Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

Matthew Hughes

The name I answer to is Matt Hughes. I write fantasy and suspense fiction. To keep the two genres separate, I now use my full name, Matthew Hughes, for fantasy, and the shorter form for the crime stuff. I also write media tie-ins as Hugh Matthews.

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Posts by Matthew Hughes

118k and Pausing

I’ve passed 118,000 words on the historical novel and I’m still happy with the shape of it.  But I’ll be putting it aside because fellow Canadian sff author Edward Willett is about to send me the manuscript of Cave Beneath the Sea, the fourth volume in the YA fantasy series The Shards of Excalibur.   So I’ll be an editor for a while.  The book is due out in September.

In other news, “The Inn of the Seven Blessings,” my contribution to the George R.R. Martin/Gardner Dozois-edited cross-genre anthology Rogues (NYTimes bestseller and winner of the Locus Award for best antho), will be reprinted in Chizine Press’s Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing,   I’ll be sharing the table of contents with no less a star than Margaret Atwood.

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I’m a Tor author again (sort of)

I was googling around, looking for new reviews of old stuff (found a good one of my story in the cross-genre antho Rogues), when I found one of my alter egos, the media tie-in author Hugh Matthews, listed on the Tor site.  Unbeknownst to me, Tor has taken over publication of Paizo Press’s line of fantasy adventures set in the role-playing game world of Pathfinder.

My contribution to that line was Song of the Serpent, featuring a Cugel the Clever clone named Krunzle the Quick.  It has dwarves, wizards, and a promising young troll named Skanderbrog, of whom I was quite fond.  But I can’t say it burned up the track, sales-wise.  Maybe coming under the Tor aegis will help.  They’re republishing the existing line in trade paperback format, and some people really like those things.

It will also be out as a Kindle for the first time, releasing in the middle of August.

As for that Rogues review, it was at the Fantasy Book Review blog and the reviewer, Joe Warren, singled out my story, “The Inn of the Seven Blessings,” which introduced Raffalon the thief to the world, for special mention:  “I particularly enjoyed The Inn of the Seven Blessings by Matthew Hughes. This short story was witty, original and punchy.”

I also noticed a couple of nice new Amazon customer reviews for Majestrum and Template.  I always encourage readers to put in those Amazon notices, at least if you’ve bought the book from Amazon.  Apart from gladdening the author’s heart, they do help sell books.

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I’m in Italy

I’m starting a new housesit that will run at least until December in a little hillside village in the Apennines, about midway between Rome and Naples.  A very old-fashioned Italian house, more or less dug into the hill, overlooking an intermontane plateau of olive trees and farm fields.  It’s the birthplace of Thomas Aquinas.

It took us three days to drive down from Brittany, in heat that touched 40 degrees C at times, and with no air-conditioning in the car.  And people think authors have a soft life.  Well, of course we do, but we can still pretend to hardship.

Back on the internet, I’ve found blogged reviews of the first two volumes of my urban fantasy series, To Hell and Back.  The blogger is Rocky Sunico, who describes himself as a gay Filipino geek who picked up the trilogy months ago and got around to it only lately.  Which is fine; I’d sooner be read later than never.

The reviews are positive and comprehensive.  If you’ve been looking at the series on Amazon and wondering if you’d like it, I think Rocky’s take on it will tell you whether or not it will delight you.  If you ask me, of course, I’ll swear that you’ll love it, and you ought to get extra copies for your friends and colleagues.  I’m told they make excellent Christmas and birthday gifts.  Besides, it would be nice to see the trilogy earn out its advance.

Links to the reviews:

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Free read: “Not a Problem”

A few years back, Gordon Van Gelder was putting together an anthology of bespoke stories about global warming.  He called it Welcome to the Greenhouse, a title reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut’s famous short story, “Welcome to the Monkey House.”

He asked me for a story.  I realized, and still do, that global warming is a big problem.  I’ve been anticipating it since the 1960s when J.G. Ballard published The Drowned World.  So I tried to come up with something grim and gritty, but nothing good came to mind.  The only idea I’d had was something a little goofy that did sort address the issue that the kind of thinking that gets you into a problem is probably not the kind that will get you out.

Then Gordon emailed me to ask how I was doing and I told him I was only coming up with goofy stuff, at which point I understood from his reply that comic relief was what he was expecting me to deliver.  So I wrote the story and sent it in.

It’s called “Not a Problem,” and it’s now available for a free read on the SF Canada site.  When you’ve finished reading it, you might stick around the site and get to know some of Canada’s up and coming new sff authors.

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“Myrmelon” review and interview

There’s a nice review of my latest F&SF story “Curse of the Myrmelon” over at SF Revu.  Sam Tomaino calls it, a “fun detective story. Another delightful tale from Hughes.”

Meanwhile, I’ve done an interview about the genesis of the story and what people call “the writing process” with Stephen Mazur for the F&SF blog.

Tomorrow, I start the long drive from Brittany to my new housesit in central Italy. So I may not post anything for a while.

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