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January 26, 2016

On sale today: Charlie Jane Anders’ debut science fiction and fantasy novel, All the Birds in the Sky
Posted by Patrick at 12:00 PM * 18 comments

all the birds.jpg On sale today in hardcover and e-book. Excerpt here. Author website here. Public launch event (tonight!) here. Author tour info here.

My flap copy:

From an early age, Patricia Delfine and Lawrence Armstead had different—and sometimes opposite—ways of seeing the world. Patricia could talk to animals and even turn herself into a bird, while Lawrence built a supercomputer and a time machine (that only went forward two seconds). As they navigated the never-ending nightmare that is junior high school, they become wary allies, until an enigmatic guidance counselor with a hidden agenda intervened.

They didn’t expect to see each other again. And yet ten years later, they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the secret academy for the magically gifted, and Laurence is an engineering genius who’s trying to save the world. As Laurence and Patricia reconnect, they find themselves drawn into the opposite sides of a war between science and magic. And the fate of the world depends on them both. Probably.

Some notice:

“What a magnificent novel—a glorious synthesis of magic and technology, joy and sorrow, romance and wisdom. Unmissable.”
—Lev Grossman

“In All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders darts and soars, with dazzling aplomb, among the hypotheticals of science fiction, the counterfactuals of fantasy, and the bittersweet mundanities of contemporary American life, 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

“Charlie Jane Anders’ brilliant, cross-genre novel All the Birds in the Sky has the hallmarks of an instant classic. It’s a beautifully written, funny, tremendously moving tale that explodes the boundaries between science fiction and fantasy, YA and ‘mainstream’ fiction.”
—Elizabeth Hand, Los Angeles Times

“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

“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, wacky, sexy, scary, weird and wonderful book to find the answers.”
—Karen Joy Fowler

“The book is full of quirkiness and playful detail—it’s not hard to imagine Wes Anderson adapting it, if he ever turned toward science fiction—but there’s an overwhelming depth and poignancy to its virtuoso ending, which tugs all of its rich cultural symbolism into a heart-wrenching whole.”

Comments on On sale today: Charlie Jane Anders' debut science fiction and fantasy novel, All the Birds in the Sky:
#1 ::: snowcrash ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2016, 12:43 PM:

Yay! Loved the preview on that was like *half a year* away.

Is there anywhere I can get a drm free version? I'd prefer to buy that if one is available

#2 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2016, 12:52 PM:

snowcrash, I suggest Kobo:

Download options: EPUB 3 (DRM-Free)

I anticipate loving this book.

#3 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2016, 04:04 PM:

It is, in point of fact, excellent.

#4 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2016, 04:52 PM:

Charlie sez, "this gud buk: U get buk, U reed buk, U like."

No seriously, getting an ARC from the UK publisher was one of the unexpected delights of 2015!

#5 ::: Theophylact ::: (view all by) ::: January 26, 2016, 08:37 PM:

Downloaded already.

#6 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2016, 12:22 AM:

snowcrash@1: Aren't all Tor ebooks always DRM-free?

#7 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2016, 03:01 PM:

I'm number 13 on the HOLD list at the local public library.

#8 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2016, 03:57 PM:

There seems to be an explosion currently of works that combine science fiction and fantasy. These are different from works that are on the borderline because it's either unknown or essentially disputable whether their basis is magical or scientific; they are works that are both, because they consciously include both magical and scientific elements. My classic examples of this are Star Wars (original trilogy) and some works of Gene Wolfe, but in the last couple of years we have had Jo Walton's current trilogy, Nnedi Okorfaror's Lagoon, and now this from Charlie Jane Anders.

#9 ::: Michael Johnston ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2016, 04:11 PM:

Bought it, because holy crap that first chapter.

#10 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2016, 05:46 PM:

There are 126 holds on 17 copies at the Seattle Public Library ... (and a separate 43 holds on 4 copies of the ebook).

#11 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 27, 2016, 10:45 PM:

That's an incredible set of endorsements....

Tom @ 10: Your queues set up a fascinating tactical question: which one to get in? In Boston e-books go out for only 2 weeks (vs 3 for physical), but I don't know how many people bother "returning" an e-book instead of waiting for it to expire. I'm tending towards e-books just because I've started reserving/calling significant numbers of books and figure that e-books are a lot less work (none at all?) for the staff.

#12 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: January 28, 2016, 12:27 AM:

CHip @11: it's only a tactical question if the library won't let you put a hold on both, and accept whichever comes in first. And then either get the other, or not. I believe my library allows that (and since you're an upstanding library user, of course you'll cancel whichever one you don't actually want to read, correct?).

#13 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2016, 02:21 AM:

I love this book so hard. One early conversation about it featured the phrase "a type of storytelling that is newer than I am."

#14 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2016, 10:13 AM:


#15 ::: donatellonerd ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2016, 11:09 AM:

ibooks uk/fr says it's available but somehow it doesn't get downloaded. am i not supposed to be able to get it from them now/yet, even though they said it would be available the 26th. suggestions? very disappointed i didn't get to read it yesterday.

#16 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2016, 09:35 PM:

TomW @ 12: I've done that (paired reserving, canceling the slower one); whether to default to e-book (to reduce labor on staff that I'm sure is not underworked) may be strategic rather than tactical.

#17 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2016, 11:44 AM:

I saw it on the shelf at my local indie bookstore and one of the shop clerks mentioned that she'd read and loved it -- and she usually doesn't care for speculative fiction, I gather! I always love the way Anders plays with exposition and genre, and I am so looking forward to reading this.

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2016, 12:26 PM:


That is all.

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