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Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1)
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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Greetings Space Opera Fans!

Book 1 of the Imperial Radach series, 2014 Nebula and Hugo Award-Winning book Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is our SERIES PICK for the month of February. Let's see what the buzz is that won this book so many prestigious awards?

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1) by Ann Leckie Ann Leckie

"Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance..."


Okay ... who's reading Ancillary Justice? Shout it out in the discussion thread below, tell us what you think, and drop in links to your reviews. Remember ... be kind and use the SPOILER .html if you drop hints so it doesn't spoil the fun for somebody who isn't as far along as you are!


Sarah Putting a hold on at the library immediately! Woo hoo!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Hell yeah! I just started the ebook and I love it! It just might be confusing starting off.


Whitney (whitneychakara) | 53 comments have this from the library yay


Brendan (mistershine) Loved this book but have been avoiding reading the sequel because I wasn't sure it would have significantly more to say.


Daniel (dward526) Read this book last year, time for a reread I think :)


message 7: by Echo (last edited Feb 03, 2015 08:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 46 comments I finished last week. I really enjoyed it. New and different which I've been craving.It takes a little while to get into the voice and tone of the character, but well worth it. I just ordered Ancillary Sword (real paper copies!).

Even though a big deal is made about the use of gender, I think it's really more about war and colonialism and the long term effects of decisions made in the context of war and conquest. Those conflicts with morality is what drives Breq for most of the book. I have a master's degree in history and I focused on colonialism so those sorts of themes are fascinating to me.


message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Put it on inter-library loan, but there's a waitlist so I don't know if it will arrive in time for me to read?


Brendan (mistershine) Echo wrote: "I finished last week. I really enjoyed it. New and different which I've been craving.It takes a little while to get into the voice and tone of the character, but well worth it. I just ordered Ancil..."

AJ seemed to me like a Mil-SF book that starts where most books finish. The normal big space battle laser pew pew climax of many novels is just the backstory, AJ deals with what comes after: the moral hazards of occupation and resistance. There was a LOT going on in this novel, to focus only on gender is, I think, a disservice.


Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 46 comments Brendan wrote: "Echo wrote: "I finished last week. I really enjoyed it. New and different which I've been craving.It takes a little while to get into the voice and tone of the character, but well worth it. I just..."

I think part of the focus is because the writer is a woman and there is a tendency to assume that a woman writing SF must be writing about gender; or a person of color must be writing about race & ignore the other things. Also the use of the gender pronoun 'she' which makes perfect sense in the character's world but is jarring in our world. It does have interesting views on gender, but compared to what I heard, I thought it was kind of second tier theme.

It's definitely the space opera after the climatic battle-the post space opera, I guess. After the war is just as intriguing as what happens during the war.


Brendan (mistershine) If you follow Ann Leckie on twitter it makes it seem like she was actually writing about tea.


Daniel (dward526) Echo wrote: "Even though a big deal is made about the use of gender, I think it's really more about war and colonialism and the long term effects of decisions made in the context of war and conquest. Those conflicts with morality is what drives Breq for most of the book."

Agreed. 100%


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

20% through the book right now. Certainly seeing how the war hurt everyone rather than helped only the winners, which was certainly nice.


Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 46 comments I just got my copy of ANCILLARY SWORD. old fashioned paper book. So, I have weekend reading.


Fiannawolf | 163 comments Read this one last year. Will read the sequel at some point. Took a bit to get used to the narrative style but once I did I found I liked the idea of a Starship for a narrator. Kinda reminded me of Brainships.


message 16: by Laz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laz the Sailor (laz7) | 207 comments Read both 1 and 2. Both excellent. I found that the use of "she" became gender neutral for me, as I think it was intended. And of course AL then had fun with it in book 2 in one particular scene.

This is not a casual read, and it was great fun to have to pay close attention to everything that was going on.


Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 46 comments I just finished Book 2. Won't spoil. I did enjoy it but it is slower paced and talkier than book 1. Definitely a set up books for another installment.

And it really IS about tea.


message 18: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Tea?

As in ... drink ... tea?

Or as in ... Boston Tea Party type-theme ... tea?

Or maybe Modern Tea Party theme?


Brendan (mistershine) Echo wrote: "I just finished Book 2. Won't spoil. I did enjoy it but it is slower paced and talkier than book 1. Definitely a set up books for another installment.

And it really IS about tea."


:)

Sometimes tea is just tea, Anna. And even though I myself am a steadfast coffee drinker I can respect alternative tea-based lifestyles.


message 20: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 13, 2015 04:15PM) (new)

Brendan wrote: "I can respect alternative tea-based lifestyles."
shudders
I didn't even know something so terrible was even possible! These are terrible times indeed.


