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Ancillary Mercy 6

“Ship, actually.” She tilted her head toward me just slightly, her attention still on the tea. Mercy of Kalr mostly communicated with its crew via auditory or visual implants, speaking directly into our ears or placing words or images in our visions. It was doing this now, I could see, Seivarden reading words that Ship was giving her. “I’m Ship just now. And two messages came in for you while you slept, but there’s nothing immediately wrong, Fleet Captain.”

Ancillary Mercy 5

It had been more than a month since she’d last acted as my servant, but her presence was so familiar that I had, on waking, accepted it without thinking much about it. “Seivarden,” I said.

Ancillary Mercy 4

At the counter at the end of the three-by-four-meter room, Seivarden stood, making tea. With the old enamel set and only two bowls, one of them chipped, a casualty of Seivarden’s early, inept attempts to be useful, more than a year ago.

Ancillary Mercy 3

I opened my eyes. The walls of my quarters displayed the same view of the space around us that Lieutenant Ekalu watched, in Command–Athoek Station, ships, Athoek itself. The beacons of the system’s four intersystem gates. I didn’t need the walls to display that view. It was one I could see anywhere, at any time, merely by wishing to. But I had never commanded its actual use here. Ship must have done it.

Ancillary Mercy 2

Lieutenant Ekalu was on watch. Indignant about something. A little angry, even. Before her the wall displayed a view of Athoek Station, the ships surrounding it. The dome over its gardens barely visible from this angle. Athoek itself half shadowed, half shining blue and white. The background chatter of communications revealed nothing amiss.

Ancillary Mercy 1

Here we go! Paragraph 1 of Chapter 1 of Ancillary Mercy.

One moment asleep. Awake the next, to the familiar small noises of someone making tea. But it was six minutes earlier than I’d intended. Why? I reached.

Yeah, those are some beeny little sentences. That’s why I’m doing paragraphs at least some of the time this year. I figured five days on that just wasn’t fair.


Since tomorrow the bit by bitting of Ancillary Mercy begins (available for pre-order wherever fine books are, uh, pre-sold!), I thought I would re-post the Ancillary Mercy wordle for those of you who may be inclined to scan it for hints. Or, you know, admire the pretty colors.

A bit of information first up–I’m pretty sure the program that generates these counts capitalized words as different from lower case ones. Thus Ship and ship, and Station and station, are considered different words.

mercy wordle

And for comparison, for those of you who care (or are at loose ends and looking for something to amuse yourself with), the wordle for Ancillary Justice:

Screenshot 2015-08-05 16.05.45

And Ancillary Sword:


Ancillary Mercy bit by bit

So, last year I did the thing where starting a month before the release of Ancillary Sword, I blogged one sentence a day from the opening of the book. Of course, Orbit posted the entirety of Chapter One a week or so after I began, which kind of made my sentence-a-day pointless, but eh, it was fun.

This year I am going to begin two months before. Because–I checked–Orbit is going to post Chapter One about a month before release day. So! That means, I’ll give you a sentence, or maybe even a paragraph, a day for thirty or so days, and then you’ll have the rest of Chapter One to amuse you until the book comes out. Sound good?

Ancillary Mercy–incidentally currently available for pre-order at fine booksellers everywhere, and probably some not-so-fine ones–comes out October 6. Today–if I’ve performed the WordPress incantations properly–is August 5. Watch this space!


So, I do in fact have a tumblr. If you are a fan artist who wants me to notice Imperial Radch art, tumbl it and tag it and it’ll end up on my Pinterest board.

But, long story short, there are some things I say and do over there that don’t generally get posted here. Mostly silly, as it happens, but there was a recent concentration of silly that I figured I’d share outside of Tumblr.

So. This happened: The One Esk Annoying Song Playlist. Which is more or less what it says on the tin, but includes this:

And if Seivarden tries to start an earworm war, she has NO IDEA the forces she is unleashing.

Except that she probably does have some idea, because I have the feeling someone found out the hard way how long an ancillary decade can keep singing 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall.

“Wait!” says I. “Wait, I really want to share with you a thing from Ancillary Mercy at this point!” But I can’t, really, can I? Book’s not out till October and this is waaaaay to early for previews or teasers or what-have-you.

Well, maybe it is. But. So, I tumbled:

Actually, it was probably that song about the thousand eggs, hatching into chicks one by one by one by…

Oh, wait, nobody knows that song yet.

Which led to someone observing that it must be the Radchaai equivalent of “Ninety Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” and then I thought to myself, well, in for a penny and besides it’s not actually much of a spoiler and I’m having too much fun, so. For your delectation, The Egg Song:

1000 eggs all nice and warm
Crack crack crack! A little chick is born
Peep peep peep peep! Peep peep peep peep!

I suggested that I might release one verse a day until AM comes out.

Then this happened. Content warning: pictures of adorable fuzzy chicks, plus non-Twinkle Mozart earworm link.

And then I got to thinking more, which is a hazard, and this happened. Content warning: delicious marshmallow chicks, plus silliness.

Peep peep peep peep!

But then, I thought, all those identical Peeps. Oh. Of course.

And then, also of course, this.

I probably got all there was to get out of that. I am not going to promise not to make any more Ancillary Peeps jokes, though, because really, why would I do that. I will say that Peeps are only available during Easter, which is almost upon us, and so once the sun sets on Half Price Easter Candy Day and all my Anaander Peepanaais and Peepsarwats meet the inevitable fate of delicious marshmallow chicks, I won’t actually be physically able to for another year.