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:

Jack Vance YouTube Channel

Before he died, Jack Vance and his son, John, set up a webstore to sell Jack’s backlist. I was pleased to be asked to write some blurbs for the titles, some of which are favorites of mine from way back when.

More recently, John, together with Koen Vyverman, created a Jack Vance YouTube channel. Gradually, they are producing individual YT videos a minute or so long, to stimulate interest among the vast and fortunate throng who have never read Vance – I call them fortunate, because I envy them the experience of discovery.

The individual shorts feature artwork and music chosen by Koen and a blurb narrated by John. I’ve been writing quite a few of the texts – I’ve been told I have a knack for such wordsmithery, which is not surprising because I wrote PR materials of all sorts for forty years. More recently, John asked me if I would not only write but narrate the words I’d written. I said sure, and now I’ve done a dozen or so, with more to come.

The first of them promotes Mazirian the Magician, Jack’s preferred title for his seminal work originally released under the publisher’s choice of title: The Dying Earth. If you’re interested in hearing my oddly inflected mid-Atlantic accent trying to stimulate the world to read a Jack Vance classic, tune in here:

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