The mystery of a missing translator sets three lives on a collision course that will have a ripple effect across the stars in this powerful novel from a Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author.
"There are few who write science fiction like Ann Leckie can. There are few who ever could." --John Scalzi
Qven was created to be a Presger translator. The pride of their Clade, they always had a clear path before them: learn human ways, and eventually, make a match and serve as an intermediary between the dangerous alien Presger and the human worlds. The realization that they might want something else isn't "optimal behavior". I's the type of behavior that results in elimination.
But Qven rebels. And in doing so, their path collides with those of two others. Enae, a reluctant diplomat whose dead grandmaman has left hir an impossible task as an inheritance: hunting down a fugitive who has been missing for over 200 years. And Reet, an adopted mechanic who is increasingly desperate to learn about his genetic roots--or anything that might explain why he operates so differently from those around him.
As a Conclave of the various species approaches--and the long-standing treaty between the humans and the Presger is on the line--the decisions of all three will have ripple effects across the stars.
Masterfully merging space adventure and mystery, and a poignant exploration about relationships and belonging, Translation State is a triumphant new standalone story set in the celebrated Imperial Radch universe.
"Leckie's humane, emotionally intelligent, and deeply perceptive writing makes this tautly plotted adventure feel fundamentally true while also offering longtime fans a much anticipated glimpse into the Radch's most mysterious species. Readers will be thrilled." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Another of Leckie's beautiful mergings of the political, philosophical, and personal." -- Kirkus (starred review)
Publishers Weekly (03/27/2023):
Hugo and Nebula award winner Leckie (Ancillary Justice) returns to the Imperial Radch universe in a staggering standalone novel that follows three people brought together by the mysterious disappearance of a translator. After Enae's Grandmaman dies, diplomat Enae finds a welcome distraction in an impossibly open-ended assignment to track down a fugitive who disappeared 200 years before the start of the book. Aboard the station Enae is headed to, diplomatic liaison Reet searches for answers about his past as an orphan and adoptee, but finds only further questions. Meanwhile, an attack on juvenile Presger translator Qven, part of a spectacularly weird alien race designed to translate alien Presger into human, derails Qven's life and ruins their prestigious prospects. When Qven understands what their clade has planned for them as punishment, Qven decides to flee, putting them on a collision course with the other protagonists. It's exhilarating to see the way these seemingly disparate story lines knit themselves together as all three protagonists become embroiled in a political mess that threatens the treaty that safeguards interspecies coexistence in space. Leckie's humane, emotionally intelligent, and deeply perceptive writing makes this tautly plotted adventure feel fundamentally true while also offering longtime fans a much anticipated glimpse into the Radch's most mysterious species. Readers will be thrilled.
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