NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED • “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 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 doing so may mean changing their culture forever. Working together to save this vanishing race, a man and a woman from two clashing societies will uncover ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. And as their mission hangs in the balance, the 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
“[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.”—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
Mythopoeic Award winner Lord (Redemption in Indigo) dives into SF romance and produces an entertaining, optimistic novel. Only a few of the aloof but psychically gifted Sadiri survive the destruction of their homeworld. A number of their men arrive on the melting pot planet Cygnus Beta, hoping to find homes and wives and start rebuilding their population. When Grace Delarua is assigned to help Sadiri Councillor Dllenahkh survey local populations with relic Sadiri DNA for possible matchmaking, romance develops between the two despite many obstacles thrown their way. The book consciously references Bradbury's Martian Chronicles but feels closer to Star Trek in spirit, with a cheerful polyglot culture welcoming a race of emotionally reserved intellectuals. Delarua is a pleasant narrator, irrepressible in the face of what seems like impossible personal and professional challenges.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Best of All Possible Worlds
A cleverly humorous and sweetly romantic science fiction story of healing. I highly recommend reading this book to both thinkers and casuals. Karen Lord artfully employs creative twists on numerous tropes alongside a well developed and diverse cast of characters to draw attention to and explore a wide range of social issues and relationship dynamics. Dllenahkh and Grace Delarua visit various settlements in search of people willing to aid the Sadiri in their survival both as a people and as a culture. Their journey forces them to reassess and reaffirm their values as they find their paths forward, and illustrates that through diversity, in helping and learning from each other, we get the best of all possible worlds.
A wonderful mix of sci-if, social constructs and o course romance.