I was in Borderlands Books yesterday, and I saw a book on the shelf called Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie, who sold a story to SH a few years back, but who I hadn't heard had a book coming out. (The novel is unrelated to the SH story.)
[Bizarrely, I managed to leave out the title of the book in the original version of this post, and then not notice for two months. I've now added it.]
I picked it up to look it over, and Naamen, who was staffing the counter, said it was a great book.
He proceeded to tell me that it features a sentient starship in a human body (apologies if I'm getting any of this wrong; I'm reconstructing from memory) whose original culture doesn't have genders (or at least not the same kinds we have) and who thus refers to all the other characters using female pronouns.
It sounds, in other words, like exactly my kind of thing. He told me a little more about it, and it kept sounding like exactly the kind of thing I like. And there I was, in a bookstore, with the book in my hand!
But I ended up not buying it, because my to-read stack is enormous and overwhelming and I'm in one of my occasional moments of feeling like I should get a little further through it before buying any more books. Sooner or later, that'll wear off and I'll start buying faster than I can read again, but for the moment, with great reluctance, I decided not to buy it.
But that shouldn't stop y'all from buying and reading it!
Scalzi blurbed it: “Unexpected, compelling and very cool.” Here's an NPR review by Genevieve Valentine, and a rave tor.com review by Liz Bourke (“a pretty high position on my list of best space opera novels ever”).
So I'm looking forward to reading it. But it'll have to wait until I make a little more progress on my list, so figured it couldn't hurt to post a link in the meantime.