Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

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James Nicoll’s review of Devil or Angel

The indefatigable James Nicoll has reviewed Devil or Angel and Other Stories in his usual comprehensive way, with a summation and a pertinent comment on each story.  And this general recommendation:  “You generally cannot go wrong picking up Hughes’s books and this is no exception.”

He confirms my hope that knowledgeable readers will recognize these sixteen non-Archonate (except one) pieces as stories that might have appeared in Galaxy or Astounding fifty years ago.

And he delights me by saying one of my stories might have been penned by William Tenn or Fredric Brown.

I acknowledge an old debt to James because I believe that, as a winnowing first reader for the Science Fiction Book Club, he would have been the one to recommend my first Archonate novel, Fools Errant, to Andy Wheeler, the club’s editor.  The novel and its sequel were reprinted as an SFBC omnibus, Gullible’s Travels and gave me to believe that I was well launched on an sf writer’s career.

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Goodreads Giveaway: Devil or Angel & Other Stories

I’m trying something new in the way of promotion: using Goodreads’s Giveaway feature to draw attention to my backlist collection of non-Archonate short stories, Devil or Angel and Other Stories. I’m giving away one free copy of the paperback edition.

The promotion will run until August 16. To enter, click on the widget:


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Devil or Angel and Other Stories by Matthew Hughes

Devil or Angel and Other Stories

by Matthew Hughes

Giveaway ends August 16, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Devil or Angel and Other Stories launches

Devil or Angel & Other StoriesDevil or Angel & Other Stories

I’ve launched Devil or Angel and Other Stories, a collection of my non-Archonate short sf and fantasy stories as an ebook on Amazon and Kobo and as a POD paperback on Amazon’s CreateSpace. They should start appearing on Amazon and CreateSpace in the next several hours. Kobo takes a little longer.

Both versions will soon appear in the Archonate Bookstore. The ebooks will sell for $3.99 US and the paperback for $12.99. If you want to hold off buying the paperback, I’m going to offer it as a giveaway on Goodreads.

Here’s the blurb:

From the award-winning author of Majestrum, Template, and The Other, this collection of short stories ranges from the thoughtful to the whimsical. Most of them appeared first in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and Asimov’s. Others were written for bespoke anthologies, including Songs of the Dying Earth, Old Mars, and Welcome to the Greenhouse; one is published here for the first time.

John Joseph Adams and Gardner Dozois were kind enough to give me some cover quotes.

“Matthew Hughes writes contemporary science fiction and fantasy with a classic sensibility–driven by adventure and thrills, and chock full of sense of wonder.” — John Joseph Adams, Series Editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy

“If you like vivid adventure science fiction and fantasy, of the sort written by Jack Vance, Poul Anderson, and Roger Zelazny, you’ll like Matthew Hughes too.” — Gardner Dozois

All three of the names Gardner mentions were authors I read avidly as a teenager and in my twenties. To be mentioned in the same breath as Vance, Anderson, and Zelazny – let me tell you, that’s something.

I have dedicated the book to Bradley W. Schenck, soon to be a Tor author (watch for his Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom), who manages my web page and does an excellent job of designing my books.

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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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Final Kaslo episode a free read

“The Blood of a Dragon,” the final episode of The Kaslo Chronicles, the science-fantasy novel I’ve been serializing in Lightspeed Magazine, is now available for a free read.

Coincidentally, I’m polishing up the full text of all eleven episodes to turn them into a novel that will be published by PS Publishing in limited editions, probably next year (I don’t have a pub date yet).

All of the previous episodes of the serial are archived on the Lightspeed site.  As well, they’ve been turned into podcasts by Skyboat Media, read by J. Paul Boehmer.

There’s also an author spotlight interview with me that accompanies the episode.  I’ve enjoyed those interviews because the questions have been well thought out and relevant to the story and the writing process.

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