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I’ve always been a sporadic blogger, and now I’m busy with book stuff my non-announcement entries have become even sparser. Sorry!

I did write a couple thousand words about C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner over at Far Beyond Reality. It happened kind of the way any of my long blog posts happen–I got to thinking about a thing and then realized I wouldn’t be able to stop until I’d unburdened myself. I really appreciate Stefan’s being patient and generous enough to read and post it.

Word to the wise, if you haven’t read Foreigner it’s probably best to read the book first. The post is one long, massive spoiler. But hey, you could read Foreigner and fix all that right up! If you enjoyed Ancillary Justice, I daresay there’s a very good chance you’ll enjoy Foreigner as well. It’s not that they’re quite exactly the same sort of book–I don’t think they are, really, but, well, I learned a lot from Cherryh.

And in more book-related news, if you missed the signing at Subterranean Books in University City last month, you’ll have another chance to find me at Barnes & Noble on Friday, November 22 as part of their Discovery Friday events. Sadly, I cannot promise cake for this one, but hey.

Guest Blog Posts!

So, a few guest blogs have gone up. I mentioned the Booksmugglers post yesterday. There are a couple more, though.

John Scalzi kindly let me do a Big Idea post.

Over on the Orbit blog I talk a little bit about why I made the choice to use (nearly) all feminine pronouns.

Fabulous writer and historian Gillian Polack (whose story “Horrible Historians” appeared right next door to “Hesperia and Glory” in issue number four of Subterranean Magazine. (Link is a PDF) I have a special emotional attachment to everything in that issue, because it was my first ever spec fic sale) I got lost in that parenthetical information, didn’t I. Let’s start again. Fabulous writer and historian Gillian Polack very generously allowed me to natter about Ancient Egypt and it’s (vague) connection to Ancillary Justice

And the Qwillery has a brief interview up.

Oh, and I don’t think I linked this here, but you can read the first chapter at the Orbit website.

And, editing to add, just as I hit “publish” I found that my post on AI and emotion has gone up at SF Signal.

Yesterday was the most amazing day. So many people tweeting, reviews–my Amazon rank, you guys, I didn’t even know Amazon did this thing where they keep track of which books have increased in rank by how much in the past twenty four hours. It turned up on twitter, which is how I found it. For a brief period, Ancillary Justice was the number one “Mover and Shaker” because it had increased in rank by I don’t know how many thousand percent. It started the day ranking somewhere around thirty-five thousand and ended around three hundred something, and is currently number nineteen in science fiction, and now I forbid myself access to Amazon until next Monday because otherwise I’d just be sitting there going “…” all day.

The signing is still a thing! If you’d like a signed copy, you can order one from Subterranean Books in St. Louis and I will sign it Thursday night. You won’t get cake, sadly, unless you come to the signing itself. I’d pack some up for you if I could, but as things are, it’s better if I don’t try it.

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.

Strange Horizons 2013 Fund Drive

The first personal rejection I ever got, when I first was submitting short fiction, was from Strange Horizons. For that reason alone, SH has a special place in my writer-heart.

But that’s not the only reason I love Strange Horizons. Look at who they’ve published over the years. I was going to look at that list and name a few people, but I had trouble keeping it down to a manageable number, there were too many awesome writers with awesome stories. Stories from Strange Horizons have been nominated for major awards, and included in Years Best anthologies. They publish so much great fiction, it’s almost ridiculous. And Strange Horizons doesn’t just publish fiction–they also publish essays, reviews, and poetry.

And you can read it all for free. If you wanted to read this month’s stories published by Asimovs, say, you’d have to buy an issue, or have a subscription, or be near a library where it was available (and even then, my local library won’t let you check out current issues of periodicals). But Strange Horizons? You can always read it, wherever you’ve got access to the internet. And you’re not confined to one issue at a time–you can browse the archives and read any and every story they’ve published.

And even though they give readers that fiction for free, and even though the people who run it are volunteers, they pay writers professional rates. They manage to do that by running fund drives, where readers who are able donate to Strange Horizons. And it’s fund drive time again.

