The editor-in-chief of the science fiction site io9.com, Charlie Jane Anders, is receiving critical attention for her new novel All the Birds in the Sky (Macmillan/Tor Books; OverDrive Sample), which is an example of the rich possibilities along the crossroads of genre.
The Los Angeles Times offers:
“[A] brilliant, cross-genre novel [that has all] the hallmarks of an instant classic. It’s a beautifully written, funny, tremendously moving … Like the work of other 21st century writers — Kelly Link and Lev Grossman come immediately to mind — All the Birds in the Sky serves as both a celebration of and corrective to the standard tropes of genre fiction.”
Cory Doctorow agrees, writing on Boing Boing that the novel is “smartass, soulful … everything you could ask for … a fresh look at science fiction’s most cherished memes, ruthlessly shredded and lovingly reassembled.”
The Guardian echoes those thoughts, saying that the novel “subverts genres … coming up with something greater than the sum of its parts … the result is a weird and charming read.”
Finally, Jason Heller, reviewing for NPR, says:
Anders has been writing with passion and insight about science fiction and fantasy for years — so it only makes sense that … she’s melded the two genres in a way that opens a profound, poetic new perspective on each … With All the Birds in the Sky, Anders has given us a fresh set of literary signposts — and a new bundle of emotional metaphors — for the 21st century, replacing the so many of the tired old ones. Oh, and she’s gently overturned genre fiction along the way.”
All the attention has yet to transfer into large hold queues but this is certainly a book to watch as award season comes around again.
Today on io9, in the essay “What It Means To Be a Science Fiction Writer in the Early 21st Century,” she describes how the process of writing the book led to her believe that “There is a huge opportunity, in 2016, for authors (and creators of all kinds) to scrape off the accumulated layers of meta from old story ideas—and to come up with brand new story ideas as well.”
Anders also recently gave a Harvard TedX presentation.