They packed the punch of an atomic explosion

[DAW edition]Fontana editionPan edition

Winner of the Japanese SEIUN Award, 1984

Doubleday hb, 1976 [this edition is abridged]
DAW, 1976 [this edition is abridged] cover art by H.R. Van Dongen
Bruna, 1978 (Netherlands) as "De klederen van Cajan".
Fontana, 1979 [restores the full text] cover art by Tony Roberts
Cosmo, 1980 (Italy) as "Le vesti di Caen"
Hayakawa, 1984 (Japan)
Pan, 1989, omnibus edition with THE PILLARS OF ETERNITY, cover art by Chris Moore

In Caean, clothes weren't just for wearing - they were a whole philosophy of life. In the Ziode Cluster, though, things were different - Caeanic clothes were forbidden, their powers unrecognised, their scope unfulfilled.

But when Peter Forbarth looted a wrecked Caeanic freighter and found the ultimate garment - the legendary Frachonard suit - he'd discovered something of unimaginable potential.

For clothes didn't just make a man - they WERE the man! And Peder's new suit took him over, changed his character and set him off on a wild and spectacular odyssey across the galaxy.

But what had it done to the man inside ?

The Key to Power

Back on Old Earth there was a saying that clothes make the man. But on the world called Caean this became literally true. On that colonized planet there was a material called Prossim. If your body was in contact with Prossim your personality changed. You became handsome, you had vast charisma, you had total self-confidence - you were always the power center of every enterprise.

So throughout the inhabited galaxy clothing from Caean was the sure key to success and men would kill to get such a suit. Peder Forbarth was such a man, prepared to turn space pirate to get his hands on some. But instead he found that - at the risk of worlds - the very secret of Prossim cloth itself was about to open before his eyes...

Barrington Bayley's unusual novel is taut, suspense-filled science fiction adventure entirely different from any you may have ever read!

"Fluent, singular and wonderfully funny." - William Gibson

"Bayley has produced an ostentatiously ingenious affectation, a literary party trick. I found myself closing the book with an appreciative chuckle." - Frederick Patten

"[Bayley] is Britain's great under-sung pulp philosopher." - Interzone

"The best of the traditional SF elements with the best of the new." - Michael Moorcock

"Absurd and magnificent,The Garments of Caean is Bayley at the peak of his considerable powers." - Rhys Hughes

[read Brian Stableford's review of the novel]

Barrington Bayley: "In THE GARMENTS OF CAEAN I was attempting to emulate Jack Vance."