Up for Review: The Best of All Possible Worlds

I hadn’t heard of Karen Lord before I spotted this novel on NetGalley, and I’m very happy to have found her. As much as I love sf, it still seems to be dominated by a culturally monochromatic group of authors and their biases can get annoying. Born in Barbados, Lord is one of the few women of colour writing sf and fantasy. Which reminds me – I need to read some Nalo Hopkinson asap…

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen LordThe Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord (Del Rey)

NetGalley Blurb:

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.

The Best of All Possible Worlds (US edition) will be published on 5 February 2013 by Del Rey. The UK edition will be published by Jo Fletcher Books.

Buy a copy: Amazon I The Book Depository
Read an excerpt
The title (I’m assuming) comes from a phrase/philosophical idea written by Gottfried Leibniz. You can read more about it here.

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. – NetGalley

Website. Check out the About page for links to interviews and podcasts.