Ancillary Justice / Anne Leckie
There’s a reason Ancillary Justice got nominated for every sf award under the sun. It’s because Leckie is the first real successor to Ursula K. Le Guin.
Plot summary Setting
The Raadch Empire is constantly expanding. Most Raadchai have never seen the Dyson sphere that is the empire’s center. The ruler of this empire, Anaander Miannai, personally rules uncountable systems via her vast numbers of clones linked together by cybernetic implants. The Raadch’s vast expansion has been enabled by the use of ancillaries – human bodies whose personalities have been erased and who are controlled by hyperintelligent ships.