I think I've already found my favorite novel of 2016. Sure, there might be other books to love this year, but they'll have to be pretty darned amazing to capture my heart and imagination as much as All the Birds in the Sky has.
Charlie Jane Anders deftly combines magic, time travel, science, and technology, all while having a huge amount of empathy for her characters. All the Birds in the Sky is a beautifully written, genre-hopping story about love, the joys and difficulties of being different, and the apocalypse. Recommended By Sandy M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the former editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning novel about the end of the world--and the beginning of our future
Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families.
But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together--to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.
Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky is a deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.
“Into each generation of science fiction/fantasydom a master absurdist must fall, and it’s quite possible that with All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders has established herself as the one for the Millennials… As hopeful as it is hilarious, and highly recommended.” The New York Times Book Review
“Like the work of other 21st century writers — Kelly Link and Lev Grossman come immediately to mind — All the Birds in the Sky serves as both a celebration of and corrective to the standard tropes of genre fiction...Anders' humor elevates this marvelous book above the morass of dystopian novels that have flooded the literary landscape. The result feels like one of William Gibson's baroquely complex worlds, aerated by lighter-than-air dialogue and an engaging, diverse cast of supporting characters you'd love to meet at your next end-of-the-world party.” The Los Angeles Times
"A friendship between two adolescent misfits is the catalyst for an apocalyptic reckoning in Anders’s clever and wonderfully weird novel. Novice witch Patricia and preternaturally intelligent Laurence form an uneasy bond as they attempt to survive bullying at their Massachusetts middle school. Ten years later they reunite in San Francisco where Patricia quietly practices her craft and Laurence now a tech world wunderkind attempts to manipulate time and space setting off a battle between magic and science that could mean the end of the human race. Anders (Choir Boy) smoothly pivots from horror to humor to heartbreak and back again and she keeps readers guessing as to the fate of her two protagonists—and the world. Talking animals and a sentient computer searching for love and understanding tighten the narrative strings. Fans of genre fiction will be delighted by Patricia and Laurence’s story and Anders’s smart matter of fact prose will appeal to a mainstream audience as well. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Before writing fiction full-time, Charlie Jane Anders was for many years an editor of the extraordinarily popular science fiction and fantasy site io9.com. Her debut novel, the mainstream Choir Boy, won the 2006 Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Edmund White Award. Her Tor.com story "Six Months, Three Days" won the 2013 Hugo Award and was optioned for television. Her debut science fiction and fantasy novel All the Birds in the Sky appeared in 2016 to praise from, among others, Michael Chabon, Lev Grossman, and Karen Joy Fowler. She has also had fiction published by McSweeney's, Lightspeed, and ZYZZYVA. Her journalism has appeared in Salon, the Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, and many other outlets.