Author Topic: Matt Hughes  (Read 32828 times)

Offline allybird

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Matt Hughes
« on: March 21, 2010, 11:22:05 AM »
Introducing Matt Hughes to the board. :)

'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 was born sixty years ago in Liverpool, England, but my family moved to Canada when I was five. I’ve made my living as a writer all of my adult life, first as a journalist, then as a staff speechwriter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Environment, and – from 1979 until a few years back – as a freelance corporate and political speechwriter in British Columbia. I am a former director of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and I used to belong to Mensa Canada, but these days I’m conserving my energies to write fiction.

I’m a university drop-out from a working poor background. Before getting into newspapers, I worked in a factory that made school desks, drove a grocery delivery truck, was night janitor in a GM dealership, and did a short stint as an orderly in a private mental hospital. As a teenager, I served a year as a volunteer with the Company of Young Canadians (something like VISTA in the US). I’ve been married to a very patient woman since the late 1960s, and I have three grown sons.

I have of late taken up the secondary occupation of housesitter, so that I can afford to keep on writing fiction yet still eat every day. These days, I’m in Northern Ireland but any snail-mail address of mine must be considered temporary. I’m always interested to hear from people who’ve read my work.'

http://www.archonate.com/bibliography

HESPIRA: A TALE OF HENGIS HAPTHORN




NIGHTSHADE BOOKS

Angry Robot books are publishing the following...

To Hell & Back volumes 1-3
The Damned Busters – 2 September 2010 (UK/Aus), October 2010 (US/Can)
Costume Not Included – August 2011 (UK/Aus), Sept 2011 (US/Can)
Hell to Pay – Spring 2012 (UK/Aus/US/Can)

Covers to follow....


ColinHarvey

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Re: Matt Hughes
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 05:32:50 PM »
Welcome, Matt! I've been a fan for years of your short fiction, and picked up 'Majestrum' at Worldcon. It's a great book as well.

Offline hapthorn

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Re: Matt Hughes
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 07:18:16 PM »
Thank you, Colin.

There's a slight update to my bio above.  I'm now on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, USA, writing a novella for Pete Crowther and petsitting nine standard poodles.  In June I start a three-month sit (dogs, chickens, ten sheep, two horses) near enough to Melbourne that I'll be able to attend WorldCon.  Then who knows where?

One little bit of news: my contribution to the Songs of the Dying Earth Jack Vance tribute antho, "Grolion of Almery", has been longlisted for a BFA in the novella category.

Matt

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Matt Hughes
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 07:30:04 PM »
It's a terrific story - I'll certainly be looking out for your other work.

Offline hapthorn

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Re: Matt Hughes
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 04:34:32 PM »
Thank you, Stephen.  For those who are intrested, my bibliography is at http://ww.archonate.com

Offline hapthorn

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Re: Matt Hughes
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 07:28:26 PM »
I've had a couple of warm reviews lately:

Former Science Fiction Book Club editor on Hespira:  http://antickmusings.blogspot.com/2010/03/book-day-2010-43-318-hespira-by-matthew.html

And noted SF reviewer John Ottinger III on The Spiral Labyrinth:  http://www.graspingforthewind.com/2010/03/30/book-review-the-spiral-labyrinth-by-matthew-hughes/

Matt

Offline hapthorn

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Samples
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 08:39:34 PM »
Since this is a place for self-promotion, let me draw your attention to the samples first chapters of almost all of my novels on my web page at http://www.archonate.com  Just click on the links beneath the logotype at the top.

Matt

Offline hapthorn

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A couple of reviews
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 10:09:15 PM »
My latest, Hespira, has been reviewed in both the April and May issues of Locus magazine, a first for me.

In April, critic and Jack Vance aficionado Russell Letson said:  "The voice at the center of this book is quite recognizable, a performance of the Vancean sensibility and prose style. I also found it to be the center of the book’s appeal. (There should be no complaints about basing a book’s voice on a predecessor – compare the voice of hard-boiled fiction that originates with Hammett and especially Chandler, or the Forester-out-of-Austen prose of Patrick O’Brian.) Hughes’s command of the irony, understatement, and detachment of Vancean language is unstrained (an Archonate prison is a ‘‘contemplarium’’), as is his grasp of the Vancean-ramble approach to narrative. The various puzzles are allowed to accumulate, theories are proposed and tested, and above all places are visited and savored – hotels, rustic inns, country estates, tourist overlooks, restaurants plain and fancy, ferry boats, space yachts. The puzzles are solved, their connections (or lack thereof) revealed, and a dramatic struggle finishes the whole tale in a satisfactorily gaudy manner. But the getting there is as much fun as the fireworks at the climax, which I take to be the crucial lesson that Hughes has taken from the master."

