You Should Read This: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Cover for space opera novel Ancillary Justice by speculative fiction writer Ann Leckie.

The cover is gorgeous, and conveys a sense of the complicated world of Ancillary Justice.

I must admit to an extra hint of pride in this book’s appearance here, because Ann was a member of my Clarion West class back in 2005, when she was first wowing all of us with her Radchi universe. Ann and I also know each other through SFWA and our shared agent, Seth Fishman.

What: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie is a fabulous space opera with an unusual protagonist whose struggle will pull the reader in. It is, alas, not a particularly long book, and I could have read at least twice more the length happily.

Who: read this if you like space opera or action-filled but character driven SF. Read it if you want to hear the latest in the ongoing conversation about gendered pronouns held between SF writers for decades now. Read it for the sake of enjoyment and rejoice to know it’s the first of three.

Image of a pink beaded brooch created by speculative fiction writer Ann Leckie, to illustrate piece about her book, Ancillary Justice, for a piece on

Many writers have an artistic side, and Ann Leckie is no exception. Here's a lovely pink pin she made for me and which is among my treasures.

When: read this when you have time to devour great chunks in one sitting, because otherwise the story will haunt you, will keep calling you back while you are spending time at other tasks, making you remember exactly where you laid the book down, calculating when you can return to it.

Why: Read this because it will be appearing on many of the awards ballots this year and rightly so. Read it so you know why you’re voting for it. Read it because it does new and interesting things. Read it because it’s good.

Where/how: This is ideal for a while-away-some-hours situation, depending on your reading speed. Leckie’s world is immersive, intelligent, and interesting.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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