Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

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All the Raffalon stories for 99 cents

My collection of the 9 TALES OF RAFFALON is now available at my webstore for the introductory price of 99 cents.  It comes in either mobi or epub formats.

It includes the seven stories that have run in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, plus “Inn of the Seven Blessings” that first appeared in the anthology, ROGUES, plus “Sternutative Sortilege,” an original novelette that’s only in the collection.

I’m offering it at a low price exclusively through the Archonate Bookstore in the hope of building more traffic to my webstore.  After the introductory period, I’ll raise the ebook price to my normal $3.99 and I’ll put out a POD paperback via CreateSpace for $12.99.

If you’re picking up a copy, please take a moment to sign up for my newsletter.  There’s a form at the top of the webstore page.


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Raffalon collection ready

I’ve finished putting together 9 TALES OF RAFFALON, the collection of Raffalon stories:  nine novelettes totalling 104,000 words, including “Inn of the Seven Blessings,” which first appeared in George R.R. Martin’s and Gardner Dozois’s bestselling anthology, ROGUES.

It also includes an exclusive 8,400-word story, “Sternutative Sortilege.”  To save you looking that one up, it’s divination by analyzing sneezes, or more accurately, the products thereof.

I’ve written an introduction and blurb, acquired ISBNs for the ebook and paperback versions, even bought a classified ad in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, where seven of the stories originally appeared.

I still haven’t made up my mind, but my inclination is to offer the ebook for a limited time only at 99 cents, and only through my webstore.  I sell most of my ebooks through Amazon, as could be expected, but I’d like more people to be aware that I also sell through my own web page, because any sales I make there don’t cost me a 30 per cent chunk of the proceeds to Amazon.

The ebook release should come in early May. I have to wait for my excellent book formatter and cover artist, Bradley W. Schenck, to do his magic.  Bradley, by the way, is also an about-to-be-published sff author.  His SLAVES OF THE SWITCHBOARD OF DOOM, will soon be out from Tor.

Another complication is that I’m scheduled for surgery on May 2 and have to relocate to a new housesit 400 miles north shortly thereafter.

I’ll do a paperback after the 99 cent period, probably at $12.99 and put the regular ebook price up to $3.99 when I offer it for sale on Amazon and Kobo and other places.  If this sounds mercenary, please bear in mind that I live on what I earn writing and selling these stories.  It isn’t pin money to me.  It’s groceries money.

For the collectors, it’s possible there will be a high-quality, signed, limited-edition hardcover down the road.  I’ve asked PS Publishing if they’d be interested.

Here’s the Raffalon collection blurb:


In an age of wizards and walled cities, Raffalon is a journeyman member of the Ancient and Honorable Guild of Purloiners and Purveyors.  In other words, a thief.

His skills allow him to scale walls, tickle locks, defeat magical wards.  He lifts treasures and trinkets, then spends the proceeds on ale and sausages in taverns where a wise thief sits with his back to the wall.

But somehow things often go the way they shouldn’t and then Raffalon has to rely upon his wits and a well calibrated sense of daring.

Here are nine tales that take our enterprising thief into the Underworld and Overworld, and pit him against self-serving thaumaturges, grasping magnates, crooked Guild Masters, ghosts, spies, ogres, and a talented amateur assassin.




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New Raffalon story in the works

I’m 2,700 words into a new Raffalon story, probably to be called “Sternutative Sortilege.”  It will appear only in the collection of Raffalon stories — maybe to be called The Compleat Raffalon — that I hope to have out in the next few weeks.

I think I might do something I’ve seen Edge SF Publishing do, and release it first as an ebook at a low price (99 cents?) and then follow with the paperback a month later.  Maybe I’ll even offer it at first only to people on my newsletter mailing list.

Comments welcomed.

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“Inn of the Seven Blessings” Podcast

Farfetched Fables is celebrating its 150th episode by podcasting “The Inn of the Seven Blessings,” read by Eric Luke.

“Inn” was my contribution to the New York Times bestselling anthology, ROGUES, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, and was the first story I wrote about Raffalon the thief.  It was the free read in this month’s newsletter, which went out March 1st.

The free read in April’s newsletter will be “Grolion of Almery,” from the Jack Vance tribute anthology, SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, also edited by Martin and Dozois.

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Feeling pretty skookum

So, on March 6, Gardner Dozois asked me if I could send him a 10,000-word Vancean piece about dueling wizards for his anthology, The Book of Magic because somebody had dropped out of the ToC.

On March 7, I started and on March 17 I sent in “The Friends of Masquelayne the Incomparable.”  Today, Gardner accepted it, said he liked it very much.

Normally, I would say I’m dead chuffed (the language of my youth).  But I think I’ll start saying, at times like this, that I’m feeling pretty skookum.

Back in the 1980s I was Vancouver’s first freelance speechwriting specialist. I made my bones by being the guy to call when somebody had dropped the ball in corporate communications and nobody had written the speech the CEO or Chairman of the Board was scheduled to give any day now.  I would come in, get the info, and be back within twenty-four hours with a speech that did the job.  On one occasion, my turnaround time was eight hours, and that included traveling downtown and back.

It’s nice to know I can still get it done.

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