The name I answer to is Matt Hughes. I write fantasy and suspense fiction. To keep the two genres separate, I now use my full name, Matthew Hughes, for fantasy, and the shorter form for the crime stuff. I also write media tie-ins as Hugh Matthews.
completed a fourth draft of Barbarians of
the Beyond, the authorized sequel to Jack Vance’s The Demon Princes, and have sent it off to John Vance at
Spatterlight Press for his perusal.
Just to be
clear, this is not the further adventures of Kirth Gersen, after his enemies “deserted”
him. It does take place mostly on the
world Providence, where the community once known as Mount Pleasant has been
reoccupied by a mild-manner cult from one of the worlds of the Rigel Concourse.
protagonist is a young woman whose parents were enslaved by the Demon Princes
and ended up deep in the Beyond, in the household of a notorious pirate. She escapes and comes to Providence on a
mission to recover a precious object with which she hopes to buy her parents’
as they do, things get complicated. The
book is intended to appeal both to Vance aficionados and to my own fans, two
categories that overlap in any Venn diagram.
proud of it, and grateful to John Vance for the opportunity to dig in his
I’ve finished a 15,000-word novelette, “The Forlorn,” and
submitted it to The Magazine of Fantasy
& Science Fiction. It’s the
start of a projected series of novelettes about Cascor, a discriminator
(private eye) of the Dying Earth milieu, who began life as a supporting character
in three of the adventures of Raffalon the thief.
That clears the decks, so tomorrow I return to work on Barbarians of the Beyond, the authorized
sequel to Jack Vance’s iconic quintilogy, The
Demon Princes, to be published by Spatterlight Press, run by Jack’s son,
John. John has given me some good notes
on the earlier draft. I expect to have a
polished draft to turn in sometime next month.
Some years ago, Gardner Dozois asked me for a novelette for the anthology Rogues, that he was putting together with George R.R. Martin. I dreamed up a thief in the Dying Earth and named him Raffalon, riffing on the archetypal gentleman thief, Raffles. I later wrote eight more stories about my competent but generally unlucky ladrone and sold them to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, before self-publishing them all as a collection.
Now the coincidence:
it turns out that raffalon is an actual word, albeit medieval Old High German. It’s a verb and it means “to seize or snatch.”
What the Wind Brings,
my magnum opus, the book I waited forty years to write, is a finalist for the
The award is given to “a distinguished science fiction or
fantasy book, either a novel or a single-author collection, created by a writer
living in the Pacific Northwest.” The
2020 judges are Michael Capobianco, John G. Hemry, and Rosemary Claire Smith.