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 Miville, 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)
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Futuristic space opera romance
A little like The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin, it's set on another world and describes different cultures and their efforts to co-exist and integrate but these are all human. No space wars or action scenes, a straightforward narrative and beautifully written for reading aloud. The book consists of a series of episodes and the relationship between the two protagonists in the romance is what keeps it moving forward. But this is more than enough to hold one's interest, as the ramifications of their relationship go beyond their personal arrangements.
Robin Miles' very pleasant voice is controlled without ever sounding flat and expressive without leaning towards exaggeration - one of the best narrations I've heard.