Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

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A writer’s life

As you may know, in order to live on a modern midlist writer’s income, I’ve long since become a homeless drifter – i.e., a full-time housesitter.

But the pandemic has thinned out the number of available sits and now climate change is weighing in.  I was about to start a sit near the British Columbia town of Vernon tomorrow, and was planning to drive up from Vancouver Island, where I’ve been staying with my recently retired niece.

But the atmospheric river that has been drowning the west coast of North America the past few days has flooded or washed out sections of all three highways – including the TransCanada – between here and the Interior.

So the Vernon sit evaporated, and I’m looking for new gigs here in BC, where I am committed to remaining so that I have free health care (ah, civilization!) until the bug is fully controlled.

A writer’s life.  It’s not for pussies.

The good news is that I can soon announce the sale of my first YA novella to a Canadian small press.  Just waiting for the contract.

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SFWA’s “Magic and Mayhem” StoryBundle launches

The professional association of science fiction and fantasy authors of America (SFWA) has launched a new StoryBundle – Magic and Mayhem – offering fourteen carefully chosen fantasy novels (one of them mine), that span the sub-genres of fantasy while showcasing magic-induced mayhem, from the hilarious to the horrible and everything in between.

If you haven’t encountered StoryBundle before, it’s a cool way to snag a passel of great genre reading at a bargain price.  And you’ll almost certainly discover some authors new to you that you’ll want to read more of.

The basic deal is US$5 for FOUR NOVELS in any ebook format you like, to read on your laptop, tablet, e-reader, or smartphone.

But wait, there’s more!  Boost your spending to $15 and you get TEN MORE books.  That’s FOURTEEN full-length novels for basically a buck a book.  Each title in the Magic and Mayhem bundle has been curated by SFWA’s pros out of a slew of books that came in after a call for submissions.

Some of the titles they particularly liked:

• Darkmage  ML Spencer’s award-winning debut novel filled with epic battles, flawed heroes, and a brutal struggle

• Playing with Fire – R.J. Blain’s snarky romantic comedy with a body count, featuring a fire-breathing unicorn on a mission of destruction

• Phaethon – Rachel Sharp’s tech fantasy that weaves computer hackers, faeries, and corporate greed into a twisted tale

• Ragnarok Unwound – Kristin Jacques’s story of a young woman tangled up in a prophecy that sets her off to save the world with the help of a brownie, a Valkyrie, and the goddess of death herself

• Cutie and the Beast – E.J. Russell’s novel pairing a former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court with a cheeky yet adorable human temp worker, as they prove, once again, that when fae consort with humans, it never ends well

•And my own 9 Tales of Raffalon – Matthew Hughes’s intriguing mosaic novel combining nine stories of an enterprising thief as he grapples with crooked guild masters, ghosts, spies, ogres, and a talented amateur assassin

All the books are DRM-free.  You can email them to your friends.  And you can give Magic and Mayhem as a gift to that guy who’s always asking you, “What’s so great about fantasy?”

And you’ll be doing some good, supporting indie authors like me, plus part of the proceeds will go to the good works SFWA does, like helping out writers in need of health care and other worthwhile causes.

Good deeds and good reading.  What more can you ask for?

It’s a limited time offer, so better not wait to check it out:

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Monthly newsletter out today

Just sent out my monthly newsletter, with news about Barbarians of the Beyond and a free read of a Luff Imbry novelette.

If you’re not on the mailing list, here’s a link:

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Barbarians on Apple Books

Yesterday, I announced that Barbarians of the Beyond, the authorized companion novel to Jack Vance’s Demon Princes series, has become available as an ebook, for the reasonable price of US$6.99 on Amazon and Kobo.

Now it’s also available on Apple Books:

I can also reveal that an audio book producer is in negotiations with Spatterlight Press to produce an audio edition.  They’re also talking about turning the five Demon Princes books into something you can listen to on your phone.

More news as it develops.

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Barbarians of the Beyond out as ebook

Barbarians of the Beyond, the authorized companion novel to Jack Vance’s Demon Princes series, is now available as an ebook, for the reasonable price of US$5.99.

Here’s the back-cover blurb:

Twenty years ago, five master criminals known as the Demon Princes raided Mount Pleasant to enslave thousands of inhabitants in the lawless Beyond. Now Morwen Sabine, a daughter of captives, has escaped her cruel master and returns to Mount Pleasant to recover the hidden treasure she hopes will buy her parents’ freedom.

But Mount Pleasant has changed. Morwen must cope with mystic cultists, murderous drug-smugglers, undercover “weasels” of the Interplanetary Police Coordinating Company, and the henchmen of the vicious pirate lord who owns her parents and wants Morwen returned. So he can kill her slowly…

Barbarians of the Beyond is a return to “Jack Vance Space” and space-opera derring-do that follows in the science fiction Grandmaster’s footsteps.

“I really enjoyed Barbarians of the Beyond. Matthew Hughes does Jack Vance better than anyone except Jack himself.”  George R. R. Martin

“Lock the door, turn off the phone, get into a comfy chair, and deep-dive into a marvelous continuation of Jack Vance’s Demon Princes series. Matthew Hughes is a treasure and Barbarians of the Beyond is a terrific adventure.” David Gerrold

“Matthew Hughes follows nimbly in Jack Vance’s footprints, then breaks some fresh trail. First-class space opera.”  Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids

“Engaging and enchanting…a fine companion adventure to Jack Vance’s The Demon Princes series, told with Matthew Hughes’s excellent sense of charm, ethical complexity and exotic worldbuilding. Let’s hope this is just the beginning!”  Kurt Busiek

Barbarians of the Beyond is just plain old-fashioned space opera fun with a relatable heroine who is sometimes fallible, rather than some Shaolin Temple kung fu megamaster. I enjoyed it a lot.”  Glen Cook

“…a tale that captures that special ‘golden age’ feel in which mankind has travelled far into the stars yet still behaves as though it’s the Wild West.”  David White, RNR Magazine

“Deeply enjoyable and entirely delivers on its promise.”  Andrew Wheeler, Science Fiction Book Club

Here are links to Amazon and Kobo.  Apple Books takes a little longer.

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