The Best of All Possible Worlds

The Best of All Possible Worlds

by Karen Lord
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Overview

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED

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 Miéville, 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
 
“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
 
“[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 Díaz’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
 
“Rewarding science fiction for emotional grown-ups.”—Mysterious Galaxy
 
“[A] marvelously formed universe.”—The A.V. Club
 
“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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345534057
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/12/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Karen Lord has been a physics teacher, a diplomat, a part-time soldier, and an academic at various times and in various countries. She is now a writer and research consultant in Barbados. Her debut novel, Redemption in Indigo, won the Frank Collymore Literary Award, the William L. Crawford Award, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, and was nominated for the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

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The Best of All Possible Worlds 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
cindymt More than 1 year ago
A science fiction romance is so hard to find that it’s nice to see one published that’s also lyrical and funny. Several of the chapters begin/end a little jumpy and you end up blinking to catch the rhythm again. Grace and her reserved Sadiri counterpart have lots of adventures with plenty of time for their admiration and connection to grow. It ends the way you’d think but there are enough comical missteps to keep it interesting. A worthwhile endeavor and highly recommended. Received free copy for review.
The_Alternative More than 1 year ago
Book Review - The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord The Best of All Possible Worlds  Karen Lord  Trade Paperback  Publisher: Del Rey  Publication Date: February 12, 2013  ISBN-13: 978-0345534057  320 pages  Advance Reader’s Copy      The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord is, in my opinion, everything that’s right and good with Science Fiction today. It contains mind-powered space flight, reminiscent of Dune but without the religious/spice-drug aspects. Some of the main characters are humanoid “aliens” like every non-human race in Gene Rodenberry’s alternate Star Trek universe (i.e. Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, etc.). There is one very dead planet destroyed by a hostile enemy similar to what happens in Peter F. Hamilton’s Commonwealth Saga and Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, among others. And, there is futurism but not in a dystopian Brave New World or Hunger Games way but more like Asimov’s Foundation series where science remains one of the more crucial element to the survival of the human race rather than its downfall. But, more importantly than all these other fascinating tropes is that The Best of All Possible Worlds contains social Science Fiction mingled expertly with human interaction, the bonds of friendship and love through difference, and a very modern feel for a style that used to be called classic. There is good reason why I mention some of the greatest contributions and novelists of Science Fiction in the descriptions above and that’s because The Best of All Possible Worlds belongs categorized with them. Now, more than ever, we need successors to the hard Science Fiction mentalities of the past fifty years that have disappeared with the passing of the great Science-Fiction writers of the Golden Age. Karen Lord is an obvious front-runner.      A powerful, technologically-minded race of humanoid “aliens,” the Sadiri, suddenly find themselves homeless after their world has been completely destroyed by a planet-busting weapon. In an attempt to integrate themselves into a new society a small group of traveling male survivors seek refuge on the colony planet of Cygnus Beta and are challenged to rebuild their race by locating suitable DNA matches from the women that currently live there. Grace, a Cygnus Betan and a scientist trained in linguistics is assigned as liaison between the local politicians and the Sadiri to help aide them in their search for acceptable female counterparts and to build new settlements to ease their integration into society. Her Sadiri counterpart, Dllenahkh, together, with a small team of representatives from both cultures set off on an expedition across the newly colonized planet. Along the way their close friendship becomes something more than either expected. But with advanced humanoids from the stars what exactly does that mean? And where might it take them?      The Best of All Possible Worlds is a fascinating science-fiction novel that I'd recommend to readers who enjoy character driven stories with a bit of technology, some biology, mystery, alien psychology, and light, non-conventional romantic elements. Lord’s style is both elegant and subtle, her world-building spectacular, and she spends very little time telling the reader the story but rather showing it by engaging our imaginations with her concise and often poetic prose. There is a new, powerful, and creative voice in the realm of Science Fiction. Her name is Karen Lord.      File with: Jack McDevitt, mind-bending space travel, Dune, technology, Star Trek, alien culture, Gene Rodenberry, light Romance, Science Fiction, Kurt Vonnegut, Peter F. Hamilton, planet killers, and futurism. 4 out of 5 stars The Alternative  Southeast Wisconsin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read thw sample but I am already in love with this book. The characters are wonderfully writen and the romance between the two main characters is captivating. I would recommend getting this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Theory over story
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I loved reading this book. It was to science-fiction literature as a light fluffy pastry is to the baking world - delicate and satisfying.
yoopergirl66 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It is calming and quiet, reveals itself slowly and with great care. The characters are wonderful, well written, and understandable. The story line is easy to follow and interesting. It didn't grab me and pull me back in, to keep reading it, but kept me coming back to enter her world again and again. I liked these characters, their world and problems, and the fact that story was Original and unlike anything I had read before. Highly recommend.
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