I reiterate that a bookstore is a terrible place for someone who is addicted to buying books to work. In the past calendar month (so…not even an actual month) I got Exploring Calvin and Hobbes, Uncommon Women and Others, Headbirths, or, The Germans Are Dying Out, Never The Whole Story, and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. While I think Exploring and Uncommon are worth talking about (delightful and thought-provoking, and humorous and yet isolating, respectively), I am most looking forward to Ancillary Justice.
Thinking back to what I wrote a few weeks ago, I’ve embarked on a plan to read more women (which sound dramatically sexual when I write it out like that) and that means intentionally choosing more women’s work. In a similar vein, I want to read more Sci-Fi and Fantasy (generally, I want to read more of everything), and I decided to thread that needle by reading the Hugo award list, starting with Ann Leckie’s work. Ancillary Sword, the second in her series, is nominated for a Hugo this year, while Ancillary Justice won just about every single award last year. This is noteworthy not only because Justice is a debut novel, but also because it plays with notions of gender and identity in a far-flung Sci-Fi universe while still being about big ships blowing up stuff and zooming around stars. It’s the sort of book that, more and more, is becoming what the genre needs to move into.1 Gender and identity is something that’s changed dramatically in the past twenty (fifty?) years (for all of you living under a rock) and there’s no reason not to think it won’t change in the future. Sci-Fi is all about imagining what’s coming, so why not imagine even harder?