Book Review of “Ancillary Justice” (2013) by Ann Leckie


Cover of Ann Leckie’s novel “Ancillary Justice”

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I first heard about An Leckie’s flagship novel Ancillary Justice by reading an article at Tor called Power, Responsibility, and Revenge: Ancillary Justice Ten Years On by Adrienne Martini. The book is now ten years old, but I’ve never been known as being on the bleeding edge of whatever’s new and fresh in science fiction.

This part of the article got my attention:

In that early scene, Leckie efficiently sets up one of the key features of this world: the Radchaai language doesn’t gender people. Breq defaults to she/her pronouns for everyone unless she is speaking the language of the colonized. We only know Seivarden is a “he” because a bartender on Nilt refers to him that way. Frequently, Leckie shows Breq struggling with finding the right pronouns for the languages that require them.

Oh, good grief. If there are two words associated with this novel that are bound to set my teeth on edge, it’s “justice” and “gender,” both of which have taken on rather magnified meanings in the 2020s, at least in social media.

Martini gushes glowing praise upon Leckie’s book. In fact, her debut novel has the distinction of having won a Hugo Award, Nebula Award, BSFA Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, and Locus Award for Best First Novel. That’s some novel.

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One More Commentary on the Dragon Awards


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I’m new to the whole hype over awards for science fiction and fantasy, well, ever since last year when I learned about the controversy involving the Hugos and the so-called Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies.

However, I’ve been paying attention to the Dragon Awards. Unlike most other awards of this type, anyone who has internet access can register for no cost and be able to vote for their favorite authors, books, television shows, and so forth (in other words we mere mortals). I even voted myself, but unlike others, the purpose of this blog post isn’t to share who I favored.

I discovered at least three other commentaries on the Dragons: File 770‘s Mike Glyer, Camestros Felapton‘s, an apparently associated blog which I’ve just started following, and Richard Paolinelli’s SciFiScribe.

They all had slightly different takes.

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