All the Birds in the Sky
May 1, 2017 1:43 PM - by Charlie Jane Anders - Subscribe

Hugo and Nebula Award short-listed novel about the end of the world―and the beginning of our future. A sort of coming of age novel, philosophical exploration of nature and technology, action/adventure/romance with some bittersweet humor on top.

My spontaneous addition to our defunct Apocalypse Book Club.
posted by latkes (7 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I found this book a welcome respite from, and hopeful reflection on, our currently super fucked up world.

I have loved Charlie Jane Anders' writing from back when a girlfriend introduced me to some of her stuff in old zines and anthologies a million years ago in the late 90s. I loved Other Magazine and have loosely followed her writing over the years, not reading everything but reading her periodically as an article or story crossed my path.

I found this novel extremely satisfying as someone who was once a deep SF/fantasy fan who has long since strayed from the genre. It's also fun if you've lived in San Francisco as there are tons of playful references to our mad and maddening city. I thought of Neil Stephenson a few times - if he was a feminist and less contrarian and had a better editor. I thought of Terry Pratchett a few times too - as the witches are weird and imperfect but highly competent in a Pratchetty kind of way.

It's a very romantic story, in a couply romance way, and that was sweet. I guess there's a sort of message of do your best, admit when you're wrong, make amends, be open. The message is not the main thrust, it's an engaging story with a humanistic perspective.
posted by latkes at 1:53 PM on May 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

A friend of mine pointed out that this book feels like a mature Daniel Manus Pinkwater novel. It's a lot of fun, with its mystical marriage of magic and science. I wouldn't call it science fiction, but it's a great fantasy set in a near-future technological world.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:57 PM on May 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

I loved this book. I wanted to write to Anders and tell her that I loved this book so much. That rarely happens.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:12 PM on May 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, my friend just showed me this story she wrote about what happened to Berkeley the cat! Clover.
posted by latkes at 8:50 AM on May 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really liked this book, but I'm not sure I've got much to say about it. I started reading it cold, having forgotten the jacket copy, and the sense of wonder carried me right along to the end.
posted by asperity at 12:15 PM on July 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but wondered throughout why either Patricia or Laurence, who steadily have all of the joy of childhood wrung from them by family, schoolmates, teachers and assassins would ever work toward the salvation of humanity. By all rights either should have become a super-villain, and in fact both pretty much accept that that's exactly what the other has become, and for damn good reason.
The end was a bit Deus ex Machina and 'love conquers all' for me, but I really enjoyed the writing and the ideas.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:58 PM on July 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have never read anything at once so apocalyptic and so feel-good. What a weird and delightful book. Patricia and Laurence and their exquisite vulnerability will stay with me.
posted by eirias at 7:04 AM on December 31, 2019

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