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About Matthew Hughes
I'm Matthew Hughes.
I write space opera science fiction and fantasy mostly set in my extrapolation of Jack Vance’s Dying Earth. I make no bones about being heavily influenced by Vance, whose work I first encountered as a thirteen-year-old in the early 1960s.
Booklist has called me Vance’s “heir apparent” and George R.R. Martin says I “do Jack Vance better than anyone except Jack himself.” I am very proud to have been authorized by the Vance estate to write BARBARIANS OF THE BEYOND, a companion novel to the DEMON PRINCES series.
I’m Canadian, a university drop-out from a working-poor background. I’ve sold twenty-four novels to publishers large and small in the UK, US, and Canada, as well as nearly 100 works of short fiction to professional markets.
I've won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award and the Endeavour, and have been shortlisted for the Aurora, Locus, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Endeavour (twice), A.E. Van Vogt, Neffy, and Derringer Awards.
In 2007, I took up a secondary occupation -- that of an unpaid housesitter -- so that I can afford to keep on writing fiction yet still eat every day. These days, any snail-mail address of mine must be considered temporary; but you can send me an e-mail via the address on my web page: www.matthewhughes.org. I'm always interested to hear from people who've read my work.
I also have a Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4687520
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A thrilling collection of twenty-one original stories by an all-star list of contributors—including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin!
If you’re a fan of fiction that is more than just black and white, this latest story collection from #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. And George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of Ice and Fire.
Follow along with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Cherie Priest, Garth Nix, and Connie Willis, as well as other masters of literary sleight-of-hand, in this rogues gallery of stories that will plunder your heart—and yet leave you all the richer for it.
Featuring all-new stories by
Joe Abercrombie • Daniel Abraham • David W. Ball • Paul Cornell • Bradley Denton • Phyllis Eisenstein • Gillian Flynn • Neil Gaiman • Matthew Hughes • Joe R. Lansdale • Scott Lynch • Garth Nix • Cherie Priest • Patrick Rothfuss • Steven Saylor • Michael Swanwick • Lisa Tuttle • Carrie Vaughn • Walter Jon Williams • Connie Willis
And an Introduction by George R. R. Martin!
Praise for Rogues
“Not a single bad story in the bunch . . . The table of contents alone will make fans from all genre aisles salivate.”—Library Journal
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, Editor, Science Fiction Book Club
On the Paladins of Vance label, Spatterlight publishes original works by authors who have given their own imagination free rein in the many wonderful worlds of the Grandmaster of fantasy & sci-fi.
Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné, Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a storytelling sensation, a cornerstone of fantasy fiction—and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own outsize tales of magic and swashbuckling adventure.
Now, in The Book of Swords, acclaimed editor and bestselling author Gardner Dozois presents an all-new anthology of original epic tales by a stellar cast of award-winning modern masters—many of them set in their authors’ best-loved worlds. Join today’s finest tellers of fantastic tales, including George R. R. Martin, K. J. Parker, Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch, Ken Liu, C. J. Cherryh, Daniel Abraham, Lavie Tidhar, Ellen Kushner, and more on action-packed journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid derring-do, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.
FEATURING SIXTEEN ALL-NEW STORIES:
“The Best Man Wins” by K. J. Parker
“Her Father’s Sword” by Robin Hobb
“The Hidden Girl” by Ken Liu
“The Sword of Destiny” by Matthew Hughes
“‘I Am a Handsome Man,’ Said Apollo Crow” by Kate Elliott
“The Triumph of Virtue” by Walter Jon Williams
“The Mocking Tower” by Daniel Abraham
“Hrunting” by C. J. Cherryh
“A Long, Cold Trail” by Garth Nix
“When I Was a Highwayman” by Ellen Kushner
“The Smoke of Gold Is Glory” by Scott Lynch
“The Colgrid Conundrum” by Rich Larson
“The King’s Evil” by Elizabeth Bear
“Waterfalling” by Lavie Tidhar
“The Sword Tyraste” by Cecelia Holland
“The Sons of the Dragon” by George R. R. Martin
And an introduction by Gardner Dozois
“When fine writer and expert editor [Gardner] Dozois beckons, authors deliver—and this surely will be one of the year’s essential anthologies.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In an age of wizards and walled cities, Raffalon is a journeyman member of the Ancient and Honorable Guild of Purloiners and Purveyors. In other words, a thief.
His skills allow him to scale walls, tickle locks, defeat magical wards. He lifts treasures and trinkets, and spends the proceeds on ale and sausages in taverns where a wise thief sits with his back to the wall.
But somehow things often go the way they shouldn’t and then Raffalon has to rely upon his wits and a well calibrated sense of daring.
Here are nine tales that take our enterprising thief into the Underworld and Overworld, and pit him against prideful thaumaturges, grasping magnates, crooked guild masters, ghosts, spies, ogres, and a talented amateur assassin.
Includes “Inn of the Seven Blessings,” from the bestselling anthology, ROGUES, and “Sternutative Sortilege,” which appears only in this collection.
Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars. Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Heinlein’s Red Planet. These and so many more inspired generations of readers with a sense that science fiction’s greatest wonders did not necessarily lie far in the future or light-years across the galaxy but were to be found right now on a nearby world tantalizingly similar to our own—a red planet that burned like an ember in our night sky . . . and in our imaginations.
This new anthology of fifteen all-original science fiction stories, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, celebrates the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do. Before the advent of powerful telescopes and space probes, our solar system could be imagined as teeming with strange life-forms and ancient civilizations—by no means always friendly to the dominant species of Earth. And of all the planets orbiting that G-class star we call the Sun, none was so steeped in an aura of romantic decadence, thrilling mystery, and gung-ho adventure as Mars.
