Imperial Radch Trilogy

'Ancillary Justice' won the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, the only book to ever win all of science fiction's major awards (on debut too). As usual an impressive signed/limited set from Subterranean with DJ artwork by Lauren St. Onge.

Ann Leckie - Provenance

Although it is set in the same universe as her 2013 Ancillary Justice and its sequels, it is not itself a sequel.

A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artifacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned.

Ingray and her charge will return to her home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family, and her world, before they are lost to her for good.

Orbit First Edition Hardcover - Signed Limited.

Here’s an introduction on the book from the author, which is worth reading…

In the US right now there's a continuing... maybe "conversation" isn't the right word but let's go with that... a conversation about the purpose of public monuments. And there's a percentage of folks involved in that conversation who have asserted that public monuments are "history" and that removing them is somehow removing or erasing history.

But really, what are all those statues and plaques for? They commemorate, yes, but why do they memorialize one particular event or person, and not another? Are they really essential to recording history? Why do we want recorded history to take this particular form?

The truth is, public monuments are not about recording historical facts or events so much as they are public statements about what we, as a community, consider to be important. They are public statements about our past that are meant to be claims to a particular status in the present. They are public statements about what we value and who we are.

Actual history museums serve a very similar function. It may be more difficult to spot, since we're not just looking at a few statues in a park, but at a much more extensive collection of art and artifacts that outline a narrative - but notice, that narrative is about how that particular city - we'll say city, I was just at the excellent Museum of London a few weeks ago - came to be the city it is today. There are always more objects to display than space, there are always other things the museum's narrative could emphasize. The ones the curators choose tell a particular story. Not THE story, not the only true story, but one possible story, that has a different set of implications and conclusions than the ones not told.

Art museums aren't that different, really, when you look at them from that angle. After all, what makes a particular work of art worthy or valuable? It's not just aesthetics - a painting everyone believes is by, say, Van Gogh, praised for its brilliant composition, its beautifully used colors, will plummet in value and importance if it's discovered to be a forgery. And yet it's still the same beautiful, brilliantly composed painting! This is partly because quite a lot of its value is based on it being part of a particular history - a particular story we tell about art. And because so many people want to be able to have a tangible bit of that story, of that history, whether personally, or in the name of their city or nation.

We all have histories, and so far as I know, whenever it's possible we all have tokens of those histories. To lose them - because of a natural disaster or a war - is traumatic. The history is still there, but those tokens, those reminders, those proofs of that history, anchor us somehow. They're part of the story of who we are.

I was thinking about these ideas while I was writing Provenance. The characters in Provenance live in a culture where "vestiges" - tangible remnants of ancestors or past events - are important possessions, ones that validate a person or a family's story of who they are, where they came from, and where they fit in their society. But what happens when those links to history and identity are taken away? Or worse, what happens when they turn out to be fake? Or does it really matter?

Maybe it doesn't actually matter that much. But those occasionally acrimonious conversations about public monuments, or which museum has which important artifacts, suggest that it matters quite a lot.

Ann Leckie - The Raven Tower

Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking first fantasy novel from Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven's Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven's watch, the city flourishes.

But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.

It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo, aide to Mawat, the true Lease arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven's Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself...and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever.

Orbit First Edition hardcover

Ann Leckie: