I’ve just checked the copy edit of Epiphanies, the fourth Luff Imbry novella that will be published by PS Publishing in two limited editions in April. I believe Ben Baldwin will do the cover art, as he has for the others. He does very fine work.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve relocated from a housesit near Cassino, Italy, to a new one in Tipperary, Ireland. The weather’s not of the best, but it will be a relief not to have to stumble on in my rudimentary Italian whenever I go out. Now I can have conversations in supermarket check-out lines and not be struggling to work my way around gaps in my vocabulary.
A bonus: the Irish have exactly the same sense of humor I do, me having been born in Liverpool as a typical Scouser mongrel. A Liverpool joke: why do they put fences around graveyards? Because people are dying to get in.
Or this one: They say money talks, but the only thing it ever said to me was “Bye, bye!” It’s funnier if you smile and wave.
Speaking of good jokes, after I got set up in the new sit, I had an odd impulse to write a near-future what-if story set in America and Canada of 2017, after Donald Trump becomes president. I finished the draft yesterday — 7,300 words. And what does Trump do: blows his lead in Iowa. Thanks a lot, Donny boy. Was it so much to ask?
I’m going to wait to see if he wins in New Hampshire; if he does, I’ll send the story out quickly, before it can turn into a pumpkin.
I’ve applied to be the Vancouver Public Library’s 2016 Writer in Residence, from August through November. If I get it, I’ll need to find somewhere to live, if anyone has a spare room to rent.
A dedicated Canadian sff fan by the name of Richard Graeme Cameron is looking to start up a new online science fiction and fantasy zine to be called Polar Boreal. It will feature reprints from established pros and original stories from newcomers, but only from Canadians. And it will only pay a penny a word, which these days is less than seven tenths of a US penny and less than half a British one.
It will be free to readers, however, and if it works as Cameron intends, it will offer plenty of starting-out Canadian sff writers a chance to make their first sale.
That being so, I’ve kicked in to his crowd-funding campaign, because where would we be without dreamers. Anyone else who feels inclined to do so can go here: https://www.gofundme.com/jwj3dzgc
Nice to start the year off with a good review. At SF Revu, Sam Tomaino reviews “Telltale,” the new Raffalon story in the January February issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction: “. . . another delightful tale from Hughes.”
And never too late, here’s a blogger’s review of “Bye the Rules,” a Guth Bandar tale that ran in the December 2006 edition of F&SF. It gets an “excellent/vg” rating, which allows me to remind people that all the Guth Bandar stories are collected in The Compleat Guth Bandar available wherever ebooks and POD paperbacks are sold, including this very website.
I’ve sold another Raffalon novelette to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. “Genius” is a long one — 14,000 words — and features Cascor the discriminator-cum-budding thaumaturge. It’s about politics, graft, and old crimes coming to light. It should run in 2016 and when I know which issue it will appear in, I’ll post the info here.
This is my twenty-eighth sale to F&SF and the first since new editor Charlie Finlay took over. “Genius” will probably be my next-to-last Raffalon/Cascor tale. Added to the others, it makes a total of 91,000 words, enough for a collection. When the magazine’s six-months after publication exclusivity period ends, I’ll write a new one that will only appear in the collection and self-publish it as a $3.99 ebook and $12.99 POD paperback.
Down the road, I may put Cascor and Raffalon into a novel but for the moment I’m happy with them just being episodic characters.
In the meantime, between drafts of the historical novel, I’m 7,500 words into a novelette to submit to Gardner Dozois’s invitation-only anthology, The Book of Swords. Just as I originally created Raffalon for the George R.R. Martin/Gardner Dozois theme antho, Rogues, I’ve made myself a new roguish picaresque character called Baldemar (the name may change).
I’m in London right now, having finished a three-week housesit in a little village outside Banbury. Tomorrow it’s back to Italy to wind up the sit there. Then we’ll load up the Vauxhall station wagon and drive to Cherbourg to catch a ferry to Ireland, where we’re looking after a house-with-cats in Tipperary through to the end of April.
In May, it’s back to the US west coast, sitting at a country acreage on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s the same place where we tended nine standard poodles (in the house, not kennels!) back in 2010, but there will be no dogs this time — although there may be some horses to shovel for.
Happy New Year to everybody.
Posted by Matthew Hughes on Thursday, December 31st, 2015 at 9:54 am and filed under News.
That Kickstarter-funded ebook anthology from the people at SFFWorld.com has come into existence. It’s called Ecotones: Ecological Stories from the Border Between Fantasy and Science Fiction.
On the Table of Contents are Ken Liu, Lauren Beukes, and Tobias S. Buckell, and I contributed the comic relief effort, “Not a Problem,” that first saw light in Gordon Van Gelder’s theme antho on global warming, Welcome to the Greenhouse.