imperial radch - Why is the distance that shots fired by the (Presger) Garseddai gun can penetrate through an object 1.11 metres?

In the Imperial Radch trilogy of novels, the protagonist Breq Mianaai is in possession of a powerful weapon created by the alien Presger. The weapon is a relic from the failed resistance of Garsedd (which acquired the weapon from the Presger) to annexation by the Radch. It is established that bullets fired from the weapon will, upon contact with any object, penetrate that object to a distance of 1.11 metres (and no further).In Ancillary Mercy, Breq (and the audience) learns that the distance of 1.11 metres is not intentional, and is instead a s...Read more

imperial radch - How are Radchaai ships and crews structured?

As I understand it, each Radch warship is one of three classes - a Sword, which is a rapid attack craft; a Mercy, which is some some sort of general-purpose in-between craft; or a Justice, which is a massive troop carrier designed to deploy hundreds or thousands of ancillaries. Though the three classes are established early in the series, the distinctions between these classes are not very explicitly described by the author. Still, it seems that, despite their disparate sizes, they have crews that are organized similarly, by "decades" of soldie...Read more

imperial radch - Why is Breq confident that Lieutenant Skaaiat will not recognize her?

On her arrival at Omaugh Palace, Breq says It was impossible that Lieutenant Skaaiat would recognize mewhich also appears to be true of Daos Ceit (the former flower-bearer). That makes sense if the segments of Justice of Toren One Esk that Skaaiat and Daos encountered in Ors did not include — or at least did not often include — One Esk Nineteen; but it's not clear to me that that's the case. What segments of Justice of Toren One Esk were Lieutenant Skaaiat and Daos Ceit familiar with in Ors? If they include one Esk Nineteen, why is Breq so su...Read more

imperial radch - What's up with sex and pronouns in Ann Leckie's Provenance?

I'm currently half-way through Ann Leckie's novel Provenance, and am finding myself really confused by the pronouns and sexes. Can anyone explain what's going on? I'm getting the impression that maybe there are three sexes, a male, a female, and a neuter, which I guess would require some major biological changes in Homo sapiens...? It seems like a different setup than Ancillary Justice. Are there two different divisions of humanity, the Radchaai with one sex and the rest of humanity with three? It seems like there are distinctions that are impo...Read more

imperial radch - Is everyone really female in Ancillary Justice or is the ancillary just unable to tell?

In the book Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie most characters are indicated as female with the pronouns selected. There's some discussion about the main character being able to identify the sex because a language requires gender where as the normal language does not. So is the ancillary, Breq, just assuming everyone is female, unless there's data to say otherwise, or are most characters really just female?...Read more