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

What the Wind Brings

Published Dec 1, 2019 · 7,938 words (29 minutes) · 1 like · 39 views

Fantasy Historical Magical Realism historical novel slave revolt Zambos Castaways

This is an excerpt from a historical/magical realism novel to be 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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Fiction

Sealed with a Kiss

Published Oct 31, 2019 · 2,242 words (9 minutes) · 1 like · 94 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 · 336 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 · 523 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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Fiction

The Sword of Destiny

Published Aug 2, 2019 · 10,471 words (39 minutes) · 2 likes · 256 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 · 447 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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Enemy of the Good

Published Mar 6, 2019 · 11,941 words (44 minutes) · 3 likes · 339 views

Fantasy Humor Archonate

A little philosophical diversion featuring my corpulent master criminal of Old Earth in its penultimate age.

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Fiction

The Devil You Don't

Published Feb 7, 2019 · 1,338 words (5 minutes) · 315 views

Science Fiction

I was a successful speechwriter because I knew how to paint word pictures, and because I could write in the voice of the person who was going to give the speech. As I wrote, I could hear the speaker's voice in my head. Back in 2003, I decided to write a story in the inimitable voice of one of the 20th century's great speech-makers. I sold it to the late and undeniably great Gardner Dozois, who was then editing Asimov's SF Magazine.

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The Gift of Gabby

Published Jan 5, 2019 · 5,741 words (21 minutes) · 1 like · 378 views

Fantasy Historical

An origin story for Pacific City, a fictional Oregon metropolis that grew up to be the haunt of various superheroes. Find out more here: https://welcometopacificcity.wordpress.com/

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A Little Learning

Published Dec 5, 2018 · 10,618 words (39 minutes) · 2 likes · 307 views

Fantasy Humor

Guth Bandar is an explorer of the human collective unconscious, which the Institute of Historical Inquiry has comprehensively mapped over aeons of Old Earth's ancient civilization. But The Commons, as the Institute's scholars call the noosphere, may still have a few surprises left.

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