It was bad enough when Henghis Hapthorn, Old Earth's foremost discriminator and die-hard empiricist, had to accept that the cosmos was shortly to rewrite its basic operating system, replacing rational cause-and-effect with detestable magic. Now he finds himself cast forward several centuries, stranded in a primitive world of contending wizards and hungry dragons, and without his magic-savvy alter ego. Worse, some entity with a will powerful enough to bend space and time is searching for him through the Nine Planes, bellowing "Bring me Apthorn!" in a voice loud enough to frighten demons.
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
The superior melding of fantasy, humor and detection seen in Majestrum (2006) is displayed to even better advantage in Hughes's second chronicle of Henghis Hapthorn, a "discriminator" (or consulting detective) on an alternate Earth. Aided by his "intuitive inner self," Osk Rievor, and his faithful grinnet, an AI housed in an ape-cat body, Hapthorn accepts a request from wealthy socialite Effrayne Choweri to find her legendarily devoted and romantic husband, Chup, who vanished after looking into the purchase of a small spaceship. When the sleuth finds that several others who had considered buying the vessel also disappeared, he poses as a prospective buyer, only to be captured by a super-intelligent fungus seeking to expand its experience of reality by leeching the thoughts and knowledge of others. Hapthorn's wry first-person narration recalls Bertie Wooster, and Hughes effortlessly renders fantastic worlds and beings believable. News that a third adventure is in the works will surely please fans of many genres.