CBR14 Bingo: “Hot” – Many things are described as hot in the book, corpses, swords. But most importantly, Gideon is hot!
SPOILERS: This is a review of my re-read of Gideon the Ninth and does have some spoilers. Do not read if you haven’t already read Gideon.
I have the hardcover edition of Gideon the Ninth which does not include the short story “As Yet Unsent”. “As Yet Unsent” is a collection of Judy Deuteros’ secret reports on Blood of Eden, after having been taken captive at the end of Gideon the Ninth. A few weeks ago, I found that Tor had shared the short story online. Upon reading, it quickly became clear that my memory of Gideon had become fuzzy since reviewing it in February of 2021. I decided before diving into Nona the Ninth that perhaps a re-read of Gideon and Harrow the Ninth was in order.
Different things stood out this time. On first read through, I didn’t question Gideon describing putting her shackle on her pillow like a chocolate at a hotel. Or think much of her comparing her face to pizza. This time though I was struck by how incongruous those phrases are compared to all the descriptions of Drearburh and the Ninth House. Did Gideon learn about these second hand through comics and magazines? Also, how did she get magazines? Intergalactic subscriptions? Muir’s setting is such a blend of decrepit decay mixed with high technology that I continue to find it fascinating.
As I read, there were continually little, “Ah ha!” moments. Things that previously had not been especially notable now stood out. The discrepancy with the Seventh House’s shuttle (too many bodies, one of them already dead!). Dulcinea’s interest in Gideon and drawing attention to her hair and eyes. Knowing now that Dulcinea is the Lyctor Cytherea, her musing about what the adepts are hoping to get out of Lyctorhood hits differently. By having read the book before, a new layer was revealed on the second read through.
This revisit was definitely worthwhile. It was just as thrilling as the first time and a joy to spend time with Gideon again. Now to reread Harrow the Ninth and be one step closer to Nona.
Note: I tried to draw Gideon’s face paint and sunglasses. Added the IX like the image on the physical cover (under the dust jacket).