“I really enjoyed Barbarians of the Beyond. Matthew Hughes does Jack Vance better than anyone except Jack himself.” — George R. R. Martin
Classic Space Opera in the Jack Vance mode told by critically acclaimed science fiction novelist, Matthew Hughes
Twenty years ago, five master criminals known as the Demon Princes raided Mount Pleasant to enslave thousands of inhabitants in the lawless Beyond. Now Morwen Sabine, a daughter of captives, has escaped her cruel master and returns to Mount Pleasant to recover the hidden treasure she hopes will buy her parents’ freedom.
But Mount Pleasant has changed. Morwen must cope with mystic cultists, murderous drug-smugglers, undercover “weasels” of the Interplanetary Police Coordinating Company, and the henchmen of the vicious pirate lord who owns her parents and wants Morwen returned. So he can kill her slowly…
“Lock the door, turn off the phone, get into a comfy chair, and deep-dive into a marvelous continuation of Jack Vance’s Demon Princes series. Matthew Hughes is a treasure and Barbarians of the Beyond is a terrific adventure.” — David Gerrold
“Matthew Hughes follows nimbly in Jack Vance’s footprints, then breaks some fresh trail. First-class space opera.”— Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids
“Engaging and enchanting…a fine companion adventure to Jack Vance’s The Demon Princes series, told with Matthew Hughes’s excellent sense of charm, ethical complexity and exotic worldbuilding. Let’s hope this is just the beginning!” — Kurt Busiek
“Barbarians of the Beyond is just plain old-fashioned space opera fun with a relatable heroine who is sometimes fallible, rather than some Shaolin Temple kung fu megamaster. I enjoyed it a lot.”
— Glen Cook
“…a tale that captures that special ‘golden age’ feel in which mankind has travelled far into the stars yet still behaves as though it’s the Wild West.” — David White, RNR Magazine
More from Matthew Hughes:
Winner of the international Endeavour Award
In the mid-1500s shipwrecked African slaves melded with the indigenous peoples of coastal Ecuador and together they fought the Spanish colonial power to a standstill, to remain independent for centuries. The story of the people of Esmeraldas is told through the eyes of three characters: Alonso, an escaped slave; Expectation, an a-gender shaman; and Alejandro, a priest on the run from the Inquisition. With its slipstream elements this novel carries a flavour of South American magical realism tradition into a grand historical epic. Both sweeping and intimate, it is a delight to read from beginning to end.
His speculative fiction novels are: Fools Errant, Fool Me Twice, Black Brillion, Majestrum, The Commons, The Spiral Labyrinth,Template, Hespira, The Other, The Damned Busters, Costume Not Included, Hell to Pay, Song of the Serpent and Wolverine:Lifeblood (both as Hugh Matthews), A Wizard’s Henchman, A God in Chains, Baldemar, and Passengers & Perils.
His magnum opus is What the Wind Brings, a historical novel with magical realism elements. It was the first Canadian work to win the international Endeavour Award. He waited more than forty years to write the novel, and spent a year composing several drafts, made possible by a $25,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
His major influence as a writer of speculative fiction is the Grandmaster Jack Vance. Booklist has called Hughes Vance’s “heir apparent.”
In 2021, Vance’s estate (Spatterlight Press), published Hughes’s Barbarians of the Beyond, an authorized companion novel to Vance’s iconic revenge series, The Demon Princes. The book prompted George R.R. Martin to say, “Hughes does Jack Vance better than anyone except Jack himself.”
His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Pulp Literature, Postscripts, Storyteller, Interzone, Amazing, Unfit, and several anthologies edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin, including the bestseller, Rogues.
His works have been short-listed for the Aurora, Locus, Nebula, Philip K Dick, A.E. Van Vogt, Neffy, Alberta Book Publishing, and Endeavour Awards.
In 2020, he was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association’s Hall of Fame.
Before turning to writing fiction, he spent three decades as the top-ranked speechwriter in British Columbia, writing for leaders of all three provincial political parties and CEOs of the province’s largest corporations.
Since 2007, he has traveled the world as a housesitter, living in twelve countries.
His web page is at https://www.matthewhughes.org