity was published by MM. I was browsing the “new books” section of the still-new-to-me local public library (having only recently moved to town from the country) and there was this nice FAT book on top of the shelves. It was labeled SF (major plus right there) and looked like it might be fun, it was 3-in-1 (ditto major plus) so what the heck.
I put it on the bedside table with couple of mysteries and made the major mistake of thinking I’d dip into it before going to sleep. Major, major mistake since I stayed up well past midnight to finish the first story and start the second. Then lazed in bed the next morning to finish number two. And then passed on other stuff to finish off the entire book.
Then began the hunt for additional titles. I was able to snag a few of the SF magazine issues that had stories and bought doubles of all the chapbooks. I think I am missing a couple due to erroneously loaning them out to people who did not return them (thank goodness for the Constellation books, etc.). I still buy doubles of all the books. And I do have all (including the original Buzzy Media version of Local Custom) but Trade Secret in audio.
Nope. No addiction here.
Back in 1988, a new bookstore opened in a local mall. When I went in and browsed, on the new books shelf was one, face out, called Agent of Change. The cover intrigued me so I picked it up and read the back. The summary caught my interest, I bought it, read it, and started bugging the employees of the store asking them about new books by those authors. Following along came Conflict of Honors, then Carpe Diem. Unfortunately, they never found another one for me until I discovered the authors online 10 years later. I bought the Meisha Merlin sequels, and was a happy camper. Now that I have gone all digital, I am even happier since there are no bookstores closer than 28 miles from me now, yet I can still get the books the day of release.
I first read Lois McMaster Bujold’s books on the recommendation of my roommate during a stressful semester spent in Oxford. Several years later, in discussing my love for those books with a friend, she suggested that I would also like your books (and chanted a sentence with your names in it a few times to help me remember the authors; I’m really bad at remembering names!). She lent me her copies of the books as escapes from grad school, and my best friend (and roommate) bought a bunch of the books. When my best friend got married, I finally filled out the rest of my own collection, including copies of most of the newer chapbooks. I desperately needed stories while writing my dissertation, and Clan Korval (along with Miles and the Discworld crew) helped supply the only ones that could keep my attention. Now I buy them basically as soon as they come out (often preordering them) and plan on reading them twice within the first few days of owning them. And, of course, I have started buying them for two of my siblings as Christmas and birthday presents.
My grandpa started me reading scifi when I was 8 years old ( I am 45 now) -introducing me to Pohl, McCaffrey, and Piper. My fondest memories of our time together was talking about the newest scifi we had read and sharing it with each other. He bought Agent of Change very soon after it was published and gave it to me as soon as he finished reading it- we were both hooked and from that moment on bought each other all the books by Lee and Miller we could find, including all the chapbooks. The last book we talked about before he died was the Tomorrow Log.
In December of 2000 I was helping my parents move to a new house. I had brought a book with me to read during the evening downtime, the title and author slips my mind at present, but was having a hard time getting into the book. I decided to raid my parents library for something different. This is the way I remember it:
I walked into the library and began skimming titles. I had the full intention of reading a fantasy novel, and went in search for just such a book. I had recently read Mercedes Lackeys Chrome series so I quickly found the L’s. My fingers went a little too far and here were these three books by Lee and Miller. The title Agent of Change caught my eye. Suddenly a brilliant white light shot from the shelves. A choir of angels burst forth and I felt like Indiana Jones as he first laid eyes on the Ark of the Covenant. I grabbed all three books, and my love for everything Liaden had begun. I have read and re-read all the books in the series. I purchased them in paper/hardback as well as a second copy for my kindle. Truly these books have become heroin for my eyes, an addiction I could not break even if I wanted to. Which I don’t.
My sister recommended Korval stories to me a few years back (as I recall). I read Agent of Change and I was hooked enough to buy all of the available back-issue chapbooks and novels that I could afford and came back for the rest in a month. I’ve enjoyed my visits to the Liaden Universe in print and purchased the ebooks from Baen for more, including the two big short-story compendia they offer. I don’t have any of the books in audio, so this would be a nice, sneaky way to get my wife to try the series by playing the book on a trip. She likes audio novels but not SF/Fantasy, so maybe… just maybe…
“THE MAN WHO was not Terrence O’Grady had come quietly.”
Probably the only first line of any book that I can remember 🙂
Back in the early 90s, a boyfriend loaned me Agent of Change, then Conflict of Honors and Carpe Diem. I wanted more RIGHT NOW! I also wanted my OWN copies of the books, because I knew that these were books I would be recommending far and wide.
I was out of luck on both counts ’til the Meisha Merlin days. I was thrilled to get Partners in Necessity and Plan B, and have purchased every book and chapbook since then (sometimes more than once).
I started with the first MMP edition of Conflict of Honors purchased at a Coles bookstore in Canada back in the 80s(?). Found a MMP copy of Carpe Diem a few years later in a used bookstore (also in Canada) , and then about 10 years ago found a first printing MMP copy of Agent of Change in Minnesota. So I guess you could say I backed into the Liaden Universe. 8o)
I have been reading the Liaden universe for many years. After the first one, I had to find the rest and kept a close eye out for new ones. First, I had them all in paperback, then I got my tablet and had to buy them all again digitally. I have cried and laughed with my liaden family (and gotten really angry with Steve and Sharon when people died that I wanted to stay around longer) and hope to continue to do so for many more years.
20+ years ago when I was home from college, my older sister loaned me a book to read, since I had a brain train derailment and forgot a book. That book was Agent of Change. I remember going out to buy Conflict of Honors on my own and finding the website when I was looking to see if any more books were out.
Alas, nothing interesting here, my only chance is that winners will be chosen randomly! My (now ex-) husband gave me a copy of Agent of Change in, I believe, the mid to late 90’s. I had to get books from the library for a while but that grew old and I now have ALL the books, and a stack of chapbooks. I’m now expanding to e-versions, but so far I have never listened to, nor owned, an audible book. (Except for kid’s books.) And I stalk the authors at Boskone and signings.
I started reading the Liaden books based on recommendations posted on RRA-L, a romance readers list. I can’t remember how many years ago, but I know it wasn’t that easy to find the books back then. Every time I read a new one I end up going back and re-reading. Love the books, and I recently bought some of the audio books from Audible. Bernadette Dunne is great.
I 1st encountered Miri & Val Con in “Carpe Diem” (IIRC) sometime in the 90s (in PB from my library), when I put in a request for anything else by you both they said everything was OOP (which may help narrowing down *when* it was, or may not, I dunno).
Since then I’ve read almost everything that’s been released through Baen, including the Unibuses, but not the “Constellation” titles.
I believe I even still have some (unreadable) eBook files from Embiid or Ficitonwise (whichever Meisha Merlin sold the Palm version through) on DVD+R somewhere.
I’d visit my local Waldens and carry away a dozen books ar least once a month, and the stylized Hickman covers were a definite draw for me. The confrontation on CoH cover was the perfect story hook for me (like the perfect first sentence when I later read AoC) I like the almost art deco/Fritz Lang’s Metropolis look to the first three. The books were better than the cover hinted at.
Better, they were clearly science fiction, but resembled things in the story! Exploding spaceships were way too overused and led me to stories where there was little humanity, little reason for empathy. OTHER stories were like potato chips, tasty but not filling and didn’t stay with you (except in a bad way). The Liad books are like your favorite pasta: full of sweet peppers, tangy sauce, explosive spicy sausage, and the gooey taste of romance with a foundation of pasta.
They were a dish I’ve wanted again and again, Conflict of Honors was my first and still my most favorite couple. I find their characters’ growth and the mystery more compelling than greater action. Carpe Diem, Balance of Trade, and I Dare are also often reread. I find I’m preferring the secondary leads like Pat Rin and Anthora lately.
Budget willing, I get newer editions, like Mersha Merlin and Ace, just to preserve the condition of the Del Rey prints and the covers I love. (that is what annoys me the most about ebooks, the covers are poor and useless to help decide preferred genre of character centered with consequences) I’m looking forward to my getting more of my wishlist for this year’s for the holidays!
I first heard about the Liaden series in 2003 when I met Sharon Lee at the Meisha Merlin table in the dealers room of TorCon3. She told me I really needed to buy these books. I bought Partners in Necessity and Plan B because I loved the title of Plan B and she said I needed to read PIN first. I got both books signed by both Sharon and Steve.
I have since bought several copies of all the Liaden books, (paperback, hardcover, ebook and audio book) and the short stories, because I can’t seem to stop reading them.
I found the Del Rey edition of Agent of Change while interning on Sapelo Island, Georgia in 1990. I left it there, though I didn’t want to. Got home and found it and Carpe Diem in the local library, but couldn’t get Conflict of Honors, no way, no how. It was the first thing I ever bought on the internet, in the early 2000s. I even bought a Palm so I could have Balance of Trade (think that was the one) when it didn’t have a print contract.
I own the Meicha Merlin editions, some of the Ace editions, the new stuff from Baen, I think all the chapbooks, and everything on audio. Loved Mondays during the Fledging and Saltation days — used to print out the chapter and rush off to lunch, and still have those, stuck in binders with the other goodies.
Also, I met the lovely Ellen Richmond by recognizing Waterville, ME as your town on her name tag at BEA some years ago.
As a bookseller it’s now my privilege to introduce others to your wonderful work, which I do at every oppurtunity.
So, thank you much for more happy hours of reading than I could possibly count!
I first read, I think it was Agent of Change when it was recommended to my by Michelle Sagara, who recommended them to me as comfort reads probably about 10 years ago. I think I picked up either 2 or 3 of the first in the series that day, and then grabbed the rest that they had available then next payday and have being buying the new ones ever since. I think I have real almost everything except a few of the short stories
Read Conflict of Honors probably within a few months of its birth. Fell in love with Shan’s sense of humor. Found Agent of Change a year or two later at a used bookstore, said, “Ooh the same people who came up with Shan and Priscilla! Repeat Offenders!” and have been enjoying Liad ever since. Anxiously awaited Plan B, bought Partners in Necessity because my Ace/Roc copies were falling apart. Kept buying and promoting them to others ever since.
