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A slim collection of my (mostly new) flash fiction has just been published. Has a dozen illustrations too, by the artist David Bowman. The conceit is that each microfiction or nanofiction is a tiny arrow shot from the bow of a mythical archer.

Low price for both paperback and ebook versions. Is this a chapbook or a real book? I'm not sure. It's 83 pages, so you decide about that.

A few of the fictions within are metafictional. Here is one of those, to set an example: 

The flash fiction writer went out into the storm. “I need some inspiration,” he said. The lightning bolt turned him into ashes. That’ll do,” he whispered, and the index finger of his ghost began scrawling a story on the damp ground with the carbon of his death.

There's not much more to say. I enjoy writing flash fiction, probably more than I enjoy writing full-length short stories. I sometimes think that if I am ever remembered for anything as a writer (but how can any of us know who will be remembered?) then my flash fiction might end up defining me. I am pleased that Samuel Delany, Ian Watson and A.A Attanasio, three writers I enormously admire, have all praised my flash fiction. That in itself justifies the endeavour.

But anyway... The book is available from every Amazon outlet. As most of my sales happen in the USA here is the relevant link to Amazon US.


My new book has been published. YEE-HAW is a collection of poems, mutant campfire songs, short plays and other small prose pieces, a 'Weird Western' and companion volume to my collection WEIRDLY OUT WEST, published last year by Black Scat Books.

It is priced very low, only $3.99 for the paperback edition and 99 cents for the ebook, because this is very much an offbeat project and not a commercial venture at all. 

The official description of YEE-HAW is as follows:

"The West has always been the place where the sun sets best, and when it has slipped over the horizon it is time for the embers of the campfire and the blushing cheeks of the long riders to take over the rosy glow duties. And around this campfire, songs must be sung and poems recited and tales should be told. The Honky Tonk Squonk, the Ghost Riders, the Biscuit Kid, the Robot Hobo, the Purple Sage, and many others. Then, and only then, will it be time for coffee, beans and dreams, and yee-haws that turn into snores."

I think that says it all, or almost all... It was one of those books that are great fun to write. All my 'Weird Westerns' have been fun to write, more fun than most other kinds of books, from 'The Gargantuan Legion' novella to THE HONEYMOON GORILLAS and beyond. There is something about the West as a setting that is both inspiringly bracing and also mythically absurdist and I find it irresistible...


My new book has just been published. A mini-saga is a complete story with a beginning, middle and ending but done in exactly 50 words. The form was invented by Brian Aldiss in the 1980s and has since become one of the most popular and significant microfiction formats.

FIVE HUNDRED MINI-SAGAS presents no fewer than five hundred of these flash fictions, most in prose but some in verse. I began this project back in May when I was in Aberystwyth and finished it here in Bangalore just a few days ago.

I have been interested in flash fiction, sudden fiction, microfiction, drabbles, etc, for a long time. The mini-saga has an especially rigorous structure due to its short length, though the title can be used as an essential part of the story, lending the writer a few extra words.

I am pleased with the mini-sagas in this collection. Obviously some are better than others, but I believe that the best are fine examples of this tricky literary form. The book has been published in paperback and ebook editions, and for the next three days the ebook edition is a free download from any Amazon outlet. Here is a link to the book on the British Amazon, but check your own Amazon if you wish to receive it for free.


Back in 2012, I put together a collection of short stories that were tributes to authors I admire. Then I sent it to Centipede Press and it was accepted fairly quickly.

Now, ten years later, the book has finally been published. My delight is no small thing. Anyone who knows how magnificent the books of Centipede Press are will understand why.

Good things come to those who wait, but even more fantastic things come to those who wait longer.

Or to put it another way: Six balls bowled at wickets in cricket is an over. And so is the wait...

More information about The Senile Pagodas can be found on the Centipede Press website.

The book is now also available for purchase from Ziesings, one of my favourite booksellers. They sell my Raphus Press books too, and books from other publishers...


My new book of flash fictions has just been published as a paperback. It was originally published as a deluxe limited edition by Raphus Press of Brazil with only 30 copies for sale. The paperback, on the other hand, is a mass market product and has been priced low, and the ebook has been priced very low (in fact it is a free download on any Amazon outlet for the next three days).

