Best of June 2011 in SFF: Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo

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Best of June 2011 in SFF: Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo

Posted on 2011-06-30 at 9:0 by Sam

Link: Best of June 2011 in SFF: Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo

Published by Small Beer Press in July 2010 and on several year’s best fantasy lists, Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo finally arrived at Audible on June 15, courtesy of a Recorded Books production, narrated by Robin Miles. Miles has 56 Audible titles to her credit, but this was my first, though her 2010 narration of Ekaterina Sedia’s The House of Discarded Dreams is waiting for me on my wish list for one of these days.

Enough digression, on to the publisher’s summary:

This fascinating debut by Karen Lord - a retelling of a Senegalese folktale - earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist and won the Frank Collymore Award. When Paama finally leaves her gluttonous husband, she attracts the attention of the undying spirit Patience, who gives her Chance’s Chaos Stick as a gift. But Chance insists that only he should wield the stick’s powers.

Redemption in Indigo is a short listen at a shade under six and a half hours, and it’s well worth discovering. The overall arc of the story comes under the frame of a storyteller relating the events, complete with asides (such as “we’ll learn more about this later”) and informalities (such as “let us skip forward through time a bit so as to miss the boring parts”) and footnotes and digressions. The story comes across in a playful, light way, the way of an elder telling a favorite story around a village campfire. This is a wonderful change of pace not just from the battlefields and seriousness of much of the rest of fantasy these days, but also in its leisurely pace, delighting on simple surroundings imbued with the mythological references which have been passed down through the generations. As a work of oral storytelling goes, this one’s a keeper, and I’m glad I was able to enjoy it in this format.


An Occupation of Angels by Lavie Tidhar and narrated by Elizabeth Klett is a short Iambik Audio production of a little under 3 and a half hours, and Klett’s narration is clear, boldly taking us through Tidhar’s novella of archangels and post-WW2 international schemes.


And right at the end of the month, along with An Occupation of Angels, a list of titles from Iambik:


Whew. So: this is the first of these which is not back-dated, so it’s not a terrible place for discussion. What did you love in June? What did I miss?

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