Matthew Hughes's Blog

September 20, 2016

Yesterday I received the signature sheets for the 100-copy signed limited edition of A Wizard's Henchman . These are pages that will be bound into the front of the limited, each with my signature and a number from 1 to 100.

I signed them and had them back in the hands of FedEx that afternoon. By Wednesday evening (September 21) they'll arrive at PS Publishing's Yorkshire premises from where they can go to the bindery and get bound into the books.

So those who have ordered the limited edition can start counting the days. Shouldn't be too long.

The book has already had its first review on Amazon.com (five stars -- thanks, Karl). Here's a gentle reminder that reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and other venues help sell books. They don't have to be five stars; in fact, a book that earns a range of reader reactions tends to be more trusted by a reader who hasn't tried the author before. Too many authors enlist friends and family to plug their works.

Also, a couple of readers have posted questions about the book on Goodreads, and I've been happy to answer them. Anybody who has any questions about any of my works is welcome to use the Goodreads site to get in touch, and I'll answer as soon as I can.
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Published on September 20, 2016 11:45 • 9 views • Tags: a-wizard-s-henchman, archonate, erm-kaslo, matthew-hughes, ps-publishing, ten-thousand-worlds

August 31, 2016

With the release of A Wizard's Henchman, I'm trying something new to broaden my readership. Using Amazon's giveaway program, I've provided seven copies of the Kindle ebook as prizes.

An apology to my readers in Canada, the UK, and the antipodes, but Amazon will only allow the contest to be open to US residents, To enter to win a copy of the novel, all you have to do is go here and click on the button that says you will follow my Amazon author's page.

The promotion runs for the next nine days and the winners will be randomly selected by Amazon's computers.

Good luck!
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Published on August 31, 2016 12:30 • 28 views • Tags: a-wizard-s-henchman, archonate, erm-kaslo, matthew-hughes, ps-publishing, ten-thousand-worlds

August 30, 2016

My new Archonate novel, A Wizard’s Henchman, is now available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon. The US price is $5.99 ($7.79 Canadian) and £4.56 in the UK.

 

A-Wizards-Henchman-cover

 

Here’s the blurb:

Erm Kaslo is at the top of his game: a hardboiled confidential operative in the ultra-high-tech civilization of The Ten Thousand Worlds that spans the entire galactic arm known as The Spray. But the universe is about to arbitrarily change its fundamental operating premise from science to magic. Technology will cease to function and all of Kaslo’s hard-won skills and abilities will be useless.

As the change nears, a handful of would-be wizards are jockeying for position in the coming race for supremacy, squabbling over the few ancient books and paraphernalia that survive from the long-forgotten age when magic last ruled the cosmos. Kaslo goes to work for Diomedo Obron, a wealthy dilettante with more money than common sense who hopes to emerge as a powerful thaumaturge.

But there’s worse to come: an ancient evil has been biding its time for millennia, waiting for the age of science to end. Now, its moment finally arrived, it reaches out from another plane to strike with deadly force. And only Kaslo can stop it—if he can live long enough.

 

And here’s the opening chapter:
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Published on August 30, 2016 13:47 • 31 views • Tags: a-wizard-s-henchman, archonate, erm-kaslo, matthew-hughes, ps-publishing, ten-thousand-worlds

August 24, 2016

I’ve had an email from Charlie Finlay, editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, to tell me that my Raffalon story, “The Vindicator,” will run in the November/December issue.
This is will be the last Raffalon story to appear in F&SF. When the exclusivity period runs out in the middle of 2017, I’ll put them all together in a collection and put it out as an ebook and POD paperback.

The collection will include the seven stories that have run in the magazine, plus “The Inn of the Seven Blessings,” the original Raffalon story that appeared in the George R.R. Martin anthology, Rogues. And I’ll write a ninth story to appear exclusively in the collection.

While I’m talking about F&SF, Amazon is offering an amazing discount on an annual subscription to the ebook version. If I’m reading it right, the price is US$5 for six big double issues – which is 83 cents an issue. Five bucks for 450,000 words of fiction, plus columns, cartoons, reviews, feature articles, and some interesting classified ads – that’s the best bargain in SFF today.

