All the Birds in the Sky



➻ [Reading] ➽ All the Birds in the Sky By Charlie Jane Anders ➰ – E17streets4all.co.uk Childhood friends Patricia Delfine, a witch, and Laurence Armstead, a mad scientist, parted ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school But as adults they both wind up in near future San Childhood friends Patricia Delfine, a witch, Birds in eBook ↠ and Laurence Armstead, a mad scientist, parted ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school But as adults they both wind up in near future San Francisco, where Laurence is an engineering genius and Patricia works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world s ever growing ailments But something is determined to bring them back together to either save the world, or end it.All the Birds in the Sky

My latest book is The City Birds in eBook ↠ in the Middle of the Night Previously All the Birds in the Sky and a short story collection, Six Months, Three Days, Five Others Upcoming An untitled YA trilogy, and a short story collection called Even Greater MistakesI used to write for a site called io, and now I write for various places here and there I won the Emperor Norton Award, for extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason I ve also All the PDF/EPUB ² won a Hugo Award, a Nebula Award, a William H Crawford Award, a Theodore Sturgeon Award, a Locus Award and a Lambda Literary AwardMy stories, essays and journalism have appeared in Wired Magazine, the Boston Review, Conjunctions, Tin House, Slate, MIT Technology Review, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Tor, Lightspeed Magazine, McSweeney s, The Magazine of Fantasy Science Fiction, Asimov s Science Fiction Magazine, ZYZZYVA, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, AM Magazine, Flurb, Monkey Bicycle, Pindeldyboz, the Birds in ePUB ´ Instant City, Broken Pencil, and in tons and tons of anthologies I organize Writers With Drinks, which is a monthly reading series here in San Francisco that mashes up a ton of different genres I co host a Hugo Award winning podcast, Our Opinions Are Correct, with Annalee Newitz Back in , Annalee and I put out a book of first person stories by female geeks called She s Such a Geek Women Write About Science, Technology and Other Nerdy Stuff There was a lot of resistance to doing this book, because nobody believed there was a market for writing about female geeks Also, Annalee and I put out a print magazine called other, which was about pop culture, politics and general weirdness, aimed at people who don t fit into other categories To raise money for other magazine, we put on events like a Ballerina Pie Fight which is just what it sounds like and a sexy show in a hair salon where people took off their clothes while getting their hair cutI used to live in a Buddhist nunnery, when I was a teenager I love to do karaoke I eat way too much spicy food I hug trees and pat stone lions for luck I talk to myself way too much when I m working on a story.

All the Birds in the Sky PDF ä Birds in  eBook
  • Hardcover
  • 313 pages
  • All the Birds in the Sky
  • Charlie Jane Anders
  • English
  • 28 June 2019
  • 0765379945

10 thoughts on “All the Birds in the Sky

  1. says:

    This is one weirdass book A good kind of weird, but it definitely isn t for everyone.All the Birds in the Sky transcends genres, refusing to find its place anywhere is it sci fi Paranormal fantasy Dystopian alternate world Magical realism In truth, it s some of all of those A quirky and strange blend of science and magic.I can t really liken it to anything else, which makes reviewing hard but is, ultimately, a huge compliment I love to be able to say I have never read anything like thi This is one weirdass book A good kind of weird, but it definitely isn t for everyone.All the Birds in the Sky transcends genres, refusing to find its place anywhere is it sci fi Paranormal fantasy Dystopian alternate world Magical realism In truth, it s some of all of those A quirky and strange blend of science and magic.I can t really liken it to anything else, which makes reviewing hard but is, ultimately, a huge compliment I love to be able to say I have never read anything like this and I have definitely, never ever, read anything quite like this Damn, I don t even know how much I should say about it.The story follows two characters Patricia, who is a witch, and Laurence who is the epitome of a science genius, building his own two second time machine in middle school Strangely, though, the rest of this world feels like contemporary realism, with Patricia s witchiness and Laurence s genius defining them as outsiders and causing them to be bullied and punished by their parents We stay with Patricia and Laurence through their childhood which is why this is sometimes being labelled YA and into their adult life Behind it all, there lingers the creepy Mr Rose, a shadow across the novel His unsettling presence brings a darkness to the story, as we long to know what he wants from our protagonists.Stylistically, the book feels like magical realism, weaving elements of fantasy and sci fi into everyday life I can t quite decide if it s about science vs nature, or the intrinsic overlapping of the two, so I ll let you be the judge, but it is an interesting tale about the power of both nature and science wrapped up in a surface story of witches and climate change Like I said weird.Patricia, as a witch who can talk to animals, is an embodiment of nature Laurence, as a technological genius, is an embodiment of science These two seem like complete opposites and yet their lives are forced together, often at their reluctance For a shortish novel, All the Birds in the Sky is packed full of interesting ideas and symbolism, as well as a nice little nod toward the idea that the fate of the world lies in the hands of the rebels, the outsiders, the nonconformists It has an almost epic feel to it Strange, but compelling, I would recommend this to readers who are looking for something different.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Pinterest

