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Oh oh oh, you guys, I forgot one of the coolest things! In my defense, there were a lot of incredibly cool things this year!

Anyway. So, last year I know that a couple of college professors/instructors assigned Ancillary Justice as part of a course. That was a definite achievement unlocked thing, right?

But this year, Professor Richard Fry at SIUE taught Introduction to Philosophy, which–here, I’ll give you the course description:

By reading speculative fiction, we come to see more clearly both how our lives are and how they should be. Philosophy, as a discipline, pursues closely related questions and lines of thought. In this course, we will use a novel to jump-start our thinking about our selves and the wider world around us. It will serve as a starting point for conversations about language, minds, gender, emotion, politics, civilization, surveillance and individuality, among other issues. We will read our novel in tandem with scholarly philosophical work both historical and contemporary. You will be assessed primarily through written papers. No antecedent familiarity with speculative fiction is required or expected.

Three guesses what that novel was. The first two guesses may or may not count.

Right? Right???

So, while I don’t live in Edwardsville, it’s really not that long of a drive from St. Louis. So in early December I visited the class. Or, the classes, since there were two sections. They were a great bunch of students, and had great questions for me, some of them ones I’d answered before, and some that were entirely new to me. But I was really impressed with the way they were engaged with the class, and with the book. I had a great time! I’m really glad I was able to do that.

Also, I mean. Seriously. Right?

Now, I didn’t ever at any time have the ambition to have my book taught in philosophy class. In fact, one student asked me that–did I start out with a message or a list of philosophical ideas? And no, I did not. I started out wanting to tell a cool story, the kind of book that would make me go “Oooh this is exactly the sort of thing I like” if I found it at the bookstore. But, you know. I can’t say I mind the book being used for class, and I absolutely do not mind that the result was these students were definitely interested and thinking about philosophy. How did I forget that in my year summary post yesterday? Because that is just so utterly awesome.

Awesome Audiobookness

Hey, check this out! 11 Things You Never Knew About Audiobooks (plus the Orbit team meet a Doctor Who star!)

The Orbit team recently took a trip to watch Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY MERCY being recorded as an audiobook by actor Adjoa Andoh (you might know her from Doctor Who). We went to the RNIB Talking Books studio in Camden, London. We were all completely fascinated to see this process and to meet the people involved, so here’s what we learned.

I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I am that Adjoa Andoh agreed to read my books aloud for y’all. Seriously.

Tour!

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So, the tour was a thing that happened. In fact, it was an awesome thing that happened!

Along with Greg Bear, I hit five cities in five days. I was really glad to be sharing the tour with Greg, since he’s done this book tour thing a few times before and knew what was what, and he was generally just great to travel and hang out with.

I met a lot of fabulous people, and signed a lot of books. I was given fabulous gifts–the artist who made this:

Ors Diorama

was at one signing, and actually gave me the amazing original. Really, amazing is an understatement.

(And now I see that when I pin stuff from a tumblr search, it links back to the tumblr search page, and not the artist, which means I need to maybe be more conscientious about adding comments or tags to credit people, hmm. Sorry about that, didn’t realize until now, though I probably should have.)

Another artist gave me this:

2015-10-14 08.02.53

Yes, that would be a picture of Brother Her-Breath-Contains at his daily devotions to She-Commands-Me-And-I-Obey. Awesome, right?

And yet another has produced embroidered Emanation bookmarks:

2015-10-14 08.02.47

And that’s just the art! I also got delicious pumpkin bread, tea cookies, and some tea the giver told me was Daughter of Fishes, which from the (mmm delicious) flavor is some kind of oolong.

It was an absolute delight meeting everyone who came to the various signings.

It was also completely exhausting. I was basically on an airplane every day. Most stops I wasn’t even at for a full 24 hours. I got home Monday night and collapsed in a heap, sat on the couch staring for a while and then went to bed. Spent Tuesday recovering. Today I have errands to run, and then…I’m off again! This time to ICON. Which I am looking forward to–not only will I be in the same place for more than a day or so, but I’ll be there in the company of a lot of fabulous folks.

