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A Tale of Henghis Hapthorn, Vol. 1

Trade Paperback - $14.95
Buy at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Powell's

ISBN: 9781597800891
Published: 01/01/2007

Sherlock Holmes meets Jack Vance’s Dying Earth in Majestrum, the explosive new novel from Matthew Hughes, acclaimed author of Black Brillion, Fools Errant, and The Gist Hunter and Other Stories. The scientific method and a well-calibrated mind have long served freelance discriminator Henghis Hapthorn, allowing him to investigate and solve the problems of the wealthy and powerful aristocracy of Old Earth, and securing him a reputation for brilliance across The Spray and throughout the Ten Thousand Worlds. But the universe is shifting, cycling away from logic and reason and ushering in a new age of sympathetic association, better known as magic.

This change is evidenced by the unexplained transformation of Henghis Hapthorn’s personal electronic integrator into a small fruit-eating creature. Odder still, Hapthorn’s personality has been cleaved into two distinct beings sharing one body: himself, familiar and appropriate to the rational old order; and the other, strange, intuitive, and obsessed with an arcane and untranslated tome, appropriate to the new.

When Hapthorn is hired by Lord Afre to investigate the motives of his daughter’s new companion, a young man of indeterminate circumstances, he takes the job expecting it to allow him the opportunity to explore and understand his changing universe. Little does Henghis Hapthorn realize, but the path of discovery will lead to deeper questions, a mysterious assignment from the Archon himself, and the ancient and powerful secret name… Majestrum!

“If you’re an admirer of the science fantasies of Jack Vance, it’s hard not to feel affection for the Archonate stories of Matthew Hughes…The style Hughes employs, one of florid exoticism, mannered description, and formally phrased dialogue laden with irony, is closely modeled on that of Vance… Still, Hughes has strengths of his own to draw upon: his own considerable wit, and a flair for reified metaphysics surpassing anything conceived by Vance.”
— Nick Gevers, Locus Magazine

“Matt Hughes’s boldness is admirable.”
— The New York Review of Science Fiction

“Discerning readers, desirous of a literary indulgence suitable for savoring in an armchair over a steaming post-prandial cup of punge, will welcome a new installment in the annals of far future Earth, as recounted by Vancouver Island author Matthew Hughes.”
— SF Site

“Jonathan Swift the satirist is surely in play here, alongside Jack Vance… Matthew Hughes’s tales of Old Earth have begun superbly, and promise to continue.”
— Interzone