I started reading the Liaden Universe books by finding “Partners in Necessity” in the Santa Clara County Library System branch in Campbell, CA. It was shelved in Science Fiction. I said “this looks good” and checked it out in a pile of SF books.
I’ve read every LU book and chapbook. as well as Carousel Sun and The Tomorrow Log.
Thank you, Steve and Sharon, for all the worlds.
Is it common for a publisher to allow their author to use the same title as that of another author? Trade Secret is the title of my mystery book for young readers. It’s been out since before 2006. I believe your title needs to be changed. Please advise.
TJ Perkins, I’m sorry you’re upset, but it is your fault, if you are. Please relax. Being upset at a silly error — your silly error — will do you no good.
Now, a silly story. Our first novel — Agent of Change, by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee … came out the same MONTH another book called Agent of Change, by Steve Miller, came out. Naught to be done about it. Agent of Change is still in print — our novel, that is, 25 years later (you can get a free electronic right now at major online book sources).
Please advise? OK — Learn the business. Titles are not proprietary. If they were you’d be in trouble, because you’re hardly the first to use Trade Secret as, or in, a book title.
A good start would be to go to Amazon and see how many other people use “Trade Secret” in the title of their books, including several recent law books. Book titles are not ownable, just as chess moves are not ownable.
IP law is complex. If it wasn’t there’s be no need for books like this one, from 2006 — http://www.amazon.com/Trade-Secret-Asset-Management-Sarbanes-Oxley/dp/1596225602/ref=sr_1_40?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386346129&sr=1-40&keywords=%22trade+secret%22
I wish you luck.
My best friend loaned me _Partners in Necessity_ and said, basically, “Ignore the cover. It’s awesome.” I was working multiple jobs at the time and didn’t get to it immediately. However, one night I picked it up, started it before bed, and kept reading…and kept reading… I keeled over at 3am.The next day I was smart enough to start reading earlier.
IIRC, new releases started coming every February, and since both of us have birthdays that month, we spent a lot of time haunting bookstores and planning time off to read the newest book in the series. I felt lucky, because she started reading with the first releases and had a hard time finding the books at first, and then an agonizing wait for new ones!
I first read “Conflict of Honors” as a stand alone. (It is still my favorite.) then, in spite of sporadic searches, it was years before I found anything more. I have two copies of “Partners in Necessity” for loan. I also have everything else, most in both electronic and dead-tree format. Steve and Sharon are also the only authors I buy the autographed volumes of their works.
I discovered the Ace edition of Local Custom in 2002 while doing mass-market culls at the bookstore where I worked. I have a soft spot for strays and outcasts…
I read the first few pages while waiting for the computer to reboot, was caught immediately by the language and the characters, and went out to snag the rest of the series from the shelves. Went home, found the series chronological order online–because I have that quirk–and spent my day off working my way up through Agent of Change. So much wonderful.
Now I buy Baen eARCs because IMPATIENT.
When I was working in Chicago, I was in the habit of stopping regularly at Alice Bentley’s bookstore, “The Stars Our Destination”. I found my first copy of “Conflict of Honors” there, and after reading it avidly, searched the shelves for more. I found “Agent of Change” and “Carpe Diem” and devoured them, and nearly wept when they ended on a cliffhanger. I waited and waited for the next book, which wasn’t even named yet, but eventually heard they weren’t coming. I was aghast, but as a certain editor who will remain nameless once opined, there were three books out already, and no more were contracted. (Jack Chalker must have run into this editor, too, as he poked fun at that “trilogies are enough” nonsense in his “River of the Dancing Gods” series with the “All epics must be at least trilogies” rule.)
I was working in a bookstore myself when the news of Meisha Merlin came out, and I made sure there were copies on the shelves, since I was in charge of the SF section. When the Ace editions came out, I made sure THEY were ordered, faced them out, and hand-sold them to people who wanted something new and good to read. I helped nurture a number of fans that way.
I’ve stayed with the series the whole way, and was proud to meet Steve and Sharon at DuckCon a few years ago. It’s been a wild ride, but together, we’re all hell on wheels.
A friend of mine recommended Agent of Change when it first came out. I waited with what little patience I could scrape together for the next book – and when Conflict of Honors was NOT the sequel to Agent of Change, I waited with practically no patience for Carpe Diem!
I’ve since read all the books & chapbooks as soon as possible – I’m a confirmed consumer of Baen eARCs – and have bought most of the new versions as they came out. I think I missed the recent ACE MMPBs, and I’ve only bought one of the audiobooks – the one Michael Shanks read.
I discovered the Liaden universe only a few weeks ago, when I found Fledgling in the Baen Free Library. I loved it and have already recommended this novel to several friends. I plan to buy more Liaden books from Baen over the holidays when I’ll have lots of time for reading. I’m just trying to figure out which one to read next — the next Theo book, or one of the early Liaden books, or one of the other stand-alones?