Book 7 in Vorkosigan Saga (1996)
Publisher: Baen Books
The familiar old SF “planet of women” chestnut is reversed in the planet of Athos — an all-male planet made possible by the invention of the uterine replicator.
Ethan, drawn out of his beloved Athos by a quest, finds himself an alien in more mainstream human society, and cannot help but find women disturbing aliens as well, especially the ultra-competent, ultra-beautiful Elli.
Dr. Ethan Urquhart, chief biologist from the all-male world of Athos, must travel to other planets in search of new genetic material, as their current supply of ovarian tissue is no longer viable.
Ethan encounters what to him is practically an alien species — women! — and also finds himself hunted by Cetagandan ghem lords and helped out by Miles’ Dendarii officer Elli Quinn.
Ethan of Athos is Lois McMaster Bujold’s third novel. It departs from the concerns of the Vorkosigan family to explore the ramifications of advanced biotechnology, turning many a cliché on its head along the way.