Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

Archonate: the Fiction of Matthew Hughes

elcome to the web page of Matthew Hughes, science fiction and fantasy author. If you’re looking for Matt Hughes, the crime writer, you’re in the right place. Same goes for Hugh Matthews, who writes media tie-ins.

This web site offers excerpts, the latest news on my novel and story sales, a bio, and a complete bibliography.

You can also buy my books (in digital form or in paperback) directly from me in the Archonate Bookstore. The excerpts and posts here often also link to the books for sale elsewhere on the web; just bear in mind that when you buy direct from the author, the author gets a much larger share of the price of the book.

Posts filed under News and On Writing are open for comments (which are moderated). If you’d rather send me an email, I’m always happy to hear from people who have read my work.


If you’re an aspiring author, or an established pro, who needs a copy- or developmental editor, that’s another one of the hats I fit under. I also give evaluations of manuscripts of book-length fiction and short stories.


Praise for the Archonate and other works by Matthew Hughes


“Hapthorn's picaresque adventures, an adroit blend of SF and fantasy, pay homage both to Vance's Dying Earth fantasies and his classic Demon Princes future history... A tremendous amount of fun.”

George R. R. Martin

“Look, Matt Hughes is one of the most entertaining writers in the SF/fantasy field, now or ever -- his writing is reminiscent of Jack Vance at his lightest, P.G. Wodehouse at his least cow-creamer-focused, and Arthur Conan Doyle at his most frivolous. This is not my opinion; it's a fact.”

Andrew Wheeler

“Matthew Hughes is one of those writers whose witty, wry writing style is as enjoyable as the story he's writing about. His Archonate universe is a wonderfully compelling far future that mixes fantasy and science fiction.”

John DeNardo, for Kirkus Reviews

“Hughes has effectively captured Vance’s colorfully ironic way of portraying an exotic society and its inhabitants in a few strokes, as in the elaborate dress code on one of the worlds Hapthorn visits. He also has much of Vance’s touch with witty yet highly stylized dialogue. But perhaps the most Vanceian aspect of this series is Hapthorn himself, who may share professions with Sherlock Holmes, but whose overblown ego is more reminiscent of Cugel the Clever, one of Vance’s most memorable protagonists.”

Paul DiFillipo, in Asimov's Science Fiction


Featured Post:

New Hapthorn novel?

In December, John Joseph Adams invited me to send him a story for the 100th issue of Lightspeed in April.  I remembered that it was John, then slush reader for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, who would have been the first person in the world to read a Henghis Hapthorn story.  He passed “Mastermindless” on to Gordon Van Gelder, who made it my first sale to F&SF.

So it seems appropriate to bring old Henghis back onto the stage.  I’ve just sent John a 10,000-word novelette, “Hapthorn’s Last Case,” which picks up his story a couple of weeks after the end of the third Hapthorn novel Hespira.  The long-dreaded change from science to magic now looms in the offing.

I hope John likes it.

As I was finishing the draft, it occurred to me that those 10,000 words could make the opening of a fourth Hapthorn novel.  That’s one of the projects Patreon may make possible if I draw enough patrons.

I’ve arbitrarily set a total of $1,000 in monthly pledges as the level at which I could afford to stop writing so many short stories for mags and anthologies and go back to mostly writing novels.  But I may lower that bar as time goes by.  I’m still feeling my way into this new kind of relationship with my readers.

If you’d like to be my patron, here’s a link.

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