All the Birds in the Sky Paperback – 26 Jan 2016
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"In All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders darts and soars, with dazzling aplomb, throwing lightning bolts of literary style that shimmer with enchantment or electrons. She tackles profound, complicated questions, vast and insignificant as the fate of the planet, tiny and crucial as the vagaries of friendship, rocketing the reader through a pocket-sized epic of identity whose sharply-drawn protagonists come to feel like the reader s best friends. The very short list of novels that dare to traffic as freely in the uncanny and wondrous as in big ideas, and to create an entire, consistent, myth-ridden alternate world that is still unmistakably our own, all while breaking the reader s heart into the bargain I think of masterpieces like The Lathe of Heaven; Cloud Atlas; Little, Big has just been extended by one." - --Michael Chabon (Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)
Two crazy kids, one gifted in science, the other in magic, meet as children, part and meet again over many years. Will they find love? Will they save the world? Or will they destroy it and everyone in it? Read Anders lively, whacky, sexy, scary, weird and wonderful book to find the answers. --Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)
“By far one of the best debut novels in the genre in years.” Starburst Magazine
Everything you could ask for in a debut novel a fresh look at science fiction s most cherished memes, ruthlessly shredded and lovingly reassembled. --Cory Doctorow (Homeland)
"Warm, funny, sardonic - the best debut novel I've read in ages." - Charles Stross (Neptune's Brood)
"All the Birds in the Sky takes two very distinct genres and blends them together seamlessly. Lovers of science fiction and fantasy will be deeply drawn into this world, which hangs in the balance between a couple of extraordinary young people." - Veronica Belmont, Sword & Laser podcast
"Charlie Jane Anders has entwined strands of science and fantasy, both as genres and as ways of experiencing life, into a luminous novel that reveals the exhilarating necessity of each." - John Hodgman (The Areas of My Expertise)
"All the Birds in the Sky is a perfect synthesis of both sides of her writing life: a deeply felt story of love, magic, science, growing up an outsider, and living in apocalyptic times, bubbling over with a deep knowledge of genre history and geek culture." - Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi Blog
"Every so often a novel comes along that begs to be discussed among friends, argued over coffee, and read until the spine breaks. Allthe Birds in the Sky is such a book. It's a gorgeous coming-of-age story about magic and science, the apocalypse, and love." - Aidan Moher, writing in Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi Blog
"And that's what's fresh and vibrant about All the Birds in the Sky. Its standard genre tropes are well-chosen tools for doing a story that's about growing up, realizing who you are in the world, and then, far more importantly, realizing that the entire narrative of growing up and realizing who you are in the world is complete and utter bullshit and that the world is a terrifying and confusing place comprised entirely of people who are trying desperately to fool each other into thinking they aren't total fuckups. The magic/science opposition is there to be a binary opposition, with all the useful truth and false dichotomies implied." - Philip Sandifer
"A friendship between two adolescent misfits is the catalyst for an apocalyptic reckoning in Anders's clever and wonderfully weird novel... 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." - Publishers Weekly
“An exploration of the stories we tell ourselves about why we act the way we do... highly absorbing and enjoyable - 4 stars."- SFX Magazine
“An entertaining and audacious melding of science, magic, and just plain real life that feels perfectly right for our time.”- Buzzfeed Books
"A magnificent novel, unmissable."- Lev Grossman
“All The Birds In The Sky is a genre-bending, mind-blowing tour de
force. Charlie Jane Anders is a true original. Read and re-read.”
Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
“A sensitive, funny and beautifully drawn study of friendship in the face of our world’s imminent end… moving, witty and worryingly relevant. 9/10" - SciFi Now Magazine
“A clever addition to the old science versus magic debate... a weird and charming read.” The Guardian
"A magic mirror showing the best version of San Francisco; a technomagickal romp." Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
"Thoughtful and hip and fantasy and sci-fi all wrapped up. A+" Felicia Day, author of You're Never Weird on the Internet
"You would be a fool not to pick up All the Birds in the Sky. A blithering fool!" Sam Sykes, author of The City Stained Red
“Whimsical and precise, romantic and wickedly witty” Daily Mail
“Highly readable and imaginative, ‘All the Birds in the Sky’ will sing to Philip Pullman fans.” The Mail on Sunday
“Heartfelt, ambitious and dynamic. Fantastic stuff.” The Financial Times
“Deeply empathetic, humanistic work, funny and moving and wonderfully inventive.” Den of Geek Books of the Year
About the Author
Charlie Jane Anders is the editor-in-chief of io9.com, the extraordinarily popular Gawker Media site devoted to science fiction and fantasy. 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 Tin House, Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and McSweeney's.
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Top customer reviews
When the novel shifts to catch up with the two misfits in later life, Lawrence is part of a secret pool of scientists seeking ways to escape a dying world and Patricia has become a member of a magical order which instead attempts to heal the damage done, or at least alleviate some of its consequences. By this point the science has sharpened up into something which (for the most part) is recognisably from a possible future, and as the story weaves between and blends magic and science all ideas of genre fall away. Patricia and Lawrence – each immersed in their separate ideologies - meet again, clash, fall deeply in love, and accidentally rush the world towards annihilation.
It’s sweet, really.
No, I mean it. For all of the dystopian trappings the book ends up wearing, at its heart is a simple and lasting friendship which might bloom to romance if a few misunderstandings can be wrinkled out. The story is as much about ‘feels’ as ‘stuff’. What prevents it from ever being reductive is that Anders writes this very recognisable dysfunctional/functional relationship to focus not so much on the big things that every book about a relationship concentrates on, but about the idiosyncratic details and oddities which (when you read them) are instantly recognisable, but which rarely form the structure of a narrative in this way. The emotional roadmap is familiar, but the handcrafted detailing is so exquisite, unusual, and funny that it feels brand new. I’ve read reviews comparing Anders to various authors, and her genre fusions invite extensive comparisons depending on what aspects leap to the foreground for you, but for me she feels like a welcome intruder in Neil Gaiman’s natural territory, casting fresh eyes over an already compelling landscape.
Funny, compelling, deeply engaging – I’ll be surprised if, come the end of the year, I don’t look back at this as one of my favourite books.
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Most recent customer reviews
It takes from many genres, you'll recognise some of the stories but it's all new, fresh and highly enjoyable.
It's a good book.