Here’s a link:
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Published on August 24, 2016 12:41 • 27 views • Tags: matthew-hughes, raffalon, the-vindicator

August 22, 2016

I'd forgotten about it -- my memory is about as strong as your average kids treehouse -- but when Song of the Serpent was coming out, Paizo asked me to promote the book by writing a prequel short story, "Krunzle the Quick," which was published online in briefly weekly episodes.

Anyone who's interested can read it free at http://paizo.com/pathfinder/tales/ser...

Just click on (show post) in the upper right corner.

The story is also available as a 99-cent ebook from the Paizo store: http://paizo.com/products/btpy8tce/di...

Here's the ebook cover:



 
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Published on August 22, 2016 15:49 • 18 views • Tags: hugh-matthews, krunzle-the-quick, matthew-hughes, paizo, pathfinder, skanderbrog, song-of-the-serpent
For the past little while I’ve been working with a very talented voice artist named Bob Gonzalez who has been converting some of my novels into audio books through a packager named Listen2abook. He’s already done my somewhat-comic suspense novel, Downshift, and it’s available on Amazon and other platforms.

In the next couple of weeks, the audio-book sequel to Downshift, Old Growth, will be on sale. I’ve got the ebook and POD paperback editions of OG ready to go, and I’ll time them to coincide with the audio-book release.

Bob’s next project will be my sff short-story collection, Devil or Angel and Other Stories. More on that as time goes by.

But, just as I’ve put up text excerpts of my novels as free-read teasers, we’re going to do the same with audio samples of the Listen2abook editions.

So as of today a free-to-listen sample of Downshift is on my excerpts page. If you listen to it, you’ll get a sense of what it was like to be me as a scrabbling freelance writer on Vancouver Island in the late 1980s, with some adjustment for hyperbole – I didn’t have all that much to do with mafia-financed real estate developments.
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Published on August 22, 2016 13:45 • 22 views • Tags: downshift, matt-hughes, matthew-hughes, mystery, sid-rafferty

August 20, 2016

While I’m waiting to be able to announce that the trade and ebook editions of A Wizard’s Henchman are available for order . . .

Back in 2008 at World Fantasy Convention in Calgary, I was in the bar when Erik Mona, publisher of Paizo Books, told me he was a great Jack Vance fan and that he liked my work. He asked me if I had a book for him. As it turned out, I was looking for a publisher for Template, my stand-alone Archonate space opera that had been brought out as limited collector’s editions by PS Publishing.

I sent it to him and he brought it out as part of the series, Planet Stories, which (like Template) were decidedly retro science fiction.

Later, Erik told me that he also published novels set in the Pathfinder RPG universe’s world of Golarion, and asked me if I would be interested in doing one. He also said he would really like it if I would do a Cugel the Clever story. I love the Cugel stories and said I’d be delighted.

So we made a deal and I wrote a novel originally called Out of the Blue that was retitled Song of the Serpent before publication in 2012. It told the tale of a thief named Krunzle the Quick who, like Cugel, is fast on his feet – he has to be because, again like Cugel, he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. Caught trying to rob a plutocrat, he ends up with a magical bronze snake around his neck that chokes him when he tries to deviate from a mission to bring back the rich man’s errant daughter. There are also dwarves, half-orcs, a pack of ne’er do wells running a gold-mining camp with slave labor, and a rather promising young troll named Skanderbrog. The more I wrote about Skanderbrog, the better I got to like him.

Song of the Serpent has not been the most successful of the Pathfinder novel series. I haven’t read any of the others, but I gather that a not very likeable Vancean anti-hero kind of stands out from the crowd. And not in a good way: a lot of head-scratching and two-star reviews on Goodreads.

But readers who are fans of both Vance’s work and mine tell me the book largely satisfies the appetite for a Cugelesque picaresque adventure. But there haven’t been as many of those readers as there might be, because the novel was published under my media tie-in pen name, Hugh Matthews. People who go looking for things I’ve written don’t usually find it.