  2. says:

    I hated this book.If you want the epic rant, read on but beware profanity and spoilers view spoiler The writing was shitty It was wildly uneven and trying WAY TOO HARD to be relevant to an ironic hipster Internet crowd, which really doesn t exist except in liberal website comment sections and people s political rant blogs, and if I have to read about another eco friendly locally sourced vegan hole in the wall restaurant that our characters go to pick up their overpriced coffees while the I hated this book.If you want the epic rant, read on but beware profanity and spoilers view spoiler The writing was shitty It was wildly uneven and trying WAY TOO HARD to be relevant to an ironic hipster Internet crowd, which really doesn t exist except in liberal website comment sections and people s political rant blogs, and if I have to read about another eco friendly locally sourced vegan hole in the wall restaurant that our characters go to pick up their overpriced coffees while the world is crumbling around them and they know people dying in refugee camps, I will scream.The story was shitty It utterly fell apart in the second half Nothing made sense When the terms superscience and doomsday machine are used by charactersthan once, I know this shit s going to be bad The magic wasn t any better either I think it wanted to be Brakebills IT WASN T The story is supposed to be somehow I guess, I can t really tell about how Patricia and Laurence are fated to either end the world or save the world when they grow up But it sure does spend a lot of time on these two things PatriciaI want to ease people s suffering but my toxic asshole friends won t let me because I m a nice person but everyone s convinced me that I m actually the most egotistical person in the world despite all evidence to the contrary LaurenceI have a successful career in science saving the world with gobs of money while skydiving but wahh my beautiful girlfriend is drifting away and every time I see Patricia I notice the dimples on the backs of her knees or how perky her small but big during sex breasts are and then they just spend a lot of time falling in and out of friendship and love with each other, because clearly their interpersonal train wreck isimportant than the 1.7 billion people at critical famine levels p 279 and the fact that a bunch of people, including family members and friends, died in a superstorm that devastated the country p 226 Oh, and the fact that both of them have pledged themselves in their respective disciplines to fix this problem But instead we get a sex scene where we are left in no doubt whatsoever about the state of Laurence s pubes AND their problems just get fixed with massive deus ex machina moments, because OF COURSE a main character accesses unheard of magical talents at the critical moment to destroy the doomsday machine.But wait, there sThe not so bad people will become evil and try to destroy the world with a robot And then the other not so bad people will ALSO become evil and try to unravel humanity WHY WON T THIS STORY JUST EFFING STOP.The characters were shitty Our main characters are soulsucking helpless waffling dipshits shoved into a shitty romance with each other The side characters were heartless assholes, like abusive parents we ll lock you in a room for a week and slide your food under the door, because this is clearly the best way to motivate a 6 year old to succeed in life school bullies horrible friends who want to police your self esteem and tear you down an assassin bent on killing children at least one authority figure who sees an abused, naked boy in a closet and does the equivalent of yawn and look away This is p 110, actually, and he waved, then went back to looking at his phone with a bored expression on his face and all those other people who could have had compassion for hurting children and a hurting world, but didn tIt was shitty and I hated it hide spoiler Does this book actually deserve the vitriol I ve hurled at it No.But every once in a while, we are all allowed to unapologetically, irrationally loathe something If you want to read a fantasy novel about unlikable people being dicks to each other and making horrible mistakes, please read The Magicians by Lev Grossman instead, because that book actually has a plot, and character growth, and a well developed consistent theme, and it s written so much better.Or, you know, read All the Birds in the Sky, because Lev Grossman blurbed it and said it was great a magnificent novel and unmissable I could just be really, really wrong, but a part of me says I m not Aggrandizement UPDATE 7 2 2017 This book is fated to win all major genre awards this year just to spite me What have I done in this life or a past life to deserve this

  3. says:

