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384 pages, Paperback
First published June 14, 2016
• Cheris and Jedao's conversations, once they got away from tactics. I did like the concept of their collaboration and unique cooperation, and the gender-bending fluidity of their merged identity (and both their fluidity of sexuality, even).
• The servitors! Let me just read an entire book about quiet little AIs scuttling around in the background with their secret parliaments tbh.
• The epistolary letters between the heretics. As few as they were, these letters had so much more personality than Cheris herself.
"War is all about taking the future away from people."
"In a sense, all calendrical war is a game between competing sets of rules, fueled by the coherence of our beliefs. To win a calendrical war, you have to understand how game systems work."The concept of a sufficiently large population's faith, belief, and rituals actually warping the physical laws of the universe is just the coolest thing ever. Full disclosure: I have to admit that I suffer from Math Envy: while I don't think I'm really capable of understanding higher mathematics, I'm utterly fascinated by the core ideas, at least in the abstract. I dropped out of topology in the first few weeks because my brain felt like silly putty. I survived first-semester real analysis by the skin of my teeth and even so, I wandered around in a daze for weeks because now I knew what real numbers actually were. This book was so fascinating that it gave me a newfound desire to try to learn topology again.
"You lost the moment you agreed to play the game on my terms, without negotiating."Ninefox Gambit is an impressively creative story brimming over with metaphor and symbolism and and analysis. If you're a fan of mathematics and mindgames, you really need to check out this book. I can't wait for the sequel.
In a way each battle was home: a wretched home, where small mistakes went unnoticed, but a home nonetheless. She didn't know what it said about her that her duty suited her so well, but so long as it was her duty, it didn't matter what she thought about it.
"I'm not complaining about the guns," [Cheris] said, "but guns change minds, not hearts. And calendrical rot is a matter of hearts."
"It depends on what you shoot," Jedao said dryly.
It was important to acknowledge numbers, especially when the dead were dead by your doing.