James
James asked:

Justice of Torin tells us that Anaander Mianaai is made of many identical clones. But ancillaries are made of the taken bodies of conquered peoples. Does the book ever explain why the Radch so antagonize their conquests, rather than just using clones?

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Cassandra It could be a means of subduing an enemy before you even start. One, you need the manpower, but also the knowledge of this horrible fate (that is often reserved for those that rebel) might make a people more likely to surrender to minimize casualties. It adds to the terror that the Radch would inspire and certainly make a dissident or resistance fighter think twice about their actions.

Another possibility that relies more on speculation about the specificity of science not totally explained, would be that it's easier to use grown, functioning bodies than manufacturing clones. You would need people who were ok with the idea of their genetic material being used in such a way and I doubt the Radchaii with their notions of purity would be super excited about the idea. You could use DNA of conquered people, but you're going to run into the same problem as the ancillaries. A clone would also have to grow from embryo, be raised and nurtured, costing a great deal of time and resources before it could be used in war. A group of fully grown living things that you don't consider human anyway is a much easier (and cheaper) solution.
Angie Boyter This is a great question, and it is issues like this (among other things) that make me less enthused about this book than many others readers are.
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by Ann Leckie (Goodreads Author)
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