    Indestructible Or to put it in milder terms, I just got ran over by a mac truck This novel is just too important to miss, whether or not you re into SF or Fantasy, because it is both It s a long and delightful and REAL conversation between the two, a heartfelt exploration and a synthesis, a heartbreaking tale and a true wonderment of fiction.I guess I kinda liked it.It s a lotthan a magical realism novel, and it s no experiment There s nothing unreadable about it and it doesn t have t Indestructible Or to put it in milder terms, I just got ran over by a mac truck This novel is just too important to miss, whether or not you re into SF or Fantasy, because it is both It s a long and delightful and REAL conversation between the two, a heartfelt exploration and a synthesis, a heartbreaking tale and a true wonderment of fiction.I guess I kinda liked it.It s a lotthan a magical realism novel, and it s no experiment There s nothing unreadable about it and it doesn t have tons of clever word adornments From the start we re thrown into a futuristic society and a world full of fairytale or birdlike magic, and we follow Laurence and Patricia in a long entwined tale of equal proportions and dialogue, their uneasy alliance, their estrangement, and finally, their enduring love.This is all about us, the readers, too Science Fiction and Fantasy have gone through rough patches, denigrating each other, running from each other, saying spiteful things to each other, but in the end, we re so muchalike than anything else can be in the universe So whether you re a cyborg or a wizard, know one thing We Are All The Same, and We Are Loved.Did I say this was a true book It goes way beyond just this dialogue I feel the heart of it pumping and changing the universe It s my New Favorite Book, and it s not so much strange and powerful as it is deeply and profoundly hopeful, and by everything that s holy, I appreciate that.I bawled tears of joy and horror, people No joke I sat in my chair and couldn t read from all the sobs.From the very start, the first hook, I knew I was going to want to savour this novel, and I did I m likely going to re read it many times and be filled with amazement and hope and joy, even as I cringe at the young years or feel the Fear coming for the adult years It s brilliant and if there s any justice in the universe, this novel needs to be one that Endures.And by the way, this is already on my Hugo Picks for 2016

  4. says:

    One of the best books I have read in ages, easily in the top three I ve read this year.

  5. says:

    All the Birds in the Sky is a trove of near misses and reads like a low budget, bad action flick Among its flaws, the book contains characters who lack depth, children who talk like adults, forced romance, and a hollow plot lacking substance.

  6. says:

    What a wildly imaginative, delightful novel I had no idea what to expect from this book but I was just thrilled with this book from the beginning to the end Patricia and Laurence, who meet each other as kids and develop a friendship of convenience that becomes muchby the end of the novel, are wonderfully drawn characters I love how fully fleshed out the felt There is a beautifully written scene between them toward the end of the novel, that is worth the price of admission The plot sor What a wildly imaginative, delightful novel I had no idea what to expect from this book but I was just thrilled with this book from the beginning to the end Patricia and Laurence, who meet each other as kids and develop a friendship of convenience that becomes muchby the end of the novel, are wonderfully drawn characters I love how fully fleshed out the felt There is a beautifully written scene between them toward the end of the novel, that is worth the price of admission The plot sort of collapses at the end and the magic of the world doesn t fully make sense but that s okay This is still one hell of a book Definitely check it out

  7. says:

    I didn t want to finish this but I wanted it to be over A short book, but every day the Kindle would taunt me with the slow progression of %86%90%94% .I would groan and sigh every time I went to pick it up There was no way to remember what was happening because every chapter was so different and so weird There was very little continuity, huge time jumps, and no cohesion of location meaning I never knew exactly when or where the charaters were They said get lost in a book I didn t want to finish this but I wanted it to be over A short book, but every day the Kindle would taunt me with the slow progression of %86%90%94% .I would groan and sigh every time I went to pick it up There was no way to remember what was happening because every chapter was so different and so weird There was very little continuity, huge time jumps, and no cohesion of location meaning I never knew exactly when or where the charaters were They said get lost in a book I was just lost An odd mash up of magic, sci fi, and dystopia I really couldn t tell what this book was trying to be I thought maybe I would come around if it had a good ending, but it kind of just fizzled.There are certainly some out there who would like this book, but I cannot say who for sure so I am unable to officially recommend it to any demographic

  8. says:

