Image: Xiosphant, the City of Clocks, art by Valentina Filic

About The City in the Middle of the Night


In The City in the Middle of the Night, a young girl is banished into permanent darkness, but she survives by befriending the creatures who live there.

January is a tidally locked world, with a permanent day side and night side, and the human colonists live in the thin strip of twilight between the two extremes. Only one person has ever gone into the night and lived: Sophie, a shy girl from the dark side of town.

Sophie’s bond with the native inhabitants of January may be the one thing that can save the entire human race. But she just wants to save her best friend Bianca, who’s hell-bent on launching a revolution.

Sophie and Bianca team up with a group of smugglers, the Resourceful Couriers, to cross the Sea of Murder and travel across their world. But one of the Resourceful Couriers, a girl named Mouth, has a secret agenda of her own that could get everyone killed.

Read an excerpt from the book here!

What people are saying about City in the Middle of the Night:

“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.” — Publishers Weekly (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 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 weaves an intricate tale of colonialism and evolution on both physical and social levels.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“One of America’s most inventive writers has done it again: City In the Middle of the Night is a breathtaking work of imagination and storytelling, set in a world of originality, intelligence and empathy.  Each page holds wonders, making the case for Anders as this generation’s Le Guin.” — Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less.

“I'm astounded by Charlie Jane Anders' imaginative powers and the scope of her storytelling. Again and again, I was struck by the richness of this world and the people in it. A stunning novel.” Edan Lepucki, author of Woman No. 17.

The City in the Middle of the Night is a wildly inventive, inventively radical, and radically subtle mad rush of a novel.” — Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

“The City In The Middle of the Night reads like a classic from another timeline; it's the kind of pure, high-concept, far-future science fiction that presses all my buttons. This book has notes of Ursula K. LeGuin and Philip Pullman.” — Robin Sloan, author of Sourdough.

“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, Star Trek: Discovery

The City In The Middle of the Night does everything right. The world is so strange and so familiar. The characters are beautiful and ugly and flawed and perfect. The action keeps you on the edge of your seat. Charlie Jane Anders has imagined a future for all of us and does not shy away or sugar coat what that means. It is a tender, quiet, introspective, brash and loud tale of revolution and love. The journey you go on is so vast that you lose track of time and come out a changed person at the end. At once more human and more alien.” — Daveed Diggs

Read what people said about All the Birds in the Sky here.


meet Charlie jane in person

Photo credit: Sarah Deragon/Portraits to the People.  Download headshots for promotional use here.

Photo credit: Sarah Deragon/Portraits to the People. Download headshots for promotional use here.


Thursday, April 4
Reading and Discussion with Theodora Goss and Leigh Dana Jackson
Tsai Performance Center - 685 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston University, Boston MA
7 PM (Eventbrite)

April 5-7
Heliosphere Science Fiction Convention
DoubleTree by Hilton, Tarrytown, NY

Thursday, April 11
Reading and Discussion with Annalee Newitz
San Francisco Public Library Main Branch, LGBTQIA Center
6 PM (Link)

Saturday, April 13
Writers With Drinks at The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St., San Francisco CA 94110
Featuring Mike Chen, Susannah Breslin, Saskia Vogel, Arkady Martin, Peng Shepherd and Michelle Cruz Gonzales
San Francisco, CA
7:30 PM (Eventbrite || Facebook)

Sunday, April 14
L.A. Times Book Festival
Panel with Ashok Banker and Henry Thomas, moderated by Donna Wares
Taper Hall 201
10:30 AM (Link)

April 18-22
SwanCon Science Fiction Convention
Fremantle, WA, Australia

Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, May 5
Bay Area Book Festival
Berkeley, CA

Saturday, May 11
Writers With Drinks at The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St., San Francisco CA 94110
Featuring Mallory O’Meara, Kate Hope Day, Joanna Robinson and Andrea Lawlor
San Francisco, CA
7:30 PM (Links TBD)

Sunday, May 12
The Loft’s Wordplay
Minneapolis, MN

May 24-27
Madison Concourse Hotel, Madison, Wisconsin

Sunday, June 2
Panel with Sarah Gailey, Annalee Newitz, Tamsyn Muir, Kel Kade and V.E. Schwab
Javits Center, NYC
3:15 PM (Link)

about charlie jane

Photo credit: Sarah Deragon/Portraits to the People.  Download headshots for promotional use here.

Photo credit: Sarah Deragon/Portraits to the People. Download headshots for promotional use here.

Short Bio, third person:

Charlie Jane Anders' latest novel is The City in the Middle of the Night. She's also the author of All the Birds in the Sky, which won the Nebula, Crawford and Locus awards, and Choir Boy, which won a Lambda Literary Award. Plus a novella called Rock Manning Goes For Broke and a short story collection called Six Months, Three Days, Five Others. Her short fiction has appeared in, Boston ReviewTin HouseConjunctions, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionWired Magazine, Slate, Asimov's Science Fiction, Lightspeed, ZYZZYVA, Catamaran Literary Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency and tons of anthologies. Her story "Six Months, Three Days" won a Hugo Award, and her story "Don't Press Charges And I Won't Sue" won a Theodore Sturgeon Award.

Charlie Jane also organizes the monthly Writers With Drinks reading series, and co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct with Annalee Newitz.

Long Bio, First Person:

I'm the author of All the Birds in the Sky, and the forthcoming The City in the Middle of the Night. Plus a short story collection called Six Months, Three Days, Five Others, and a novella called Rock Manning Goes For Broke.

I’m probably the only person to have become a fictional character in a Star Trek novel and in one of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books.

I used to write for a site called, and now I co-host a podcast with io9 founder Annalee Newitz called Our Opinions Are Correct.

