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Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt there's any need to spoilier anything about Ancillary Justice, but we probably should be careful with references to the next book, Anciallary Sword.

I don't think that Mianaai is an AI. AFAIK, she is cloned. The clones meet at regular intervals and share their knowledge, which helps maintain a sense of a single individual. In some ways it's actually the reverse of how the AI's work in the book.

I generally think of Breq as female, but I had some real problems with Seivarden as she/he kept switching gender in my mind. It's actually an aspect of the book that I have come to enjoy. And it's quite a skillful achievement for it to be able to stand up to a reread. I'm already looking forward to reading it yet again later this year Laughing

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are explaining a bit more in Ancillary Sword, so I will avoid jumping to conclusions for at least a little while.

I think the story of what happened in the Itran Tetrarchy could probably be a book in itself, though I'm sure more will be revealed.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ann Leckie is going to be at my local bookstore next week. I'll probably attend the event - could be interesting.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I went and it was fun - I got this:



Which I am currently torturing myself with because I've been a slacker and haven't finished but I want to know what it is.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
and someone refers to Anaander Mianaai as male at one point but it's not clear if they're just assuming the leader of the Radch would be.

It's also possible that Anaander has both male and female bodies.

@Sorus: damn, I'm jealous.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was interesting that gender stuff didn't come up at all in the audience Q&A. There were questions about pronunciations - apparently there are different audiobook versions in the US and the UK, and the reader of the US version consulted her about how things were pronounced, and the UK reader did not.

I also had not realized that CJ Cherryh's Foreigner series was a big influence, so that moved up a bit in my 'things to read' queue.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anaander's bodies are all identical clones, I thought. Spoiler:
Other than Tisarwat, of course.


I'll be starting Mercy tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished Mercy, and promptly despoiled the spoiler. There'd been a rumor going around (and possibly started by Ann Leckie herself) that it had to do with the death of a major (or very interesting) character - so of course I spent the last half of Mercy wondering who was going to be killed off. The actuality was a bit more upbeat, and pretty cool. I will post a pic once more people have finished.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
Anaander's bodies are all identical clones, I thought. Spoiler:
Other than Tisarwat, of course.


I'll be starting Mercy tomorrow.

Probably. I simply wasn't sure on that front, so I proposed the possibility.

I started mercy today Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished the book yesterday, and it's just left me wanting to see what happens next. I'd happily keep reading an ongoing series about these characters (plus we need to find out more about the Notai/True Radch, and the Presger - and yes, I get that the point of the Presger is that they're so different we can never understand them).
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
I finished the book yesterday, and it's just left me wanting to see what happens next. I'd happily keep reading an ongoing series about these characters (plus we need to find out more about the Notai/True Radch, and the Presger - and yes, I get that the point of the Presger is that they're so different we can never understand them).

I'm not really interested in the Presger for the most part, but I would really like to know
Spoiler:
how they go about deciding that a species is "significant." The way that their outlook on the treaty is explained (occasionally, and not very precisely) by...Translator...Zeiat?) it seems like they actually take the treaty very seriously and aren't actively seeking excuses to break. After all, the impression I received was that their decision to stop attacking humanity was rather unilateral. I'd like to know if there's a pragmatic reason for making the treaty in spite of their apparent ability to completely eliminate the radish.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The implication seems to be that the Presger are so very different from humans that they are barely able to understand that humans are alive and sentient in the way they see it. They seem to have expected to be able to take humans apart and put them back together successfully, for one thing. Spoiler:
Also note that their Translators, made to seem human and interact with them, don't seem to be even capable of processing food.
So at some point they decided they'd had enough evidence to believe that humans are intelligent, hence the treaty, and while they may seem ruthless and cruel to things they don't see as "Significant" they apparently have a pretty strict regard for those that are - much like how for humans, killing another human is much more serious than, say, killing a plant. I believe the treaty with Anaander Mianaai is the result of their equivalent of an ethical code.

Spoiler:
The thing that bugs me about the Presger is that it's said there's disagreement among them about whether they should have made the treaty, while everything else implies they are incapable of understanding individuality or factions.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
The implication seems to be that the Presger are so very different from humans that they are barely able to understand that humans are alive and sentient in the way they see it. They seem to have expected to be able to take humans apart and put them back together successfully, for one thing. Spoiler:
Also note that their Translators, made to seem human and interact with them, don't seem to be even capable of processing food.


Spoiler:
In Sword, the Translators were described as being [quote] humans the Presger had bred to talk to the Radch. Not sure where breeding humans fits into the treaty - maybe they are clones? They're clearly not fully human - I don't think it's quite that they can't process food, but that they either lack awareness of what constitutes food, or they're used to having digestive systems that can handle a wider range of... stuff.

Also a bit puzzled as to why Dlique died from an injury caused by a conventional weapon, while Zeiat was able to shrug off a similar injury by explaining - "Did you think, Lord of the Radch, that we would endanger ourselves by giving you a weapon that could injure us?"

Maybe I am missing something here. The weapon was designed to be effective against Radchaai technology, and it was given to the Garseddai. Who does the 'you' refer to? By 'us', Zeiat is identifying as Presger - whatever she appears to be on the outside, her internal anatomy must be closer to whatever they have. So why don't (or can't) the Presger make themselves immune to Radchaai weapons?

Which leads back to, if she has a Presger's internal anatomy, why doesn't she have a better idea of what can or can't be digested?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
I finished the book yesterday, and it's just left me wanting to see what happens next. I'd happily keep reading an ongoing series about these characters (plus we need to find out more about the Notai/True Radch, and the Presger - and yes, I get that the point of the Presger is that they're so different we can never understand them).


I believe she said that she will be writing more books set in the same universe, but set in a different time with different characters.

Given the lifespan of AIs and such, I'm hoping for at least a cameo appearance from familiar characters, but that's pure speculation.



That was supposed to be one post, but quoting you a second time messed up the spoiler tags on the first post. Confused
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
I was referring to the fact she vomited up everything she'd eaten, including the still-alive fish. There's no way she has a digestive system we'd recognise as such.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
It wasn't everything, though - it was only the stuff that a human wouldn't have been able to digest - the glass game pieces, the oyster shell, a wrapped package of cakes, and of course the live fish. Everything would have had them knee-deep in fish sauce (Ewww....) and she was presumably able to digest everything else that qualified as normal food. Still, quibbles aside, the live fish (and her ability to casually unhinge her jaw) - can't be explained by human anatomy.

So, back to the Presger 'breeding' humans as Translators. Breq accuses Anaander Mianaai of, quote, "...threatening to murder a member of a Significant nonhuman species, murdering at least one other, and holding many more as prisoners or slaves." Translator Zeiat is distressed, and says, "...that would have extremely serious implications for the treaty."

That implies to me that any humans being 'bred' for the Presger's purposes are there voluntarily. (That'd be a story worth hearing.) OR that they are hybrids with human... parts... - and how does that fit into the treaty?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
I don't believe the Translators are human at all, and they certainly don't consider themselves such. They're closer to the Presger in biology, just engineered to look like humans and think more like them than the Presger do. I think the "cloned humans" thing is just a best guess from the Radchaai, who know literally nothing about them.

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