This month on The Cultural Gutter, I’m tackling Ann Leckie’s Hugo Award winning space opera Ancillary Justice. That’s What She Said examines the awesome sleight-of-hand Leckie pulls by writing a pretty straight-forward, old-fashioned space opera with one tweak: deciding to use “she” as the default pronoun for all characters instead of “he.”
It’s a bit mad to think that “science fiction with female characters” is one of those things that is considered as impossible to comprehend for some as is “a new color.” Yet even dreaming up something as simple seeming as different genders can be difficult and is done far less often that it probably should be done. Oh sure, we might make changes at the superficial level. Add some wings, change the skin color to green, things like that. But at the end of the day, it’s still men and women coupling with one another in more or less the same fashion they do on Earth.