I am a writer of Fantasy, Speculative Fiction and Magic Realism who often uses comedy and absurdism to examine philosophical issues. I am known for my original ideas, intricate plots and entertaining wordplay! I write short stories, novellas and novels.
I have been a writer from an early age. I completed my first proper short story when I was 14. It was called 'The Journey of Mountain Hawk' and I still remember what it was about, even though it no longer exists. None of my early work exists. My earliest surviving short story dates from 1989, and since that time I have embarked on an ambitious project of writing a story cycle consisting of exactly 1000 linked tales. Recently I decided to give this cycle an overall name -- PANDORA'S BLUFF.
My main influences are writers such as Italo Calvino, Stanislaw Lem, Boris Vian, Flann O'Brien, Jack Vance and Jorge Luis Borges, all of whom have a very well-developed sense of irony and a powerful imagination. I love irony and satire, not only the 'negative' kind that seeks to undermine some form of injustice but also the 'positive' kind that takes sheer delight in its own playfulness. And yet I am also fully committed to engaging with serious themes. In fact, many years ago, I decided that I should find my own name for the style of writing I like best and the name I came up with was: "Romanti-Cynicism." The main idea behind this new genre is to combine humour and seriousness, to fuse the emotional with the intellectual, the profound with the lighthearted, the unfettered with the precise.
My first book was published in 1995 and sold slowly but it seemed to strike a chord with some people. My second, third, fourth, etc, books sold much more strongly as my reputation increased. I have been told that I am a "cult author" and I'm pleased with the description, but obviously I also want to reach out to a wider audience! My twentieth book has just been published and I have many new books due to be released in the next two years.
Where to find Rhys Hughes online
Where to buy in print
Better the Devil
A revised edition of a collection of stories totalling 100,000 words of fiction that span the entirety of the career of cult author Rhys Hughes.... Ghosts, vampires, mythological beings, eccentrics, mad inventors, demons and other strange beings can be found cavorting here, sometimes seriously, sometimes comically, with original and unique results.
The Further Fangs of Suet Pudding
What happens when apeman good meets marshmallow evil? In a forgotten corner of Africa, an eccentric club of veteran flyers must confront the unexpected arrival of a violet-scented jelloid Nazi with all the evil powers of a psychic pudding at his disposal! Only the apeman test pilot Stringent Strange has a chance to prevent the repulsive invader from achieving total world domination!!
Ten Tributes to Calvino
Ten finely-crafted tales that are tributes to the whimsical genius of the great writer, Italo Calvino... A city that consists entirely of corners; a ruler who exports all his country's freedom until there is none left for himself; a series of miniature adventures featuring a talkative sun; the story of the non-existent viscount in the trees... and others!
The Sticky Situations of Zwicky Fingers
Zwicky Fingers is a giant fruit bat detective who lives in the past, present and future simultaneously. He is often consulted by the police force when there are paradoxical, lateral or impossible crimes to be solved. His sticky situations are ten tricky cases, one for each finger of two human hands; but hands belonging to whom?
Tucked Away in Aragon
An entire story-cycle in miniature. One thousand years of the remarkable magical history of a secret region of Spain where few people venture even now. Join renowned writer Rhys Hughes in a fantastical exploration of this strange dreamlike place...
More unhelpful and irresponsible fables from the mind that brought you Rhysop's Fables... Join an absurd host of aardvarks, ghosts, pirates, flying jellyfish, hospitals made of lemon jelly, yetis, rhino cops, slobbery kisses and many more entities in the continuing quest to learn absolutely nothing truthful about life or why we are here! Includes a bonus fable in verse at the end!
The Mermaid Variations
The adventures of an exceptional mermaid as she travels from a carnival in tropical Brazil to a country where it never stops raining, Wales; and from there to the moon, where the lunar mermaids are the wrong way around. A magical mystical miniature trilogy!
Tired of being given good advice in fables and parables by wise men, sages and gurus? Why not try Rhysop's Fables instead, a set of 150 unhelpful and irresponsible fables? There are no messages here telling you how best to live your life. That kind of thing is entirely up to you! The philosophy of Rhysop's Fables is that there are no answers to life because life is not a question...
Facets of Faraway
Stories about incompetent explorers in strange places; knights and goddesses; castles that give birth; anti-matter monsters; robots in lingerie; and a scientist who believes that all the energy in the universe is draining away through a hole in spacetime and who has a plan to plug the leak!
Young Tales of the Old Cosmos
Planets, moons, stars and galaxies have feelings too! When Pluto is officially demoted from a true planet to a dwarf planet; when the poor moon is infested with clowns; when Betelgeux falls in love with other red giants; when the Milky Way wants to make friends... that's the time they most need our sympathy and support.
Flash in the Pantheon
A collection of 101 flash fictions by a cult writer with more than 20 books to his credit. Ranging the spectrum of the imagination and encompassing a diverse range of styles, these pithy tales are perfect mental snacks for the reader who is always in a hurry.
The Tellmenow Isitsöornot
A bumper book of tales by a writer who has been highly praised by Michael Moorcock, Jeff VanderMeer and Michael Bishop. 'The Tellmenow Isitsöornot' was a nonexistent book of tall stories that Edgar Allan Poe invented as a joke in one of his tales; "Tell me now, is it so or not?" is the way to say it, and the hundred stories presented here by Rhys Hughes are not only tall but broad...