Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

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Fools Errant and Fool Me Twice in paperback

I should have done this back when I started offering print-on-demand paperbacks through Amazon’s CreateSpace subsidiary, but better late than never: my first two fantasy novels, Fools Errant and Fool Me Twice, are now available as POD paperbacks, for $12.99 each, from the CreateSpace store:

Fools Errant

Fool Me Twice

Together, they’re the coming-of-age story of Filidor Vesh, apprentice Archon, who later became a pretty good Archon in his own right and had dealings with Henghis Hapthorn and took an interest in the doings of Luff Imbry.

Fools Errant was written when I was less than half the age I am today and hadn’t yet learned not to go over the top.  Fool Me Twice is a more mature book but still a farce.  But people read them and like them, so who am I to argue?

These editions have been designed and formatted by the exceptionally able Bradley W. Schenck, Hero of the Archonate (he has the medal), and upcoming Tor author.


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Krunzle in your ear

I don’t have much to post about here lately because I’m generally beavering  away on my historical novel — 146,000 words now and should have the first draft done in a week or so.  But I had an email from James Sutter, my editor at Paizo, to tell me that Song of the Serpent will be out as an Amazon Audible audio book in January.

That gives me an opportunity to mention the book to those of you who have started coming by since its release in May 2012.  You won’t find it listed under my usual fantasy-author name, Matthew Hughes, because it was a media tie-in.  That means it was a for-hire job where I was hired to write a novel set in somebody else’s trademarked universe.   I write those kinds of books under the pen name Hugh Matthews.

The universe in this instance was that of the Pathfinder role-playing game, which has created a world called Golarion.  Paizo Books publisher Erik Mona, a major Jack Vance fan who reprinted my stand-alone Vancean space opera, Template, asked me if I could do a Cugel the Clever-type story set in Golarion for their Pathfinder Tales imprint.  I said, I’d be delighted, and out came Song of the Serpent.

I’m mentioning all of this because there might be amongst you some people who say to themselves, “Gosh, I wish Hughes would write a Cugel the Clever novel.”

Well, I have.  The character is called Krunzle the Quick.  Like Cugel, he’s a thief.  He makes the mistake of trying to  rob a plutocrat whose goods are guarded by a magician and finds himself sent on a life-threatening quest he can’t quit because the mage put a semi-sentient bronze snake around his neck, and it will choke him if he departs from the assignment.

Of course, there’s more to it than that.  The story has levels, and the deeper Krunzle delves into those levels the more desperate the situation becomes.  Oh, and it also has an exceptional young troll named Skanderbrog, who now has his own action figure in the Pathfinder store.

Here’s a link to Amazon for the title.  And, by the way, I don’t get anything from sales of the book beyond the initial writing fee.  I just thought fans of Vance’s and mine might enjoy it.

If you’d like a free sample, I did a short story as a prequel that was published on the web.  It’s called “Krunzle the Quick,” and you can find links to all five segments on the Pathfinder wiki.

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Where I’ll be next year

From late January through the end of April, I’ll be housesitting in Tipperary, Ireland.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?  Of course, it will actually be during the tail end of a North Atlantic winter, but the Guinness will be good.

Starting in mid-May, I’ll be in Washington State until December, just a ferry ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Vancouver Island.  I’ll be able to observe the American election at close range and I can run for the border if civil war breaks out.

Since I’ll be close to BC, I’ll visit family and friends.  I’ll also attend the Creative Ink Festival, a writers conference, in Burnaby (where I went to high school) May 6th through 8th.  I’ve give a presentation, probably on story mechanics, and do some blue pencil cafe sessions.

And, god help me, I will attend the 50-year class reunion of Burnaby South High School’s class of 66.  The only reason I attended BSHS that year was because I was thrown out of Burnaby Central for unacceptable behavior, but I actually do remember some of the people I went to school with.

In August, I’ll be at WorldCon in Kansas City, if the aforementioned civil war hasn’t broken out yet.  If you’re going and you’ve got books you’d like signed, bring then along.

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Goodreads Giveaway of Template

I’m doing another giveaway through Goodreads:  a paperback of Template: A Novel of the Archonate.  It’s my most Vancean novel, a space-opera about an Oliver Twistish fellow who travels the galaxy trying to unravel the secret of his birth — while some rather nasty people have other plans for him.

The widget should take you to the Goodreads Giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Template by Matthew Hughes


by Matthew Hughes

Giveaway ends September 22, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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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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