Will science or magic save our world and all the living beings on it? That’s the question posed in this science fantasy love story by the editor-in-chief of online geek mecca io9.com (Choir Boy, 2005).
Tweens Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead are desperate misfits who find both solace and confusion in each other. Patricia is a nascent witch, waiting for her magic to blossom and destiny to call. Laurence is a brilliant tech whiz building a supercomputer in his bedroom closet. Their parents, teachers, and peers react with hostility to their refusal to conform, but they're egged on by Theodolphus Rose, an assassin masquerading as a guidance counselor. Rose's manipulations separate the two until they rediscover each other at a party in San Francisco years later. Patricia and her fellow witches are attempting to maintain a quiet, unobtrusive balance in a world tipping toward ecological and political disaster but which they feel is still worth saving. Laurence has joined a covert project to open a wormhole to another planet, believing that humanity’s only hope is to leave Earth behind. A relationship between these two seems impossible, given their incompatible points of view, until unseen forces help their love along. The author introduces technological and magical marvels in a wonderfully matter-of-fact way. But this lyrical pre-apocalyptic work has an edge, too. Laurence’s behavior is often far from noble. His colleagues use violence to defend their inventions, and Patricia’s compatriots employ some fairly creative, nasty solutions to people and things they deem problematic. Anders clearly has an intimate understanding of how hard it is to find friends when you’re perceived as “different” as well as a sweeping sense of how nice it would be to solve large problems with a single solution (and how infrequently that succeeds).
Reminiscent of the best of Jo Walton and Nina Kiriki Hoffman.