Ian McDonald

269 pp • ISBN: 978-1-61614-541-5
Hardcover ("5 ½ x 8 ½") • $16.95
December 2011
Cover Illustration: © Jon Picacio

Multiple Award-Winning Author Making His YA Debut!

Check out Ian McDonald's Planesrunner Facebook page at

There is not one you. There are many yous. There is not one world. There are many worlds. Ours is one among billions of parallel earths.

When Everett Singh's scientist father is kidnapped from the streets of London, he leaves young Everett a mysterious app on his computer. Suddenly, this teenager has become the owner of the most valuable object in the multiverse—the Infundibulum—the map of all the parallel earths, and there are dark forces in the Ten Known Worlds who will stop at nothing to get it. They've got power, authority, the might of ten planets—some of them more technologically advanced than our Earth—at their fingertips. He's got wits, intelligence, and a knack for Indian cooking.

To keep the Infundibulum safe, Everett must trick his way through the Heisenberg Gate that his dad helped build and go on the run in a parallel Earth. But to rescue his dad from Charlotte Villiers and the sinister Order, this Planesrunner's going to need friends. Friends like Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her adopted daughter, Sen, and the crew of the airship Everness.

Can they rescue Everett's father and get the Infundibulum to safety? The game is afoot!


"Planesrunner is chock-full of awesome. Ian McDonald's steampunk London
blazes on a vast scale with eye-popping towers, gritty streets, and larger-than-life characters who aren't afraid to fight for each other. The kind of airship-dueling,
guns-blazing fantasy that makes me wish I could pop through to the next
eality over, join the Airish, and take to the skies"

—Paolo Bacigalupi, Michael L. Printz Award–winning author of Ship Breaker

"Smashing adventure fiction that spans the multiverse without ever losing its
cool or its sense of style. Ian McDonald is one of the greats of science fiction,
and his young adult debut is everything you could hope for: romantic, action-packed, wildly imaginative, and full of heart."

—Cory Doctorow, author of For the Win

"Science fiction rules in this stellar series opener about a boy who travels to parallel universes. What joy to find science fiction based on real scientific concepts. Fourteen-year-old Everett Singh sees his physicist father kidnapped from a London street and learns that he'll have to travel to another universe to save him. Dad cleverly sends Everett a map to the multiverse, knowing that Everett has the smarts to decipher it. Dr. Singh invented the 'Heisenberg Gate' that allows travel between worlds, leading to the discovery of nine parallel Earths. Everett sneaks through the gate to get to a parallel London, where he meets Sen, a scrappy girl, and her airship crew, who will help him rescue his father. Meanwhile, he must evade the powerful politician who wants his map. In his debut for teens, established science-fiction writer McDonald builds a world just different enough to charm readers into believing, populating it with entertaining, quirky characters, spicing up the story with Punjabi cooking and a secret dialect (complete with glossary) and explaining the multiverse theory in readily comprehensible terms. Suspense rules, and Everett's advantages come from both his football goalie skills and his intelligence. Shining imagination, pulsing suspense and sparkling writing make this one stand out. As Sen would say, 'fantabulosa bona.' "
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

‎"Athletic, brilliant, and always ahead of the game, Everett is too perfect, but it doesn't detract from the book's fun. McDonald writes with scientific and literary sophistication, as well as a wicked sense of humor. Add nonstop action, eccentric characters, and expert universe building, and this first volume of the Everness series is a winner."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Planesrunner's] world is as sharply imagined and inventive as we've come to expect from [Ian] McDonald. And it also may be the first steam-free steampunk novel… first-rate adventure writing… by the cliffhanger ending we're ready to follow [Everett] into whatever new universes McDonald can concoct, and the next one already looks interesting. Planesrunner is not only excellent YA SF in terms of its likeable characters and well-executed setpieces, but is simply good SF in a way which almost reinvents, and possibly makes addictive, the old parallel universe trope. It's fun."

Planesrunner is a first class teen science fiction novel, which I believe will appeal to the fans of such boy-oriented books as Paolo Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker and Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan… There is hardly anything about Planesrunner to complain about. Quite the opposite, a lot to complement this novel on: First of all, the science. The whole idea of parallel universes is endlessly exciting and Ian McDonald did a fantastic job coming up with alternate versions of Earth's future… Second, the main character with ethnic background… Third, the teen romance has a great dynamic. Both participants are strong and resourceful young people. Planesrunner is a fantastic beginning to a new teen adventure series that will leave you yearning for more. Score: 4.50 / 5 "
—Night Owl Reviews, Reviewer Top Pick

‎"Ian McDonald's Planesrunner is the first in what I hope is a very long series of young adult science fiction novels.... I can't wait for the next book in this series. Planesrunner, scheduled for release in December 2011, is an appealing alternative to the dystopian YA titles lining bookstore shelves these days."
—Portland Book Review

‎"This is science fiction adventure at its best, and at its core is Everett,
the heroic little geekling that we all wanted to be as kids... With "Ten Known Worlds"
as part of this book's lore…I want an interdimensional passport ASAP…
The adventure simply never stops… Snappy dialogue…and fascinating details
round out this marvelous series debut."

—The Examiner