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The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel by…

The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel (edition 2013)

by Karen Lord

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2722441,704 (3.7)30
Title:The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel
Authors:Karen Lord
Info:Del Rey (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:sf, read, galley

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The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Loved the complex optimism of this book. The starting point might be planetary apocalypse and genocide, but this develops into an exploration of the refugees' rebuilding of their society, on a planet that's a refuge for many. Post apocalypse might sound YA, but this is a very adult book. Some terrible things happen and don't get fixed. Some imaginative solutions to some terrible problems clearly haven't worked out. Yet the overall message is one of hope - because some things do work, pretty well. And I loved the way I can see my increasingly diverse family reflected in these pages. Plus a reminder that diversity in SF has a long history, with a lovely nod to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles stories. ( )
  Bernadette877 | Nov 1, 2014 |
This is a peculiar book: one part meditation on how you go on when nearly your entire race is exterminated, one part science fictional adventure story, and one part screwball comedy (as the io9 review put it). No, really. ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
This is a peculiar book: one part meditation on how you go on when nearly your entire race is exterminated, one part science fictional adventure story, and one part screwball comedy (as the io9 review put it). No, really. ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
The Best of All Possible Worlds is not a perfect book. I can sympathise with various of the lower-star reviews out there. It's a quiet book, contemplative, and ultimately despite the backdrop it's basically a romance against a sci-fi, post-disaster backdrop. It's not quite Ursula Le Guin, but I quite liked the slow progression. It had the feel of something unfolding, rather than a roller-coaster ride, and that's just fine by me.

I think some potentially problematic things are brought up by the plot and dealt with varying degrees of success. The domestic abuse by telepathy ties in with the plot in a couple of ways, so I don't understand people saying that doesn't fit. I'm very tired of the whole "you included this [minority] character just to get brownie points" idea. Maybe there are some people out there who do that, but I don't see why a character has to be fully explored with all characteristics plot-relevant to be included. Finding a big long explanation for a gender neutral, essentially asexual character isn't necessary, if that's the way the character works. And Lian worked fine in that sense, for me -- and I think that aspect of their identity was relevant, in some ways.

I mean, you don't include other stripes of queer characters and then look at them with a magnifying glass to justify their inclusion. Some people are just queer, why can't characters just be queer? And why oh why do you need to know what's going on downstairs for trans* people?

All in all, I didn't love this the way I enjoyed Redemption in Indigo, but I'm glad I got round to reading it. (Finally.) ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Think “Moonlighting" with aliens. And some action, adventure, psychological thrills and thoughtful examination of the power of culture. The Best of All Possible Worlds has moments that are laugh-out-loud funny and tear-provokingly sad, which puts it on the list of best of all possible science fiction novels for this year.
added by KelMunger | editLit/Rant, Kel Munger (Jun 17, 2013)
In sum, The Best of All Possible Worlds rings refreshing changes on both the formula romance and the ensemble SF adventure series. . . . Still, if the novel isn't entirely successful in all it sets out to do, that is perhaps forgivable, given the scope of its ambitions.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Lordprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brock, CharlesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wong, VictoriaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345534050, Hardcover)

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.
“This fascinating and thoughtful science fiction novel breaks out of the typical conflict-centered narrative paradigm to examine 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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:03 -0400)

When their homeland is destroyed, the survivors of a proud and aloof alien society struggle to reach out to the rest of the galaxy for aid and understanding while striving to preserve their cherished way of life.

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