The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Picture of Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders

Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty, 2018

Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which was one of Time Magazine's 10 best novels of 2016 and recently won a Nebula Award, along with a Locus Award and the William L. Crawford Award. She organizes the Writers With Drinks reading series in San Francisco, and was a founding editor of the science fiction site io9. Her story "Six Months, Three Days" won a Hugo Award, and her debut novel Choir Boy won a Lambda Literary Award.

Selected Media

"The Paranoid Optimist." Charlie Jane Anders, TEDxHarvardCollege (Dec 2, 2015). Video.

"I am an unflinching optimist. I'm also convinced that awful things are going to happen and everythig is going to suck."

"Six Months, Three Days." Charlie Jane Anders, (Jun 8, 2011). Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novellette. See also The Fermi Paradox is Our Business Model.

"The man who can see the future has a date with the woman who can see many possible futures.

Judy is nervous but excited, keeps looking at things she’s spotted out of the corner of her eye. She’s wearing a floral Laura Ashley style dress with an Ankh necklace and her legs are rambunctious, her calves moving under the table. It’s distracting because Doug knows that in two and a half weeks, those cucumber-smooth ankles will be hooked on his shoulders, and that curly reddish-brown hair will spill everywhere onto her lemon-floral pillows; this image of their future coitus has been in Doug’s head for years, with varying degrees of clarity, and now it’s almost here. The knowledge makes Doug almost giggle at the wrong moment, but then it hits him: she’s seen this future too — or she may have, anyway."

"All the Birds in the Sky, Chapter 1." Charlie Jane Anders. (Jul 21, 2015). Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are available as well.

"[SYNOPSIS:] Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high 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."

"Alien: Covenant Proves ‘Franchise Fatigue’ Really Means ‘Boring Movies’." Charlie Jane Anders, WIRED (May 19, 2017).

"Alien: Covenant is a decent film about android consciousness and ancient secrets wherein Michael Fassbender proves he can play an excellent android. But it has one big problem: In order to earn the “Alien” name, director Ridley Scott was forced to rehash a lot of moments from his 1979 sci-fi classic. Nobody needs this. Not really. Not even Scott, who seems much more interested in making connections to his 2012 prequel Prometheus than in filming another slobbering xenomorph. The result is a movie where the biggest money shots feel largely obligatory—just killers and filler, nothing more."

"Interview: Charlie Jane Anders." David Barr Kirtley, Lightspeed Magazine 72 (May 2016). Also available as a podcast via WIRED.

Q: What was it about authors like Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut that you really liked?

A: I mean, it was the humor, and the sort of absurdism of both of their perspectives on the weirdness and craziness of life that really won me over. But also, I think that with both of them there’s a sense of the sadness and futility of people trying to figure out the meaning of existence when they ought to be just trying to be good to each other, I guess, is my way of oversimplifying it. There’s a wistfulness in both of their work that comes through, and that you know you’re constantly being confronted by the stupidity and heedlessness of the cosmos, and people are struggling to do good and make a difference, but there’s just this sort of crushing futility that comes down on you in both of their work.