Crash log of the Singularity

Skip to content

Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Matt Marshall
    August 11, 2015 @ 5:02 am

    A bit of a tangent, I enjoyed 'As Good As New' but can absolutely understand if someone didn't enjoy it, and I think there's a danger of being too "grr why doesn't everyone like what I like" about stories like this, which are by their nature quite niche. You've got a post apocalyptic lone survivor mashed up with a fantasy genie plot, which is magic realism all well and good, but a lot of people don't like magic realism, and that's fine (I'm sure someone will tell me it doesn't count as magic realism now).

    It's been a while since I read it, but I came away with the feeling that it's written under the assumption that the primary virtue of theatre is that it is theatre, and if the reader doesn't buy into that then there's a disconnect. It might not have been that, but I certainly remember some sort of disconnect between one of the underlying assumptions of the story and what I felt.

    Still probably better than most stuff I read that year though. Just I don't think it's fair to call people out on not enjoying Marmite, if you know what I mean. (Not defending anyone who voted on any of the slates, I loathe slates in general!)


  2. Theonlyspiral
    August 11, 2015 @ 5:52 am

    I'll check it out based entirely on this. I was going to skip it because I'm not a huge fan of her non-prose work, but if you're that enthusiastic about it then how can I not give it a chance?


  3. Sean Dillon
    August 11, 2015 @ 7:57 am

    Wait, she wrote As Good As New? I loved that story, and this one sounds very much like that one. I look forward to my late Christmas present.


  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 11, 2015 @ 8:17 am

    I think it's pretty safe to say that magical realism, along with people like Charlie Jane Anders, are exactly what the Puppies were designed to exclude.


  5. AndyRobot800
    August 11, 2015 @ 8:29 am

    I really dug that short story she published on io9 recently (the one that – in a just and fair world – would have been up for a Hugo…) Can't wait to read this – especially seeing as how you compared it to Hitchhikers, and not in the "it's sci-fi, but funny!' way people usually mean.

    That, and… I remember you saying something about finding fiction difficult sometimes because of your ADD, and I have the same kind of ADD. I can read non-fiction for days, and I enjoy fiction that's either first-person or focused on one strong perspective/voice, but I'm not great at making sense of long-form prose that doesn't have those elements. (it's why I'm one of those weird Stephen King fans who prefers "Misery" to "The Stand," f'r example…)

    Plus, I like Charlie's writing/reporting on io9 a lot. Yeah, seriously, can't wait for this one. 🙂


  6. iWill
    August 11, 2015 @ 11:18 am

    So… the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a teen love story?
    Fucking sold.


  7. Daibhid C
    August 11, 2015 @ 12:08 pm

    The “there’s a science side and a magic side and they have a bit of a rivalry” setup is a standard mash-up post-Harry Potter,

    And am I alone in finding it always rubs me a bit the wrong way? I like my scientists to be working hard to learn the rules of things they don't know, not dogmatically setting out a worldview and complaining things don't fit. And I like my magic to have rules that can be discovered, and my magic users to have an interest in this. (In other words, I prefer my magicians to be scientists and my scientists – if magic exists – to at least be theoretical magicians).

    Having said that, how much this niggles at me depends on the story, and this one sounds excellent. In fact, since you mention false dichotomies, it sounds kind of like this feeling might be part of the point?


  8. TheWatersOfMars
    August 12, 2015 @ 6:06 pm

    "Its standard genre tropes are well-chosen tools for doing a story that’s about growing up, realizing who you are in the world, and then, far more importantly, realizing that the entire narrative of growing up and realizing who you are in the world is complete and utter bullshit and that the world is a terrifying and confusing place comprised entirely of people who are trying desperately to fool each other into thinking they aren’t total fuckups."

    Can Tor pretty please put that on the back of the cover?


  9. David Brain
    February 22, 2016 @ 10:39 am

    Six months later, and I’ve finally had the pleasure of reading this – and it’s just as fabulous as Phil suggests. The most frustrating part – as Phil also suggests – is that the writing style feels so effortless that you wonder why you bother trying to write anything yourself. (But, as with Adams and PG Wodehouse, it’s also clear that a huge amount of effort went into making it feel so effortless.)

    If we get five books better than this in 2016 it will have been a stellar year.


  10. Amol Mishra
    July 1, 2016 @ 6:00 am

    ‘All the Birds in the sky’ is a great attempt by Charlie Jane Anders where the reader will find himself clutched into the enthralling world of Patricia and Laurence, Great work!!!


Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.