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Ancillary Justice!

Ancillary Justice is out today! It is available wherever fine books are sold! In the US you can go for local to you, local to me, or Amazon or Barnes and Noble if that’s how you roll.

If you’re in the UK, you can get the book at Waterstones, or Amazon UK.

I have received one complaint about the fact that the ebook is only available with DRM. I suspect it won’t be the last. And to be entirely honest, I sympathize. But I have no control over that. There’s really no point in telling me you won’t buy the book as long as the ebook is DRMed, because I can’t do anything about it. I do, however, understand such a position and why someone would take it. I would be happy to see DRM gone, myself.

So. Ancillary Justice is officially out and people can read it! Worldcat tells me it’s already at some libraries. (I love you, Worldcat! I love you, libraries!)

I have a guest post over at the Book Smugglers, on Influences and Inspirations. Regular readers of this blog will probably not be surprised at what influences I mention. They’re also giving away a copy!

There will be a few more guest posts here and there as time goes by.

And there are reviews. This morning the October issue of Locus was delivered to my inbox (I love you, Locus esubcription!) and, it turned out, there’s a very nice review inside. And there have been others!

io9 seems to like it.

SFX liked it too! They get extra points for being the first reviewer to note the influence of C.J. Cherryh.

Lots of people have been tweeting nice things!

Staffers Book Review, Pornokitsch, Jen Phalian, Paul Weimer (for Skiffy and Fanty), The Bibliosanctum…I could go on. In short, there are lots of good reviews. This could be a much longer paragraph.

And I am gobsmacked. You guys, this is amazing. I mean, I believe this is a good book. I’d never have sent it out otherwise. But to see so many other people enjoy it, too, is really fabulous and strange and wonderful and terrifying all at the same time.

Signing! Review!

Yes, I have a feeling the next three weeks are so are going to be all about the book.

So, if you’re in St. Louis, you could, if you so desired, come to Subterranean Books at 6pm on October 3 and get your copy of Ancillary Justice signed.

If you aren’t in St. Louis, or won’t be on the third of October, or that’s the night of your kids’ band concert or you just can’t be there for any reason at all, but you still want a signed copy, just click on that link above and order the book, and include a note letting them know you’d like me to sign it. Or phone the order in and let them know–they’ll be happy to help, and I’ll be happy to sign!

Thus, the signing. Now, the review!

Liz Bourke has reviewed Ancillary Justice over at Tor.com. It’s a lovely review, and I’m very, very happy she liked the book. I know full well that if she hadn’t, the review would have been less pleasing to me, and I know that she isn’t one to pull punches in reviews–which is as it should be, and I would say so even if she hadn’t liked Ancillary Justice, though of course I wouldn’t have been happy on a personal level. Though, I suspect a negative review from this particular reviewer would bear careful consideration–sometimes it’s important to hear criticism.

She did, in fact, mention something I’ve been thinking about for the past few months. She says, of the choice to use the English feminine pronoun pretty much throughout the book, “It’s an interesting choice, one that adds to the sense of reading in a different culture, but also one which (as had to be pointed out to me) runs the risk of reinforcing our existing linguistic and cultural gender binaries.”

It’s a fair cop. This is something that I didn’t realize until the book was well past the copyedit stage. It’s something I wish I’d thought more about. I don’t think it would have changed my mind about using “she” throughout, but I would have handled some things about it a bit differently. I have to be honest, the question of avoiding or questioning assumptions of gender being binary were on my mind–Breq herself, is, after all, not actually a binary person, even though her body has internal reproductive organs and would, in our culture, be assigned female–but in retrospect, it wasn’t something I’d done as much thinking about as I could have. Going back over the text, I do see moments that make me wish I’d handled them just a bit differently. Questioned assumptions and language just a bit more.

Of course, this is how writing is. You do your best, and then when the work is published you immediately see half a dozen things you’d like to fix. The only thing for it is to do better next time. I can’t promise I’ll be perfect, but I can say it’s something I know I need to pay attention to.

Want to win a copy of Ancillary Justice?

There are currently two giveaways going, one at LibraryThing and one at Goodreads. They both run until the end of September. It looks like these are finished copies, not ARCs, which is kind of cool because that means I might be seeing finished copies myself, soonish!

The LibraryThing giveaway will only ship to the US or Canada, the Goodreads one only the US. Since it’s Orbit running both giveaways this time, I have no control over that. I still have a few ARCs left, and should be getting some finished copies, so probably soonish I’ll give a few away here on the blog, which I’ll be happy to ship pretty much anywhere.

