The Philosopher's Flight

A Novel

The Philosopher's Flight

“Rarely does a novel begin with rollicking fierceness that grabs readers from its opening lines and doesn’t loosen its grip or lessen its hold all the way through… Miller’s writing is intoxicating and one doesn’t need to be a fantasy or sci-fi fan to adore this book.”—Kim Curtis, Associated Press

The Philosopher’s Flight by debut novelist Tom Miller has already set a high bar for any book vying to be the most entertaining novel of 2018.”—Ian Schwartz, Bookpage

A thrilling debut from ER doctor turned novelist Tom Miller, The Philosopher’s Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art. “Like his characters, Tom Miller casts a spell.” (Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer)

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service—a team of flying medics—Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women.

Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle’s activism and Robert’s recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert’s mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert’s place among the next generation of empirical philosophers—and for philosophy’s very survival against the men who would destroy it.

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher’s Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476778174 | 
  • February 2018
List Price $12.99 (price may vary by retailer)

Hear an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Philosopher’s Flight includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Tom Miller. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, heal the injured, and even fly. While he dreams of becoming the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Department—a team of flying medics—he is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school where he strives to win the respect of his classmates, particularly Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned war hero turned political activist. As Robert begins to fall for Danielle, her activism and his own recklessness attract the attention of the Trenchers, a fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert’s mother fought years before. With their lives in m see more

About the Author

Tom Miller
Abigail Carlin

Tom Miller

Tom Miller grew up in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He graduated from Harvard University and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and an MD from the University of Pittsburgh. While writing The Philosopher’s Flight, he worked as a travel guidebook writer, EMT, and college English instructor. He's now an emergency room doctor in Madison, Wisconsin. This is his first novel.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US