Some folks asked me about the etsy store–I probably won’t be listing things until after October. Partly because this October is incredibly busy for me, and partly–a more recent development–because I have in fact run out of Awn Elming pins. I still have some Translator Dlique pins and some Spoiler pins for giving out at ICON, and I’ll have badge ribbons with me (unless something goes awry in my packing). But it takes a couple of weeks to get pins, even if I order them right away. So those won’t be available for a bit. But when things calm down, I’ll be listing what pins I have. So if you really want a Dlique pin or a Spoiler pin and don’t have a chance to get one in person, I do intend to make them available on etsy.

Anyway. Thanks again to everyone I met during the tour–it was a pleasure and a delight to meet you. And I’m looking forward to seeing folks in Cedar Rapids!

Ancillary Music

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It’s getting close! We’re headed into the weekend, and on Tuesday Ancillary Mercy will be officially released! Through the magic of the internet, ebook copies will appear on your readers, if you’ve pre-ordered the ebook version! Booksellers ought to have it out on the shelves–if yours doesn’t, ask if they have it in the back, that happened to me when Justice came out and I went to a local B&N to see my book on the shelf and offer to sign copies for them. They hadn’t put them out yet, but they were happy to fetch them out from the storeroom.

In some places it’s already on shelves, and some folks are getting copies early. Good for them, I say! Enjoy!

In the meantime, have some fabulous fan-made playlists! Those are all the ones tagged “Ancillary Justice” but there’s one that isn’t, so don’t miss that one! These are pretty darn cool, and I personally have come across songs that were unfamiliar to me that I loved, listening to these, and then bought for myself. There’s lots of great listening there, so check them out!

Soon now! So very soon!

Ancillary Art

Someone asked me this yesterday, so I figured I’d post the link again: you all know about my pinboard of Ancillary fan art, right?

I would highlight some, but it’s really difficult to choose favorites. Well, okay, how about these adorable pics of Kalr Five by Shibaru:

Five1

five2

I have to admit I’m really tickled by how popular Kalr Five is.

You could also, I’m told, amuse yourself with some fanfic. I have not read any of it, but I gather there is some, pretty much where you’d expect fanfic to be cause there’s a lot of other fanfic there. So if that’s your kind of thing, well, you could maybe go there and search on “Imperial Radch.”

Ancillary Ships Infographic

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Over at io9, they’ve posted a fab graphic the folks at Orbit did up on Radchaai warships and their relative size. Check it out!

It’s now less than a week until Ancillary Mercy comes out! I’ve seen a few more folks say they’ve seen it out on bookstore shelves early, so like I said, you might want to give your local a call and see.

And don’t forget, I’ll be traveling next week–look on the sidebar of my blog, to the right and kind of down a bit, there, for times and locations! I’ll also be doing a Reddit AMA on Monday evening. I’ll try to blog and tweet the link when it goes up, though I’ll be traveling that day and my internet access might be spotty until just before I’m scheduled to answer questions.

Your Complete List of Emanations Files

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So! I talked about the Emanations in several different posts, but here are the files all in one place:

EtrepaBo

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-07

EtrepaBo SVG File (with layers if your application opens it that way. Adobe Illustrator will)
EtrepaBo PSD File (CMYK Gimp will NOT open this file)
EtrepaBo PSD File (RGB Gimp will open this file. It is also very large.)

Color Images
EtrepaBo colored by Nikki
Etrepa
Bo

EskVar

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-16

EskVar SVG File (with layers if your application opens it that way. Adobe Illustrator will)
EskVar PSD File (CMYK Gimp will NOT open this file)
EskVar PSD File (RGB Gimp will open this file)

Color Images
Esk
Var

IssaInu

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-13

IssaInu SVG File (with layers if your application opens it that way. Adobe Illustrator will)
IssaInu PSD File (CMYK Gimp will NOT open this file)
IssaInu PSD File (RGB Gimp will open this file)

Color Images
IssaInu
Issa
Inu

VahnItr

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-10

VahnItr SVG File (with layers if your application opens it that way. Adobe Illustrator will)
VahnItr PSD File (CMYK Gimp will NOT open this file)
VahnItr PSD File (RGB Gimp will open this file)

Color Images
VahnItr
Vahn
Itr

Each of these files contains the “full” Emanation and both of its halves.

If you don’t already have the software to manipulate these images, Gimp is available for free here. I’ve also seen Inkscape suggested.

These were all designed and made by Nicole Thayer. Use them however you want (as long as it’s not for commercial purposes), but do try to credit Nikki in some way if you use them.

