For millennia humanity had wondered what was the truth that lay behind the shadow play of supposed reality. A Fantasy Science Fiction novel by Martyn Vaughan, author of The Cave of Shadows and Quantum Exile.
338 Pages. Paperback. Print ISBN 978-1-8380752-2-4
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A SciFi novel by Martyn Vaughan. Author of The Cave of Shadows and Quantum Exile and Doom of Stars published by and available from Cambria.
For millennia humanity had wondered what was the truth that lay behind the shadow play of supposed reality.
Celine Dubois is a brilliant scientist working on advanced scientific research into the foundations of reality. A committed lesbian, she is based at CERN in Switzerland and is brusque, dedicated, efficient and definitely does not “suffer fools gladly”.
Then one day, two very strange things happen to disturb her self-assurance.
Firstly, she opens an e-mail from a disgraced former physicist that informs her that “Earth is a farm” and all humans are the prey of a race of invisible parasites that infest them and cause degenerative diseases. Naturally, she disregards it.
Secondly, at a meeting she hears one of her junior colleagues relate how his staff are reporting mysterious events, which some of them refer to as “seeing ghosts.” Ordered to investigate this claim Dubois is at first dismissive but then herself encounters the inexplicable phenomenon of a column of grey mist that seems to be trying to entrap her. And yet she can find no evidence on the CCTV that it existed.
Later, both Dubois and Hilda, her girlfriend, realise that they are both suffering from different forms of autoimmune illness.
Afterwards, Dubois has a meeting with the physicist who sent the peculiar e-mail. He is Marius Larsen, a physically imposing Norwegian who was sacked after a failed experiment involving a powerful laser. Larsen claims a side-effect of that accident, which apparently killed his friend, is that he can now see the parasites – which call themselves “hran”. Dubois has him thrown out.
Dubois and partner are promoted to take part in research using a new, very powerful particle collider in Japan. However, this facility also reports inexplicable happenings in which people are vanishing without trace. Dubois finds that Larsen has followed her there and is still peddling his claims. Both Larsen and Hilda go missing.
Eventually Dubois encounters the mist apparition again and this time does not escape.
She discovers that she has been transported to a ruined Earth some centuries on from her time. After being held captive by some degenerate humans, she is eventually rescued by the agents of an entity called “Kewfor.”
Reunited with both Larsen and Hilda in Kewfor’s citadel she learns the horrific truth: the hran are very real and their subjugation of humanity has only just begun.
All three must cross to the realm of the hran in a desperate, final attempt to defeat the parasites and reclaim the Earth.
– September 16, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Don’t go near the beam line!
Those superstrings will get you if you go too close.
The storyline hums along at a cracking pace, spreading
mayhem in all directions. And the title is a quotation
from Shakespeare. What more could you ask.
– September 16, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant.
I enjoyed The book from start to finish. The story grips the reader and doesn’t let go! Excellent for horror enthusiasts.
– September 30, 2020
‘Hideous Night’ is a madcap, helter-skelter of a trans-universal adventure, full of comic-book pace and a vivid sense of outrageous possibilities. Mixing plausible futures with the implausible physics of quantum computers, excimer lasers, thorium fission reactors and xenobots (to my mind, at least, but then I was thrown out of ‘O’ level physics for misbehaviour.) This latest novel describing an end-of-days scenario is another solid, entertaining and engaging attempt by Martyn Vaughan to push at boundaries, tilt at windmills and take his own writing a little bit further, if the width of a second universe can in any sense be considered as a little bit further. If ever you thought scientists were sedate and dry and completely averse to adventure think again.
– February 7, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly entertaining book!
Verified Purchase.Reading this brilliant novel was just like riding a scary roller coaster! I found myself hanging on with an enjoyable sense of dread throughout the many thrilling plot twists and turns, as I the reader was propelled along with each new page towards what seemed like an unavoidably hideous climax. However, I needed to know what happened next so I devoured the book like the hungry monsters that are the villains of this extraordinary story!
This thoroughly entertaining book has reminded me how much fun reading good sci-fi can be and I will certainly be ordering the rest of Martyn Rhys Vaughan’s back catalogue in the hope of experiencing similar thrilling adventures. In the meantime I will be reflecting on the writer’s astute observations of the privilege of modern lifestyle choices and how flawed people can choose to be heroes when forced to fight seemingly overwhelming odds to save (a perhaps undeserving) humanity.
– July 14, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction at its best! I was hooked from the first page, and it was difficult to put down. It pushes theoretical physics to the limit and beyond, as the main characters become caught up in a conflict that threatens the very existence of humanity.
It was a very enjoyable read, and for action buffs there is plenty of it, but at the same time the characters seemed real, and I especially appreciated the descriptive passages which give an insight into what makes them tick.
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