Charlie Jane Anders’s All the Birds in the Sky is a carefully crafted story with a clear narrative and a robust set of themes and metanarratives running parallel to it, just below the surface. The novel follows Patricia, a young girl who learns that she will become a powerful witch, and Laurence, a boy with an incredible aptitude for technology. Neither child is popular at school or well-supported by their parents. They find each other and form a fast friendship, until they learn that they are prophesied to become bitter enemies and avatars of incompatible worldviews. If Patricia and Laurence sound like familiar types to readers of sci-fi and fantasy, they should! But as Anders is playing with tropes, she’s also interrogating what it means to become an adult and when and how we should put away childish things. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
I flew through this book! It was fun and original, but like much dystopian fiction, a little too close to home. It's a great summer read. Recommended By Doug C., Powells.com
All the Birds in the Sky blasts off as a genre fiction wrestling match, pitting sci-fi and fantasy against each other until they begin to blur together so thoroughly that you can't tell what's what. There are highly trained assassins from ancient societies, highly empathetic AI, witches who heal the sick and turn bad people into wooden figurines, and an anti gravity machine that may save humanity or tear apart the fabric of reality. Our star-crossed heroes — a witch and a computer geek — continually bump into each other from childhood on as both friends and foes, both trying to prevent — in their own ways — an apocalypse that isn't so far removed from our present. Charlie Jane Anders, through her endless super-charged whimsy, shows us that maybe magic and science aren't that different after all. Recommended By Cosima C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now
Winner of the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novel
Finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel
's 50 Best Books of the 21st Century (So Far) List
“The book is full of quirkiness and playful detail...but there's an overwhelming depth and poignancy to its virtuoso ending.” NPR
From the former editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning Nebula Award-winning and Hugo-shortlisted novel about the end of the world — and the beginning of our future.
An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological startup go to war in order to prevent the world from tearing itself apart. To further complicate things, each of the groups’ most promising followers (Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering “wunderkind”) may just be in love with each other.
As the battle between magic and science wages in San Francisco against the backdrop of international chaos, Laurence and Patricia are forced to choose sides. But their choices will determine the fate of the planet and all mankind.
In a fashion unique to Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky offers a humorous and, at times, heart-breaking exploration of growing up extraordinary in world filled with cruelty, scientific ingenuity, and magic.
"Has the hallmarks of an instant classic." Los Angeles Times
“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...highly recommended.” N. K. Jemisin, The New York Times Book Review
“What a magnificent novel — a glorious synthesis of magic and technology, joy and sorrow, romance and wisdom. Unmissable.” Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians
About the Author
Charlie Jane Anders is the former editor-in-chief of io9.com, the extraordinarily popular Gawker Media site devoted to science fiction and fantasy. Her SF and fantasy debut novel, All the Birds in the Sky, won the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novel and was a finalist for the 2017 Hugo Award's Best Novel category. Her Tor.com story "Six Months, Three Days" won the 2013 Hugo Award and was subsequently picked up for development into a NBC television series. 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.