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.
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’sImaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, I’ll be sharing the table of contents with no less a star than Margaret Atwood.
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.
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: http://www.geeky-guide.com/2015/06/books-damned-busters-to-hell-and-back.html
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.