Why read Liad?


A while back, Lee and Miller asked readers to contribute their reasons for reading the Liaden Universe®. The idea was to make a Top Ten List. In the end, we had gathered enough reasons to make seven lists of ten each.

So! Here are some of the reasons why people are reading — and re-reading — the Liaden Universe®. Feel free to share one list, or all of them!


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1. The Liaden Universe has very alien aliens — sentient trees and giant bipedal turtles.
2. It’s fun!
3. Space opera and Romance. If you read Georgette Heyer you’ll love these stories.
4. Clutch turtles. The most likeable aliens you’ll ever encounter.
5. A universe of people and stories that will keep you coming back for more.
6. Language – the way I wish we could all use it.
7. Readability – not only wonderful to re-read, but re-read many, many times, getting more out of it each time.
8. Tough, smart girls.
9. The Luck.
10. I have to read them…nobody’s turned them into movies yet!

* * *

1. Competence porn: Smart characters getting in, and out of, all kinds of situations
2. The writing is superb. Descriptions, conversations, events–nothing is a throw-away; nothing is dashed off to make the required total number of words or to meet a deadline.
3. Liaden — the books that are better than chocolate!
4. A series of complex but believable social structures in space and on planets.
5. A really spot on pummeling of academia and the politics thereof.
6. Because there is something for everyone. You like military strategy? check. Politics? check. Romance? Math? Psi? Xeno? Business? All of these are present.
7. Sentient trees
8. Balance. Both sexes are equally capable, talented, foolish, and stubborn. Their character defines them, not their plumbing.
9. The Liaden Universe has giant turtles, with spacefaring asteroids.
10. The accountants are good guys!

* * *

1. Intricate prose and lightspeed plots
2. Because the situation had only lacked eight-foot turtles.
3. Some wonderful romances.
4. Characters that seem like real people and wish you could meet (or knock off)
5. Contrasting societies – gender-egalitarian, patriarchal, matriarchal.
6. No vampires!
7. Feel good space adventure with humor and romance.
8. Wonderful world building.
9. A Military AI that bonds with cats.
10. Because of the writing style. Wordings that are slightly different from standard prose, which make you pay attention just a little closer – and which emphasize the alienness of the cultures it describes. Oh, and which excels in subtle jokes, irony, and sarcasm.

* * *

1. The characters, human and alien alike, are multidimensional and finely crafted. You believe in them and like or dislike them as you do people in your real life. Quotes from conversations are memorable and touch you on a personal level. These people experienced life events that remind you of your own life, and carry some of the same emotional scars that you carry.
2. Because EVERYONE should learn how to cast a deadly insult using a precise and lovely bow!
3. Because of the intricately threaded universe. every re-reading will point out another tie-in between things you didn’t think were related.
4. Sentient trees with biochemical skills and a talent for wizardry
5. The events and the story lines they occur in are carefully plotted. An insignificant-seeming event will turn up as a cornerstone of the plot in a future novel.
6. Different but relatable systems of honor
7. The universe is so real, it is easy to suspend belief and “travel” there
8. Where magic, space travel and manners all have their place
9. Written in an elegant, graceful style
10. One of the things I love about the Liaden Universe® is that it is *not* utterly predictable. The stories, plot, pacing are original. I am *very* good at predicting the flow and direction of stories, but the Liaden Universe® keeps me on my toes. So, Original storytelling you won’t find anywhere else!

* * *

1. Character-driven non-military science fiction with the manners of Regency fiction, the suspense of Horror and the old-fashioned violence of a good space battle (or two).
2. Cats who pass through time and space

3. They give a feeling of hope for humanity
4. Long story/character arcs that intrigue you with more information layered into other books.
5. Fully developed characters and a universe both believable and alien.
6. Well written sentences.
7. Complex, nuanced plots and situations
8. An engaging family with multiple generations to argue and support each other.
9. A fully visualized world that pulls you in from the start.
10. A great reason to read the Liaden Universe series is that this truly amazing series is now available on Audible and can be listened to. As I am blind, I would have never had access to your books if not for Audible and a review posted by an audible member, which caught my attention and I’ve been completely hooked ever since.

* * *

1. Characters – very three-dimensional, really likeable (except the ones you love to hate), and seen in widely different situations.
2. Authors who are expanding the universe and managing to keep it fresh, thoughtful, and emotionally moving.
3. Fascinating character-driven space opera
4. Talking turtles!! From the time I saw the cover for Agent of Change, I was hooked. The illustration of two people and a really big turtle made me buy the book. Love Edger and co. All the other personalities kept me coming back.
5. The people in the Liaden Universe are nicer, politer, and more interesting than a lot of the people in this universe.
6. To explore local custom-many local customs-on many worlds, as a xeno-sociologist…as a “first-in scout.”
7. Interesting characters and plots
8. Sentient trees
9. 8 foot Turtles who hear music in sirens and alarms
10. The characters are believable and real, with depth and breath. So very 3 dimensional.

* * *

1. I really can’t think of any reason other than the fact that they’re the best darn sci-fi books I’ve read.
2. Fascinating cultures
3. The idea of the thriller/action chaos being a large scale form of art.
4. Tree and cat alliances.
5. It’s Space Opera dammit!
6. They get even better on re-reads
7. People who share their brains with each other
8. Space pilots who wear leather jackets
9. Anne McCaffery’s comfort books.
10. Reading Liaden is fun.

5 thoughts on “Why read Liad?

  1. Oh yeah!! For alla them reasons…
    Like many, I get involved enough in the characters to experience the full gamut of emotions… Starting with my favorite characters.. ValCon and Miri… But wait… Add Shan and Priscilla… And on, and on… Loads of fun!! Thanks YOU Two!!

  2. Among the myriad of other reasons — most of which have been multiply-covered above — they gave me the wonderful phrase “until soon” as a farewell to a lover. (Shan to Priscilla, I want to say it was in Plan B, though it might’ve been I Dare — in the Lytaxin Aftermath, anyhow.)

    No other pair of words has ever captured the sum of my longing for my love: they’re perfect. (Don’t worry; he knows who wrote them, I gave accreditation when I filed off the serial numbers!)

  3. Yo,you go Korval! Clutch turtles,sentiant trees and Ninja cats what’s not to like? Val Con/Miri,Shan/Priscilla puts Romance and Star Wars to shame. A fan forever!,

  4. What will Pat Rin and Netesa do next? What will Hazenthull do next? What will Jezela Kazone do next? Hope for many, many, many books to explore the always new strenghts these characters ( friends ) will discover.

  5. I now have a perfect reply to when my buds bug me about why am I not signing up for every conference on the list: “I’m no stinkin’ Kamele!” I’m perfectly happy being a data scientist and a supercomputer hacker. I have a life outside of running around butting heads at those conferences over goofy things that in the end don’t really mean a whole lot. And if my buddies wonder about what that means, they can go and read Liad themselves!

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