Join my newsletter.

Cards Against Significant Species

Y’all may remember, the other day I mentioned playing a customized Cards Against Humanity in Lieutenant Awn Elming Memorial Park. The person who brought it was kind enough to let me take the deck home, and now if you find yourself wanting to play CASS, either online or in person, well, click this link and you’ll find several ways to do that. Scroll down for links to various ways to play online, or download a pdf of the cards you can print on regular paper and cut out, or even (if you’re feeling extravagant) pay someone to make them into nice cards and mail them to you.

When I expressed my ignorance as to how the “play online” part worked, I got this back from badgerterritory:

it’s very easy to play it online!! i don’t know if this is the only way, but the way we do it is to go to and then you pick a server. you set up a username, and then it’ll take you to a place where you can set up the game. once you have the game set up, it’s very easy to invite people, and the cardcast site has a command you can use to add the deck! once you put in the command, the deck is loaded and you can start the game.

It looks like there’s also an app you can add to Chrome or to your phone, too. I haven’t tried any of it and don’t know how the various methods work, but it looks like fun, and not just for this particular customized deck.

Meantime, have some screenshots of a game from a couple weeks ago:







Incidentally, some of the response cards are in-jokes. #not for AL is the tag Tumblr users put on posts about the books they would prefer I not read (I’ve got that tag blacklisted), and “Cousiiiin” is a reference to this lovely bit of fan art. No doubt there are others I don’t recognize because I’m not in on the joke myself. At any rate, it was great fun to play.

Also incidentally, at first there were just a couple of us playing so we pulled one card off the “response” pile every turn and threw it in with the couple of others. We decided that was Station’s card. We kept it up even after the number of folks playing grew, because of course Station was playing, but also because actually, Station was winning.

There is also a special rule for this deck, if you wish to play it this way: If you draw more than two “Anaander Mianaai” cards (there are quite a few in the deck, as is only appropriate) you may discard and redraw all but one card. You are now stuck with that card the entire game. This situation never came up, so I don’t know how that plays, but there you go, in case you want it.

Ancillary Mercy Audiobook

You all probably know that I think Adjoa Andoh is pretty fabulous, and that I was super thrilled that she was doing the narration for the audiobook of Ancillary Mercy.

Well, it turns out, I’m not the only one. Yesterday AudioFile Magazine announced the shortlists for the Audie Awards. And the science fiction category looks like this:


  • Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, narrated by Adjoa Andoh, published by Hachette Audio

  • Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, narrated by Ali Ahn, published by Hachette Audio

  • Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, published by Recorded Books

  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, narrated by Scott Brick, published by Brilliance Audio

  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! by Tom Angleberger, narrated by Marc Thompson, published by Listening Library/Penguin Random House Audio
  • So, those other readers must be pretty amazing too, is what I’m thinking. Because, I mean.

    Hooray for the awesome Adjoa Andoh!

    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.

    Tonight I’ll be at the University City Library!

    Wanna come meet me? Maybe hear me read a bit, maybe ask me a question or two? Wanna buy a copy of Ancillary Mercy and have me sign it?

    If you answered yes to any of those questions, consider coming to the University City Library at 7pm this evening.

    Subterranean Books (not the publisher, the St. Louis bookstore) will have copies for sale, and if I get my act together there will be cookies.

    See you there!

    Cinnamon Roll

    So, over on Tumblr–where I mostly just do silly stuff, so you’re probably not missing much if you don’t follow me there, unless you’re into the silly stuff–over on Tumblr, as I was saying, there is this thing about cinnamon rolls. It started, I do believe, with this Onion story: Beautiful Cinnamon Roll Too Good For This World, Too Pure.

    Know Your Meme tells us that it “subsequently became an exploitable catchphrase used on Tumblr to describe adorable, charismatic or otherwise sympathetic fictional characters.”

    So. Also over on Tumblr, user oneesk19 posted this.

    Yes, folks, that is cinnamon roll flavored vodka. And I wanted to reblog it and say something so badly. But I could not. Because nobody would get it. And maybe nobody will get it now, but I don’t care.

    As it happens, cinnamon roll flavored vodka is in fact readily available in my area. So, yeah.

    2015-09-28 13.12.35

    So. Turns out, cinnamon roll flavored vodka tastes pretty nasty. It’s really sweet, and then there’s this sudden wave of fake vanilla and you wonder why you ever thought drinking it would be a good idea. The company’s website cheerfully advises having it with orange juice. I have made the experiment, and while (somewhat mysteriously) it tastes noticeably more like an actual cinnamon roll that way, the actual cinnamon roll taste in question is still pretty horrible. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the rest of the bottle, honestly. But it was too amusing not to try it out, anyway.


    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 Mercy is out!

    It’s Book Day! Ancillary Mercy should have downloaded to your device by now, if you pre-ordered the ebook, and bookstores should have the paper version on their shelves.

    This post is visible due to the magic of WordPress scheduling–I myself am not home right now. I’m in Seattle! If you are too, you could come to University Temple United Methodist Church The Sanctuary, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle, WA at 7pm to meet me, and also Greg Bear, who has a book coming out today too–Killing Titan.

    Actually, quite a few people have books out today. Ferrett Steinmetz’ The Flux is out, the sequel to Flex. I enjoyed Flex quite a bit, but haven’t had a chance to read The Flux yet.

    Also, Kameron Hurley’s Empire Ascendant, sequel to The Mirror Empire.

    And probably other books–books tend to come out on Tuesday.

    Anyway! If you’ve been waiting for Mercy, you should be able to get it now! I hope you enjoy it!

    Where I’ll Be This Week

    Release week is upon us! Here’s where you can find me:

    First of all, I’m doing a Reddit AMA on Monday, the fifth. I’ll be in the air when that link goes up, but watch Orbit’s twitter, and I’ll try to tweet the link when I can. Or Tumbl and blog, but I’m more likely to be able to tweet from my phone, and likely to only be able to Tumbl or blog when I get to the hotel, which will be very shortly before I begin answering questions. (Yes, the timing on this is dicey. We’ll make it work, one way or the other.)

    Then! (Copied from my previous “where I’ll be” post):

    Tuesday, October 6
    7 PM: University Temple United Methodist Church The Sanctuary, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle, WA
    Wednesday, October 7
    7 PM: Tattered Cover, Denver, CO
    Thursday, October 8
    7 PM: Powell’s, Beaverton, OR
    Friday, October 9
    7:30 PM: Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
    Saturday, October 10
    3 PM: Borderlands, San Francisco, CA


    I’ll have some swag to hand out, as long as supplies last. I will try to have Awn Elming and Translator Dlique pins on me, as well as these:

    I’d love to show you what these Book Three pins look like, but that would be a spoiler! As long as I still have some, I will hand them out to anyone at a signing who wants one, and once you’ve read the book you can find out for yourself!

    If you can, come see me! I’m looking forward to meeting you! Also, if you’re coming to an event, please consider buying your copy of Mercy from the store in question. They’re being super nice and helpful having me in, and their being able to sell some books as a consequence makes that worthwhile for them. If you can’t, or can’t afford a copy just now, no worries, it’s all good.

    See you soon!

    Ancillary Music

    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:



    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.”