Many rascals are too tense to be comfortable. Real life rascals have much to worry about. But rascals in fiction can afford to relax a little in the waves of prose that surround them, gently swirling on the wit and wisdom, bobbing on the contrivance, floating on the syntax. It is nice to be a comfy rascal.

"Each of these stories is a shimmering whimsical fleck which not only satisfies in and of itself but, taken with its compatriots, builds an image of life and language that is pure play and discovery. Like Kafka's parables, if Kafka's sense of humor was less dark and had more puns." — BRIAN EVENSON

“If I said he was a Welsh writer who writes as though he has gone to school with the best writing from all over the world, I wonder if my compliment would just sound provincial. Hughes’ style, with all that means, is among the most beautiful I’ve encountered in several years.” — SAMUEL R. DELANY


My new book of robot poems (entitled Robot Poems, logically enough) has now been published. It's a collection of long and short poems about robots, androids, cyborgs and other assorted cybernetic beings, and it includes a mini-epic, 'The Mime of the Android Stammerer', one of my longest ever poems.

All in all, I think it's my best poetry collection to date. Some of the poems concern themselves with competent robots, our future overlords, but most are about robots that have been wired wrongly or who aren't sapient at all. A few are even powered by clockwork.

I have been interested in Artificial Intelligence since I was young and many of my favourite works in the science-fiction genre are about robots (rather than spaceships, aliens and distant galaxies). I am especially thinking of Stanisław Lem's Cyberiad and Mortal Engines, and John Sladek's Tik-Tok and Roderick. The first Brian Aldiss story I truly enjoyed and which turned me into a lifelong fan was about robots ('Who Can Replace a Man?'). Robots can be very amusing as well as instructive. They can be terrifying too.

My own robots tend to be comical, absurdist, whimsical creations, but not always. The earliest poems in this book (from the early 1990s) tend to be more serious; the later ones tend to be more humorous. I now hope to have a rest from writing poetry about robots...


Back in 1994 I began writing The Darktree Wheel, a series of stories about Robin Darktree, a highwayman, but I didn't know it was going to be a series when I wrote the first tale, 'Flintlock Jaw'. There ended up being five tales in the series at first, but things became more complicated because in 1995, between the writing of the second and third tale in the series, I also wrote a Darktree novella called Eyelidiad that was published as a separate book. Then I returned to the original series and finished it in 1997. The five stories combined made a novella.

So now I had two Darktree novellas and I put them together and decided to write a third novella called Ghoulysses. All together, the three novellas would make a fairly substantial novel. But I never finished that third part and still haven't, though I absolutely intend to do so one day (maybe this year). That big novel will be called The Clown of the New Eternities.

Anyway, The Darktree Wheel was published in an anthology called Leviathan 2 in 1998 and there it languished for two decades before it was resurrected to appear in a very prestigious book, the Big Book of Modern Fantasy, published by Vintage.

But in fact only part of the novella appeared in that Vintage anthology and so I have decided to reissue The Darktree Wheel in its entirety. Then it occurred to me that it might sit well with another pair of my favourite novellas, The Impossible Inferno and The Swine Taster, both of which I had considered at stages in my writing career to be my best works. The end result is a collection called THREE NOVELLAS and it has been published by my own Gibbon Moon Books press.

I would say that this book is absolutely representative of my best work as a whole. In other words, if you don't like this book I can confidently state that you probably won't like any of my others.

The book is available as a paperback and an ebook. Earlier this year I paid for ten proper ISBNs for my small press and I will be issuing ten of my own books to form a set. This book is perhaps the most vital part of this set.


My new book has just been published. It is a novella (or set of linked stories) about the inept non-canonical son of the renowned Carnacki.

I have had the idea for writing these stories for many years but only completed the project recently. Carnacki's son wants to follow in his father's footsteps but is simply not up to the job. He earns the nickname 'Clumsy' as a result of his occult bungling. Whereas his father was known as 'the ghost finder' the son is 'the ghost loser'.

And yet he often muddles through despite his incompetence... at least until he bites off more ectoplasm than he can supernaturally chew....

I am very pleased with this book. I believe that my stories of Clumsy Carnacki are both a genuine tribute to the original tales of William Hope Hodgson and an ironic variation on them in postmodern mode.

Whether hardcore Hodgson fans will like them is a different question entirely. But my own view is that variations on a theme or style or tradition are valid and can be amusing or even epiphanic in some cases.

