Con or Bust is still going on–it runs till the 23rd. Please consider consider bidding on something if that’s within your abilities and/or means! There are quite a lot of really awesome things. I started scrolling through to pick some out, but there are so many–handmade jewelry, handknit scarves, signed books….just lots of fabulous things.
You can, among other things, bid on a signed copy of Ancillary Justice.
The SFF neighborhood has been nonstop hilarity for the past week or two. Readers of this blog who follow such things (or who have had following such things thrust upon them) will have seen it already, and those who don’t, well, you’re probably better off for it. I will only say that there are some writers whom I have long admired, in whom I am now disappointed.
In a previous post, I said that I was looking forward to Alex Dally MacFarlane’s tor.com column on non-binary SF. Her first post was an introduction, and in her second she looked at Mission Child by Maureen F. McHugh. I read Mission Child several years ago, at someone’s recommendation (I don’t recall whose) and enjoyed it very much. I believe it’s (sadly) out of print, but my local library had it, and I’m sure you could find it used online. (When looking for used books, I have so far had good experiences with Better World Books and with Alibris.)
And this week, it turns out, she’s written about Ancillary Justice.
I admit I’m a bit surprised, because I honestly don’t think it’s a particularly good example of non-binary SF. For the most part, I think the pronoun thing does what I meant it to do. But I never did think that “she” could genuinely function as a gender-neutral pronoun. That wasn’t actually the point. Which, of course, has its own drawbacks–if I had been in a different place, when I began writing, I would no doubt have started with a slightly different aim. And while I might or might not have still used “she” as a default (my reasons for wanting to use it still stand) I almost certainly would have made some changes in my approach.
Still. Ancillary Justice is the absolute best I could make it at the time that I wrote it, and there really isn’t more I could ask for or do than that. Well, okay, I could add lots of readers who enjoy the book, and smart critics like Alex to write interesting, nuanced posts like the one on tor.com today.
I would also like to echo Alex’s call for “More like this!” The most awesome thing, I think, would be for a bunch of other writers to say “Wait, why didn’t she….” and then write stuff, and for publishers and editors to say “Huh, Leckie’s book did okay, let’s try this!”
That right there would be the awesomest.