So far reviews have all been good. And yes, there’ve been some outrageously complimentary tweets that yes, I’ve seen. I mean, are you kidding me? Of course I search my book title every now and then. Some I’ve retweeted (I could not help but laugh out loud at “Ankylosaurus Justified”), but some I’ve looked at and asked myself, “Ann, are you vain enough to retweet that?” and decided I wasn’t. (No judgment implied of folks who would choose to retweet such compliments. Self-promotiony stuff is weird, emotionally, and I can only speak to where my own weirdness is.) But I have noticed, do notice, and do appreciate it very much.

The negative reviews (and perhaps even non-complimentary tweets) will surely appear in the fullness of time. And that’s as it should be. I appreciate anyone’s reading my work, and going to the trouble to think and talk about it.

Now, I’ve got a couple more chapters to go, and a deadline to finish them by, so I’m going to clear my mind of tweets and giveaways, make myself some more tea, and get to work.

Reviews!

So, I know some folks link to, like, nearly every review they get, good or bad. And I haven’t actually decided if I’m going to do that, but I probably won’t. Because I feel very much that once a book or a story is out there, readers get to have whatever reaction they’re going to have. And if they feel moved to say something about their reading experience, even (or perhaps especially) something negative, they ought to be able to do that without feeling like I’m going to respond in some way that makes their life less pleasant. Just linking isn’t necessarily going to do that, but to a certain extent there’s a potential there.

So, I probably won’t link to negative reviews. But so far I’ve had pretty good review luck! Of course, it’s early, there haven’t been many–a couple of people on Goodreads who got ARCs of Ancillary Justice seem to have enjoyed it, which is nice. I know not everyone who reads it will enjoy it, so I’m savoring the nice comments for now.

Publishers Weekly liked it, and, it seems to me, understood pretty well what I was going for. I notice the review very carefully avoids any pronouns that might assign a gender to the protagonist, something that amused and pleased me.

Kirkus liked it, too! Though the entire review isn’t available to non-subscribers until the second half of September. The crucial parts are up there on the site, though. “Leckie’s novel cast of characters serves her well-plotted story nicely. This is an altogether promising debut.”

Sometime probably next month I’ll give a few more ARCs away, through the blog–and possibly I’ll give a few more away via Goodreads. In the meantime, I’ve been spending way too much time at Adagio Teas. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, but they let you make custom blends. Lots of people have made blends inspired by their favorite fandoms, and while the novels don’t have fans as such–the first one’s not even out yet!–I still could not resist the idea of Radchaai-themed tea. Those of you who have already read Ancillary Justice, or who have read the currently trunked Isendeni Station, will understand why this might be.

So, you can officially join the Adagio Teas Imperial Radch Fandom,* and/or you can order a packet of Justice, Propriety, and/or Benefit. I have tried all three, and they are very good. I’m going to have to order more Benefit soon, because the 16yr old and her school friend have discovered they like it, too. (The school friend, also a tea enthusiast, did not entirely approve of the subtlety of Propriety and has not tried Justice. I have threatened to test my currently non-public blends on her as well. She did not seem too put out by this.) There will be more blends in time, because it turns out, once you start blending teas it’s kind of hard to stop. I now understand why Adagio includes a “self ban” link. No, I have not used it yet. But I’m kind of glad to see it’s there in case I need it.

For entirely understandable reasons, I can’t use my cover art on the bags/tins. So I’m stuck with images from Wikimedia Commons and my own very basic graphics skills. I do from time to time cast an envious eye on the lovely artwork on so many other custom blends, but hey, it is what it is. And the tea is quite good, if I do say so myself.
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*There’s no compelling reason to do this, except to get a badge on your Adagio Teas profile. The possibility exists to make blends visible only to members of a fandom, and last I checked there was a discount on those. I don’t know if I’ll ever actually make blends only available to members, but it’s a thing.

Ancillary Justice ARC Goodreads Giveaway

So, as I said not long ago, I got a box of Ancillary Justice ARCs in the mail! And I’m going to give some away.

Just for starters, I’m giving three away via Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Justice

by Ann Leckie

Giveaway ends July 14, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

If that widget doesn’t show up, try clicking here to see and/or enter the giveaway.

You may notice there’s a cover image! I have not yet received word that I can post my cover, but there it is, on Goodreads. I’m quite pleased with it, myself!

Folks who are interested in scoring a copy but don’t have a Goodreads account, or really don’t want to sign up, or who aren’t in the US, Canada, UK, or Australia, never fear. I’m planning to do a small giveaway later just through the blog here.