Anyway, the book is now available from Amazon and elsewhere in both paperback and ebook editions and in fact, as a promotional offer, the ebook is free to download for the next four days.


"'The World Beyond the Stairwell' may well be the finest tribute (with love) to Hodgson ever written." — John Clute.

First published twenty years ago as part of a limited edition hardback collection from Sarob Press, my novella THE WORLD BEYOND THE STAIRWELL is now available as a standalone paperback and ebook. It is simultaneously a tribute to Hodgson and Borges, with a bit of Lovercraft thrown in for good/bad measure.

This novella received many enthusiastic reviews when it first came out and I am delighted to be able to give it another chance to reach a wider readership. The Sarob Press volume where it originally appeared was limited to only a few hundred copies.

"Enter the weird and original world of Rhys Hughes, an eerie nightmare place of monsters, demons, devils and other strange horrors. If you haven’t read anything by this author previously, then get ready for a truly terrific helter-skelter ride of the imagination." — Jeff VanderMeer.

The novella is avaialble as a paperback and ebook from Amazon and elsewhere.


My new poetry book has just been published. It's a collection I am very happy with because it has a satisfying unity. The official description says it all: "A slim book of poems about the thwarted passions of implausible and even impossible lovers who nonetheless manage to get it together thanks to some timely and snappy advice. Star-crossed, moon-spangled, kiss-splattered romantics should rejoice!"

This is one of the three new poetry collections I recently decided to put together. The other two are called Big Baboons and Sorry I'm Late, Sir: Barnacles! and I will be submitting them to publishers soon. Get a Room! has been published by Gibbon Moon Books and there will be a total of ten of my books from this imprint. At least that's the idea and my hope...

One of those books will be a massive collection of my more fabular stories called My Big Glib Book of Flippant Fairy Tales and I am really looking forward to seeing that one in print.

In the meantime Get a Room! is available in both paperback and email editions from Amazon and elsewhere.


My first book of 2022 is a slim collection of five OuLiPo ghost stories that I wrote in the 1990s. One of them was published in the journal Ghosts and Scholars but I can't remember if any of the others were published. But I do know that they are being published all together for the first time now.

OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Litterature Pontentielle) is a perennial workshop of experimental fiction that was founded by Raymond Queneau and Francois le Lionnais in 1960. Its members attempt to create original fictions using mathematical and logical constraints that are arbitrary but rigorously applied.

Some OuLiPo constraints are complicated, some are simple. For these ghost stories a simple constraint has been chosen. Five of M.R. James’ stories (the more obscure ones) have been taken and sequels written for them. Each sequel is exactly the same length as the original and has an identical structure, which means it has the same number of paragraphs, the same number of sentences in each paragraph, the same number of words in every sentence, and all the punctuation marks are in exactly the same places.

The book is available on all Amazon outlets in both paperback and ebook editions.


The second omnibus volume of several of my OOP (out of print) books is now available, with cover art by the always excellent Selwyn Rodda. The books contained in this second omnibus are:

(1) The Young Dictator.

(2) Twisthorn Bellow.

(3) The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange.

(4) The Further Fangs of Suet Pudding.

This is hopefully the second of four omnibus volumes. Each will have a particular flavour. The flavour of this second omnibus can be said to be 'twisted superheroes'.


I created a little book for Halloween, but then I realised it was good for any other time of year too. It's a slim pocket-sized volume featuring four horror stories, two of which have been previously published in anthologies, two of which haven't. The stories are diabolical, kafkaesque, macabre and grotesquely comical in turn. Anyway, it is available on all Amazon outlets at the cheapest possible price that I was permitted to set for it.

I supposedly gave up writing horror stories ten years ago, but here I am, still writing the occasional horror story. How do I resolve this contradiction? I guess I could say that my 'horror' isn't conventional horror and maybe isn't horror at all, but something else: dark absurdist fantasy, perhaps, or ironic gothic fantastika. But no, that doesn't really wash.

The truth is that I hardly read horror now but I read it when I was young, in my early teens, and began to move away from it over the subsequent years. By the time of the publication of my first short stories I had completely abandoned horror for other kinds of writing. The stories I wrote between the ages of 14 and 17 (all lost now) were probably the purest horror I have written. However, formative influences can never be entirely disengaged from. There is some horror still deep in my writing soul and it comes out now and then.