VahnItr

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Last, but hardly least, the Emanation of Existence and Non-existence:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-10

Divisible into Existence:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-12

And Non-existence:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-11

I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing an opportunity for putting some little sparkly things into Existence. A small tube of E6000 goes a long way, and you can almost always find a package of little sparkly acrylic “gems” at the craft store. I love sparkle, myself.

Work these in beads, fiber, polymer clay, paper–whatever you like. Quickie print them up and use self-laminating adhesive sheets. Paint or draw them on things. Embroider–honestly, whatever seems fun to you!

Here’s an SVG file for you to play with:

VahnItr.svg

This is an SVG file with layers. Gimp will open it but it won’t see the layers. As I said the other day, I’m told the file (and the corresponding ones for the other Emanations) was made in Adobe Illustrator and will open in that application. Someone in comments yesterday suggested Inkscape.

Here’s a PSD file with layers:

VahnItrCMYK.psd

This uses the CMYK color scheme. I have no idea what that means, besides the fact that Gimp won’t open it. Presumably Photoshop will. Nicole has said she’ll convert these over to RGB when she gets a chance, at which point I’ll upload those and link them.

Nicole tells me she’s tried very hard to make these layers clear and easy for folks to work with, so y’all can manipulate these and play with them to your heart’s content. And I want to thank her again for doing such awesome work! If you make things with these, do try to credit her in some way.

And there you go! The four Emanations, for you to enjoy and play around with however you like!

IssaInu

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The Emanation of Movement and Stillness:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-13

Which breaks down into Movement:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-14

And Stillness:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-15

Reminding folks who don’t think they have drawing skills, the more elaborate elements of these doubtless have super-schematic versions. I’m betting there’s a version of this that looks like Stillness=heavy vertical line, Motion=asterisk kind of thing, Movement/Stillness=Dark heavy line with light asterisk behind it. Even I could draw that. And I bet that’s what the small IssaInu looked like that Syrix was wearing, in Ancillary Sword, now I think of it.

And of course–you can print things out and glue or sticker them to things. Check the EtrepaBo post for more specific suggestions, but really you can do almost anything with these.

Here’s an SVG file for you to play with:

IssaInu.svg

This is an SVG file with layers. Gimp will open it but it won’t see the layers. I’m told the file (and the corresponding ones for the other Emanations) was made in Adobe Illustrator and will open in that application.

Here’s a PSD file with layers:

IssaInuCMYK.psd

This uses the CMYK color scheme. Gimp won’t open it. Presumably Photoshop will. Nicole has said she’ll convert these over to RGB when she gets a chance, at which point I’ll upload those and link them.

Nicole tells me she’s tried very hard to make these layers clear and easy for folks to work with, so y’all can manipulate these and play with them to your heart’s content. And I want to thank her again for doing such awesome work! Please do try to credit her when you use these images, if you can.

EskVar

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Next up, the Emanation of Beginning and ending:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-16

Easily breakable into Beginning:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-17

And Ending:

8-11-15 ancillary justice drafts-18

These are pretty simple to start with, but I’ll remind everyone that any iconic symbols like this probably have super-simplified versions as well as very elaborated ones.

I’ll also remind folks that there are all kinds of ways, simple or elaborate, to produce these for yourself. Print them and use self laminating sheets or do some decoupage. Embroidery or bead embroidery. Polymer clay! That’s a good one. There’s even a way to transfer laser-printed images to unbaked polymer clay (you need to varnish the baked clay afterward or it could rub off). Or if you’ve got polymer clay skillz, you could probably do this up in different colored clays. Add pinbacks or jump rings (or ear wires, or whatever) and make any sort of jewelry you like. Or make other stuff. Enjoy!

Here’s an SVG file for you to play with:

EskVar.svg

This is an SVG file with layers. Gimp will open it but it won’t see the layers. As I said yesterday, I’m told the file (and the corresponding ones for the other Emanations) was made in Adobe Illustrator and will open in that application.

Here’s a PSD file with layers:

EskVarCMYK.psd

This uses the CMYK color scheme. I have no idea what that means, besides the fact that Gimp won’t open it. Presumably Photoshop will. Nicole has said she’ll convert these over to RGB when she gets a chance, at which point I’ll upload those and link them.

Nicole tells me she’s tried very hard to make these layers clear and easy for folks to work with, so y’all can manipulate these and play with them to your heart’s content. And I want to thank her again for doing such awesome work! If you make things with these, do try to credit her in some way.