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Messages - rhysaurus

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1
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: May 22, 2018, 11:56:21 am »
My new book has just been published and this one is a little different from all the others, even though all the others are already rather different from each other. It is different because it's a collection of experimental OuLiPo fictions. I have talked about OuLiPo many times over the past thirty years. It is a type of writing that is still relatively unknown in the English writing world.

My book contains a selection of OuLiPo works that are divided into categories. In the first section, there are stories in which I applied simple arithmetical rules to the creation of the texts. These are stories that consist of x sections, each section with x paragraphs, each paragraph having x sentences, each sentence made up of x words. The value of  'x' increases from one to seven, therefore the lengths of the texts rapidly increases too. The texts are individual pieces, yet they also work together to create a sum greater than the parts.

The second section features stories with a much more complex structure. OuLiPo is about the application of logical constraints that must be adhered to strictly in order to stimulate the imagination and push the creative impulse in unexpected directions. There are many official logical constraints and in the past I have applied several of these to various tales. But I also wanted to invent my own constraint and thus I devised one that I call "greater or equal to 2n plus one" because it consists of story grids that can be read coherently across each row, down every column and along the main diagonals, but it is also possible that other unplanned stories exist on other diagonals or in meandering courses through the grids. Some of the more advanced grids are asymmetrical and present even greater opportunities for readings paths.

The third section is a logico-erotic story in which the workings of progressively more intricate logic gates control the action of the sexual partners who are the objects of the study. I wanted to combine two seemingly irreconcilable functions, namely sensuality and logic. The boolean algebra that determines the outcome of each encounter therefore acquires a physicality that is surely quite new and unexpected.



My book can be ordered directly from the publisher (Eibonvale Press) or from Amazon and other online bookshops.

2
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: March 10, 2018, 12:44:55 pm »
This just arrived for me in the mail. It's a new magazine that seeks to recreate the ambience of the American pulp SF and Weird mags of the 1930s. Issue #2 here includes my novelette 'Swallowing the Amazon' which is an adventure with dinosaurs set in Africa.

The next issue will be themed around 'body snatching'.



It's available on Amazon and elsewhere. The publisher, Tom English, has produced some great books in his time!

3
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: November 27, 2017, 04:16:33 pm »
Yule Do Nicely has just been published.

This book has been assembled in order to celebrate the festive season. It includes work from the span of the past quarter century. The first twenty-four tales form a weird advent calendar from December 1st to 24th. Then it is Christmas Day and time for the stocking and the twenty-eight little strange tales inside it. Merry Xmas!



This book is available as paperback and as an ebook from Amazon and elsewhere. It is priced very low. £2.99 for the print edition and 99p for the ebook. This is as it should be at this time of year...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1976234832/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511525719&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=yule+do+nciely

I have added the title to the blog where I keep track of all my published books to date, where there is also information about the contents of each volume. This blog is called Aardvark Caesar and goes right back to my first published book, Worming the Harpy, more than twenty years ago.
http://aardvarkcaesar.blogspot.co.uk/

Thanks for listening!

4
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: November 21, 2017, 03:35:29 pm »
I am delighted to announce publication of my latest book, World Muses, a collection of linked fictions that are about inspirational women from eighty different countries and cultures.

Although it might be described as a story collection, in fact I regard it as more akin to an unorthodox novel. Indeed I personally see it as similar to Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, but with women instead of cities.

And yet let's not misunderstand the purpose of my book. It is a celebration of diversity and difference rather than an array of libidinous exploits: each chapter (or story) generally features the woman as the victor, the active force, as well as the catalyst.



There is a limited edition deluxe hardback. There is also a paperback version and an ebook edition.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Muses-Rhys-Hughes/dp/1979367906/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1511270911&sr=8-2

Thanks for listening!

5
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: August 25, 2017, 11:44:41 am »
Lots of talk about Lovecraft in the air at the moment, so....

I have written many Lovecraft-inspired stories in my time. Most of them have a strong whimsical or ironic element and a few are downright parodies. Two of them, 'The Bicycle Centaur' and 'How Gangrene was my Sally', appeared in the recent Cthulhu Cymraeg anthologies. I am currently planning a new one called 'The Whisperer in Darkness Bangs his Head on an Unseen Projection' and I am also toying with the idea of writing another called 'The People of Colour Out of Space'.

The parodist and whimsical experimenter contributes to the genre of the weird by taking the hidden logical absurdities that are already in the structures of the texts of the key authors and playing with them to reveal them for what they are, and then extrapolating from them to produce a wild flight of fancy. The ideal is to simultaneously push the form forward and make much mischief with it. One of my older Lovecraft-inspired experiments that appeared in one of my collections many years ago is available to be read online here:

A Languid Elagabalus of the Tombs
http://www.tartaruspress.com/assets/languid.pdf

Parodies are not disrespectful. What is disrespectful is to ignore an author and take no inspiration from that author. Parodies are indicative simply of a playful nature.


