Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

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Update on Barbarians of the Beyond

I’ve polished up and expanded the draft of Barbarians of the Beyond, the authorized sequel to Jack Vance’s quintilogy, The Demon Princes.  At just under 58,000 words, its length is within the range of the original five novels, which were written back in the age of short SF paperbacks.

I think it has the feel of a nice, tight, Vancean adventure tale, with some twists and turns and paying proper homage to Vance’s preference for anti-heroes. 

I’ll take another look at it in a few days, then turn it in officially.

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What’s new

On Friday, I mailed out 38 signed trade paperback books and 14 “Friend of Filidor” medals to my Patreon patrons who pledged $10 and $15 or more monthly over the past year.  The books are a mixed bag.  I found some Majestrums and one Paizo edition of Template in storage, and ordered 20 copies of Downshift from Amazon and threw in some author’s copies of Forays of a Fat Man, last year’s omnibus of four Luff Imbry novellas.

I’m grateful to all my patrons for their continuing support.  The contributions have allowed me to get a great deal of writing done over the past year:  Baldemar novelettes for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction;  a 55,000-word sequel to Jack Vance’s The Demon Princes;  most of A God in Chains (Edge SF and Fantasy Publishing);  and 22,000 words started on The Do-Gooder, a sequel to my suspense novel, One More Kill.

I’m relocating to France now for a housesit, followed by a short one in Bucharest.  By the end of May, I expect to be back in British Columbia.  In France, I plan to finish the Vance sequel, tentatively titled Barbarians of the Beyond.  I’ve asked F&SF editor if he’d be interested in a new series set in the Dying Earth, built around the character of Cascor the discriminator, and if the answer is positive, I’ll start the first of those.

 In the summer, I’ll do more work on The Do-Gooder, and I may start researching another historical novel, perhaps with some fantasy elements.

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What the Wind Brings a “notable book”

My big historical/magical realism novel, What the Wind Brings, has made the list of “new and notable books” in Locus magazine.


While we’re on the subject of Locus, the highly regarded trade publication of the science fiction, fantasy, and horror industry, I’ve seen an advance copy of a review of WTWB by the eminent critic Russell Letson that will run in the March issue. It’s a full-page review and it’s a corker. I’m hoping that the review, along with the new and notable certification, will prompt booksellers and librarians to put in some orders.

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And now a hiatus

I’ve polished Barbarians of the Beyond to a semi-gloss, but now I have to prepare to relocated from British Columbia to a new housesit in France, followed by another in Bucharest. In the meantime, I’ve sent the second draft to John Vance, to make sure we’re both on the same page as to the story I’ve set in Vance space. If so, I’ll finish it up in March and turn it in.

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First draft finished

On Friday, I finished the draft of Barbarians of the Beyond (working title for the authorized sequel to The Demon Princes), at 54.5K words.  Now I’m going through the printed-out manuscript, adding and changing to make the story more cohesive.  Also, in the earlier chapters, the characters are mere sketches, so I need to add to and refine their doings and sayings to make them consistent with how they turn out.

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