“Under the Scab,” the seventh episode in The Kaslo Chronicles, is now available for a free read at Lightspeed Magazine. Here’s the intro blurb:
As a new age of magic dawns amid the ruins of the former technological civilization on Novo Bantry, wizard’s henchman Erm Kaslo is on the trail of the horde of multi-legged creatures that carried off the survivors who had taken shelter at the castle of his employer, the wizard Diomedo Obron. The tracks lead to an interplanar portal into the Seventh Plane. Kaslo has no idea what awaits him there, but knows that he must go through.
My books have been attracting a few more reviews on Amazon lately. To those who have posted them, I greatly appreciate the kind words and, sometimes, interesting perspectives and insights . If anyone would like to add to their number — and they don’t have to five stars — I’d be grateful for the encouragement.
All in all, I had a pretty good time at WorldCon in London last week. I didn’t get invited onto any panels – not even the one about Canadian sf – but I got to see some old friends.
Gordon Van Gelder and I had a beer together, I exchanged a few pleasant words with George R.R. Martin, and went to dinner with the legendary Brian Aldiss (courtesy of Pete and Nicky Crowther).
I had two delightful encounters: multi-award-winning author Michael Swanwick came over to the PS Publishing table when I was signing books, to tell me I was an excellent writer; and I got to meet mega-critic John Clute and give him a copy of the Luff Imbry collection.
We also launched, unofficially, Of Whimsies and Noubles, the third and long delayed Luff Imbry novella from PS Publishing. The unsigned limited edition is now out and available. The signed edition will come later, once I receive the signature pages, sign them, and send them back. Next year, there will also be an omnibus edition of all three novellas, to which I will contribute a new, original Imbry story.
I arrived back in France to find a box full of signature sheets for a Subterranean Press limited edition of Rogues, the bestselling George Martin/Gardner Dozois cross-genre anthology.
Between bouts of wearing out my hand signing my scrawl of a signature, I finished the last episode of The Kaslo Chronicles, a serialized novel that Lightspeed Magazine has been running. Down the road, once the last episode has appeared in the magazine, I’ll tidy up the narrative and self-publish it as an ebook and POD paperback.
I’m now about 2,500 words into another Raffalon novelette, but in this one the lead character is Cascor the former provostman turned magic-wielding private eye. As I usually do with a detective story, I started with the character encountering an unusual situation that triggers an investigation – but I have no idea who the bad guy is or how things are going to work out. Still, piece by piece, the guy in the back of my head feeds me scenes and insights, and I write 500 to 1,000 words a day. By the end of the tale, it all pretty well hangs together. I am very grateful to that part of me that actually creates the work.
I’m a member of SF Canada, the association for Canadian sff professionals, and I’ve contributed a story to a new SF Canada feature: free online fiction by our members. I’ve supplied the first story – “Not A Problem” – which was written, tongue firmly in cheek, for the global-warming-theme anthology, Welcome to the Greenhouse, edited by Gordon Van Gelder.
My archetypal thief, Raffalon, gets another workout in the upcoming September/October issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The novelette, “Avianca’s Bezel,” is also the inspiration for the cover illustration.
Lois Tilton has already reviewed the issue for Locus, and likes the story (although she got the title wrong). She says, “Hughes is always a lot of fun. The series here is happily one that requires no backgrounding in the previous episodes for readers to enjoy fully. Plots and complications, as always, pile up satisfactorily…”