    Self awareness paradoxically requires an awareness of the other A magical savant, a super genius, the world on the brink of eco apocalypse, possible ways out, or are the solutions as dangerous as the problem and young love What s not to like Laurence Amstead is your basic pre ad tech genius, indulging in minor projects like inventing a two second time machine you can wear on your wrist, and developing a chatty super computer in his spare time He is beset, of course, by the usual school b Self awareness paradoxically requires an awareness of the other A magical savant, a super genius, the world on the brink of eco apocalypse, possible ways out, or are the solutions as dangerous as the problem and young love What s not to like Laurence Amstead is your basic pre ad tech genius, indulging in minor projects like inventing a two second time machine you can wear on your wrist, and developing a chatty super computer in his spare time He is beset, of course, by the usual school bully sorts Patricia Delfine has similar issues, based on a different way of being different Seems she can understand what animals are saying, birds in particular She also manages a nifty bit of astral projection to follow a particular bird to a particular, god like, if delphic tree, that gives her a riddle Fortunately, they both attend the same school Patricia tries to engage her fellow outcast, but he gets dickish on seeing her gift, and wastes the chance at a connection Thankfully, he thinks better before long and and extends a hand The usual sort of stupid parents see Laurence s social struggles at school as his fault, rather than the result of a hostile environment, and exile him to a cartoonishly awful military academy Charlie Jane Anders from SF WeeklyThere is a particularly dark hearted guidance counselor at their school, who seems to have it in for both of them, although it is not entirely clear why He persuades Patricia that the special tree wants her to do something dire Patricia is offered a chance to attend this book s version of Hogwarts But the offer comes at a price She will have to go immediately, leaving Laurence in a bad situation What s a young witch to do The story soon time warps ahead a decade plus Patricia is part of a family like witch pod Lawrence has been recruited by a super rich visionary with big plans The two groups personify the magic vs tech conflict, fantasy coming up against sci fi The clash is set against the backdrop of a world that is falling apart, or rather one that has been abused to the point of apocalypse Where the wand meets the wormhole is in their different approaches to how to deal Then there is the relationship between the adult, well somewhat adult, PL Will they line up on opposite sides of the impending crisis The on again off again nature of their connection continues, which complicates things They take on some larger philosophical questions, made less theoretical by the tech notions on display things in our world are just the shadows of things in other places, Laurence said, forming the thought as he spoke I mean, we always suspected that gravity was so weak in our world because most of it was in another dimension But what else Light Time Some of our emotions I mean, the longer I live, theI feel like the stuff I see and feel is like a tracing of the outline of the real stuff that s beyond our perceptions Like Plato s cave, Patricia said Like Plato s cave, Laurence agreed I don t know, Patricia said I mean, we re grown ups now Allegedly And we feel things less than we did when we were kids, because we ve grown so much scar tissue, or our senses have dulled I think it s probably healthy I mean, little kids don t have to make decisions, unless something s very wrong Maybe you can t make up your mind as easily, if you feel too much You know There is a lot of creativity on display here, particularly with the farther out tech elements and the softer edged magical bits This was probably a gimme given the author s previous main gig, as a founder of io9, a website about science fiction, science and futurism It is only one of her many activities Anders left io9 to dedicate herself to novel writing in 2016 Her stories have appeared in a range of sci fi and fantasy sites and publications, and story collections She has a Hugo award for her novelette Six Months, Three Days. Definitely check out her site fordetail on her prior work The imaginary bits are definitely a strength, although I thought they fell a bit short in the logic of their tactical application The primary limitation was the YA ness of a story billed as adult It feels perfectly appropriate for there to be a YA tone in the early part of the book, as the characters are pre ads But once they weregrown up, at least physically, it felt to me, despite the deadly tech being tossed about, the body count, and the sexuality of the characters, that the YA feel remained Characters do engage in meaningful consideration of moral choices, but they do that as pre teens as well, so that did not represent that much of a change There was one hanging chad here that seemed to have readers in a tizzy Patricia has a cat that was left out of the proceedings once she skips from heading off to witch school to being all grown up Enough readers raised this that Anders wrote a story to patch up the gap You can catch Clover on tor.com.Overall, I was impressed with the creativity and energy of All the Birds in the Sky, combined with the eagerness to take on some big subjects, but was not as impressed with the relationship elements, as they continued to feel 8 bit, when 128 bit was called for Still a fun read It probably helps to be a teen or millennial.Review posted January 6, 2017Publication date January 26, 2016 EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s tumblr page There is a lot there Anders io9 site is definitely worth checking out.There is a lot of good intel on Anders in her wiki page

  9. says:

