- Copertina flessibile: 432 pagine
- Editore: Titan Books (26 gennaio 2016)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1785650556
- ISBN-13: 978-1785650550
- Peso di spedizione: 299 g
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 69.336 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
All the Birds in the Sky (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 26 gen 2016
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"In All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders darts and soars, with dazzling aplomb, 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 (Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay)<br \><br \>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, whacky, sexy, scary, weird and wonderful book to find the answers. ---- Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)
</span><span id="caseCorrespondence_20669344086_text"> Highly readable and imaginative, All the Birds in the Sky will sing to Philip Pullman fans. The Mail on Sunday <br \><br \><span id="caseCorrespondence_20716246206_text"> By far one of the best debut novels in the genre in years. Starburst Magazine</span><br \><br \>Everything you could ask for in a debut novel a fresh look at science fiction s most cherished memes, ruthlessly shredded and lovingly reassembled. --Cory Doctorow (Homeland)<br \><br \>"Warm, funny, sardonic - the best debut novel I've read in ages." - Charles Stross (Neptune's Brood)
"All the Birds in the Sky takes two very distinct genres and blends them together seaml
Heartfelt, ambitious and dynamic. Fantastic stuff. The Financial Times
Deeply empathetic, humanistic work, funny and moving and wonderfully inventive. <span id="caseCorrespondence_20669344086_text"></span> --Den of Geek Books of the Year
Charlie Jane Anders is the editor-in-chief of io9.com, the extraordinarily popular Gawker Media site devoted to science fiction and fantasy. Her Tor.com story "Six Months, Three Days" won the 2013 Hugo Award and was subsequently picked up for development into a NBC television series. She has also had fiction published by Tin House, Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and McSweeney's.
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I found the book uneven, and I couldn't figure out of the author intended it as comedy, allegory or drama. If she had stuck with a tone somewhere in the middle, the book would have worked better, but to me, it seems the book seesaws through scenarios intended to be humorous to ones intended to represent current trends in tech to serious and dramatic events. (I mean, how seriously can you take a book that contains the description "suckable-looking nipples" and a character who proclaims, "History is just the flow of time writ large, man"?) Don't get me wrong--I laughed occasionally at the funny stuff and stuck with it to the (ambiguous, sequel-supporting) end, but I never connected with the story and the characters as much as I have other recent books I've enjoyed.
I also felt characters were inconsistent to fit whatever situation they happen to be in. One character is reintroduced as an adult, and he's on the cover of every tech magazine and rappelling out of an airship in an Armani suit to present a giant check to a startup in front of an audience of VCs. Okay, so he's a wealthy, tech superstar--got it. Only after that, we find he's crashing in the in-law apartment in a friend's place. So which is it--famous and wealthy wunderkind or struggling startup drone? The answer to that depends on what the author needs the character to be in one context or another.
It doesn't help that the plot relies on one big McGuffin and a giant Deus ex Machina to advance the plot, plus features a lengthy section of I think unintended dramatic irony . The McGuffin is the reappearance of a character who powerful people assumed they'd killed and promptly do kill him, but not before the incredibly random meeting sets the plot in motion. The unintended dramatic irony is another character who disappears early in the book and then reappears in what I felt was an obvious fashion but the main characters somehow fail to notice it for 150 pages. (When it is finally revealed, the character comments on how he couldn't believe they had not figured it out, and I audibly said "duh.") And the ex Machina moment comes when a powerful character pops up to heal one character and instantaneously stop a tense moment by incapacitating another. (At how many other points would that powerful magic have come in handy? All. Of. Them.)
Lastly, I felt the middle of this story meanders far too long. Not a lot happens in flabby middle section other than some romantic entanglements that ultimately don't add much the plot. Plus, the writer clearly wanted to name-check all the hipster San Francisco spots. Mission, Potrero, Kite Hill, SOMA, Hayes Valley, Pacifica and other places are mentioned for no other reason than to give the novel the techie cred it seeks.
This book has some intriguing premises, but it added up to much less than I expected.
Patricia, one of the two protagonists, is at the center of the fantasy plot. Laurence, the other protagonist, anchors the science fiction plot. Both are imperfect. Both are likable. Their lives repeatedly intersect, and I wanted the two of them to behave at their best and to fare well. The secondary characters were nicely drawn: I particularly enjoyed Theodolphus Rose, Peregrine, and the Tree. Minor spoiler alert: I loved the two-second time machine.
For me, at its heart, this book is about friendship and building bridges, including a bridge between those who like fantasy and those who like science fiction. It's my favorite of the three Nebula nominees that I've read in the past month. (Well, of the nominees in the novel-length category. I also read the short story nominees.)
The novel opens with six-year-old Patricia discovering she can talk to birds. Then there's a jump in time and we meet Laurence, a bullied middle-schooler who has created a watch that can jump 2 seconds into the future, and he's also working on AI with a computer he created in his closet. Patricia goes to the same school as he, and is also bullied. When he hires her to convince his parents she's his 'hiking' friend, their lives take a turn, and are forever after entwined.
Oh, and there's also the assassin school counselor who's trying to take them both out because he claims they bring on the apocalypse in the future.
The first 116 pages take place in this middle-school Hell, but the rest of the novel takes place when they're both adults. They went their separate ways at the end of middle school, but now, as adults, they 'accidentally' keep meeting, again and again. Patricia is a member of a witch society, and Laurence is creating a machine that will transport people to another planet if the earth collapses.
