All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Anders

All the Birds in the Sky has won the Nebula and Locus fantasy awards for best novel this year.  It has been described as a blend of the fantasy, science fiction, and magical realism genres.

James Wallace Harris, in his great review for SF Signal, describes the novel: “I thought All the Birds in the Sky as three weddings: a marriage of science fiction and fantasy, a marriage of YA and adult, and a marriage of genre and literary.”

I would agree with him but ultimately I don’t care all that much about slottingAll the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders books neatly into any genre.  I’m happy just to go with a story and decide at the end whether or not it worked for me.  This might be because I’m into pretty much all genres as long as the story, writing, and characters are good. For this book: check, check, and check.

All the Birds in the Sky is filled with a lot of great ideas that I would have loved to explore more deeply; ideas related to both the fantasy and science fiction elements of the story.  Like most stories, the primary focus is the evolving relationship between Patricia (the witch) and Laurence (the science geek/inventor).  We follow these very different people through their troubled childhoods, their personal evolutions along diverging paths, and ultimately their reunion in adulthood as they rediscover their friendship, fall in love, and then as they find themselves fighting on opposing sides in a fight to save the world.  The crux of this fight is that each side has placed value on different aspects of how and what should be saved of the world.  Laurence and Patricia must act on what they believe and see where that leaves them.

You will find yourself on one side or the other of the fight.  The question is, what is more important?  Just people or all sentient life forms?  I enjoyed the character development of Patricia and Laurence and I especially enjoyed discovering the two sides of science and magic through these two characters.

All in all it was a quick and enjoyable read.  I liked all the wonderful elements jammed together into this story.

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2016 Nebula Award for Best Novel

The Nebulas honour the best in science fiction and fantasy in a number of categories every year.  This year the honour of Best Novel went to Charlie Jane Anders.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane AndersA 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 high 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 into the changing global climate. 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 ever-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.
A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.” (GoodReads)

You can see the rest of this year’s Nebula winners here.

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