Everything You Need to Know About Ethan of Athos Part 1

Everything You Need to Know About Ethan of Athos Part 1

Spread the love


Title: Ethan of Athos

Author: Lois McMaster Bujold

Publish Date: 1986

Publisher: Baen Books

Type: Novel

Genre: Science Fiction

Sub-Genre: Religion, Romance, Sexuality, Spaceships, Space Travel, Alien Cultures, Alternate Societies, space Stations, Alien Worlds, Genetics, Advanced Technology, Advanced Medicine, Assassination, Kidnapping, Torture, Interrogation, Spies, Drugs, Advanced Weapons, Mercenaries, Strategy, Alternate Lifestyles

Plot Summary:

There’s a world at the edge of the galaxy, at the far end of the trade routes, where no one would want to go to live… unless they wanted to be free of all of the aggravation and problems caused by an utterly alien life form – women.

Reproduction is handled with artificial wombs, and the babies are created by harvesting eggs from donated ovaries and inseminated in-vitro. The big problem they’re facing now is that they are running out of viable eggs and need more donor ovaries.

Ethan is a leader in the field of reproduction and sets off on a quest to obtain the needed donations and winds up on a space station at a crossroads of space trade lanes.

Soon after arriving, he is attacked and comes under the care and protection of a woman. His distrust is obvious as she continually turns up at his side when he comes under fire from unknown assailants.

Scared, he must now decide whether to trust this female and work together with her or go it on his own, and hope to finish his business soon and get back to safety. What he doesn’t know is that there are plans to eliminate not only him, but the entire population of his planet – but the woman knows.


Athos. This is a planet whose inhabitants are on the verge of becoming extinct due to a genetic issue with their reproductive procedures. Population growth is rather unusual since Athos is a planet populated exclusively by men. The eggs are harvested from female ovarian cultures that are failing to keep up with the demand. All births and pairings are rigorously controlled by the government and the residents must earn ‘social duty credits’ which is the currency on Athos.

Athos is a world void of women, where children are created in-vitro and gestated in an artificial womb. The world is scorned by the other inhabited worlds and emigration is virtually non-existent, reducing the gene pool significantly. Without new immigrants and the loss of egg culture after egg culture, it is easy to see how much trouble the population is in.

Ethan Urquhart is the Chief of Biology at a District Reproduction Center and is entrusted with the mission to travel from the planet in search of replacement ovarian donations. His first stop ends at Kline Station, a space station on the intersection of no less than six jump routes for interstellar travel.

His quest is quickly interrupted with an assassination attempt shortly after he arrives on the station. Much to his surprise, the attempt is foiled due in no small part to an unlikely source – a beautiful woman named Commander Elli Quinn. Not only does she save him, but somehow feels like she needs to be his protector, if not because of a slight attraction she is entertaining.

Warily, Ethan accepts her assistance in his endeavors but unknown to him she has her own agenda regarding his home planet’s plight.