Divine Effort: Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

In February of 2016, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination published an essay by me called “A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction.” Since then Tor.com has published my in-depth essays on twelve of the 42 works mentioned. The original “Crash Course” listed those 42 titles in chronological order, but the essays skip around. This thirteenth column’s about Redemption in Indigo, Afro-Caribbean author and academic Karen Lord’s first novel.



Combining her passions—one of Lord’s degrees is in science and the other in the sociology of religion—Redemption retells a series of Senegalese folktales as part of its longer exploration of chaos and time. Paama, wife of the epic glutton Ansige, attracts the favorable attention of certain nonhuman entities, who bestow on her the power of actualizing less-than-likely events. These entities are known to Paama and her countrymen as djombi, for ...

Everfair by Nisi Shawl