Join such seminal contributors as Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, Joe R. Lansdale, S. M. Stirling, Mary Rosenblum, Ian McDonald, Liz Williams, James S. A. Corey, and others in this brilliant retro anthology that turns its back on the cold, all-but-airless Mars of the Mariner probes and instead embraces an older, more welcoming, more exotic Mars: a planet of ancient canals cutting through red deserts studded with the ruined cities of dying races.
FEATURING ALL-NEW STORIES BY
James S. A. Corey • Phyllis Eisenstein • Matthew Hughes • Joe R. Lansdale • David D. Levine • Ian McDonald • Michael Moorcock • Mike Resnick • Chris Roberson • Mary Rosenblum • Melinda Snodgrass • Allen M. Steele • S. M. Stirling • Howard Waldrop • Liz Williams
And an Introduction by George R. R. Martin!
Praise for Old Mars
“Strong, fun and evocative.”—Tordotcom
“A fantastic anthology . . . Pulp magic lives in these pages.”—Bookhound
This collection brings together seven short stories and novelettes previously published in Postscripts, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and the anthology Forbidden Planets, plus two novellas formerly only available in limited editions. It offers Luff Imbry in all his moods and guises.
When mild-mannered Chesney Arnstruther accidentally summons a demon and causes Hell to go on strike, he doesn’t expect to wind up as what he had always dreamed of being: the Actionary, a costumed crimefighter with a weasel-headed fiend for a sidekick.
But that’s just the beginning of a journey that will see the “high-functioning” autistic actuary enmeshed in the schemes of a greedy televangelist, romancing a pepper-spray-wielding manicurist, and sitting down to a poker game with the Devil where the stakes include his immortal soul.
File Under: Fantasy [ Expletives Deleted | Up Up And Away | Writer Of Life | No Demons ]
Foppish young Filidor Vesh wants only to dally among his shallow pastimes. But a simple errand for his uncle, the vaguely all-powerful Archon of those parts of Old Earth still populated by human beings, becomes a frenetic odyssey across a planet speckled with eccentric nations pursuing odd aims with intense determination.
Harried at every step by the irascible dwarf, Gaskarth, and frequently at the peril of wild beasts, enraged mobs and a particularly nasty thaumaturge, Filidor makes a relucant progress toward a final encounter with an ancient and possibly world-ending evil.
The Bahrain Underground Bazaar – Nadia Afifi
La Regina Ratto – Nick Dichario
How to Burn Down the Hinterlands – Lyndsie Manusos
The Glooms – Matthew Hughes
A Tale of Two Witches – Albert E. Cowdrey
A Civilized and Orderly Zombie Apocalypse per School Regulations – Sarina Dorie
The Homestake Project – Cylin Busby
On Vapor, Which the Night Condenses – Gregor Hartmann
The Silent Partner – Theodore McCombs
Skipping Stones in the Dark – Amman Sabet
Least Weird Thing of All – Beth Cato
Mended – Mary Soon Lee
Space Isn't Like the Vids – Beth Cato
Books to Look For – Charles de Lint
Musing on Books – Michelle West
Films: Three Degrees of Shirley Jackson – David J. Skal
Science: Is Math Real? – Jerry Oltion
Competition #100 –
Coming Attractions –
Index to Volumes 138 & 139 –
Curiosities – Paul Di Filippo
Mark Heath, Kendra Allenby, Bill Long.
David A. Hardy for "Skipping Stones in the Dark"
From pulp adventures such as Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Carson of Venus to classic short stories such as Ray Bradbury’s “The Long Rain” to visionary novels such as C. S. Lewis’s Perelandra, the planet Venus has loomed almost as large in the imaginations of science fiction writers as Earth’s next-nearest neighbor, Mars. But while the Red Planet conjured up in Golden Age science fiction stories was a place of vast deserts and ruined cities, bright blue Venus was its polar opposite: a steamy, swampy jungle world with strange creatures lurking amidst the dripping vegetation. Alas, just as the last century’s space probes exploded our dreams of Mars, so, too, did they shatter our romantic visions of Venus, revealing, instead of a lush paradise, a hellish world inimical to all life.
But don’t despair! This new anthology of sixteen original stories by some of science fiction’s best writers—edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois—turns back the clock to that more innocent time, before the hard-won knowledge of science vanquished the infinite possibilities of the imagination.
Join our cast of award-winning contributors—including Elizabeth Bear, David Brin, Joe Haldeman, Gwyneth Jones, Mike Resnick, Eleanor Arnason, Allen M. Steele, and more—as we travel back in time to a planet that never was but should have been: a young, rain-drenched world of fabulous monsters and seductive mysteries.
FEATURING ALL-NEW STORIES BY
Eleanor Arnason • Elizabeth Bear • David Brin • Tobias S. Buckell • Michael Cassutt • Joe Haldeman • Matthew Hughes • Gwyneth Jones • Joe R. Lansdale • Stephen Leigh • Paul McAuley • Ian McDonald • Garth Nix • Mike Resnick • Allen M. Steele • Lavie Tidhar
And an Introduction by Gardner Dozois
Henghis Hapthorn is the foremost penetrator of mysteries and uncoverer of secrets in a decadent, far-future Old Earth, one age before Jack Vance's Dying Earth. A superb rationalist, he has long disdained the notion that the universe has an alternative organizing principle: magic. But now a new age is dawning, overturning the very foundations of Hapthorn's existence, and he must struggle to survive in a world where all the rules are changing.
In MAJESTRUM, Hapthorn is on the trail of an unknown killer who collects body parts from his victims. The search leads him off-planet, into the Ten Thousand Worlds of The Spray, then turns in an unexpected direction as the freelance discriminator learns that an ancient and evil power is plotting to reassert its dominion over Old Earth.