In April it was novelist Paul Witcover's turn.  He said, "[Hespira] is not so much an homage to Vance as it is an outright impersonation. Hughes channels with astonishing fidelity Vance’s elegant if cool prose, his sharp, Swiftian ironies, his picaresque plots, his delightfully droll dialogue, and his affection for heroes who are not quite as clever as they like to imagine themselves to be. I admit to loving this book because of its Vancian aspects, and I tip my hat in admiration and even awe to Hughes, who carries this off better than anyone since Michael Shea."

The first chapter's on my web page at http://www.archonate.com/hespira

Matt Hughes

Offline hapthorn

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Re: Matt Hughes
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2010, 06:23:40 PM »
Because of the change of ownership/distribution at Angry Robot Books -- see http://angryrobotbooks.com/ for details -- the release of my first book for AR, To Hell and Back:  The Damned Busters, has been set back to May 2011 in the UK and June 2011 in North America.

Matt Hughes

Offline hapthorn

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New work
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010, 10:13:22 PM »
In the next few weeks, Pete Crowther will publish Quartet and Triptych, the first of three novellas featuring one of my favourite recurring characters:  Luff Imbry, a corpulent master thief and forger in Old Earth's penultimate age.  I see Imbry as a cross between Sydney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca and Peter Ustinov in one of his darker roles. 

To stir some interest, I've put up the first 5,000 words for a free read on my website at http://www.archonate.com/qt

Matt Hughes

Offline hapthorn

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Q&T Review
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2010, 12:06:07 AM »
Here's a review of Quartet & Triptych (PS Publishing) from the SF Signal site:  http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2010/07/quartet-triptych-by-matt-hughes/

Offline hapthorn

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Another Q&T Review
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2010, 02:12:31 AM »
This one is from the BFS's own Stephen Theaker, who I hope will not mind my blowing my own horn on his borrowed trumpet:  http://theakersquarterly.blogspot.com/2010/10/quartet-and-triptych-by-matthew-hughes.html

Offline hapthorn

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Re: Matt Hughes
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 10:21:04 PM »
Here's a quote from a review of Hespira:  A Tale of Henghis Hapthorn, by Paul Di Filippo in the February Asimov's magazine:

"Hughes has effectively captured Vance’s colorfully ironic way of portraying an exotic society and its inhabitants in a few strokes, as in the elaborate dress code on one of the worlds Hapthorn visits. He also has much of Vance’s touch with witty yet highly stylized dialogue. But perhaps the most Vanceian aspect of this series is Hapthorn himself, who may share professions with Sherlock Holmes, but whose overblown ego is more reminiscent of Cugel the Clever, one of Vance’s most memorable protagonists."

For the whole review:  http://www.asimovs.com/2011_02/onbooks.shtml  (scroll down about a third of the page)

And here's an update on the release dates for the Hell and Back series of urban fantasies I'm doing for Angry Robot.  The change of ownership set everything back several months, and AR also decided to release the novels at a rate of one per year, rather than every six months.

The Damned Busters will appear in the UK on May 5, and in the US on 31 May; Costume Not Included will come out on 5 April, 2012 worldwide; and Hell To Pay will be released on 7 March, 2013 worldwide.  I'm just finishing up the ms of the second book.

Offline hapthorn

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The Damned Busters -- first review
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2011, 08:04:39 AM »
Here's a prepublication review of The Damned Busters, first in the To Hell and Back series, coming from Angry Robot in May:  http://thecelebritycafe.com/reviews/damned-busters-matthew-hughes-03-06-2011

Offline hapthorn

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Giving away free copies of The Damned Busters
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2011, 03:57:32 PM »
To promote my foray into contemporary, urban fantasy, I'm going to give away a free copy of The Damned Busters, the first in the To Hell and Back series, to the first twenty-five people who send me their address and promise to blog about the book.  There is no requirement to blog positively about it -- publicity, as Sam Goldwyn is said to have said, is good;  good publicity is better.

Send an email to himself@archonate.com with "I promise" in the subject line.  It's more binding that way.

They won't be signed copies.  They're in warehouses in the UK and the US, and I'm in Italy.  They're my author's copies, but wandering the world as a housesitter precludes accumulating stacks of books.