cover image Romance on Four Worlds

Romance on Four Worlds

Tom Purdom. Fantastic (, $12.99 trade paper (150p) ISBN 978-1-62755-635-4

These four delightful SF stories share a protagonist, Joseph Louis Baske, whose vocation is loving women. He is genuinely in love with every woman with whom he tries to carry on a relationship, but his affections fade quickly. With Casanova as his acknowledged forebear, he roams our solar system in a post-scarcity future, being useful to the women he adores. The well-realized settings include the elaborate habitats of Luna, terraformed Mercury, hollowed-out Phobos, and a spaceship hovering in the Kuiper Belt. Purdom (Lovers and Fighters, Starships and Dragons) gives Baske a surprising amount of depth and sympathy while populating his stories with exciting action sequences, interesting technology (such as personality-modifying implants and customized human-gene patterning), and the varied and wild cultures developed by humans freed from their past deprivations. There is also a quorum of interesting and competent women who are characters in their own right, with distinct needs, desires, and skills; Purdom treats them all with respect, never falling into the objectifying patterns of old-school futurism. 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. (May)