THE TALES OF HENGHIS HAPTHORN
Henghis Hapthorn is the foremost penetrator of mysteries and uncoverer of secrets in a decadent, far-future Old Earth, one age before Jack Vance's Dying Earth. A superb rationalist, he has long disdained the notion that the universe has an alternative organizing principle: magic. But now a new age is dawning, overturning the very foundations of Hapthorn's existence, and he must struggle to survive in a world where all the rules are changing.
In MAJESTRUM, Hapthorn is on the trail of an unknown killer who collects body parts from his victims. The search leads him off-planet, into the Ten Thousand Worlds of The Spray, then turns in an unexpected direction as the freelance discriminator learns that an ancient and evil power is plotting to reassert its dominion over Old Earth.
Praise for Matthew Hughes:
"Criminally underrated" - George R.R. Martin
"Heir apparent to Jack Vance" - Booklist
"Hughes's boldness is admirable"- New York Review of Science Fiction
"Hughes effortlessly renders fantastic worlds and beings believable"- Publishers Weekly
"A towering talent"- Robert J. Sawyer
This start to a promising new far-future series (after 2005's The Gist Hunter) introduces Henghis Hapthorn, a sleuth who combines the confident brilliance of Sherlock Holmes with the amusing voice of P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster, in a fantastical mystery reminiscent of Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy novels. Hapthorn is a discriminator what freelance detectives are called in his baroque world who's drawn into political intrigue after receiving an apparently simple commission to vet a young man with designs on an aristocrat's daughter. An odd duo aids Hapthorn on his quest: his integrator, an artificial intelligence that has somehow become a furry frugivorous animal that perches on his shoulder, and Hapthorn's alternate personality, which split off during an earlier "transdimensional" voyage and operates according to intuition rather than analysis. Hughes's successful blend of magic, the supernatural and high-tech with Sherlockian deductions (and cryptic observations straight out of Doyle's canon) suggests a long life for Hapthorn.