Fiannawolf | 163 comments This is how my drinking goes: Coffee, coffee, coffee, oh look tea!, Coffee, coffee, coffee! I still appreciate a nice Earl Grey ever so often.


message 22: by Anna (new)

Anna Erishkigal (annaerishkigal) Fiannawolf wrote: "This is how my drinking goes: Coffee, coffee, coffee, oh look tea!, Coffee, coffee, coffee! I still appreciate a nice Earl Grey ever so often."

I think I'm going to make a MEME with that comment, Fiannawolf, and then make it go viral on Facebook with all my writing friends :-)


Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments Echo wrote: "I finished last week. I really enjoyed it. New and different which I've been craving.It takes a little while to get into the voice and tone of the character, but well worth it. I just ordered Ancil..."

I completely agree. The gender part was so confusing I stopped paying attention to it, for a while there it detracted from the overall story. But it's really different which I love and is one of the reasons why I spend so much time looking for things to read.

As for the book, it's definitely a colonial and long term affects of merging so many different cultures and people into one.


Fiannawolf | 163 comments Yay! I'm finally meme-worthy! *bounces* But back to the book, yea will buy the sequel next payday. I kinda splurged this month already.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

This one was a hard start for me, but the premise was unique so I weathered through it. I did come out the other side and, ultimately, loved the book. I actually really enjoyed the gender ambiguity and did not find it confusing at all.


message 26: by Rachel (last edited Mar 01, 2015 06:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) I really loved this book - so much going on. I found the pronoun choice interesting, in that it didn't take me long to adjust to it as 'normal' (and was then disconcerted to return to the real world). And there were some great echoes of the Pax Romana in the way the empire enforces 'peace' by conquest.

I blogged a longer review:
http://strangecharmbooks.co.uk/2014/1...


Echo  (mrsbookmark) | 46 comments Rachel wrote: "I really loved this book - so much going on. I found the pronoun choice interesting, in that it didn't take me long to adjust to it as 'normal' (and was then disconcerted to return to the real worl..."

Great review and I love your blog. Following!


Jonathan Bergeron (scifi_jon) | 370 comments I've been trying to read this book since about December, and I have yet to make it past the 50% mark. It's so...so, boring. The parts where it's Breq in the present are pretty interesting, but her flashbacks make it like I'm being forced to watch a Ted Talk--a lot of information given in a way the presenter thinks is exciting, but is actually really boring and painful to sit through.

I think the problem I have with the book is I am no longer a fan of fantasy, and this book borrows heavily from fantasy. Here's the checklist:

1. music the author makes up that would NEVER be popular in reality. Music not heavy on the poetry is the type of music that remains popular for hundreds of years.
2. heavy on the made up religions. --the problem with that is how involved a religion is. You can dedicate several books to any one particular religion, and not understand it all. making up several religions for a short series tends to end up confusing, or each religion sounding pretty much exactly the same.
3. I keep imagining people in robes wearing chain mail and leather armor. It's a combination of the music, made up religion, and tea drinking that make me think that. When you start saying "priest" and "acolyte" you are no longer using science fiction terms, you are using fantasy terms.

From a purely technical POV, the book is damn near perfect. The one thing that makes it from being technically perfect is the character pointing out the pronoun use. Unfortunately there is no way to actually make it so it does not sound like the author telling the reader how to read that section.
Why? Name just a single instance when someone used the word "pronoun" when not discussing grammar or this book. Just one single instance. I'll wait.

I honestly could not care any less about Ann's use of the pronouns for gender, lack of it, etc., in that I always imagine the person talking how the author describes how they look, and ignore every instance of 'he' or 'she' in a book (it takes too long to read every word). So when she would say "the feminine pronoun" or something along those lines, it sucked me out of the book and made it feel as if I were reading a technical writing book.

I do wish Ann Leckie continued luck and success in the future. It's good to see people not white and male be successful (I still want to be successful in what I do though).

I'll eventually finish Ancillary Justice, and check out the next book from the library.


message 29: by Jessica (new)

Jessica  (jessical1961) Rachel wrote: "I really loved this book - so much going on. I found the pronoun choice interesting, in that it didn't take me long to adjust to it as 'normal' (and was then disconcerted to return to the real worl..."

Rachel,

I like that name! That's my daughter's name; Rachel Elizabeth!

I enjoyed your blog post about Ancillary Justice. I went and put both Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword on my Audible wish list.

I was going through my Amazon wish list a little earlier today and found that Ancillary Justice had been on it for a long time. I will have to get it next payday and read it.


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