Edition: Earthlight, 1998
Review number: 586
It's rare to pick up a book which is exciting enough that I end up staying up until 1am to finish it, even though I know I need to get up at 7 to go to work. Memory is just that sort of novel. It's really a thriller turned into science fiction. The plot is that of a secret service maverick finally dismissed after falsifying a report - cutting out the medical problems which nearly caused a mission to end in disaster and which would have seen him removed from active service - only to suspect and investigate a major plot at his former employers. This is a little gruesome: a memory chip has been implanted into the brain of the head of Imperial Security, and now he has been infected with an artificial virus which eats into the chip, causing his memory to malfunction bizarrely.
Having a ready made maverick in series character Miles Vorkosigan helps Bujold write an engrossing novel. Almost all the characters occur earlier in the series, and the familiarity is heavily used without being abused - while it may help to read earlier instalments, it is not necessary.