All the Birds in the Sky

320 pages

English language

Published May 1, 2016 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.


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4 stars (2 reviews)

An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological startup go war as the world from tearing itself. To further complicate things, each of the groups’ most promising followers (Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering “wunderkind”) may just be in love with each other.

As the battle between magic and science wages in San Francisco against the backdrop of international chaos, Laurence and Patricia are forced to choose sides. But their choices will determine the fate of the planet and all mankind.

In a fashion unique to Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky offers a humorous and, at times, heart-breaking exploration of growing up extraordinary in world filled with cruelty, scientific ingenuity, and magic.

4 editions

Nice blend of fantasy and science fiction

4 stars

All the Birds in the Sky is, broadly, a novel about the conflict between science and magic. Less broadly, it's a novel about growing up, love, empathy, hubris, mistakes, and the desire to do good.

The story is told mostly from the perspectives of the novel's two main characters, Patricia and Laurence. The overarching plot of the novel may have some awkward twists, and its resolution may arrive a bit abruptly, but it generally works well anyway, considering the novel's focus on the character's individual experiences, and how their relationship plays into the larger events.

Genre-wise, the novel is a blend of science fiction and fantasy, and tone-wise it is a blend of serious and whimsical. While the plot does go to some dark places, the book's writing tends more towards wistful than grimly dark. The style may seem a bit weird, but it works with a story that is …

Review of 'All the Birds in the Sky' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This book was recommended to me, soon after I'd finished Robin Sloan's Sourdough, and then declared that modern-day magical realism was exactly the genre that meant the most to me, particularly the stories in which California-based millennials struggled to find humanity and meaning in a tech-centric world. It's a kind of science fiction where all the technobabble is familiar and real, but a dose of mysticism is needed to keep Silicon Valley palatable. Venture capitalists already believe in too many fairy tales.

All The Birds In the Sky is decidedly more magical than realism, and because it's more about the duality of magic and science, both worlds are represented more or less equally. The refreshing take here isn't that it's magic versus science, at odds with each other, forever warring for dominance and yet must be maintained in some kind of cosmic balance. Or even the Harry Potter version, where …


  • Fiction, science fiction, general
  • Fiction, fantasy, contemporary