Matthew Hughes

I'm writing fantasy and science fiction, often in a Jack Vance mode.

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The name I answer to is Matt Hughes. I write science fiction, fantasy and suspense fiction. To keep the genres separate, I now use my full name, Matthew Hughes, for sff, and the shorter form for the crime stuff. I also write media tie-ins as Hugh Matthews. I've won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award, and have been shortlisted for the Aurora, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Endeavour (twice), A.E. Van Vogt, and Derringer Awards. I was born seventy 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.

Fiction · Posts · Books

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Fiction

Go Tell the Phoenicians

Published Apr 29, 2020 · 8,597 words (32 minutes) · 1 like · 198 views

Science Fiction

This is a bit of old-fashioned space-opera science fiction, the kind written in the 1940s and 1950s that I used to read in the 1960s. Consider it a case of my working a little nostalgia out of my system.

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Fiction

Mastermindless

Published Mar 30, 2020 · 7,633 words (28 minutes) · 233 views

Fantasy Mystery Archonate Hapthorn

The story that introduced Henghis Hapthorn, foremost freelance discriminator of Old Earth in its penultimate age.

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Fiction

The Vindicator

Published Mar 6, 2020 · 14,187 words (52 minutes) · 1 like · 256 views

Fantasy Mystery Dying Earth Cascor Raffalon Matthew Hughes

This is a tale of Raffalon, a thief of the Dying Earth. But it also features his sometime associate, Cascor, a former provostman become freelance discriminator (ex-cop, private eye). I'm about to start a new series of stories featuring Cascor and a couple of other characters who come into this story. So I thought it was a good time to bring him back into view.

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Fiction

Grolion of Almery

Published Feb 8, 2020 · 10,812 words (40 minutes) · 1 like · 281 views

Fantasy Dying Earth Cugel the Clever Jack Vance Songs of the Dying Earth

In 2008 I had an email from Gardner Dozois asking me if I wanted to contribute to an anthology of stories set in the Dying Earth in homage to Jack Vance. My reply: "Try and stop me!" Grolion is the main character but that's not the name by which he is known to Vance aficionados.

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Fiction

What the Wind Brings

Published Dec 1, 2019 · 7,937 words (29 minutes) · 1 like · 968 views

Fantasy Historical Conquistadors Magical Realism historical novel slave revolt Zambos Castaways

This is an excerpt from a historical/magical realism novel, released in paperback and ebook editions December 17. It tells the story of African slaves, shipwrecked on the jungle coast of 16th-century Ecuador, who allied with local indigenous people. Together, they outfought and out-thought Spanish conquistadors to preserve their freedom.

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Sealed with a Kiss

Published Oct 31, 2019 · 2,242 words (9 minutes) · 1 like · 223 views

Mystery Police procedural

“Sealed with a Kiss,” a little police procedural that was originally written for an anthology sponsored by a Canadian regional magazine. The story was accepted but the anthology never appeared, because the town in which the editor was based, Fort McMurray, was partly destroyed by a forest fire, which disrupted a lot of people’s plans. I’ve sent it here and there, but haven’t been able to place it, so I’ve decided to put it up on Curious Fictions as a free read.

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Featured October 4, 2019

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Fiction

Ten Half-Pennies

Published Oct 1, 2019 · 7,499 words (28 minutes) · 5 likes · 573 views

Fantasy Baldemar wizard Dying Earth

Baldemar’s path to becoming a wizard’s henchman was not exactly linear, but it was inevitable from the day he hired a local tough to help fend off grammar school bullies. Luckily, Baldemar is a fast learner⁠—and he never forgets his debts.

Matthew Hughes’s path as a writer has taken him from journalism to speechwriting to SFF and suspense fiction. Born in Liverpool, he’s been in Canada for sixty-five years, and has been shortlisted for the Nebula, Aurora, Philip K. Dick awards, and many others.

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Fiction

A God in Chains (excerpt)

Published Aug 7, 2019 · 4,426 words (17 minutes) · 1 like · 846 views

Fantasy adventure Dying Earth

This is the opening of A God in Chains (Edge SF and Fantasy Publishing, 2019) an adventure/mystery novel set in the fantasy milieu known as the Dying Earth.

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A god in chains mockup 03 sm

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Fiction

The Sword of Destiny

Published Aug 2, 2019 · 10,471 words (39 minutes) · 2 likes · 553 views

Fantasy Baldemar wizard

“The Sword of Destiny” was written at the invitation of Gardner Dozois for his 2017 anthology, The Book of Swords. This 10,000-word novelette introduced Baldemar, the wizard’s henchman, at the (probable) end of his career. I later wrote several more stories bringing him from childhood to maturity, all of which have run (or will run) in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

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Fiction

Timmy, Come Home

Published May 5, 2019 · 4,507 words (17 minutes) · 3 likes · 684 views

Science Fiction Fermi Paradox

“Timmy, Come Home” was written ten years ago at the invitation of Gordon Van Gelder for an anthology he was putting together called Is Anybody Out There? All the stories were themed around the Fermi Paradox, which asks the question, “If there are alien civilizations out there, why haven’t we been contacted by them?”

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