Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ancillary Justice (again)

An excellent book. Still. On this reread (previously), parts of it --- where, despite the genderless society and advancement-by-merit, everything is nepotism and in-group and out-group prejudices anyway --- were so true to life, so precisely fictionally parallel to injustices in reality, that they infuriated me. I had to put the book down, my blood boiling, and wait to calm down, to remind myself that the point of the book is to upset this ruling-class hierarchy. And that I already know how things turn out (in this novel at least), and that some of the most hateful characters are duly punished by the authorial hand of justice.

It doesn't feel very just, though. Which I suppose is one aspect of the pointedly polysemous title.

I am in complete awe of Ann Leckie for producing such a perfect jewel of a book, fully-formed, springing from her mind like Athena from Zeus'. Of course much work and development surely went into it, but still: Ancillary Justice is a novel of consummate perfection. It works on so many levels, it is a space opera and a manifesto on gender and privilege and interpersonal relationships and the meaning of trust and life goals. No one is too small to matter, and no one is too big to have flaws.

Read it already! I'm rereading it to work my way up to the third piece of the trilogy, which has floated to the top of my queue. So, you know, expect to hear about Ancillary Sword soon.

This post's theme word is posset "a drink of hot milk curdled with ale." Brought to you by China MiƩville's Kraken, p. 127. The specialty of frozen planet Nilt's beverage selection is essentially posset --- warm, fermented milk, repeatedly described in the most unpalatable terms.

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