Sci-Fi’s Hottest New Writer Won’t Tell You the Sex of Her Characters

by Rachel Baker on October 11, 2014

Ann Leckie wrote Ancillary Justice and won every major science fiction award with it. has the podcost from Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, Episode 120 where Leckie discusses the gender of her characters, ancient religions, gender roles and the ups and downs of portraying music in fiction.

Sci-Fi’s Hottest New Writer Won’t Tell You the Sex of Her Characters.

Ann Leckie on criticism of her use of pronouns:

“I’ve been surprised at the number of people who were really angry that I tried to convey gender neutrality by using a gendered pronoun. Even if it was ‘she,’ which undercuts a masculine default, they feel as though it would have been much better if I had used an honest-to-goodness gender-neutral pronoun, and that would have conveyed it better. People have also been feeling angry that the male characters in the story are persistently mis-gendered, because they’re continually referred to as ‘she.’ I understand where that’s coming from, and it certainly wasn’t my intention to make anybody feel like they were being maliciously mis-gendered, and in some ways I share the frustration of folks about the third person neutral pronouns. I wish they were used more. … I think at the time I was working very strongly from an assumption … that in fact gender is a binary, and the implications of that do turn up in the text, and I know some people have pointed it out, and they’re right, it’s there, and had I been writing it now I probably would have handled those moments a little bit differently, but I think I would still have gone with ‘she,’ because I think it has a much stronger, more visceral effect.”

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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