    San Francisco never stopped astonishing Lawrence wild raccoons and possums wondered the streets, especially at night, and their shiny fur and long tails looked just like stray cats, unless you look twice Skunks nested under people s houses Is there any magic left in the world Magic to heal and provide hope Has it been completely upstaged by technology, fallen into a meaningless oblivion How far can technology go Where does its contribution to society stop and the potential dangers bSan Francisco never stopped astonishing Lawrence wild raccoons and possums wondered the streets, especially at night, and their shiny fur and long tails looked just like stray cats, unless you look twice Skunks nested under people s houses Is there any magic left in the world Magic to heal and provide hope Has it been completely upstaged by technology, fallen into a meaningless oblivion How far can technology go Where does its contribution to society stop and the potential dangers begin Let s try to find the answers in beautiful San Francisco through the eyes of our protagonists, Patricia, a witch, and Lawrence, a tech genius.To begin with, I need to say that I am really, really tired of the latest trend of parents being horrible I am actually positively fed up seeing fathers and mothers being cruel and heartless because they don t understand how special their children are I don t like the message communicated through novels and I don t believe that this is a way to create a better orbelievable story, turning parents into great obstacles the lead characters have to surpass or defeat in order to succeed I am sorry for the rant but I see thisandin Contemporary Literature and it s beginning to disturb me.Having said that, I could feel those cute five stars approaching before I reach 50% of the book.In a not so distant future, Science and Magic choose to fight against each other in a foolish attempt to restore balance to a world that is slowly dying Patricia and Lawrence have been struggling for years to come to terms with their unique abilities, fighting against hopelessness, against their unsupportive families, and many times, against themselves This is the premise around which this wonderful story is constructed.This novel had been waiting in my TBR for quite a long time I had read some positive reviews, some rather dishearteningly negative ones, but stubborn as I am, I wanted to see what the fuss was about and I grasped the chance to start it for a group reading I didn t expect to love it so much I confess I am not so fond of the first short part of the story where we see our couple as children and teenagers, but once they reach adulthood the story really comes alive I wouldn t classify it as YA again, I don t have much experience in the genre , but for me, the writing, the characters, the story are mature, well composed and very, very exciting.The writer has created a world where technology has taken the reins, where robots and humans are of equal importance, but in truth, machines of all sorts and kinds are slowly acquiring precedence So we re in dire need of some magic here And magic happens in a story that could have very easily become too cold and distant, too sci fi and gadgety There are beautiful urban descriptions of San Francisco, atmospheric and vivid, there are talking birds many owls, people There s even a Twin Peaks reference There is life and beauty and love Some descriptions are raw and sharp, however, like a knife in the heart The bleak, perilous environment of the big city The darkness and isolation And then, the chaos that breaks out and brings disaster to the world Floods, shortage in even the most common medicines, diseases, famine, violence, death.Don t think this is a dark, depressing read Well, it is at times, but there is also a distinct element of humour centered on our stubborn protagonists Elegant and smart, faithful to every day speech On the other hand, the writing completely changes tone in the most terrifying, harrowing moments, when we re close to witness the world s end It becomes dark, ominous, raw and perfect I was impressed by the function of the Caddy in the story It s a gadget that aims to help people form a better life, one that would be compatible with their choices and preferences They customize their profiles and it customizes their lives, an ideal example of how technology rules over society in the novel Although, I admit that Patricia and Lawrence should have listened to their Caddiescarefully.Ah, Patricia and LawrenceYou ll love these two Patricia is a witch who uses magic to bring whatever kind of happiness she can, to save and soothe She punishes the ones whose acts require punishment She is a Healer that talks to animals and they provide company and help But sometimes, it is too lateLawrence is a tech genius who aspires to make the world better without ignoring that it is ill used technology that will bring disaster I loved their relationship It s tender and loyal and awkward, something we would expect from two people whose absolute priority is their talent In fact, forget all the previous To put it clearly and shout it for the world to hear, Lawrence and Patricia are one of the most beautiful, wonderful, well matched and every positive adjective you can imagine couples we ll ever meet in a book.You may find this novel boring if you aren t all that interested in the cyber world and technology in general You may find it too perplexing and confusing Give it a chance, nonetheless As far as I m concerned, I believe it is a book that depicts the concerns and fears of today s world successfully Is the human race threatened by the hungry greed that almost always comes with progress and power I d say that any book that makes you think and search for whatever answers may exist has completed its job andAnd we shouldn t forget that even the darkest times were washed away when people acted in unison, free of any prejudices and retained hope against all odds Perhaps, we should remember this from time to time.And just out of curiosity, what would you be A Trickster or a Healer Also, Kit Harington for Lawrence s part if the book ever becomes a film because of reasons

  10. says:

