LOCUS AWARD FINALIST!
“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.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Nebula Award winner Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) sets this riveting genre-bender on a tumultuous planet split into frigid darkness and searing sunlight. On the lighter side, in the rigidly controlled city of Xiosphant, shy student Sophie adores her friend, the outspoken Bianca. After Sophie takes the fall for Bianca's petty theft, she's left to die in the frozen wasteland, but she establishes a psychic bond with the creature that saves her. This connection gives her heartbreaking insight into the world of a sentient race Sophie dubs the Gelet, who have been hunted relentlessly by humans. Sophie later reunites with Bianca, now a violent revolutionary, and they fall in with a group of smugglers, including the fierce Mouth, who seeks an artifact linking her to her nomadic ancestors. After an outbreak of violence, they flee Xiosphant, and Sophie is shocked to learn that Bianca wants to use the Gelet, labeling them "animals." Anders's worldbuilding is 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. This breathlessly exciting and thought-provoking tale will capture readers' imaginations.)\n
Character Driven Story With Impressive World-Building
This is Charlie Jane’s second novel, and it is much different than her first. While “All the Birds in the Sky” was set on Earth, “The City in the Middle of the Night” is set on a alien world, tidally locked to its sun. This planet has a very narrow habitable zone, set between eternal burning day and eternal frozen night.
While this exotic location would be interesting in itself, Charlie sets up two cities of refugees from Earth. Both are very different, and have their own unique cultures. Both are very deeply visualized. Not only this, but there are various groups who travel between these cities, and other locations on the twilight band of the world. All this is a feat of world building, but then we meet the aliens!
Our story focuses on Sophie, who is a poor girl who is thrown out into the night to die. She fails to do so, and makes a habit of continuing to live through harrowing situations during her travels to the worlds two great human cities, and then makes a journey to the titular City in the Middle of the Night. This visit will change her, and offer humanity on her world a new chance at a very different future.
It has potential
The frustrated, rejected lesbian thing is extremely annoying! It could have been a good sci-fi story. What a waste of my time and money. 😡
Great story! Very unique and creative.
All of the main characters are female. I really loved this because, it’s hard to find stories that don’t have parts that have been told before in a different way. This one was clever and unique. I recommend to anyone, no matter what kinds of books you like.