Ancillary Justice - Annie Leckie: Award Justice is Ancillary to, uh, Who Knows?

So, I hate this book. I originally started writing this review nearly two years ago. I was excited to read a book that won basically every award. I'm thinking, yay!, another book on the level of Neuromancer! Here's a rare book that was so good that it won all the damn awards. 

Yeah, well. The awards apparently mean nothing now. Because Ancillary Justice isn't worthy.

Hemispheres by Mark Everglade

Mark Everglade's Hemispheres offers a world of scarcity (Scar City) and plenty, a hemisphere bathed in permanent light (Dayburn) and another hemisphere shrouded in everlasting darkness (Evig Natt). This binary is one of many in Hemispheres, which explores binaries experienced by man individually and in society. Those include war and peace, order and chaos, consciousness and unconsciousness, male and female, light and dark, wealth and poverty, power and helplessness. Everglade uses his work to comment on social inequalities, like when he writes that "Cardboard cut-out shanties adorn the feet of skyscrapers" (50), an unfortunate reality in cities the world over, where the 1% live and work far above the poorest of the poor.

Interview with Dana Schoel: A Sense of Freedom!

Dana Schoel is a Montreal-based writer working in film, television, and print. He won a Canadian Screen Award for his documentary work about the Inuit and worked with Chad McQueen (son of Steve McQueen) on a Netflix biopic. His short film The Fantastic Bus is one part a poignant snapshot of childhood, full of idealism for a father, preternaturally strong and full of life, the embodiment of all authority through the eyes of his son. Fantastic Bus is also one part an adult's reckoning with the weakness of his parents, with their aging, with the knowledge that they were never perfect but were doing the best they could with what they had. Dana recently spent some time with Rapid Transmission and, for the record, Andy Weir is the SF writer, Peter Weir is the talented auteur. 

Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Like everyone else ever, I had never heard of Kurt Vonnegut until college. I took a contemporary American literature course my freshman year and a student chose to write on the book for his term paper. He linked the Tralfamadorians to Italians, arguing that the circus/zoo exhibit that the Tralfamadorians place Billy Pilgrim in is analogous to Vonnegut's captivity in Dresden. Since Italians were part of the Axis powers, the Tralfamadorians read as hostile. Pilgrim's detention is not purely for the sake of providing an interesting exhibit, it is a way to demonstrate the Tralfamadorians' superiority over an alien species--and thus it resonates with Mussolini's and Hitler's ethno-nationalistic argument for a manifesto of race and master race, respectively.

Best Science Fiction Books 101-200

Cover of Iain Banks Use of Weapons

One thing to note is that while I didn't put short story compilations in
the top 100, I've placed them in this list of the next hundred best sci-fi