Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie has been on my “To Read” list since it swept all of the major SF awards last year. I enjoyed it tremendously.
This is old-fashioned space opera, reminiscent of the classics of the Golden Age. Unlike a lot of modern space opera (which I adore, for the record) Ms. Leckie is less concerned with the technology that makes galaxy- and time-spanning civilization possible and offers us a story focused on character and plot.
It had never occurred to me to consider serendipitous discovery from this angle before. Serendipity can be construed as a failure of a user-centered information environment to properly meet the needs of a user. Perhaps serendipitous discovery isn’t a benefit so much as it’s a compensation mechanism for the failures of our search systems.
This suggests interesting avenues for inquiry and development. I think it’s a beneficial perspective. Serendipity isn’t all good and librarians should approach it strategically.
I’m particularly struck by this passage on page 18: