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The Best of All Possible Worlds

A Novel

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Paperback published by Del Rey (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
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
 
“If you want to see science fiction doing something new and fascinating in 2013, then you shouldn't sleep on Best of All Possible Worlds.”—io9
 
“A vivid, detailed science fiction story with all the trappings of a quality romance, Lord’s sophomore novel is not to be missed.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“A rewarding, touching and often funny exploration of the forms and functions of human culture.”—SFX
 
“Multiple award-winner Lord’s latest is rewarding science fiction for emotional grown-ups.”—Mysterious Galaxy
 
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
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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 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
 
“If you want to see science fiction doing something new and fascinating in 2013, then you shouldn't sleep on Best of All Possible Worlds.”—io9
 
“A vivid, detailed science fiction story with all the trappings of a quality romance, Lord’s sophomore novel is not to be missed.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“A rewarding, touching and often funny exploration of the forms and functions of human culture.”—SFX
 
“Multiple award-winner Lord’s latest is rewarding science fiction for emotional grown-ups.”—Mysterious Galaxy
 
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
Paperback (320 pages)
Published: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Del Rey
ISBN: 9780345549341
Other books byKaren Lord
  • Redemption in Indigo

    Redemption in Indigo
    a novel
    “The impish love child of Tutuola and Marquez. Utterly delightful.”—Nalo Hopkinson Karen Lord’s debut novel, which won the prestigious Frank Collymore Literary Prize in Barbados, is an intricately woven tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit. Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makende, now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones—the djombi—who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone. Bursting with humor and rich in fantastic detail, Redemption in Indigo is a clever, contemporary fairy tale that introduces readers to a dynamic new voice in Caribbean literature. Lord’s world of spider tricksters and indigo immortals, inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale, will feel instantly familiar—but Paama’s adventures are fresh, surprising, and utterly original. "Fantasy as a genre does not have boundaries," writes Lord. "It has roots. You may call it fantasy. I call it life." Karen Lord was born in Barbados in 1968. She holds a science degree from the University of Toronto and a PhD in the sociology of religion from the University of Wales.

    Redemption in Indigo

    Redemption in Indigo
    A masterful, magical retelling of a Senegalese legend by a fantastic new voice who is already setting the literary and fantasy worlds alight: Paama, who is a great cook, has returned to her family after 10 years of marriage to the gluttonous Ansige, but two years later he hires the master tracker Kwame to find her. Kwame needs the money to finance his own wanderlust and reluctantly takes the job. These events draw the attention of Chance, the Indigo Lord, one of the powerful spirits called Djombi. The Indigo Lord once wielded the power of Chaos, imbued within the Chaos Stick, but to punish him it was taken from him and given to Paama. Now he wants it back, and he has all sorts of elaborate schemes planned to induce Paama to give him back the Chaos Stick. The narrator, sometimes serious and often mischievous, spins delicate but powerful descriptions of locations, emotions, and the protagonists' great flaws and great strengths as they interact with family, poets, tricksters, sufferers of tragedy, and of course occasional moments of pure chaos.

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