Lord brings Caribbean voice to science fiction
(AP) - "The Best of All Possible Worlds" (Del Rey), by Karen Lord
Science fiction gets a Caribbean perspective in Barbados-based Karen Lord's "The Best of All Possible Worlds."
The ambitious novel follows the plight of the male survivors of a superior human civilization, reduced to lonely refugees by the annihilation of their home planet. They settle on a galactic hinterland that's home to their very distant relatives, along with pioneers and misfits making the best of homesteads, uncertainty and dismissal by supposedly superior societies.
Lord imagines the planet as an expanded Caribbean, a complicated population subtly divided by physical traits, lineage and language. She trades, though, the Afro-Caribbean folk traditions that influenced her first novel, "Redemption in Indigo," for the works of Ray Bradbury as inspiration for the quest at the heart of "The Best of All Possible Worlds."
The survivors must navigate tense conflicts over beliefs, social customs and the trafficking of goods and people as they try to find their place in a new world. Their search for wives and stability is by turns amusing and harrowing as they balance the rigid traditions of their past with the habits of a culture far more accustomed to migration and upheaval.
"The Best of All Possible Worlds" is overlong and its narration can be clumsy, but it poses an interesting question: What parts of you do you fight to preserve when everything you know suddenly changes?
Follow Jennifer Kay on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jnkay.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Randy Wolf impressive in Triple-A start
- D-backs will consider 'any and everything' when it comes to personnel changes
- D-backs go 3-4 on road trip, prepare for homestand vs. Phillies, Rockies
- D-backs' Mike Bolsinger shines in series finale at Wrigley: By The Numbers
- Bolsinger earns 1st MLB win, D-backs top Cubs
- Derrick Hall, D-backs president and CEO - Thursday April 24Did yesterday’s win save Kirk Gibson’s job?
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday April 23ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian discusses what the D-backs need to do to turn things around.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday April 23What can be done to save the season?
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday April 22D-backs manager Kirk Gibson talks about the team's struggles.
- Bickley Blast - Monday April 21Dan goes off on the struggling D-backs.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB Insider - Thursday April 17Tim Kurkjian talks about the Diamondbacks' tough start to the season.
- Bickley Blast - Thursday April 17Bickley blasts Kevin Towers' philosophy and the need for an analytics GM.