Hughes, Matthew

Tagged: Author

(1949-    ) UK-born author, in Canada from a very early age, who has also published, under slightly unfocused variations of his name, some non-fantastic work as Matt Hughes and as Hugh Matthews. He began to publish short crime fiction as early as 1982, publishing short work of genre interest only well after releasing the Fillidor Vesh series – one of the several groups of stories and novels making up the overarching Archonate sequence – and comprising Fools Errant (1994) and Fool Me Twice (2001), both assembled as Gullible's Travels (omni 2001). Like all the Archonate material, the sequence is set in a Dying Earth venue, with a very clear (and acknowledged) debt to the work of Jack Vance, and in this case with a further (but mildly invoked) debt to the work of Jonathan Swift: in the sequence, a dwarf is servant and mentor to a seemingly inept princeling, in adventures which transact various amiable, long-shadowed, baroque landscapes of Old Earth. The Archonate: Henghis Hapthorn sequence – comprising Majestrum (2005), The Spiral Labyrinth (2007) and Hespira (2008) – follows the more intellectual exploits of a "discriminator", a figure somewhere between a detective and a scryer and a sage. The Commons (2007) perhaps over-complicatedly connects the Vancian world of Old Earth to the eponymous region, psychically and physically underlying the world above, which contains cauldron-like the inherent stories of the species, in a manner mildly reminiscent of the immensely fiercer Mythago Wood sequence of Robert Holdstock. Black Brillion: A Novel of the Archonate (2004) and The Gist Hunter and Other Stories (coll 2005) variously explore Archonate terrains, testing the Equipoise Hughes hopes to maintain between sf and the wider fantastic; Template: A Novel of the Archonate (2007) broadens the geographical reach of the sequence, again in a manner directly evocative of quasi-anthropological Vancian tours of the planets. The To Hell and Back sequence (for titles see Checklist) is fantasy. [JC]

Matthew Hughes

born Liverpool, England: 27 May 1949





To Hell and Back

as Matt Hughes

  • Downshift (Toronto, Ontario: Doubleday Canada, 1997) as Matt Hughes [Sid Rafferty: pb/]

as Hugh Matthews



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