6
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: July 28, 2017, 01:33:52 pm »
Absolutely! And an elaborate and highly original can be like a seed that controls the growth of the story, so it can help an author be more imaginative and inventive and unusual during the writing process, because when an author is free to write anything at all the reflex is to fall back on low-level patterns and cliches.

7
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: July 28, 2017, 10:51:17 am »
Thanks Geoff!

Titles are really important to me. I want them to be like really short poems or one sentence stories, lyrical and enigmatic. I wrote a blog piece a while ago about this, which probably sounds more self-important than it is supposed to be... Also many of the titles on this particular list have actually been turned into stories in the past seven years.

But anyway, here it is:

http://postmodernmariner.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/brief-list-of-titles-for-unwritten.html?m=0

...and thanks again! :-)

8
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: July 27, 2017, 01:50:40 pm »
My new book has just been published, courtesy of Storm Constantine of Immanion Press. It is a collection of my fantastical love stories, 22 tales in total that were written over a period of 15 years. Two of the stories are novellas and one is a novelette, so the total wordage of the collection is just over 100,000 words.



The style of these stories is mostly what one might term 'magic realist' and I am happy with this definition, despite the vagueness of the term and the fact that not all the stories in the book are quite that way. They were inspired by real feelings and people, moods, circumstances, dreams and daydreams, music from tropical lands, writers such as Amado, Couto, Vian and Calvino (always Calvino) and a curious yearning for a different kind of life, and generally speaking they highlight my urge to break free from the narrative restrictions of the conventionally told anglophone story, whether it be mainstream or genre.

I feel that with this book I have reached a milestone on the admittedly lonely path of my writing career. I am not especially successful financially. It has been a struggle. But this book exists. I feel that something important has been validated...

The book is available at amazon and other online stores, and the magnificent Des Lewis has already begun one of his real time reviews of the stories within.

Thanks for listening!

9
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: July 13, 2017, 03:38:26 pm »
I am delighted to report that my new novel has been published by Snuggly Books and is available both as a regular paperback and a very limited hardback. It can be obtained directly from the publisher or from Amazon or many other online stores, and possibly in some real bookstores too (I don't know which ones yet, but maybe the legendary City Lights in San Francisco. The publisher mentioned that there was a chance that bookshop would stock copies).



My novel is a fantastical comedy set in Wales, and it is also a tribute to the writer Richard Brautigan whose Trout Fishing in America enthused me and taught me an approach to fiction that struck me as -- if not exactly new -- then differently accentuated, and it is an approach that appealed enormously to me. I wanted to write a book similar to his. Cloud Farming is my Trout Fishing. That's the idea anyway! The blurb I prepared for the novel runs as follows:

“In Wales it never stops raining. Or almost never. When it does stop raining from the sky, it rains from hearts instead. Indoors as well as outdoors, the people huddle in the endless drenchings, and over time they have evolved into aquatic creatures who only look and behave like men and women but aren’t really. There is a clue in the name of the country. Wales is a nation with no spot of dry land within its borders. Wales is an Atlantis that never stayed under but is just as wet. Crammed with mythical beings and happenings, Cloud Farming in Wales palpitates, germinates and extrapolates, but never evaporates, and the sodden heroes that wade and slosh through the mighty puddles of its pages are generally in search of a canoe."

The excellent Des Lewis has already completed one of his 'real time' reviews of this novel and it can be found by clicking on this link. I am extremely delighted with the way the book has turned out!

10
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: May 04, 2017, 05:56:04 pm »
My new novel Cloud Farming in Wales is coming out soon. As well as the paperback there will be a limited hardback edition, limited in fact to only 60 copies, and this will be available to be ordered separately within the next few weeks.



In the meantime, both the paperback and limited edition hardback can be pre-ordered as part of a Snuggly Books Bundle:
http://www.snugglybooks.co.uk/special-offers/
There are two bundle offers, because all the books available as bundles come in the two different editions. More information will be posted here in the coming weeks...

11
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: February 08, 2017, 03:13:45 pm »
My 40th book has just been published. The Seashell Contract is a collection of 22 stories, all previously unpublished and written in the past two years. All proceeds from this book will go to The Mariposa Trust, a charity that supports families who have lost babies.

 The book is available from Amazon in both print and ebook editions. It might well be available elsewhere too. The stories are varied in theme, tone and scope. They are mostly speculative fiction pieces, some comedic, others less so, mainly fantastical and quirky.



I have a lot of writing news and many projects are coming to fruition, but I especially want to promote this book because of the charity aspect.

Thanks for listening!

12
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: June 04, 2016, 01:17:53 pm »
Twenty years ago I wrote a short novel called Elusive Plato in which I attempted to be vastly more ambitious, thematically, stylistically and metaphysically, than I had been in any of my previous work. It was my effort to move up a level and I believe I was successful. It still seems like a quantum jump.

The novel was published together with a novelette in a single volume by the long-dead Tanjen Ltd a couple of years after it was completed. Tanjen were a small press notable for publishing early work by two writers who would go on to become major successes with the big publishing houses -- Tim Lebbon and Neal Asher -- but they didn't last long before they folded. That's often the way with small presses.



