Entry updated 13 November 2023. Tagged: Author.
(1968- ) Barbados-born author, partly in Canada from late childhood, though she has continued to spend considerable time in Barbados. Her first novel, Redemption in Indigo (2010), is a fantasy Twice-Told from a West African folktale; the novel describes in wryly Feminist terms the attempts of an abandoned husband to restore the status quo; but his powerful wife has been granted by spirit figures a Magic wand known as the Chaos Stick (described in sf-like terms as a device to direct "quantum fluctuations" [see Equipoise]), and will, complicatedly, refuse his wish. At least one Trickster figure appears [for Twice-Told and Trickster see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. A sequel is projected.
Lord's second novel, The Best of All Possible Worlds (2013) reads by comparison as a not entirely successful sf jeu d'esprit. A colony planet (see Colonization of Other Worlds) is visited by a small group of male survivors from another, formerly isolationist human colony which regarded itself – and indeed was regarded by others – as "the pinnacle of human civilization" but is now searching for female breeding stock so that its culture can recover from a near-genocidal attack. A woman with relevant Linguistic skills is delegated to escort the chief of these visitors around her world, which is left basically undescribed, so that their Fantastic Voyage from one local lifestyle culture to another is so abstractly couched that the tale becomes vulnerable to thematization, as in the less intense works of Ursula K Le Guin. Late in this mild Planetary Romance, actual romance blooms. Lord's third novel, The Galaxy Game (2015), is structured after the Young Adult model: an estranged teenager with Psi Powers, a romantic triangle with his best friends, a game (see Games and Sports) at which he excels, a hint of Dystopia beyond the walls. Set in a moderately distant Near Future planet Earth where Climate Change has finally inspired the creation of a competent world state, The Blue, Beautiful World (2023) depicts the creation of a cadre of young men and women (refreshingly unlike space cadets) who have been trained to cope with First Contact. There is some chance that the Aliens may have already settled in. [JC/DRL]
see also: Kitschies.
Karen Antoinette Roberta Lord
born Barbados: 22 May 1968
- Redemption in Indigo (Easthampton, Massachusetts: Small Beer Press, 2010) [pb/]
- The Best of All Possible Worlds (New York: Ballantine Books/Del Rey, 2013) [hb/Bruce Talbot]
- The Galaxy Game (New York: Del Rey, 2015) [pb/Shutterstock]
- Unraveling (New York: DAW Books, 2019) [hb/Leo Nickolls]
- The Blue, Beautiful World (New York: Del Rey, 2023) [hb/]
works as editor
- New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean (New York: Akashic Books, 2016) [anth: pb/]
- Karen Lord
- Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- The Encyclopedia of Fantasy: Trickster; Twice-Told.
- Picture Gallery
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