Todd Mason mentioned R. A. Lafferty and his first novel, Past Master, in a comment months ago, but I didn’t forget it. I just moved Past Master higher in the Read Real Soon stack. I read Past Master back in 1968. Rereading Past Master brought back the zaniness of Lafferty’s writing and the impatience I sometimes experience reading Lafferty’s work. A thousand years in the future, an Earth colony called Astrobe, is in severe crisis. Their perfect society is disintegrating. The elite spirit Thomas More (the author of Utopia) from 1535 Old Earth time. More’s time on Astrobe resembles a dream-like series of encounters with witches, hydras, mechanical killers, and bizarre aliens. And that’s always been my problem with Lafferty’s work. In small doses, Lafferty’s wackiness can amuse. But in excess, the extreme surrealism can prove tiresome. The Past Master was nominated for a Nebula and a Hugo, but won neither. If you’re in the mood for something very “different,” check out Past Master.