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The Blue, Beautiful World: A Novel (Hardcover)
“A complex story of first contact from a unique perspective that is warm, engaging, and wildly original.”—Martha Wells, New York Times bestselling author of The Murderbot Diaries
The world is changing, and humanity must change with it. Rising seas and soaring temperatures have radically transformed the face of Earth. Meanwhile, Earth is being observed from afar by other civilizations . . . and now they are ready to make contact.
Vying to prepare humanity for first contact are a group of dreamers and changemakers, including Peter Hendrix, the genius inventor behind the most advanced VR tech; Charyssa, a beloved celebrity icon with a passion for humanitarian work; and Kanoa, a member of a global council of young people drafted to reimagine the relationship between humankind and alien societies.
And they may have an unexpected secret weapon: Owen, a pop megastar whose ability to connect with his adoring fans is more than charisma. His hidden talent could be the key to uniting Earth as it looks toward the stars.
But Owen’s abilities are so unique that no one can control him and so seductive that he cannot help but use them. Can he transcend his human limitations and find the freedom he has always dreamed of? Or is he doomed to become the dictator of his nightmares?
“The Blue, Beautiful World is unlike any science fiction you’ve read. It is a treatise on global diplomacy, a first-contact adventure, and a meditation on the transformative power of pop culture. Most of all, it is a gorgeous, wise tale of our shared traumatic histories and potential futures together, on a planet whose mysteries humans have only begun to explore. Step into Karen Lord’s world and be changed forever.”—Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous and The Terraformers
“This is the thrilling, cerebral, empathetic, and hopeful speculative fiction the world absolutely needs—now and always.”—Samit Basu, author of The City Inside
“Brimming with sharp characters, action, espionage, and audacious ideas, The Blue, Beautiful World subverts the idea of first contact, and then inverts it, too—just in case. Lord delivers profound insights on charisma, identity, cooperation, and family, all wrapped up in a cracking high-stakes story of intergalactic intrigue.”—Malka Older, author of Infomocracy
“A wise, ambitious, and beautifully crafted novel of first contact, the future of Earth, and the challenges posed by survival, change, and compassionate connection.”—Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun and The Keeper’s Six
“An exquisite novel of galactic diaspora, of long-lost humankind coming home, The Blue, Beautiful World is a thoughtful and dreamlike examination of the goodness and potential in humanity. It will change the way you think about family, empathy, and the mysterious ghosts born here on our own world.”—Tessa Gratton, author of The Queens of Innis Lear
“The Blue, Beautiful World launches you into an exquisite world bursting with people and ideas that reach beyond its pages. If you enjoy large-scale, big-brained fiction with a heart of gold, this is the book for you.”—Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of Son of the Storm