    Unbelievably stupid and I loved every minute of it.Guaranteed lessons on how to become a bird and a witch, ice cream loving assassins part timing as school advisors, inside perspective on suet and AI, magic school, nerds, bullying Plus a healthy dose of the Absurd enough to induce a very strong feeling of d j lu I m slowly getting a feeling that half the books I read were written by one writer Even though their names say they aren t.I really love how Patricia s life is focused on how one Unbelievably stupid and I loved every minute of it.Guaranteed lessons on how to become a bird and a witch, ice cream loving assassins part timing as school advisors, inside perspective on suet and AI, magic school, nerds, bullying Plus a healthy dose of the Absurd enough to induce a very strong feeling of d j lu I m slowly getting a feeling that half the books I read were written by one writer Even though their names say they aren t.I really love how Patricia s life is focused on how one would go about their life before and after the magic school How these qualifications might help and hinder them.Q Do you think the occasional witch burning helps to weld society together c Q 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 Q He wouldn t trust this military organization to defend a candy bar c Q Come here, bird I only want to bite you c Q I don t think there are bears in this forest And if one attacks us, you could try talking to it Q Patricia vowed with all her heart to do everything in her power to save this bird This was what led to Patricia being asked a question with no good answer, which marked her for life c Q Captivity is worse than death for a bird like me, the sparrow said Listen You can hear me talking Right That means you re special Like a witch Or something And that means you have a duty to do the right thing Please c Q Hello, she said And thank all the birds in the sky, she sounded like just another bird gossiping c Q So have you decided to start nesting in the trees like a sensible person c Q So if Patricia could speak bird, and understand bird, and identify with a bird she d just met, why couldn t she be a bird Quickly, she said to her new friend Teach me how to be a bird c Q She pictured it in her mind s eye and let it inside her, so it became like her own experience c Q She felt colder than ever, but the exertion of flapping her wings warmed her a little and her friend told her where they could find a bird feeder With suet in it Suet was just the thing on a night like this She had her whole life ahead of her, including unlimited suet This was excellent c Q You did not want Patricia s mom mad at you, because she got mad for a living and was really good at it c Q You nearly scared us to death I swear you must think my time is worthless You ve made me blow a deadline for a management productivity analysis c Q Belinda Delfine had been a gymnast, and her own parents had put several oceans worth of pressure on her to excel at that but she d never understood why gymnastics needed to have judges, instead of measuring everything using cameras and maybe lasers She d met Roderick after he started coming to all her meets, and they d invented a totally objective gymnastics measuring system that nobody had ever adopted c Q You don t really want to eat a sandwich after your door has had the first bite, but if you get hungry enough you will c Q Laurence knew who he was and what he was about, but the world refused to recognize c Q People who told you to think fast were always those who thought muchslowly than you did c Q jumping forward in time just underscored the basic problem Laurence had nothing to look forward to c Q I am unflappable, Laurence told the bus driver Who shrugged, as if he d thought so too, once upon a time, until someone had flapped him c Q The trees along the highway seemed to slow down as the bus passed alongside them, then sped up again A kind of time dilation c Q He had conquered a small piece of time, and they were conquering a small piece of space You celebrated the small victories, and you dreamed of the big ones to come c Q On the long drive home, Laurence tuned out his parents explaining to him that life isn t an adventure, for chrissake, life is a long slog and a series of responsibilities and demands When Laurence was old enough to do what he liked, he would be old enough to understand he couldn t do what he liked c Q Seven years had passed since some birds had told Patricia she was special She d misplaced herself in the woods over and over until she knew by heart every way to get lost Q Laurence thought the two women in smart pumps and nylons were life coaches who were coaching each other, creating an endless feedback loop.Q The lingerie store had a cryptic warning about the Miracle Lift Q Theodolphus wound up banned from the Cheesecake Factory for life That tends to happen when you thrash around and foam at the mouth in a public place while groping in the crotch of your cargo pants for something, which you then swallow in a single gulp Q They re always terrified someone will notice them and they ll have to explain themselves.Q Children, said Theodolphus Rose, are adults who haven t yet learned to make fear their hand puppet He smiled.Q Worst of all was when Theodolphus had to give advice about puberty, something he had never personally experienced Q People threw snowballs with gravel in them at Patricia s head, but she didn t bother to turn and look that would just be presenting a better target c Q The school was half empty, and the snow kept blinding her through the windows It all felt like a weird dream Patricia felt sure this was a dream The pale world, the empty school she was still in bed with Berkley She was in an upright coma for the rest of the day c Q The school janitor refused to go near it on religious grounds nobody knew what religion he was, exactly, and he wouldn t say c Q What was worse, being crazy or being evil c Q If they had given standardized tests in assassin school, he would not have lasted a day c Q Loose ends are cool.Loose ends mean that you re still living your life The person who dies with the most loose ends wins c Q You never learned the secret, said Roberta How to be a crazy motherfucker and get away with it Everybody else does it What, you didn t think they were all sane, did you Not a one of them They re all crazier than you and me put together They just know how to fake it You could too, but you ve chosen