To call Thieve's Emporium a work of science fiction would be unfair. While it somewhat defies genre, I guess it could be considered an educational drama? The characters are largely fictional, but what they face and what they do are largely non-fiction.
I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, and I have not quite finished the book yet, but I strongly recommend people read this book. With unlikely sympathetic characters in a world that is designed to marginalize them, and a slew of philosophical, moral, and ethical discussions that can and should be sparked by this work, It's certainly a good way to spend a lazy weekend.