Hot Damn, Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice Got Optioned For Television!

Illustration for article titled Hot Damn, Ann Leckies emAncillary Justice/em Got Optioned For Television!

And not only that, but it's been optioned by Fabrik and Fox Television Studios, who previously worked together on The Killing and Burn Notice. No guarantee anything will ever happen, but this is still very, very good news.

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As Aidan Moher points out, with a TV series based on James S.A. Corey's Expanse series already in production, this could be an incredible time for science fiction television coming up. (Of course, if we'd gotten Robert Hewitt Wolfe's Defender and a few other shows that were in the pipline a couple years ago, we'd be in great shape right about now.)

In any case, this is huge, great news — and here's hoping something comes of it. As for how a TV show would handle the more difficult aspects of the book, Leckie writes:

I am also aware, of course, that bringing AJ to any sort of screen (not counting your eReader screen, of course!) would be…an interestingly difficult project. I made sure to have a conversation with the folks at Fabrik about my specific concerns–namely, the approach to gender, and the issue of whitewashing (as in, I do not want to see the book whitewashed, I would like to namedrop LeGuin and mention her Earthsea experience here, thank you). I was very pleased with their response. And in fact, if I had been the least bit unhappy with how that conversation came out, I would not be writing this blog post now.

The fact remains that even with all the best intentions in the world, there's a lot of leeway to really misstep badly in trying to bring AJ to any kind of visual medium. On the other hand, there is quite a lot of potential for a really good team to do something really cool, that may or may not be what I was trying to do with the book, but that is still something new and marvelous. And actually, I think the best adaptations work that way. It's an exciting thought.

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So fingers crossed, all the way. [Ann Leckie, via Aidan Moher]

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DISCUSSION

"the approach to gender"... That's her concern? Gender was irrelevant in the book. The protagonist was confused about species that used gender delineations while speaking, but there was no indication that people actually had no gender or were hermaphroditic. This complaint has been made before, namely, that her use of gender as "irrelevant" among people in the empire was really just a gimmick and not really a main part of the story.

And while it's cool that this book is being optioned off to TV, there's a much better story dealing with the same issues, namely Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep", which is MUCH MUCH better suited to TV or even a full-fledged movie. Hopefully we will see that someday... No disrespect to Leckie, as it was a pretty good read...