My new book has just been published and is available as a paperback and an ebook.

The Seven Deadly Sinbads is a set of linked stories featuring the famous sailor, but they are rather different from the traditional tales in which Sinbad is the hero.

On the surface they are fantasy adventures in which Sinbad visits strange islands, dips beneath the sea to meet mermaids, is shipwrecked and rescued and shipwrecked again, finds a message in a bottle that tells a most remarkable story and ends up performing in a very unusual music festival.

And yes, he has learned wisdom over the years and wraps legends around himself like a cloak.

But here also are the delights and perils of experimental forms. Sinbad is locked into a rigorous numerological exploit with previously unknown brothers, is compelled to find safe passage through labyrinths of layered, divergent and fractured narratives, and must put his supreme talents to surviving cultural catastrophes.

"The wages of sin are death, they say, but we sin every day, and Sinbad earns his salary anyway, on seven salty seas."


I have collected many (or most) of my 'Lovecraftian' tales into one volume. These stories are not parodies or pastiches but darkly ironic fantasies that connect with the Cthulhu Mythos at a tangent. Open-minded devotees of Lovecraft may find amusement in the offbeat ideas, paradoxical plots, whimsical language and strange originality of these tales. Lovecraft purists and horror fans with a visceral dislike of comedy might be repelled and outraged. Or they might not be. I am quite unable to anticipate the reactions of individual readers, let alone readers in groups or sets. There may well be no reaction to my book at all.

I regard Lovecraft as an important writer for several reasons, but these reasons tend not to be the same as those offered by his devotees to justify his high standing in the world of weird fiction.  He strikes me as a wholly emotional writer (rather than the cool philosophical rationalist he is often portrayed as) and the currents that froth and flow beneath his work are surely powered by an organic frustration instead of a scientific fatalism. I may be wrong about this, and I surely have no intention of viewing his stories through a Freudian lens, but it seems to me that his palpable yearning for a better life drove his creativity and his visions do not originate in a deliberate turning of his back on the petty concerns of humanity.

Does any of that make sense? Whether it does ot not, my book features twelve stories written over the past 25 years, from the deliberately silly humour of 'Bridge Over Troubled Blood' (only barely a Lovecraftian story and thus highly vulnerable to derision from any Lovecraftians who read it) to 'On the Other Hand' which I wrote late last year. In between there are stories I really am very proud of, such as 'A Languid Elagabalus of the Tombs' (about the dire consequences of semantics), 'Sigma Octantis' (about an attempted manipulation of astronomical forces), 'How Gangrene was my Sally' (concerned with the overlap of layers of different narratives) and 'The Sauce of the Guile' (in which I believe I finally truly fused the comic with the horrible in an effective manner).

This volume doesn't contain all my 'Lovecraftian' stories. Missing are 'Get Recipe for Mina' and 'The Whisperer in Darkness Bangs his Head on an Unseen Projection' among several others, but I believe it is a comprehensive enough showcase of my short prose fiction in this particular milieu.

The book is available from Amazon and other online bookshops in both paperback and ebook editions. The cover of the paperback was meant to mimic the cover of the Led Zeppelin IV album.


My latest collection of stories is now available from Raphus Press in Brazil. This is an ultra-limited edition of only 30 copies.

Unlike my other Raphus Press books I won't be issuing a POD paperback edition, though I might eventually include it in an omnibus edition of works. I am especially pleased with this collection, which thematically is dear to my heart, as the concept of utopia is one I have thought about a lot over the years. Utopia in Trouble includes my longish short story that is a tribute to the film director Jacques Tati, 'The Playtime of Monunculus', the kind of story I only write occasionally because of the complexity of its multiple layering.

The book has already been treated to a real time review by Des Lewis. It is available from specialist bookstores such as Ziesing Books, Barnebys, and a few others. Utopia in Trouble is the fifth new book I have had published this summer (I don't count self published books) and it may not be the last.


My new book has just been published. It's a collection of poetry and furthermore the first collection of poetry I have had published by a 'real' publisher (all my others have been self-published). I am grateful to ImpSpired Press for publishing the book.

