susanreads: stack of books, "so many books" (books)
[personal profile] susanreads posting in [community profile] littleknownbooks
I think this is little known. When I nominated it for the Feminist SF blog's "Top 10 Obscure Works" (by or starring people who are not straight white men) poll (this is as far it got), I described it like this:
"Her fantasy is well-known, but this is SF (and a police procedural, and a thriller, and … stuff). Prominent roles for women, a gay man, and Black people. Bobbie Lacey hit a glass ceiling, but not because she’s a woman …"

It also has a variety of aliens with different gender arrangements, intrigue in an alien court, and an alien species that lives in the same ghetto as the lower-class humans and they can eat the same food; some places serve fusion cuisine. It also makes sense of the "desert planet" trope: the planet has climatic zones, but only this one is almost-habitable. And there's another thing, which I'll put under a cut because I can! It's revealed after a chapter or so, but I'd love to read the reactions of anyone who read it without knowing in advance.

Sort-of spoilers, not about the plot

Black people are in charge, and white people (Blancos) live in the ghetto. I guess the reason is either "It's their turn" or "To shake up the readers", depending how meta you want to be. It allows her to put in things that the white-privileged reader might otherwise not notice, like a ball player being "real good for a Blanco". I thought that was really cool when I read it; since then I've wondered what happened to anyone who's neither of the above? I suppose she didn't have room with everything else going on; there's a lot going on!
Has anybody here read it? What did you think?
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