This novel is a love story, an apocalypse story, an AI story, a magic story. Oh, and also philosophical. Take some of these lines:
""Well," Patricia said. "A society that has to burn witches to hold itself together is a society that has already failed, and just doesn't know it yet."" (This one probably needs to go up on my writing board)
""I don't actually think that ethics are derived from principles. At all." Patricia scooted a little closer again and touched his arm with a few cool fingertips. "I think that the most basic thing of ethics is being aware of how your actions affect others, and having an awareness of what they want and how they feel. And that's always going to depend on who you're dealing with.""
This novel would be a great pick for a University Freshman class. Or a book group. So many discussable things.
The novel's not perfect, it can get a little messy at times, but it is unique and takes risks, and made me think. It's one I'd enjoy re-reading, and I've already recommended it to 2-3 people.
The book follows the lives of Patricia and Laurence, not Larry, as they grow up. We first meet Patricia when she is six-years-old trying to save a wounded bird from her sister and the neighboring cat. She discovers that she can talk to the bird and also to the Parliamentary Tree, who proclaims that she is a witch. To save herself and the bird, she must answer the Endless Question, she asks for more time...and is found and carried back home by her father. Her mother and father punish her by locking her in her room and slipping meals under her door. We meet Laurence in elementary school. He is a nerdy genius who suffers the same stereotypical fate as other nerds by being picked on and ostracized by his classmates. Patricia and Laurence are in the same class at school and both being thought weird by their classmates, they become friends. Just before Patricia runs away to a witches school, she saves Laurence from military school, so that he can attend a computer school. The two lose touch until they have both graduated from college and have careers. The world is in environmental disarray. Patricia is working with the witches to try to save Earth, while Laurence is working with the scientists to find a way to save the human race by getting them off world to another planet. The scientists and the witches collide, and to some extent, Patricia and Laurence are caught in the middle.
You may be asking - what happened to the Endless Question? Did Patricia ever answer? Well, I won't answer that, and you may be disappointed by my non-answer. I know I was disappointed by the resolution of the Endless Question. It seemed a cop out, IMO.
I can't say that I really liked the book, but I guess I didn't hate it. My initial rating was 3.5, and the more I think about it, the more I wonder if I wasn't too generous. I guess I'll give it the benefit of the doubt since it was nominated for both a Hugo and a Nebula, but honestly, I think that was a mistake. I don't feel that this book is fit to be compared to books like Dune or Ringworld or The Left Hand of Darkness or Ender's Game or Blackout/All Clear or The Forever War or...well, you get the point.
I wasn't able to identify with either character - I came close to identifying with Laurence, but he made some really stupid choices in the book that really made me just want to shake him. I guess I mainly felt sorry for him. Patricia, well, I had a difficult time liking her, especially as the book went on. I can't say that I actively disliked her, because well that would give the impression that the book actually made me care, and it really didn't. I thought the plot, what there was of it, was very thin. The whole witchcraft versus science thing could have been intriguing, but really focused more on saving Earth versus saving the human race. While it wasn't contemplated in the book, it seems to me that getting humans off the Earth would actually accomplish both goals of saving Earth and the human race. The book sort of ended with a whimper. All in all, I was disappointed. I guess I should probably email the author as she suggests so that she can come to my house and act it out with origami finger puppets. That might be more interesting.
An interesting aside, I have noticed that most books on Amazon, if they are even mediocre, rate at least 4.0 stars. All the Birds in the Sky has a 3.9 rating on Amazon - 'Nuf said.
There are two storylines about how to respond to the earth’s eventual environmental end – one by a central character who comes from the community of magic and another character who comes from the intellectual scientific community. The only reason they interact is because they grew up together as social outcasts in the same school where they became friends.
Their early life as “nerds” is overdone. Laurence (the scientific genius) is constantly being physically tortured in a variety of ways by the school bully. Patricia (the eventual magician) is socially shunned and has rocks thrown at her with some frequency. The number of these episodes becomes just too much. Perhaps the author is overcompensating for her own difficult childhood (Google her). Patricia’s sister, an obvious sociopath that tortures both animals and Patricia herself, seems to be their parent’s favorite for no good reason. Okay, we get it, people who are different are often treated unfairly, but the book makes it seem like school is a perpetual deadly hazing ritual.
Their lives diverge as one becomes a superstar in the scientific world and the other a significant figure in the magical world, but they occasionally intersect. It is those intersections that temper both of them and allow them to peer into each other’s world.
All in all, the scientific community gets painted as ethically challenged. Rather than alleviating the world’s environmental problems, they spend their time and capital on escaping it to go to another world. The implication is that they will most likely spoil the new world if they succeed.
The magical community is portrayed as the true healers of the earth, although their end game is anything but healing. Patricia has true connections to the natural world and animals, and her skills in that regard are held in esteem by her fellow magicians. They also fear she will make another mistake like an episode that started for environmental reasons in Siberia, but back-fired with unintended consequences.
Neither the magical nor scientific communities appear to be much aware of each other except for the episodic interactions between Patricia and Laurence and one episode near the end.
The reader, of course, hopes that the two protagonists will join forces to save the world from destruction by human hands. Or that they will unite the magical and scientific to find solutions. None of this happens and the book ends in a muddle. Patricia and Laurence find affection and affinity for each other, but their respective communities of magic and science do not. Perhaps that will occur in a sequel.
The book wasted my time and money. The author has numerous other published works and has received a number of minor literary prizes, so I expected better. Perhaps her work at Gawker changed her.