Release Date: 2006
Cover by Jon Foster
Paragaea: A Planetary Romance is the story of
the Akilina "Leena" Chirikov, who shortly after launching from Star Town
in the Soviet Union, finds herself thrown into another dimension, a world
of strange science and ancient mystery. There she meets another timelost
person from Earth, Lieutenant Hieronymus Bonaventure of His Majesty's
Royal Navy - who left home to fight the forces of Napoleon and never
returned - and his companion, Balam - outlaw prince of the jaguar men.
Bonaventure is interested only in adventure and amusement, while Balam
only wants distraction until the day he can reclaim his throne. Having
little better to do, they agree to help Chirikov find a way home. Along
the way, they encounter ancient androids, cowboys riding pterodactyls,
Atlantean wizard-kings, and lost cities of bird-men.
In the tradition of the planetary romances of Edgar
Rice Burroughs and Leigh Brackett, Paragaea is in fact a "hard"
science fiction adventure, grounded in the latest thinking in the fields
of theoretical physics, artificial intelligence, genetics, and more. There
is a rigorously rational explanation behind all of the unearthly elements,
with most of the "magic" the protagonist encounters being the products of
a long forgotten, transhuman, post-Singularity culture that has long since
disappeared. Chirikov, a strictly rational Soviet Cosmonaut, interprets
these as best she can, using the framework of early 1960s science. Being a
dutiful Soviet, she wants only to return home to Earth, to inform her
superiors about what she has discovered, but she soon finds herself
developing ties to her companion Bonaventure that make her wonder whether
she really wants to go home at all.
For more detail, visit the
Sample Chapters available
"...a barbaric alternate Earth
worthy of Edgar Rice Burroughs..."
“Brings Edgar Rice Burroughs and
Alex Raymond into the 21st century. Paragaea is nothing less
than the great old pulp adventure stories, made new with the
considerable modern skills of Chris Roberson.”
Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula
author of Kirinyaga and
is subtitled "a planetary romance" and seems part of a recent
mini-surge of such revitalized retro-fictions, notably by such
writers as Al Sarrontonio and R. Garcia y Robertson. Prior to this
new generation of writers seeking to mine the musty but potent
tropes of the pre-Campbell era, old hands like Michael Moorcock and
Philip Jose Farmer were the prime upholders and perpetrators of such
romps. Roberson has certainly learned a lot from his literary
ancestors, and he manages to hit all the high notes perfectly.
Paul Di Filippo, SCIFI.com
You like sense
of wonder? This book's got sense of wonder. By the
bucketful. There might not be any Great Toonoolian Marshes on
Paragaea, but there might as well be; Paragaea is this
generation's A Princess of Mars. Read it with your mind's
eye wide open, so you can take it all in.
John Joseph Adams, Intergalactic Medicine Show