Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Paragaea Paperback – May 2, 2006
From Publishers Weekly
At the start of this entertaining speculative novel of lost races and time travelers from Roberson (Here, There and Everywhere), cosmonaut Akilina "Leena" Chirikova, aboard Vostok 7 in Earth orbit, enters a strange silvery gateway to a planet called Paragaea, where a single giant continent and inland sea host dinosaurs and giant sloths, as well as humans and such hybrid creatures as jaguar men, snake men and bird men. Luckily, Leena meets fellow dimension-hopper Hieronymus Bonaventure, a sailor from the Napoleonic era, and his jaguar-man partner, Prince Balam. Together the trio set off across a barbaric alternate Earth worthy of Edgar Rice Burroughs to find someone who understands the dimensional portals so Leena can return home. Roberson's style, in the best pulp manner, favors enthusiastic exposition and travelogue with dashes of swashbuckling. His colorful characters and setting transport readers to a simpler era when every story offered new worlds to explore. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"...nothing less than the great old pulp adventure stories, made new with the considerable modern skills of Chris Roberson." -- Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Kirinyaga and Starship: Mutiny
"A talented storyteller, [Roberson] has a unique ear, a clever eye, an eloquence all too rare in modern fiction." -- Michael Moorcock, World Fantasy Award-winning author of The White Wolfs Son
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
This is a worthy companion to Michael Moorcock's "Warrior of Mars" trilogy which also attempts to recapture the sense of adventure & existential freedom in ERB's John Carter books.
I also hope there is a followup to Adventure 1 which he produced.
He sticks close to formula too. Akilina "Leena" Chirikov is a Russian cosmonaut from the late 1960's. After embarking on her first solo flight into space, she encounters a wormhole that sucks her, Farscape style, into the parallel world of Paragaea. After crash-landing, it isn't long before some companions join her: Hieronymus "Hero" Bonaventure, another time-lost person from Britain during the Napoleonic war and Balam, a deposed prince of the Jaguar people, who longs to recover his throne. Both agree to help Leena find her way back home, agreeing that her best hope lies in making the long trip across continent to the city of Lisbia.
Defenders of this book will argue that it is a lot of fun but, while this is true, I found it very difficult to buy into the world of Paragaea or its people. Character arcs are minimal and the story often dissolves into an endless succession of engage and retreat `adventures'. No matter how vile the enemies become, or how high the stakes, we never fear for the heroes' safety. Every time they get into a difficult situation, they are rescued through a series of convenient plot points. They're about to be killed by some giant ants... nope, they get saved at the last moment by some alligator people. They're about to be driven out of a town by an angry mob... nope, a boat in harbour just happens to allow them safe passage across the river for no apparent reason. There's a lack of narrative tension without which the entire story dissolves into little more than filler book-ended by brief moments of actual plot.
In fairness, the plot does pick up considerably towards the end - the last 100 pages go as far as being genuinely tense as Leena's struggle to get home culminates in her discovery of Paragaea's origins. It's just a shame that the entire novel leading up to this point is a meandering mess of contrived events held together by a cast of cliché-riddled archetypes and a thin veneer of pseudo-science. That this was all done in the name of staying true to the genre is the most damning thing of all. Storytelling has moved on a lot over the last 50 years and simply saying that 'this is how books used to be written' isn't a reason to write an identikit copy, ignoring all the issues that today's plot-savvy reader might have with it in the modern publishing environment.
Fans of Planetary Romance might find a lot here to get excited about - I don't know, I'm not one of them - but it's precisely Roberson's habit of continually alluding to those old pulp adventure stories and keeping so rigidly to the formula of old that ultimately prevents Paragaea from standing on its own as a work of genuine merit.