The multi-award winning (Hugo Award 2014, Nebula 2013, British Science Fiction Association 2014, Arthur C. Clarke 2014, etc.) Ancillary Justice was American writer’s first novel, and the second book I read in 2018.
The basic setup is a soldier, Breq, who used to be part of the spaceship Justice of Toren (as an ancillary human body controlled by an artificial intelligence) on a quest for revenge. It’s the first book in the Imperial Radch trilogy, with Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy being released in 2014 and 2015 respectively, but can certainly be read standalone. Continue reading Reading: Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice
The first book I finished in 2018 was Octavia E. Butler’s Bloodchild and other stories, the 2005 second edition. It contains five previously published stories, two essays, then two unpublished stories, as well as short afterwords for each piece, written by Butler.
I bought this book at my local independent bookseller, Better Read Than Dead, after I turned up ten minutes early to meet someone who was fifteen minutes late, so I needed something to do. I’ve wanted to read something by Octavia Butler for a while, and for the last month have been checking speculative fiction sections in bookstores, with not a lot of success. That day I hit the jackpot. Continue reading Reading Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Bloodchild’
My article, published by Overland Literary Journal:
There’s a chilling scene near the beginning of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 classic, Farenheit 451, where Guy Montag discovers that his wife has overdosed on sleeping pills. When the nonplussed emergency technicians arrive they pump Mildred’s stomach using enormous machines, give her a blood transfusion and then leave matter-of-factly: all in a day’s work in the twenty-fourth century.
Where Montag is Bradbury’s ‘everyman’, struggling to come to terms with a growing awareness of his totalitarian world, Mildred reflects the horror of those descended completely into society’s shallow consumerist nightmare. She wants little more than a fourth wall for her TV, so she can achieve complete immersion in her favourite television programs, particularly the highly popular ‘The Family’, in which she plays a scripted part.
Read the full article online here.