We are particularly proud to share Will Staehle’s amazing cover for Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky. For one thing, there is the usual excitement over any cover Will Staehle creates (and the wonderful torture of having to pick only one), but also because it’s Charlie Jane Anders’ first novel. Not only is she the beloved editor of io9, but she has long been a favorite contributor to Tor.com’s orginal fiction. When All the Birds in the Sky came up for auction, everyone at Tor was delighted that editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden was able to land it for us.
The book is described as blending literary fantasy and science fiction, telling the story of the decades-long, on-and-off romance between a sorceress and a computer genius, beginning in childhood and proceeding against a background of increasingly catastrophic climate change.
Tor Books editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden said:
“It’s great. It’s a science fiction and fantasy novel. It’s about magic and technology and the great myths that try to control us and the small ways we fight free. It’s not like anything else. As a friend of mine who read it said, ‘I suddenly realized I was reading a kind of storytelling that’s younger than I am.’”
Will Steahle, as usual, created more than a dozen comps for the cover. Here are just a few of the runners-up. I’d have been proud to print any number of them, all would make great covers with their own slight variations on tone.
“All the Birds in the Sky is an rare gem. It’s an epic, sprawling tale of big ideas wrapped around an intimate story that I couldn’t put down. This is a book that truly has it all, and while that’s a great thing for a reader, it makes things quite difficult for a cover designer!
I like quite a few of the original batch of designs, from the birds as typography, to the silhouette lead with the “connect the dots” title treatment. I also was quite happy with some of the more “mainstream” looking covers from the Escher-esque flock of birds to the wallpaper-like bird patterns wrapped over large type that we ended up setting as the final cover.
I was honored to be a part of this project, and hope that you enjoy the novel as much as I did!”
Because there can be only one, (at least until the paperback)…
All the Birds in the Sky is due out February 2016. From the catalog copy:
From the editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning 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 middle 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. 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.
If you don’t believe our excitement, this is what Michael Chabon has to say about it:
“In All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders darts and soars, with dazzling aplomb, among the hypotheticals of science fiction, the counterfactuals of fantasy, and the bittersweet mundanities of contemporary American life, 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.”