The back of the book reads as follows: "The bunnies of imagination are seeking entry to your mind. Offbeat but timely, whimsical but wise, playful but perceptive, these quirky and mostly short poems may put you in mind of Ogden Nash, Ivor Cutler, Spike Milligan or any other absurdist poet you like, and put a smile on your face while doing so. It is sensible to be silly, profoundly so in some instances. That is the general message of this collection. The bunnies of imagination are already queuing. Will you let them in?"

It has blurbs from Samuel Delany, Bruce Boston and Maithreyi Karnoor (my favourite poet) and I am waiting for the first reviews to roll in (assuming there are any!)

I was on radio recently to talk about the book and that programme can be found here on Siren Radio.

I am a regular poetry contributor to Borderless Journal and three of the poems in Bunny Queue can be found online in the May 2021 issue (I have had poems and articles in every issue of Borderless for more than one year now).

The book itself is available at Amazon and other online bookshops and maybe in some bricks and mortar bookshops too.


My new novella, Students of Myself, has been published and I have my copies. I am very pleased with the way it has turned out. This novella is one of my own favourites among all the works I have written. In fact I regard it as being in the top two (the other one, My Rabbit's Shadow Look Likes a Hand, will be out very soon).
The publisher is Elsewhen Press, a marvellous publishing house. The novella is available from Amazon and other online retailers in both paperback and ebook editions. There is also a Goodreads page for the book. And there will be a 'launch' at BookBub tomorrow....

I began writing Students of Myself back in 2017 and finished in early 2020. I wanted to create a complex story that had to be told from many different and often contradictory perspectives for it to be fully fleshed out. I think of this story as being like a circle with the truth as the centre point. This circle is divided into eighteen segments, each of which represent one 'view' of the truth. These views are only partly true but they do always contain some truth. Near the end of the novella the framing device becomes part of the story and is itself framed.

Enought of that! If you are interested, the novella is there to be read... and if you aren't interested there's not much point in trying to persuade you otherwise :-)


I am extremely delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Weirdly Out West.

It's a Western, yes, and furthermore it's a Weird Western, and I am very pleased with the way it has turned out. It's a collection of stories and poems and includes a play and an article too.

Published by Black Scat Books, the book description runs as follows:

"Rhys Hughes saddles up & blasts his way across the vast plains — kickin’ up trouble in this hog-wild collection of Western Weirdness. Using various forms (short stories, a play, lonesome poems — even a garsh-dang essay!), he roasts the genre & serves up some hearty, avant-garde grub — fresh as a dew-dappled Texas rose. Guns, puns, cowgirrrls & tumbleweed — what more could ya ask for?"

I am going to run a book promotion for this book as follows: if you purchase the book and take a photograph of yourself holding it, I will put your name into a hat and when there are 25 names in that hat I will dip in my hand and pull one out. The winning name will receive a free copy of my next book, My Rabbit's Shadow Looks Like a Hand, when it is published.

In fact I think I might do this with all my subsequent books... Anyway, this new book is now available on Amazon and elsewhere. I had enormous fun writing it and I hope you will have fun reading it.

Adios amigos!


Last year I was asked to edit a selection of the surviving verse and prose poems of unjustly forgotten 1930s writer Victoria Plumjob. She was friends with André Breton, Salvador Dali, Chump Rumple, Edith Shriek and Roger Dammit Upstairs, and she was one of the leading lights of the Furious Ducks, an obscure avant-garde collective. Most of her work was lost in a series of bizarre accidents but enough remains to fill a slim volume (one of her poems was rescued by an owl from a burning canoe).

Preparing the scattered manuscripts of Victoria Plumjob (1917-1960) for republication after so many decades has been an insightful experience. She was a precocious child and began writing stories when she was very young. Her earliest publications were in ephemeral student magazines, few of which have successfully endured the ravages of time. The only collection of her work published in her lifetime was issued in a limited edition by Catwheel Press and is now extremely rare.

Vampires with Fairy Wings is thus the first volume to feature her work for more than eighty years. It includes an excellent afterword by noted grammatical scholar Jaggery Feeley, and thanks to the efforts of historical researcher Nina Vangerow it also features photographs of Victoria published here for the very first time.

"This book strikes a valedictory note that is neither sharp nor flat but deserves to be struck anyway." -- Bernardo Puffin.

Available from Amazon in both paperback and ebook editions.


