talesofthestarshipregeneration

searchingforknowledge:

wildunicornherd:

searchingforknowledge:

blacksandbooks:

The Best of all Possible Worlds

Karen Lord

ISBN 178087166X

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 it makes that rare beast: a true original.”—Kate Elliot, author of the Crown of Stars series and the Spiritwalker Trilogy.

HOLY SHIT SHE HAS A NEW BOOK?!?!?!?!??!!?

omfgggggggggggggggg~

based on the title i thought it might have something to do with redemption in indigo but it’s straight up sci fi?!?!

aw yeah

I am so pissed. The hardcover is whitewashed and the paperback, which is this cover is like $44 on amazon. wtf?!?!??!?!?!?!

oh god, i looked up the hardcover and that cover design is awful. i dunno what’s with the paperback price, but the book just came out, so maybe there isn’t really a paperback edition yet. should probably wait for the mass-market.

talesofthestarshipregeneration
searchingforknowledge:

blacksandbooks:

The Best of all Possible Worlds 
Karen Lord
ISBN 178087166X
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 it makes that rare beast: a true original.”—Kate Elliot, author of the Crown of Stars series and the Spiritwalker Trilogy.

HOLY SHIT SHE HAS A NEW BOOK?!?!?!?!??!!?

omfgggggggggggggggg~

based on the title i thought it might have something to do with redemption in indigo but it’s straight up sci fi?!?!

aw yeah

searchingforknowledge:

blacksandbooks:

The Best of all Possible Worlds

Karen Lord

ISBN 178087166X

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 it makes that rare beast: a true original.”—Kate Elliot, author of the Crown of Stars series and the Spiritwalker Trilogy.

HOLY SHIT SHE HAS A NEW BOOK?!?!?!?!??!!?

omfgggggggggggggggg~

based on the title i thought it might have something to do with redemption in indigo but it’s straight up sci fi?!?!

aw yeah

While there is much to be praised when it comes to the cultural value and authenticity of the book, what really excites me is how this is compelling and exciting writing. In the first few pages, Lord immediately catches your attention, and she does this through judicial use of flash forwards (an underused technique) and flashbacks (it’s also worth mentioning at how in the latter part of the book, the author eschews these technique as it’s no longer necessary to hook the reader). There is the slow build-up of the cast and what seemed like a small and private party quickly spirals into a huge gathering of major and minor characters who surprisingly retain their significance from start to end. It’s impressive at how the narrator lies and attempts to deceive the reader yet Lord makes it work: for example, the ending professes to be didactic but the author actually holds back some crucial information and leaves hints for readers to figure out (the epilogue, for example, is the closest thing to hitting the reader with the book, but is presented in such a way that’s still restrained). Lastly, there is the juggling act of writing a story with depth and including humor that doesn’t draw attention to itself.

Following Singaporean author Joyce Chng's post "We Don’t Even Factor At All", she, Aliette de Bodard (France), Csilla Kleinheincz (Hungary), Kate Elliott (US), Karen Lord (Barbados), and Ekaterina Sedia (Russia/US) discuss the state of the genre for women.

Some highlights:

Csilla Kleinheincz: “Many of the women who write SFF in Hungary are not even published and have to turn to POD or self-publishing, and not because of the lack of talent. Before being recognized as part of world SF they need to be recognized in their own country, hardships that those who have the privilege of being men or US citizens or native speakers are not aware of.”

Karen Lord: “Let’s assume, purely for the sake of argument, that women are inclined (nature or culture?) to write and to enjoy a certain type of fiction. Is there a hint of judgement attached, that the male-dominated subgenres are, if not more lucrative, more prestigious? More likely to be ‘true’ sci-fi? I have a vague impression, completely unsupported, that more women write speculative fiction that crosses from genre into literary (there’s another arbitrary boundary with value judgements attached). Do male writers who produce soft, near-literary sci-fi find themselves overlooked when it comes to awards and mentions from genre reviewers?”

Ekaterina Sedia: “I feel like I’ve been banging my head against the wall with this topic — the one-way street of SF, where English-language works get translated all over the world, while the reverse is not true. While we can talk about English being an equalizer language (as Csilla mentioned), it also works as an effective tool of exclusion: it is so dominant that the expectation is for the rest of the world to speak English, not to try and understand them. And even foreign writers who DO write in English are by no means on the level playing field with the native speakers: there is a pressure to write in one milieu, there’s a tendency of editors to assume that every non-standard usage is a mistake, there are not-so-subtle hints that maybe one didn’t write one’s books, etc etc.”