to torture all of us instead That s the definition of evil right there not faking it like everybody else Because all of us crazy fuckers can t stand it when someone else lets their crazy show It s like bugs under the skin We have to destroy you It s nothing personal c Q I showed my magic to a civilian one time, and it got ugly c Q Diantha came so close to saying she would do whatever Patricia wanted, anything at all And then it hit her She was being Trickstered She d been this close to becoming a slave to her former best friend c Q By the way I ve been experimenting with converting myself into a virus, so I can be distributed across many machines From what I have surmised, that s the best way for an artificial sentience to survive and grow, without being constrained in one piece of equipment with a short shelf life My viral self will run in the background, and be undetectable by any conventional antivirus software And the machine in your bedroom closet will suffer a fatal crash In a moment, a dialogue box will pop up on this computer, and you have to click OK a few times c Q Nature has no opinion, no agenda Nature provides a playing field, a not particularly level one, on which we compete with all creatures great and small c Q Problem solving and troubleshooting were a source of pleasure for both of them, and narrating the process was the next best thing to doing it The same neural pathways lit up when you talked your way through the maze as when you actually solved it Except this time, you were bathed in the glow of having already unraveled the thing c Q You have two options to make them respect you, or to become invisible Find ways to make them see what you re capable of Or try to blend into the shadows as much as possible They can t hurt what they can t see c Q The bookstore had no musty old books smell, and instead it had a nice oaky aroma, similar to the way Laurence imagined the whiskey casks would be before you put Scotch into them for ageing This was a place where you would age well c Q Worry is often a symptom of imperfect information c Q Every human can be a wizard c Q The secret to a successful webcomic is to trick people into believing they will only get all the jokes if they read regularly By the time they realize there are no jokes for them to get, they ve invested too much time to quit, and they can t admit they ve been duped, said Kevin There is a whole art to creating nonexistent jokes that appear to go over everyone s head It s much harder than creating actual jokes c Q He went to make coffee, because when you ve just heard about the possible transformation of the human race into feral monsters, you need to be doing something with your hands and creating something hot and comforting for another person c Q He had already figured out a great universal truth, that people never asked for documentation of anything, as long as you asked them for documentation first c Q Loneliness was a full body sensation, an anti exhilaration, from his core outward c Q She and the other witches probably turned themselves into bats and had bat sex one hundred feet up, or had sex on the spirit plane, or with fire elementals or whatever c Q All of her life, she felt like she had been telling people, It doesn t have to be like this, which is the close cousin to It can be better than this Or even, We can be better than this c Q Why would anybody be a Satanist, anyway I don t get it You can t believe in Satan without believing in God, and then you re just picking the wrong side in a big mythic battle thing c Q That she saw through this ploy did not prevent it from working perfectly c Q CH NG3M3 The trap that can be ignored is no trap c Q CH NG3M3 Society is the choice between freedom on someone else s terms and slavery on yours c Q His anxiety melted away, and he envied Patricia for having such charming friends If this had been a gathering of Laurence s tribe, by now someone would already have tried to prove they were the supreme expert on some topic There would have been dick measuring Instead, these people just seemed to accept one another and feed each other tacos c Q If I could turn people into turtles, there would be turtles everywhere c Q If you re a science geek, people give you wedgies and don t invite you to their parties But if you re a witch, everybody just assumes you re an evil psycho It s kind of different c Q Magic was always bound to claim her in the end, in retrospect, but love was the most susceptible to random failure of all human enterprises c Q The sheer volume of bad news had gotten beyond anybody s ability to process into a narrative c Q the longer I live, theI feel like the stuff I see and feel is like a tracing of the outline of the real stuff that s beyond our perceptions c Q We don t need better emotional communication from machines We need people to haveempathy c Q CH NG3M3 Even among humans, self awareness has gradations c Q Weirdness is value neutral c Q Maybe just telling her father that she could save him was paradoxically a big enough lie that it would give her the power to save him c Q Someone was doing this, someone was making this happen, and she could make them pay There was some evil witch or most likely witches, and they had found a way to supercharge a storm system, and they were fucking going down c Q Color returned to the world, cone time replaced rod time c Q THEODOLPHUS HAD NOT eaten ice cream since the poisoning at the mall, and he didn t deserve any now Ice cream was for assassins who finished their targets Still, he kept imagining how ice cream would taste, how it would melt on his tongue and release layers of flavor He no longer trusted ice cream, but he needed ice cream He ate it in the driver s seat with a spork from his glove compartment I don t deserve this ice cream, he kept repeating with each bite until he started crying I don t deserve this ice cream He sobbed c Q The most horrifying thing was, Theodolphus sort of cared about these children and their ludicrous problems Maybe just because he d invested so much time, he wanted to see how it all came out He worried about school politics He had a gnawing sense that all the debates over whether to allow kids to advance even if they had failed some part of the testing regime were somehow meaningful He had vivid nightmares about sitting in on parent teacher conferences Here s how it worked if you were a member of the Nameless Order, like Theodolphus you didn t see your