The Martian and Ancillary Justice

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Saw The Martian tonight. Good movie! Hard science fiction fare with not too much quipping. I hate movies that are overloaded with quipping. I hadn’t read the book as I’ve been too tied up with school to read such a book, but a friend of mine said it was a pretty faithful adaptation.

Funny thing. I thought in the middle of the film what it would be like if it were a Ridley Scott film because most of his space ship crews are made up of people no one would hire for anything. It was a Ridley Scott film! Although the material was done for him this time. But that made it more believable.

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I was led to think this book was some sort of feminist claptrap, but I don’t see it. It is the first book I picked up when I decided I would get familiar with current science fiction. As far as I can tell only the former ship/soldier Breq lacks the ability to differentiate gender. And since the point of view is that character (whether in present single form, or past tense multiple body form) pronouns from her point of view are her or she. Other characters refer to other characters as him or he as the case comes.

It’s a nuance to the story, but removing it wouldn’t affect it at all. And I am kind of enjoying trying to figure out who is male or female based on what the character, Breq, relates in her narrative.

The novel, which swept all the awards last year, is not terribly original in its basic concepts (not even in the gender thing). But it is very well written. I loathe to give away plots, but suffice to say I think the strongest attribute of this book is the plot. It is a very well told tale. If it swept for anything last year, it may have deserved it for plot. However it is the only book from that year that I read so…

If it won for the gender thing, well that’s crappy for the author because I think she (I’m only 2/3 finished with the first book) wrote a very good tale regardless. Saying she deserved to win on merit, not gimmick.

Liked it so much so far I bought the third, and last, installment of the series before I finished the first.

And I’ll more than likely check out what she has coming next.

So far, modern science fiction isn’t looking too bad!

Well, novel form anyway. I’ve tried a couple of random short stories (not from Leckie) and they were pretty awful. Maybe I’ll pick up Dozois’ year’s best anthology and see what he’s picked for this year or last year.

I also picked up the new China Mieville short story collection, three moments of an explosion (it’s not capitalized on the cover either). I have to wait until after I finish the Ann Leckie series, and then Mieville’s The Scar till I get to this one.

 

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