I know that not everyone is in a place in their life where they can even think about donating. I think that’s one of the nice things about the donation model–if you’re in that place, if you can’t afford it, you can still enjoy it. Maybe someday you’ll be in a different place, financially, and able to consider it. Meantime, no worries. But if you’ve got the ability, you can pay forward and help Strange Horizons keep bringing us great stories.

So if you can, please consider donating to the Strange Horizons fund drive. There are also, as it happens, some prizes–everyone who donates during the fund drive will be entered in the prize draw, and the prizes are pretty cool.

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 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.


So, yes, I will be at Worldcon! And all the cool kids are posting their Worldcon schedules, but I do not have a Worldcon schedule. Or, my schedule is a big block of “Hanging with friends. Say hi to me if you see me!” for Saturday and Sunday.

I will, however, definitely be at Drinks with Authors at Ernie’s bar.


Click on the picture for more info.

There will be a lot of cool kids there, and books to win! I plan to bring an ARC of Ancillary Justice, but I gather there’s a whole stack of books they’d like to give away. So if you’re in San Antonio next Saturday night, it looks like Ernie’s Bar would be a good place to hang out.

July and August Fiction at GigaNotoSaurus

I’ve been remiss in announcing stories as they go up at GigaNotoSaurus. Sorry about that!

July was “A Man Not of Canaan” by Alex Jeffers.

“The men are afraid,” I said.

“Of course,” said my friend the foreign magician. “Aren’t you?”


Behind us in the belly of the boat, my crew huddled over their oars, muttering, praying. I felt that was not wise. The Mother, it seemed to me, must have fled our island, far beyond the reach of any man’s voice, long before the little people who honored her. Else why had the great bull of fire under the sea grown so restless, so angry? Even as I thought this, he bellowed. I flinched. Murmuring my own vain prayer, I glanced over my shoulder, north across the choppy waters of the gulf. White steam and black smoke billowed from the peak of the new mountain the bull had shouldered out of the sea. It appeared to be taller than when last I saw it, only two months before. Red as bull’s blood, subterranean flame stained the smoke and steam. Lightning flickered within the column of cloud as the bull thundered again. A warm, caustic ash of burnt stone began to fall. One of the rowers coughed violently.

For August, “The Litigatrix” by Ken Liu:

The fifteenth day of the first month in the seventh year of the Huayin Era:

The old man, Hae-wook Lee, had been bedridden for months. He lay on the sleeping mat, wrapped in a blanket. The drugs helped him sleep, and forget about the harsh words of his son.

It was an unseasonably warm winter day, here in this corner of Northeast Asia. Though the fire in the kitchen hearth next door had been extinguished, the gudeul smoke passages below the floor would continue to radiate residual heat for several hours. The room was so warm that the maid, Kyoon, had left the windows open to give the old man some fresh air, dry and invigorating after the new snow of the day before.

He dreamt that he was having a dinner of gogi gui. That pretty girl from years ago served him. He felt a pang of regret.

Comment Policy

So. Comments.

Currently any first-time commenters at are automatically sent to moderation. Once I’ve approved your comment, you’ll skip the moderation queue.

I reserve the right to delete any comment posted to this blog (this LiveJournal, this Dreamwidth journal). I reserve the right to place comments in a moderation queue, and I reserve the right to determine who does and who does not comment on my posts.

Free speech? Yeah, I’m a fan. But the thing is, anyone asserting that I have some obligation to host speech I don’t want to host is actually advocating a violation of my free speech. This is my space, and I will manage it to suit myself. This does no damage to your ability to speak freely–there are several free blogging platforms available. Sign up for one or more and speak, speak, speak to your heart’s content. Manage comments there how you wish–I support your right to do so.

But here, in my space, I get to say what goes. And what doesn’t.

No, I’m not worried about suppressing debate–see the note above about the availability of free blogging platforms. And, frankly, some things are just not up for debate. And no, I don’t care if you think I’m wrong about that. Or that you think I’m being a meanie pants. Or that you’ll never buy my books. Honestly, if you end up getting a comment deleted off my blog, chances are you weren’t going to be a fan of my writing anyway, so, you know. And I was never under the illusion that everyone, everywhere, would love my work. I fully expect some number of people not to like it and not to buy it, and I have no problem with that. I, myself, don’t buy or read things by authors whose work I don’t much like. That’s life.