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The Blue, Beautiful World: Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2024

The Blue, Beautiful World: Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2024 by Karen Lord

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By Karen Lord

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‘This complex, engaging novel takes an unusual approach to the classic trope of aliens in our midst, with a warmth and intelligence reminiscent of Ursula K Le Guin’

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?

A visionary science fiction novel set a century into our future against a familiar backdrop of rising seas and climate crisis, The Blue, Beautiful World fuses a propulsive first contact adventure with a profoundly hopeful ode to the power of human connection as a genius inventor, a beloved celebrity, a young activist, and a pop megastar are brought together to forge a new path into the future.

‘Gorgeously detailed’ DAILY MAIL
‘Wildly original’ MARTHA WELLS
‘Essential reading’ SAMIT BASU
‘Thoughtful and dreamlike’ TESSA GRATTON
‘A gorgeous, wise tale’ ANNALEE NEWITZ
‘Beautifully-crafted’ KATE ELLIOTT
‘A cracking high-stakes story’ MALKA OLDER


28 Apr 2024


Not my thing at all. Interplanetary politics, a super-charismatic pop star and no-one being quite who, or what, they seem to be, all set 100 years in the future. Mind bogglingly boring.

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