Thumbs up for Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie. Science fiction.
Damn, the Imperial Radch books are good. I grant you, the reasons why I think they’re amazing may be why someone would find them unreadable. Ancillary Sword is a very odd book – much more so than Ancillary Justice. Breq is back, with official backing this time, tasked with protecting a solar system. This does not, as one might immediately assume, involve space battles. This is military science fiction in a culture in which the captain of a ship casts omens before a battle; where the choice of china one uses when serving a station administrator is very important; where the best political move at one point is to abruptly go into secluded mourning for two weeks to pay respect to a murdered enemy. The turning point of one of the plotlines is where Breq changes the lyrics to a song when going to arrest an indentured tea-picker. It is as weird as fuck and makes total sense and it’s beautiful.
Lieutenant Tisarwat staggered into the room just as Five was clearing away the last supper dish and Translator Dlique was saying, very earnestly, “Eggs are so inadequate, don’t you think? I mean, they ought to be able to become anything, but instead you always get a chicken. Or a duck. Or whatever they’re programmed to be. You never get anything interesting, like regret, or the middle of the night last week.” The entire dinner conversation had been like that.
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