Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

Archonate: the Fiction of Matthew Hughes

elcome to the web page of Matthew Hughes, science fiction and fantasy author. If you’re looking for Matt Hughes, the crime writer, you’re in the right place. Same goes for Hugh Matthews, who writes media tie-ins.

This web site offers excerpts, the latest news on my novel and story sales, a bio, and a complete bibliography.

You can also buy my books (in digital form or in paperback) directly from me in the Archonate Bookstore. The excerpts and posts here often also link to the books for sale elsewhere on the web; just bear in mind that when you buy direct from the author, the author gets a much larger share of the price of the book.

Posts filed under News and On Writing are open for comments (which are moderated). If you’d rather send me an email, I’m always happy to hear from people who have read my work.


If you’re an aspiring author, or an established pro, who needs a copy- or developmental editor, that’s another one of the hats I fit under. I also give evaluations of manuscripts of book-length fiction and short stories.


Praise for the Archonate and other works by Matthew Hughes


“Hapthorn's picaresque adventures, an adroit blend of SF and fantasy, pay homage both to Vance's Dying Earth fantasies and his classic Demon Princes future history... A tremendous amount of fun.”

George R. R. Martin

“Look, Matt Hughes is one of the most entertaining writers in the SF/fantasy field, now or ever -- his writing is reminiscent of Jack Vance at his lightest, P.G. Wodehouse at his least cow-creamer-focused, and Arthur Conan Doyle at his most frivolous. This is not my opinion; it's a fact.”

Andrew Wheeler

“Matthew Hughes is one of those writers whose witty, wry writing style is as enjoyable as the story he's writing about. His Archonate universe is a wonderfully compelling far future that mixes fantasy and science fiction.”

John DeNardo, for Kirkus Reviews

“Hughes has effectively captured Vance’s colorfully ironic way of portraying an exotic society and its inhabitants in a few strokes, as in the elaborate dress code on one of the worlds Hapthorn visits. He also has much of Vance’s touch with witty yet highly stylized dialogue. But perhaps the most Vanceian aspect of this series is Hapthorn himself, who may share professions with Sherlock Holmes, but whose overblown ego is more reminiscent of Cugel the Clever, one of Vance’s most memorable protagonists.”

Paul DiFillipo, in Asimov's Science Fiction


Featured Post:

New collection coming

I’m putting together a collection of my non-Archonate (with one exception) science-fiction and fantasy stories.  Most of them have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction or Asimov’s Science Fiction over the past eleven or twelve years, but some have only been published in bespoke anthologies.

Two such are:

“Grolion of Almery,” my shot at a Cugel the Clever tale that ran in the Jack Vance tribute antho, Songs of the Dying Earth; and

“The Ugly Duckling,” an attempt to create a “lost chapter” of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, that was published in Old Mars, the retro anthology that, like Songs, was co-edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin.

There are 16 tales in all, adding up to some 94,000 words, including the only sf story I’ve ever written that I didn’t sell.  “Ant Lion” is a 500-word flash-fiction piece that I sent out a couple of times but got no sale.  It would probably be easier to place if I expanded the concept into a full-length story, but I like it just the way it is.

The exception to the non-Archonate rule is the collected tales of Liw Osfeo, my faux-Sufi sage whose abstruse adventures were recorded in a book-within-a-book that was part of my first Archonate novel, Fools Errant.

I’ve asked the mucho-talented Bradley W. Schenck to do me a cover.  Bradley, whose first sf novel (Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom) will be published by Tor, is like me a devotee of good old science fiction.  He’s also kind to the elderly, which is why he manages my web page and formats my books for me.

The collection will be titled Devil or Angel: Old Style Science Fiction and Fantasy.  It should be available on Amazon and my webstore as an ebook and POD paperback at a friendly introductory price in the next few weeks.

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