The novel I wrote when I lived in Spain twelve years ago is now both a paperback and an ebook. The Pilgrim's Regress was mostly written in Madrid but also on a farm in the mountains near Segovia.
I have talked elsewhere about how it began as a single short story that spawned a few sequels. It was only after I had written five linked stories that I realised I was actually writing a novel and that the stories were chapters in a longer work.

The Pilgrim's Regress is a sort of 'Don Quixotic' picaresque adventure, although it's not strictly speaking a set of unrelated episodes as there is an overall arc. The novel is one of my favourites among all my books but I know it is far too metafictional to be commercially successful. No matter! I had huge enjoyment writing it.

There is something about the Spanish landscape that lends itself very well to picaresque wanderings; but in fact the hero of this novel travels to Africa and India as well as across Persia.

The book is available on all Amazon outlets.


A paperback 'sampler' of my work has just been published. It is entitled SAMPLER because potential readers often wonder what is the best entry point to my large corpus of fiction. 
It features 48 stories, at least one a year from 1993 to 2020. All but two of these stories  ('The Chimera at Home' and 'Dogears') have been published before in other books. I regard this volume, however, as a very good cross section of my writing career to date. Details about the contents can be found on my Aardvark Caesar blog.

Paperback and ebook editions also available and priced low.

This book was published at the end of 2020 and samples 27 years of my writing career, but my writing career is 29 or 31 or 40 years old depending on how it is calculated. I began writing short stories when I was fourteen years old; made my first submission to an editor when I was seventeen (it was rejected); but had no fiction published until I was twenty-five.



The first omnibus volume of several of my OOP (out of print) books is now available, with cover art by the always excellent Selwyn Rodda. The books contained in this first omnibus are:

(1) Eyelidiad

(2) The Postmodern Mariner

(3) The Sticky Situations of Zwicky Fingers

(4) The Just Not So Stories

(5) The Crystal Cosmos

This is hopefully the first of four omnibus volumes. Each will have a particular flavour. The flavour of this first omnibus can be said to be 'ironic adventure fiction'.


A new poetry book, CORYBANTIC FULGOURS.

"Who are the Corybantic Fulgours? They are monsters. They live in a room, a room as large as the inside of the Moon, and in this room there are all sorts of ways and means, odds and ends, curves and bends, and no one but no one can ever say what the right way from here to there is. Most monsters don't care about things like that, and the Corybantic Fulgours are made from curdled light, so they care even less. Let's open the door to that room and step inside..."

A book of verses written for monstrous doodles drawn during the summer of the pandemic year 2020. Samples of pages and an interview about the project can be found at Borderless Journal.


I am delighted to announce two new poetry books:


Quirky poetry in the light-hearted tradition of Richard Brautigan, Don Marquis, Hilaire Belloc, Blaise Cendrars and Edward Lear. 133 verses and prose poems ranging in length from one-sentence quips to absurdist ballads. Space, time, love, journeys, fruit, the thoughts and feelings of inanimate objects and monsters are among the themes covered. Available from Amazon here.


An adventure story in verse form. Bertie Random is an ordinary man and an unlucky traveller. While fleeing monsters on foot, he is accosted by an octopus on roller skates who gives him eight letters. These letters tell the tales of strange incidents across time and space. If Bertie learns the appropriate lessons from reading them, he will be knighted by Fate herself and his bad luck will turn into opportunity. Arise, Sir Random? Available from Amazon here.

Cover art by the excellent Selwyn Rodda.


My first book of short plays has been published and is now available. I am more excited about this volume than I am about most of my short-story collections!

Cover artwork by Selwyn Rodda. Fifteen one-act plays in the absurdist tradition including one longish monologue. Also songs and dances! One of the plays was written in collaboration with the Mauritian author Vatsala Radhakeesoon. None of my plays has ever been performed and only one ('Yesferatu') has even been published before (in Brazil), so maybe writing plays at my age is the super folly/crisis of a middle-aged man :-) But by heck, I enjoyed the process of writing them!

They were written for the page as well as the stage, but I do hope that one day some of them will be acted (with puppets or people) or turned into animated films. When the first is performed I will consider myself a playwright but not before then. Nonetheless, I am delighted with this volume and the way it has turned out. I only began writing plays in the year 2018. Wish I had started sooner!

