This is exceptional world-building and great storytelling. Anders portrays how the same characteristics that can make people exceptional are the same ones that can undo us. She seems to be warning us throughout that the danger going forward is in the assumptions we decide to bring with us and leave unquestioned.— From Mark
I can't imagine I'll read a more inventive novel this year than Charlie Jane Anders' "The City in the Middle of the Night," and yes, I'm fully confident saying that in January. Anders' newest book is all at once a rollicking adventure story, a world-building masterpiece, an anti-colonialism fable, and a subtly revolutionary treatise on climate change and its potentially devastating effects on a people, a city, and a planet. Plus, the story is filled with characters you'll love, from quiet Sophie who forms a wondrous relationship with a civilization of ancient creatures, to rough-and-tumble Mouth, the last of her race and set adrift by the prospect of living a new kind of life. This story will keep you riveted until the very last page.— From Lauren
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“This generation’s Le Guin.” —Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less
Charlie Jane Anders, the nationally bestselling author of All the Birds in the Sky delivers a brilliant new novel set in a hauntingly strange future with #10 LA Times bestseller The City in the Middle of the Night.
"If you control our sleep, then you can own our dreams... And from there, it's easy to control our entire lives."
January is a dying planet--divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk.
But life inside the cities is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside.
Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world, hoping she can heal.
But fate has other plans--and Sophie's ensuing odyssey and the ragtag family she finds will change the entire world.
Praise for The City in the Middle of the Night
“A breathtaking work of imagination and storytelling… making the case for Anders as this generation’s Le Guin.” —Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less
"An intimate portrait of people as much as it is a piece of culturally aware social scifi — a look at our moment in history through a distorting lens of aliens and spaceships." —NPR
"Tragic, brave, and so very human...Anders dares to imagine something different, a better way forward." —Den of Geek
"Classic SF in the mode of Ursula K Le Guin or Octavia Butler....This is a millennial’s novel, featuring young people trying to make their way through an uncaring, corrupt and intermittently violent world....Heartfelt and absorbing fiction." —The Guardian
"Anders has written a unique book, one that uses tropes found in old-school science fiction to comment on modern side effects of class structures" —Washington Post
"Original and gripping...The City in the Middle of the Night may be set light-years away, but it’s likely to hit too close to home." —Paste
"An even stronger novel than Anders’ Nebula Award–winning All the Birds in the Sky; a tale that can stand beside such enduring works as Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Dan Simmons’ Hyperion." —Booklist, starred review
"Anders contains multitudes; it's always a fascinating and worthwhile surprise to see what she comes up with next." —Kirkus, starred review
"An intricate tale of colonialism and evolution on both physical and social levels. Stunningly storytelling that will capture readers' minds and hearts." —Library Journal, starred review
"Intricate, embracing much of what makes a grand adventure: smugglers, revolutionaries, pirates, camaraderie, personal sacrifice, wondrous discovery, and the struggle to find light in the darkness. Breathlessly exciting and thought-provoking." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Absolutely memorable...terrifying and exciting... makes for a fascinating exploration of humanity and human relationships." —Hypable
"The kind of didactic, intelligent, critical fiction that interrogates the boundaries of our current moment through broad-scope questions...I couldn't recommend it more." —Tor.com
"A stunning novel." —Edan Lepucki, author of Woman No. 17
“A wildly inventive, inventively radical, radically subtle rush of a novel.” —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife
“Like a classic from another timeline… This book has notes of Ursula K. Le Guin and Philip Pullman.” —Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
“The City in the Middle of the Night does everything right. I f—ing love this book. It is really, really breathtaking.” —Daveed Diggs, Grammy and Tony Award winning actor
"A tale that unfolds with precision, presenting wholly original ideas, new and beautiful life forms, and chillingly extrapolated and corrupt societies. I highly recommend [it].” —Anthony Rapp, Broadway star