The conversation that sparked this post is pretty old by now, and was not ever at any point directed to my attention–which I appreciate–and so I will not be linking to it. And honestly, it was a perfectly fine conversation that I had no objection to. But I just wanted to grouse a little bit, about one small thing.
And I want to say up front, I have no problem with any reader having any opinion of my work that seems good to them. Even less problem with people discussing my work. If I run across such conversations I generally try not to get involved, unless I’m tagged in, or someone says something like “I really would love to hear Ann Leckie answer this question!” And even then I might not answer unless directly addressed. So, discuss away, I take no offense.
But every now and then I get a little irk on. And in this conversation, it was asserted that in order to really understand Ancillary Justice it was important to understand its antecedents–the works it was descended from. So of course one had to know how it related to Iain Banks.
Now, Banks was a great loss to the field. And I can see why people compare my work to his. But Banks’ work was not the direct ancestor of mine. Before I finished AJ I had only ever read Consider Phlebas, and that after a fair amount of foundational work had already been done for my own book. (I’ve now also read The Hydrogen Sonata, and want very much to read more of his work.) Banks was not someone I felt I was in conversation with while writing the Ancillary books.
If you want a direct ancestor to AJ, you want to be looking at the work of C.J. Cherryh. And I can’t help but notice that though some folks have pointed this out, it doesn’t seem to stick.
Maybe the people who keep not mentioning Cherryh haven’t read her. If that’s the case, I urge them to remedy that ASAP.
Thank you for listening to my tiny moment of annoyance.