Aliette de Bodard: “A couple of French BDs [bandes dessinées; comics] were translated for the US market, and they didn’t work so well. More than anything, it highlighted the differences in conception between a French BD and a US comic: a French BD is a series of long episodes that are usually published a year or so apart, the individual episodes being quite thicker than a comic (usually 50 A4 pages, sometimes more). They can be standalone episodes, but also part of an ongoing series: Universal War One, for instance, one of my fave time travel SF series, is a complete story in six volumes. Comics are usually released issue by issue (sometimes day by day for the online strips); and I know there have been some problems with that when Marvel tried to publish translated BDs: there was backlash, centred on the fact that the individual episodes weren’t complete, and that people would have to wait a long time for the sequel. I think that, because the individual episodes were far longer than a single comic issue, readers expected them to be complete stories in and of themselves.”

Joyce Chng: “Then again, I have an impression even within the SFF world, paranormal romance is received with disdain or at least with a curl of the lips (that signify disgust/dislike?). I wonder why though. Is it because it’s been overdone or that paranormal romance (italics for emphasis) equates women’s writing?

"Writing is writing. I hate it when people put filters, fences, iron gates and other types of separators to make themselves special or different."

A slew of notable sf/f writers (Michael Moorcock, Patrick Rothfuss, Gail Carriger, Karen Lord, Carrie Vaughn, Paolo Bacigalupi, Angela Slatter, N. K. Jemisin, Viivi Hyvönen, Ekaterina Sedia, Genevieve Valentine, Kathe Koja, Karin Tidbeck, Karin Lowachee, Alastair Reynolds, Jeff VanderMeer) answer the question “Who do you consider master world-builders, and what did you learn from them?” An excellent read.

At 50books_poc, an LJ comm that challenges members to read fifty books by authors of colour in a year, Winterfox pronounces Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo fun but unmemorable:

If there are any particular criticisms I want to level at Lord’s debut, it is that I felt there was too little conflict, if you will. The beginning was my favorite—setting up Paama’s leaving her husband and her husband’s subsequent humiliation when he tries to get her to come back to him—but much of the book is about the djombi Indigo Lord and his efforts to wrestle back the Chaos Stick from Paama, who has been rather arbitrarily chosen to bear it. To accomplish this, he shows her why the power’s not fit for human hands and why he, a djombi, is the rightful wielder: he shows her terrible disasters and adventures. The problem is that, though there’s a gulf between the way Paama thinks and the way the Indigo Lord thinks, there’s not much… tension.

shvetufae invites Barbadian sf author Karen Lord to discuss the jumbie-inspired creatures from Redemption in Indigo.

The djombi depicted in Redemption in Indigo have the power, unpredictability and symbolic resonance to be taken and mistaken for several myths and legends the world over. I had to include Anansi, that Caribbean spider-man of African descent, but all other individual djombi are their own cobbled creation. Still, they are not Pratchett’s gods or Kipling’s fairies, dependent on human belief for existence or relevance. Neither are they Pratchett’s elves, off in a parallel world from which they view us as game in every sense. They are made from the fabric of the real world – in a way they are the world. Imagine a sentient Nature, not as a single Gaia consciousness but rather a conglomerate of entities who channel the flood, ride the wind, direct the lightning bolt, and also work with (or toy with) the organic-bodied intelligences in their midst.

Imagine beings who do not always choose to cooperate; who have hierarchies and duties and delinquents; who hate humans, or like them, or are indifferent to them; who see time and space very clearly and very differently; whose main motivation is to enjoy existence for as long as they can and as best they can. Such are the djombi: both like and unlike humanity in interesting ways, and thus an apt tool for a writer to use as shadow, foil or animus/anima.

Also via Andrew Wheeler, the New York Times has a new SF book reviewer: Jeff VanderMeer! Excellent news on its own, but VanderMeer also reviews some very interesting-sounding books:

REDEMPTION IN INDIGO
By Karen Lord.
Small Beer Press, paper, $16.

Lord’s first novel is a clever, exuberant mix of Caribbean and Senegalese influences that balances riotously funny set pieces (many involving talking insects) with serious drama initiated by meddlesome supernatural beings…


THE GASLIGHT DOGS
By Karin Lowachee.
Orbit, paper, $7.99.

…Grappling with issues of colonialism, the book follows the hardships suffered by the girl Sjennonirk, a spiritwalker and member of the northern Aniw tribe, after she is captured by the technologically superior Ciracusans. As occupiers, the Ciracusans have built alliances with indigenous tribes in the occupied territory, but other tribes, like the Soreganee, still wage guerrilla war, led by the defiant Qoyotariz. Now the Sairlanders, a second invading force, threaten to disrupt the balance of power…