So I thought I’d mention Song of the Serpent again so that people who might like it can give it a looking over. I don’t expect to make any money from fresh sales, since it will probably never pay out its advance. But I’d like to see Krunzle and Skanderbrog get more attention. I think they deserve it.

And if you really like my troll, Paizo produced an “action figure.”

 
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Published on August 20, 2016 17:24 • 46 views • Tags: hugh-matthews, krunzle-the-quick, matthew-hughes, paizo, pathfinder, skanderbrog, song-of-the-serpent

August 6, 2016

I've posted the first chapter of A Wizard's Henchman for a free read.

For quite a few years now, I've been imagining a far-future civilization called the Ten Thousand Worlds, which occupies an arm of the galaxy known as The Spray. The time I've been writing about is just before the universe suddenly and arbitrarily shifts from a basis of rational cause-and-effect to a new regime based on magic. When that happens, technological civilization will collapse and the age of The Dying Earth will dawn, with its grim thaumaturges, haunted ruins, and louche decadence.

Whether they live on grand old, long-settled worlds or strange little planets in odd corners, virtually none of The Spray's multitude of inhabitants knows that disaster impends. A handful do, and they are preparing for the great change.

Until now, I've written only about the handful and I've always taken the overarching story just to the point where the cataclysm is about to break upon the Ten Thousand Worlds. In A Wizard's Henchman, for the first time, I go all the way.

So the story starts out as hardboiled space opera and transmutes into dark fantasy, from a universe of intelligent space ships to a realm of dragons and demons.

I'll be interested to see how it's received.
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Published on August 06, 2016 17:26 • 22 views • Tags: a-wizard-s-henchman, archonate, erm-kaslo, matthew-hughes, ps-publishing, ten-thousand-worlds
Here's the cover for A Wizard's Henchman. It's by Ben Baldwin, who has done all the covers for my PS Publishing books and most of my self-pubbed ebooks and paperbacks. I recommend him strongly.

 

A-Wizards-Henchman-cover
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Published on August 06, 2016 12:42 • 23 views • Tags: a-wizard-s-henchman, archonate, erm-kaslo, matthew-hughes, ps-publishing, ten-thousand-worlds

August 5, 2016

A Wizard’s Henchman is now listed as a forthcoming title from PS Publishing and is available for preorder.

It’s a science-fantasy novel originally serialized in Lightspeed Magazine under the title, The Kaslo Chronicles. Here’s the blurb:

Erm Kaslo is at the top of his game: a hardboiled confidential operative in the ultra-high-tech civilization of The Ten Thousand Worlds that spans the entire galactic arm known as The Spray. But the universe is about to arbitrarily change its fundamental operating premise from science to magic. Technology will cease to function and all of Kaslo’s hard-won skills and abilities will be useless.

As the change nears, a handful of would-be wizards are jockeying for position in the coming race for supremacy, squabbling over the few ancient books and paraphernalia that survive from the long-forgotten age when magic last ruled the cosmos. Kaslo goes to work for Diomedo Obron, a wealthy dilettante with more money than common sense who hopes to emerge as a powerful thaumaturge.

But there’s worse to come: an ancient evil has been biding its time for millennia, waiting for the age of science to end. Now, its moment finally arrived, it reaches out from another plane to strike with deadly force. And only Kaslo can stop it—if he can live long enough.

The novel is available in two editions: an unsigned, jacketed hardcover for £20 (US$27) and a signed, jacketed edition of 100 copies for £35 (US$46). Being PS editions, the quality will be first-rate.

A petite avian has told me that both books have arrived in the PS warehouse so any preorders ought to be filled fairly quickly. There will also be an ebook at some point, though I don’t know the price.

I haven’t got a jpeg of the final cover art yet, but I’ll post one when I do.
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Published on August 05, 2016 17:58 • 25 views • Tags: a-wizard-s-henchman, archonate, erm-kaslo, matthew-hughes, ps-publishing, ten-thousand-worlds