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Romance on Four Worlds: A Casanova Quartet
150 pages, $12.99
Now available as an ebook, $7.99
The Moon. Phobos. The Kuiper Belt. A giant globe-circling habitat on Mercury. Joseph Louis Baske roams the Solar System in the same way the great 18th century adventurer, Giacomo Casanova, roamed across Europe—and gets in trouble for the same reason. Romance is the glory of his days. It never lasts, but every episode is an adventure. "I have loved architects, engineers, musicians, politicians, geologists, surgeons, athletes, economists, and women who approached activities like diving and mountaineering with the same passion I have lavished on the central concern of my life," Joe writes. "From all of them I have learned something. The shortest route to someone’s affections is to listen."
Analog reviewer Don Sakers summed up Tom Purdom's first collection Lovers and Fighters, Starships and Dragons as "a perfect blend of really cool ideas and believable, sympathetic characters." Purdom's Casanova Quartet applies the same formula to a happy, freewheeling vision of the future awaiting mankind.
"…delightful… a surprising amount of depth and sympathy… These deeply human post-human romances exemplify a new and exciting way of combining romance and SF, and they are a pleasure from beginning to end." —Publishers Weekly starred review, March 16, 2015
"This whole moderately transhuman milieu of the initial adventure… illustrates Purdom's ability and desire to write the best postmodern SF that he can.… it's not any off-the-shelf inhabited Solar System scenario, but a clever fleshing out of trends visible in our present day.… Purdom succeeds in fashioning some farcical yet genuinely speculative and authentic romps along themes that are noticeably and regrettably absent from so much SF." —Paul Di Filippo, Locus Online, April 16, 2015
"One can't help but fall for the charm of Joseph Louis Baske.… I got increasingly excited by Baske's adventures as I went through, and I particularly enjoyed a subtle mellowing-out of the writing in the later stories, a humor from Purdom that made Baske even more likable. Overall, the collection is a fun read with some depth, excellent world-building, and some interesting character building that makes the reader wonder what character even is. These are a strong bunch of stories that are even better together—definitely worth a look." —Colleen Chen, Tangent Online, May 20, 2015
"Tom Purdom has been writing high quality science fiction for some time… yet despite his tenure in the field and the excellence of his work… he is not particularly well-known with modern readers, probably because his specialty, despite a handful of novels in the 1960s and 1970s, is the short form. Thus it was a particular treat when Fantastic Books brought us Lovers & Fighters, Starships & Dragons, Purdom's (first!) collection in 2014. And so it is a particular delight again that Fantastic Books has now issued Romance on Four Worlds, a collection of four thought-provoking, richly realized novellas centered on the subject of romantic love against the backdrop of a Solar System in various stages of human colonization.… these exotic settings and a series of prolific sf-nal extrapolations… recall John Varley at his best.… Purdom's treatment of situations and subjects that could easily be melodramatic, solipsistic, or even embarrassing is consistently thoughtful, sensitive and mature. There is a meditative quality in these novellas that hovers above even the most climactic sequences.… these four novellas convey to us that sense of endless possibility, offering marvelous vistas into splendidly realized futures full of literal and emotional color." —Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, OSC's Intergalactic Medicine Show (May 2015)
"hugely entertaining… Purdom's version of [the] posthuman future… has an authority and conviction all its own. Purdom does a good job of creating a believable post-human future, inhabited by characters who have been convincingly shaped by the changes in their late 21st-century world into people very different from you and me, and who yet still recognizably share common ground with us." —Gardner Dozois, Locus Magazine, June 2015
"…a delightful little book chronicling the travels of a future Casanova.… These are classic picaresque tales, modern comedies of manners in which Baske gets himself into and out of trouble in the most amusing ways. That the characters are engaging and believable goes without saying—Purdom writes great people—but the four societies depicted are also a lot of fun." —Don Sakers, Analog Science Fiction and Fact (September 2015)
Named to Locus Magazine's 2015 Recommended Reading List.
Reviews of Tom Purdom's previous Fantastic Books book, Lovers and Fighters, Starships and Dragons:
"For idea-driven stories built around characters with unusual depth, told in a highly individual voice, look no farther. Purdom is one of a kind." —Peter Hecht, Asimov's.
"Tom Purdom hauled himself back on stage, in a world and field that had changed immeasurably—a field that had essentially, save for old-timers, forgotten him—and proved himself utterly cutting-edge and au courant." —Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's.
"…for sweep and audacity of imagination and a wealth of new ideas and dazzling conceptualization, Tom Purdom not only holds his own with the New Young Turks of the '90s and the Oughts, he sometimes surpasses them…" —Gardner Dozois, Locus.
"At their core, they're idea driven stories that not only entertain but expand your thinking into new territories, which is what the best science fiction always does." —Chris Urie, Geekadelphia.