Can there be a wrong reason to buy a book? I think there can, and I think I’m guilty of it. The book in question is Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, which won the Hugo (Science Fiction’s premier award) in 2014 for Best Novel. Even before I knew that the book had won the Hugo, i had seen the cover and been intrigued enough by it to pick up the book and read the back blurb. Something about the blurb always put me off, and I didn’t buy it. Now I have, and now I know I should have listened to my gut and saved the money.
What led me to buy it? The “Sad Puppies.”
There’s a bit of history here that needs to be explained. A few years ago, some members of the science fiction community noted that the Hugo tended to be awarded to (apparently straight) white male writers, which was fine when that was what the industry was made of, but the growing diversity of the writing pool seemed not to be represented in the Hugo nominees, and good works by women and people of colour (PoC) had little chance of being nominated. Some prominent people in sci fi started suggesting the names of writers who were being overlooked, and last year, the Hugo nominees were much more diverse than in previous years, and Anne Leckie won best novel.