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I remain fannishly homeless, but one of the brief stops along the way during my absence from blogging was Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch series (consisting of three novels: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy). It was an actual stop, because look here, I wrote fic for it in 2016! Just one little thing which is rough around the edges, but not bad:

boundaries (bleeding at the edges) (5133 words) by Bagheera
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Imperial Radch Series - Ann Leckie
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gem of Sphene/Translator Zeiat, Justice of Toren One Esk Nineteen | Breq/Mercy of Kalr
Characters: Translator Zeiat, Gem of Sphene, Justice of Toren One Esk Nineteen | Breq, Mercy of Kalr
Additional Tags: slight body horror, because ancillaries, and the Presger, this is the definition of Category: Other, but also extremely shippy, in a nonsexual way, post-Ancillary Mercy
Summary:

Zeiat expresses a sudden interest in becoming an ancillary.



With that little plug out of the way, let me say a few things about the Radch series. It's a sci-fi trilogy about an evil empire (the titular Radch) which is based on jump gate technology, sentient but enslaved spaceships which more or less require human drones and an Emperor with multiple clones of herself. Note the pronoun - the Radchaii only use she, regardless of biological gender, so one of the fun, mindbending sci-fi aspects of the novels is that either you think of everyone as female or you're sort of left guessing, through textual clues, what the human characters actually look like. The main character, however, is one of the ships, the Justice of Toren, or rather, all that remains of one of the ships: Breq, a single human drone with the ship's memories, who identifies as ship rather than human. For me, these transhumanist sci-fi elements are the best part of the story (although Leckie is also excellent at characters - her secondary characters are sometimes a bit flat/over-drawn but the main characters are lovely and complex and much time is spent on character interaction). My favorite characters are the ships (Justice of Toren and also Sphene) and the Presger translators Dlique and Zeiat (who are best described as 'other', I guess, not in the capital O, lit crit sense, but in the 'weird weird weird' sense). I also like the ending to the series, because you think it's going to be a Star Wars type situation where they take down the evil empire and that's it, but that's not what happens.

(Side note: I was also briefly into Star Wars as a fandom. Hux/Kylo Ren, yes, I know, I hang my head in shame...)

Imperial Radch, like all book-scifi-fandoms, is mostly a Yuletide affair, but it does have a decent following and it's pretty unique in that depending on how you view the gender/sex thing in regards to slash, it's either all femslash or all "???" (technically there are a few possible pairings where you could be fairly certain that it's two biological males, but slash isn't really a thing here). So if you go through the AO3 page it's full of that little back icon that means "other" with some green for gen, so that's cool :)

Date: 2017-05-08 12:16 pm (UTC)
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From: [personal profile] karanguni
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