The Best of All Possible Worlds

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Book - 2013
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Karen Lord's debut novel, the multiple-award-winning "Redemption in Indigo, " announced the appearance of a major new talent--a strong, brilliantly innovative voice fusing Caribbean storytelling traditions and speculative fiction with subversive wit and incisive intellect. Compared by critics to such heavyweights as Nalo Hopkinson, China Mieville, and Ursula K. Le Guin, Lord does indeed belong in such select company--yet, like them, she boldly blazes her own trail.
Now Lord returns with a second novel that exceeds the promise of her first. "The Best of All Possible Worlds "is a stunning science fiction epic that is also a beautifully wrought, deeply moving love story.
A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.
Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race--and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team--one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive--just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.
Praise for "The Best of All Possible Worlds"
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"An engrossing picaresque quest, a love story, and a moving character study . . . Karen] Lord is on a par with Ursula K. Le Guin."--"The Guardian"
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" A] fascinating and thoughtful science fiction novel that examines] adaptation, social change, and human relationships. I've not read anything quite like it, which makes it that rare beast: a true original."--Kate Elliott, author of the Crown of Stars series and The Spiritwalker Trilogy
"Reads like smooth jazz comfort food, deceptively familiar and easy going down, but subtly subversive . . . puts] me in mind of Junot Diaz's brilliant novel "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.""--Nalo Hopkinson, "Los Angeles Review of Books"
"If you want to see science fiction doing something new and fascinating . . . then you shouldn't sleep on "The Best of All Possible Worlds."""--io9"
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"Rewarding science fiction for emotional grown-ups.""--Mysterious Galaxy"
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" A] marvelously formed universe.""--The A.V. Club"
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"A rewarding, touching and often funny exploration of the forms and functions of human culture."--"SFX"
""The Best of All Possible Worlds" . . . poses an interesting question: What parts of you do you fight to preserve when everything you know suddenly changes?"--Associated Press
Publisher: New York : Del Rey/Ballantine Books, c2013.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345534057
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 25 cm.


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Apr 18, 2018

Karen Lord is one of my new favorite SciFi authors and I look forward to reading more books by her. The world-building and complex characters of this universe are rich fodder for a succession of books—though not necessarily a series as this book stands alone.
I was very fond of the chatty and protagonist and liked the way the author gave us the backstories on the various civilizations and worlds in this universe.
The book was also completely to my taste as there was no violence to speak of and any romance was both subtle and integral to the plot.

Oct 18, 2017

I am not happy about the white faces on the cover. It is central to the story that Grace has brown skin, and there is a quote about dark skin and golden eyes, that makes the cover that much more irritating.

Overall the story is a good. What a nice relief to have a love story built on the characters getting to know one another. It did get slow in spots, but over all great.

Oct 19, 2016

This was a slow paced, but well written and curiously thought of story about intercultural interactions and the cultural ramifications of a catastrophic event on a culture of people. I really loved it.

cmlibrary_myork Dec 14, 2015

I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I wanted to from the effusive reviews about its originality. I first picked up the sequel and then chose to start with the first book, even though the second can be read as a stand-alone.

The book's exploration of the cultural adaptation of an endangered society is interesting, but short, I felt, on plot. The reticence of one of the main characters (who is also one of the two narrators), though an integral aspect to his personality, did not lend itself to an intimate perspective for the reader.

May 14, 2015

SiFi romance. Well done great timing. Worthy read indeed.

Aug 08, 2014

thoroughly enjoyable. did not want to put down as the prose flowed effortlessly.

Aug 11, 2013

Karen Lord won a well-deserved Frank Collymore Award for the best work of fiction in Barbados for her first novel, the quietly stunning Redemption in Indigo.

Though not as good as her first, her second novel is well-worth your time, especially if you like sci-fi, chapters with self-contained plots, or romances with black women in the lead role.

It's basically a fun little sci-fi romance, but there's also some very smart playing with classic science fiction and fantasy tropes. The hero and heroine visit a different sci-fi setting in each chapter and have varied adventures as their friendship slowly deepens into love. There's also some subtle but lovely imagining of future worlds based in Caribbean culture.

A good choice when you want to read something light but not dumb, and especially interesting for those of us interested in more racial and ethnic diversity in science fiction.


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