Is Ann Leckie the Next Big Thing in Science Fiction? 

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Ann Leckie shuffles the stack of rejection letters she has spread across a small wooden table. Seated in an engulfing armchair in the foyer of the Webster University library, the gray-haired 48-year-old peers down at them through a set of bookish, black-framed glasses. She's soft-spoken and almost shy, but there are subtle hints that she is not a typical suburban mother of two — like her glittery, bright-orange lacquered toenails under the table, for example.

"This one's my favorite," Leckie whispers at a library-appropriate volume. She slips out a sheet bearing the all-caps letterhead of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

"'Dear Mr. Leckie,'" she recites. "'Thank you for giving us the opportunity of looking at this manuscript, but I have found it not quite suitable to our present needs.'"

She laughs.

"I'm sure it was just a typo," she says.

Click here to read the rest of this week's feature in the Riverfront Times.

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