TITLE: One Who Disappeared
A NOVEL by David Herter
PUBLICATION DATE: December 2011
COVER ART: Vlad Verano
PRINT RUN: Unsigned
INTRODUCTION: Brian Stableford
From David Herter, whose work Kirkus Reviews called "distinctive and imaginative, moving to its own disconcerting logic," comes a poignant and masterful novel about a group of artists from the hinterland of Europe between the World Wars, who clash with the clockwork of Time.
Hollywood, 1949. Czech composer Paul Haas lives comfortably at Universal Studios with his wife and family. But he's haunted by memories of the past, of home and of friends and loved ones lost in the recent war. When a telegram arrives, hinting at answers to mysteries that trouble him, it leads Paul to Brentwood Hills and a startling revelation. Driven by what he has learned, Paul feels compelled to journey to his homeland to perform a necessary act of devotion.
Prague, Czechoslovak Republic, 1929. In his beloved homeland at the zenith of her brief democratic flourishing, Paul is drawn into the orbit of Karel Capek, author of Rossum's Universal Robots, and his brother Josef, an avant-garde artist, both blissfully unaware of the shadow of impending war.
After an encounter with a young flautist, who alone spies his secret, Paul seeks out a mysterious village where his mentor, the eccentric composer Leos J------, had snatched a melody from the air and disrupted the fabric of time. Now, in ruins far older than Christianity, Paul embarks on a temporal odyssey towards a great conflagration, where artists from his homeland, Europe and America will join to challenge the coming chaos.
With On the Overgrown Path, The Luminous Depths and now One Who Disappeared, David Herter has crafted a singular epic of time travel; a reverie on the World Wars; an explication of a near-forgotten strand of Eastern European science fiction, music, and painting and a memorable evocation of those artists who, for a brief moment, changed the heartbeat of the world.