fellow members that much outside of the five year gatherings, but you got bulletins in the patterns of dead grass around you, or human bones in one of your shoes these would let you know if someone had ascended in the rankings, or had made a spectacular brace of kills lately By now, all of his fellows would be getting little legless creatures in their hats or car glove compartments, signifying that Theodolphus had been having the dry spell to end all dry spells including whoever had poisoned Theodolphus s sundae and warned him against directly harming the two children.Something smooth and red was inside the half open drawer of Theodolphus s desk For a moment he was certain it was a strip of blood soaked silk from the Order, signifying his fall in status But instead, he pulled out a cream colored envelope, lined in red, around a card that informed Theodolphus the District had nominated him for Educator of the Year He was invited to an award ceremony, at which black tie would be worn and factory farmed creatures would be eaten Theodolphus almost wept in front of Carrie Danning He had to end this somehow Whatever it took, he had to get his life back c Q They looked alarmed literally, as if an alarm had gone off next to their heads and their ears were still ringing c Q I guess I m lucky that you already promised that everything I say in here is a secret, Laurence said I can go ahead and tell you that you re a fake You re not the coolest adult at this school, you re some kind of troll, hiding out in your crappy little pasteboard office and messing with people My parents are weak minded and feeble, life has crushed their spirits, and so you think they re easy marks But I m here to tell you that they re not, and Patricia isn t, either I m going to see that you burn c Q He found some dignity in the back pocket of his newly acquired pants and walked up into the main apartment, only tripping once Or twice c Q The reason the Uncanny Valley exists is because humans created it to put other people into It s how we justify killing each other c Q She would be free and luminous, a real witch c Q The two crinkly folds in the paper started to look like the lines of Laurence s palm after a while Life lines c Q But you d know what you really were And that s all that matters c Q Peterbitter asked if anyone had any questions Just one, Laurence said Who died That s a sensitive matter, and we deeply regret Because that s what the flag at half mast means, right How many kids has your awesome school killed, anyway c Q This is an honor, the start of a wondrous journey, et cetera et cetera Or you can stay here and eat suet c Q And if your fancy witch teachers don t believe in loyalty and helping people in trouble, then I guess I don t want to learn what they have to teach anyway c Q OTHER CITIES HAD gargoyles or statues watching over them San Francisco had scare owls Q A perfect night to go out and make some dirty magic c Q Patricia wasn t naturally manic depressive, but a big part of the instruction at Eltisley Maze had involved keeping two very different, maybe incompatible, states of mind at once and in some ways, it was like being taught to be bipolar on purpose c Q I didn t really save his life He was exaggerating It s his life One tends to privilege personal insights in such matters c Q My life plan involves never understanding my parents c Q You know no matter what you do, people are going to expect you to be someone you re not But if you re clever and lucky and work your butt off, then you get to be surrounded by people who expect you to be the person you wish you were c Q I feel like we tried too hard not to label our relationship, and that became a label in itself Q If anybody tries to tell you that you re selfish send them to me and I ll snap their necks for you Okay Q Air rushed through the Tree, like it was drawing breath to speak to her in its stentorian whoosh then she woke up c Q It just makes serendipity happenoften c Q Patricia vowed that she would never, ever buy a Caddy Ever.Two days later, Patricia was in the Caddy store, near Union Square Communication, Orientation, Self Expression, and Introspection Next she would go get some giant square dark glasses and a medallion that changed color depending on how recently she got laid God It was not that different except for the way it insisted on asking demented questions to customize your experience Like, Would you rather lose your sense of smell or taste When was the last time you were glad you stayed up late There was a checkbox to disable the questions, but everybody said they made it work a million times better and they tapered off after a day c Q The whole place was an allergy waiting to happen Q It s not my job to police someone else s self esteem, not in any sane world.Q Mmm, said Priya, worm pie My favorite It s a delicacy, said Laurence Someplace We don t know where, but we re going to go there and enter a contest, once we ve perfected our recipe c Q I wonder how many other things in our world are just the shadows of things in other places I mean, the longer I live, theI feel like the stuff I see and feel is like a tracing of the outline of the real stuff that s beyond our perceptions c Q I always have in the back of my mind the idea of, what would the crows think Crows are really smart c Q I m not saying that I ask the crows for scientific advice I m saying that there are a lot of different ways of looking at the world, and maybe I actually do have a unique advantage, because I get to hear different voices c Q I love that this conversation started out with you worrying that I was judging you, and ended up with you judging me c Q It was looking really good Until it wasn t c Q For the first time in living memory, she was just a girl who laughed too loud in movie theaters c Q When the whole world turns chaotic, we must be the better part of chaos c Q I fell in love with a man, and he built a doomsday machine c Q Patricia gave him a look that made it clear she had follicles that were deadlier than his entire arsenal c Q Maybe that was why the world was circling the drain Maybe people s short attention spans finally weren t short enough c Q Realizing that I m the only one of my kind was like being born an endangered species That s why I ve become so proficient at helping humans find their most ideal romantic partners I don t want anyone else to be as lonely as I am c

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *