Plucked from time, Sir Thomas More arrives on the human colony of Astrobe in the year 2535 A.D., where there is trouble in utopia- can he and his motley followers save this golden world from the Programmed Persons, and the soulless perfection they have engineered? The survival of faith itself is at stake in this thrilling, uncategorizable, wildly inventive first novel--but the adventure is more than one of ideas. As astonishingly as Philip K. Dick and other visionaries of the 1960s new wave, Lafferty turns the conventions of space-opera science fiction upside-down and inside-out. Here are fractured allegories, tales-within-tales, twinkle-in-the-eye surprises, fantastic byways, and alien subjectivities that take one's breath away. Neil Gaiman has described Lafferty "a genius, an oddball, a madman"; Gene Wolfe calls him "our most original writer." Past Master, long-hailed by insiders and now presented in authoritative form, with an introduction by Andrew Ferguson and unpublished omitted passages included in the notes, deserves to perplex and delight a wider audience.