I won the Emperor Norton Award, for “extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason.” I've also won a Hugo Award, a Nebula Award, a William H. Crawford Award, a Theodore Sturgeon Award, a Locus Award and a Lambda Literary Award.

I have published a ton of short fiction – way over 100 short stories at this point. I’ve stopped counting. My stories have appeared in Wired Magazine, Tin House, Conjunctions, the Boston Review,, Lightspeed Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, ZYZZYVA, Strange Horizons, Catamaran Literary Reader, Apex Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, 3 AM Magazine,, Monkey Bicycle, Pindeldyboz, Instant City, Broken Pencil, and in tons and tons of anthologies.

I organize Writers With Drinks, which is a monthly reading series here in San Francisco that mashes up a ton of different genres. Every month, I make up weird fictional bios for the readers and performers, and nobody’s sued yet. Readers/performers at Writers With Drinks have included the aforementioned Armistead Maupin, plus Mary Gaitskill, Amy Tan, Rick Moody, Jonathan Lethem, Dorothy Allison, W. Kamau Bell, Luis Alberto Urrea, Ruth Ozeki, Ishmael Reed, Karen Joy Fowler, Maureen McHugh and just countless others. The SF Chronicle did a really nice article about Writers With Drinks.

Back in 2007, Annalee Newitz and I put out a book of first-person stories by female geeks called She’s Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology and Other Nerdy Stuff. There was a lot of resistance to doing this book, because nobody believed there was a market for writing about female geeks. Also, Annalee and I put out a print magazine called other, which was about pop culture, politics and general weirdness, aimed at people who don’t fit into other categories. To raise money for other magazine, we put on events like a Ballerina Pie Fight – which is just what it sounds like – and a sexy show in a hair salon where people took off their clothes while getting their hair cut.

I used to live in a Buddhist nunnery, when I was a teenager. I love to do karaoke. I eat way too much spicy food. I hug trees and pat stone lions for luck. I talk to myself way too much when I’m working on a story.

Read Some Stories


“The Visitmothers” (forthcoming in Bikes In Space #7: The Great Trans-Universal Bike Ride, January 2021)

“I’ll Have You Know” (forthcoming in MIT Technology Review)

“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nasty Things” (forthcoming in ZYZZYVA)

“The Bookstore at the End of America,” published in A People’s Future of the United States, ed. Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams

“The Farm,” published in Wired Magazine’s Future of Work Issue

“The Minnesota Diet,” published in Slate’s Future Tense

“A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime: A Kango and Sharon Adventure,” published in Cosmic Powers, ed. John Joseph Adams (reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine)

“Cake Baby: A Kango and Sharon Adventure,” published in Lightspeed Magazine

“Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue,” published in Boston Review’s Global Dystopia special issue

“Trapped in the Bathroom!” published in Seat14C, the xPrize anthology, ed., Kathryn Cramer

“Stochastic Fancy,” featured in Wired Magazine’s first Fiction Issue

Margot and Rosalind,


“As Good As New”,

“Six Months, Three Days,”

“The Cartography of Sudden Death”,


“The Fermi Paradox Is Our Business Model,”

“Rager in Space,” published in Bridging Infinity, ed. Jonathan Strahan

“Because Change Was the Ocean And We Lived By Her Mercy,” published in Drowned Worlds, ed. Jonathan Strahan

“The Super Ultra Duchess of Fedora Forest,” in The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, ed. Navah Wolfe and Dominik Parisien

“Captain Roger in Heaven,” Catamaran Literary Reader, Summer 2016

“Reliable People,” Conjunctions online

“Ghost Champagne,” Uncanny Magazine

Rat Catcher’s Yellows”, in Press Start to Play, ed. John Joseph Adams and Daniel H. Wilsonreprinted at Kotaku

“Palm Strike’s Last Case,” The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

The Time Travel Club,” Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, reprinted in Lightspeed (Listen to a Podcast version!)

“The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick”, Lightspeed Magazine (reprinted in

“Love Might Be Too Strong a Word”, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine)

“The Skunk,” Tin House

“Dirty Work,” Matter

“Break! Break! Break!”, in The End is Near, reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine

“Rock Manning Can’t Hear You,” in The End is Now, ed. John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey

“The Last Movie Ever Made,” in The End Has Come, ed. John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey

“The Master Conjurer”, Lightspeed Magazine

The Day It All Ended,” in Hieroglyph: Stories & Visions For a Better Future, ed. Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn, reprinted in

“Horatius and Clodia”, Strange Horizons

“Complicated and Stupid”, Strange Horizons

“Source Decay,” Strange Horizons

“Not To Mention Jack,” Strange Horizons

“Victimless Crimes,” Apex Magazine

“Fairy Werewolf vs. Vampire Zombie”,

“Henry’s Penis”,

“The History of the Internet”,

“The Last Young Person Alive Writes a Memoir,”

“One Door Closes,”

“Power Couple (or, Love Never Sleeps)” in Paraspheres, reprinted in Lightspeed

“A Serial Killer Explains the Distinctions Between Literary Terms,” McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

“Can I Just Point Out How Not Racist I’m Being Right Now?,“ MonkeyBicycle

“Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating John Updike’s Rabbit, Run!,” MonkeyBicycle

“Suicide Drive,” Transcriptase

“How I Went Back to the Closet,” Blithe House Quarterly

“Cutting a Figure,” GUD #0

“Uppercasing,” in Fucking Daphne, ed. Daphne Gottlieb

Transfixed, Helpless and Out of Control,” in Suspect Thoughts Magazine

Anxiety Branson, Social Security Hustler,” in The Urban Bizarre, ed. Nick Mamatas, reprinted in Flurb