Space Opera / Western by the author of The Golden Age trilogy.
Hundreds of years in the future, after the collapse of the Western world, young Menelaus Illation Montrose grows up in what was once Texas as a gunslinging duelist for hire. But Montrose is also a mathematical genius — and a romantic who dreams of a future in which humanity rises from the ashes to take its place among the stars.
The chance to help usher in that future comes when Montrose is recruited for a manned interstellar mission to investigate an artifact of alien origin. Known as the Monument, the artifact is inscribed with data so complex, only a posthuman mind can decipher it. So Montrose does the unthinkable: he injects himself with a dangerous biochemical drug designed to boost his already formidable intellect to superhuman intelligence. It drives him mad.
Nearly two centuries later, his sanity restored, Montrose is awakened from cryo-suspension with no memory of his posthuman actions, to find Earth transformed in strange and disturbing ways, and learns that the Monument still carries a secret he must decode — one that will define humanity’s true future in the universe.
“R.A. Lafferty meets A.E. Van Vogt in a cakewalk through a future full of anti-matter, alien artifacts, transhumans, an Iron Ghost, a Texas gunfighter, and a Space Princess. Well worth the price of admission." — Michael Flynn