The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel

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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
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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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Del Rey
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Published on
Feb 12, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780345534064
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera
Fiction / Visionary & Metaphysical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Karen Lord is one of today’s most brilliant young talents. Her science fiction, like that of predecessors Ursula K. Le Guin and China Miéville, combines star-spanning plots, deeply felt characters, and incisive social commentary. With The Galaxy Game, Lord presents a gripping adventure that showcases her dazzling imagination as never before.
 
On the verge of adulthood, Rafi attends the Lyceum, a school for the psionically gifted. Rafi possesses mental abilities that might benefit people . . . or control them. Some wish to help Rafi wield his powers responsibly; others see him as a threat to be contained. Rafi’s only freedom at the Lyceum is Wallrunning: a game of speed and agility played on vast vertical surfaces riddled with variable gravity fields.
 
Serendipity and Ntenman are also students at the Lyceum, but unlike Rafi they come from communities where such abilities are valued. Serendipity finds the Lyceum as much a prison as a school, and she yearns for a meaningful life beyond its gates. Ntenman, with his quick tongue, quicker mind, and a willingness to bend if not break the rules, has no problem fitting in. But he too has his reasons for wanting to escape.
 
Now the three friends are about to experience a moment of violent change as seething tensions between rival star-faring civilizations come to a head. For Serendipity, it will challenge her ideas of community and self. For Ntenman, it will open new opportunities and new dangers. And for Rafi, given a chance to train with some of the best Wallrunners in the galaxy, it will lead to the discovery that there is more to Wallrunning than he ever suspected . . . and more to himself than he ever dreamed.

Praise for The Galaxy Game
 
“There is a weight and grace to [Lord’s] prose that put me in mind of pewter jewelry.”—NPR
 
“This novel is a satisfying exercise in being off-balance, a visceral lesson in how to fall forward and catch yourself in an amazing new place.”—The Seattle Times
 
“A smart science fictional fable as inventive and involving as it is finally vital.”—Tordotcom
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