Elusive Plato received excellent reviews. The late great critic and literary pundit E.F. Bleiler was especially effusive with his praise in his Encyclopedia of Supernatural Writers. He claimed it was my best work. And so it surely was. I worked hard to put original invention into it and yet at the same time to connect with some deep and mysterious, undoubtedly atavistic, parts of the human psyche.

A picaresque, like much of my fiction, the novel resembles a grotesque chess problem in which the pieces are taboos and each move leads to a situation of changed landscapes and circumstances that require further moves towards the inevitable checkmate. The mating of the king is more than symbolic. It is a geometrically precise nightmare.

I am delighted to announced that two decades after it was first conceived and executed, Elusive Plato has been republished by Bizarro Pulp Press. I feel that the Bizarro scene is a perfect home for this book. I offer my thanks to Vincenzo Bilof, my editor. The cover is by the brilliant designer Matthew Revert. The book is available from Amazon and other outlets...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Elusive-Plato-Rhys-Hughes/dp/1945373016

Thanks for listening!

13
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: September 01, 2015, 01:07:03 pm »
The longest single author short-story collection in publishing history is now available as an ebook!



In fact it is available as two ebooks, because it comes in two different editions, male and female, that differ in 10% of their contents. This is a trick that I picked up from Milorad Pavić, whose Dictionary of the Khazars also comes in male and female editions.

People keep asking me how I selected the variant stories for the two editions. The fact of the matter is that there is no rhyme or reason to the selection. I am not trying to make a point about differing male and female tastes in fiction. Quite the contrary! The differences are surely there but also insignificant.

As incredible as it sounds, there may actually be a print version next year. A publisher who has already issued a couple of my books is interested in bringing out a strictly limited multi-volume edition. It remains to be seen how practical this venture will turn out to be...

In the meantime here is the collection for the Kindle. THE MILLION WORD STORYBOOK features exactly 365 stories, one every day for an entire year. If you follow the link and click on 'Look Inside' you can read a sample for free. The book is so long that the sample, which is a certain percentage of the digital book, already contains 54 stories.

Links to purchase this ebook can be found below...

AMAZON US -- FEMALE EDITION http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013I3D3P4?ref_=pe_870760_118561140
AMAZON US -- MALE EDITION http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013I3ZSFC?ref_=pe_870760_118561140

AMAZON UK -- FEMALE EDITION http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013I3D3P4?%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0
AMAZON UK -- MALE EDITION http://www.amazon.co.uk/Million-Word-Storybook-Male-ebook/dp/B013I3ZSFC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1441107903&sr=1-1&keywords=million+word+storybook+male

This collection contains approximately one third of my total fiction output over the past 25 years. The stories are presented in chronological order of their composition. The earliest dates from 1990 and the latest dates from this year 2015 and in fact is one of my most recently completed tales. As I plan to write 1000 stories in my working life, this collection will contain one quarter of my entire output ever!

I believe that this is a major literary event. Well, at the very least, it is a major personal event for myself and for the writer that I am and have been all my life...

14
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: February 05, 2015, 10:55:26 am »


I am absolutely delighted to announce the publication of my new book! ORPHEUS ON THE UNDERGROUND from Tartarus Press is a collection of weird phantasmagorical stories that has been wonderfully illustrated by the genius artist Chris Harrendence and is dedicated to my lovely and magical muse, Amira Ana Smyth.

http://www.tartaruspress.com/orpheus.htm

It exists right now and is available to be purchased from the publisher. And soon it will be available from other places... It has been more than twelve years since I was last published by Tartarus Press. They always create a truly impressive product, books that are beautiful art objects, and it is a privilege as well as a pleasure to be published by such a fine publishing house.

It is also available as an ebook...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Orpheus-Underground-Other-Stories-Hughes-ebook/dp/B00RQAUKCK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422791388&sr=1-1&keywords=orpheus+on+the+underground

Thanks for listening!

15
Ask the Authors and Artists! / Re: Rhys Hughes
« on: December 11, 2014, 12:37:20 pm »
I have just heard from Hippocampus Press in the USA that my new book of stories has gone to the printers. They were also good enough to show me the full cover of my collection. Here it is...



I had to fill in a 'promotion form' for this book which included a brief summary of what it's about. I wrote, "A collection of weird stories that often develop in an unusual manner from an original premise. The stories are part of the grand tradition of the ‘weird story’ but they seek to be rather different from most stories of this type. My hope is that these stories simultaneously will be a part of the tradition of the weird story but also help to push the definition forward a little."

Hippocampus Press are really going places, so it is a privilege and an honour for me to be added to their list of authors! Here is a link to the relevant page on their website:

http://www.hippocampuspress.com/mythos-and-other-authors/fiction/bone-idle-in-the-charnel-house-by-rhys-hughes

The editor of my book was S.T. Joshi

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