The book is available from Amazon and elsewhere :-)


I am delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Crepuscularks and Phantomimes. The book was originally published in an ultra-limited edition in Brazil by Raphus Press. That edition has sold out now (unless there is a special reserve copy in the possession of the publisher; email him to inquire) but the paperback and ebook editions have just become available. The limited edition is a collector’s item. The paperback is a mass market book.

The cover of the paperback was created by the excellent artist Selwyn Rodda. The book includes thirteen tales (the limited has eleven; I always add a bonus or two for paperback editions) of a strongly gothic, ghostly and lovecraftian slant. This will certainly be my very last book of horror stories. My short story writing career is drawing to a close. I planned a long time ago to write 1000 stories and no more. I am finally nearing that limit, a destination I never imagined I would arrive at.

Unlike so many of my story collections, which use horror ideas and tropes for non-horror or even anti-horror purposes, the comedy and whimsy and invention in Crepuscularks and Phantomimes is wholly with the horror authors who inspired the tales in the book. These stories are tributes to Lovecraft, Machen, Dunsany, et al. Already the book has had great reviews, for example this one, and spectacular blurbs, as follows: 

“Wryly dark and creepily funny, the stories in Crepuscularks and Phantomimes simultaneously scratch the horror itch and strike your funny bone, What might happen if Firbank’s head was grafted onto Lovecraft’s body and then released into the wild.” – Brian Evenson.

Crepuscularks and Phantomimes, Gothic, Ghostly and Lovecraftian tales in the ironic mode is a perfect showcase for the author’s adroit wordplay, for an imagination as whimsical as it is grotesque. His voice is refreshingly original, darkly witty, dazzling and delightful. My highest recommendation.” – Jeffrey Thomas

“These tales defy anticipation, schoolbook rules, humdrum parsing, genre conventions. They stutter, they sing, they ingest and indigest. They gimp and they gag, they traject orthogonally, they do the seven year itch. They show us butts inside butts, ruts atop ruts, and guts within guts. They kick and they frack. They love craft, they craft love. They rapture and enrapture, if sometimes only fractionally. They case shadows and shadow casts. They separate and conjoin, and when they stop dancing, the jig still isn’t up. Enter this collection at your peril and try not to fret if you emerge as someone you don’t yet recognise. All will be well, and if it isn’t, oh well, you’ve had a hell of a slide.” – Michael Bishop.

One of the stories in the book has been translated into Russian and has just gone up on the website of the premier Russian horror fiction journal, Darker Magazine. This is only the second time I have been translated into Russian.

My new book has just been published. Copies arrived for me today.

SLAP-ON-THE-WRIST STORIES is a selection of tales controlled by numbers. For example, 'Postcards From the Hedge' is told in 50 postcards from 50 different animals and each postcard is exactly 50 words long... 'Trouble with Drabbles' is a story made up of 100 stories each 100 words long... 'Only Sixty-Nine Whims Away' consists of 69 chapters each 69 words long... 'Ten of Our Trombones are Missing' consists of 66 chapters each 66 words long.

This book is therefore an example of OuLiPo writing. The title of the book was suggested to me by fantasy writer James Bennett after I had expressed my enthusiasm for Kawabata's Palm-of-the-Hand Stories, one of my favourite short story collections of all time. My book is available on Amazon and elsewhere in both paperback and ebook editions.


My Western The Honeymoon Gorillas has just been published. It's a very weird Western indeed. Gorillas play only an indirect part in the book but it is an important one nonetheless. They are always-present but never seen.

I had wanted to write a weird Western for a long time. This urge was considerably amplified by the weird Westerns of two great writers that I enjoyed immensely, The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan and The Place of Dead Roads by William Burroughs, both of which I read a couple of years ago and which were an inspiration on my own novel.

My novel has been published by Bizarro Pulp Press and is available directly from them, or from Amazon and other online bookstores (and also from some bricks-and-mortar bookstores). The book consists of two sections that are separated in time and yet the West remains a persistent force in both, unchanging in certain ways, an eternal backdrop to the rugged minds and battered bodies that pass through it.

I always have fun writing fiction but I can say that I've never had quite so much fun writing anything as I had during the creation of The Honeymoon Gorillas. It was a romp and a rumbustious delight. I hope you get the same enjoyment from reading it !


The longest single author short-story collection in publishing history is now available as an ebook!

In fact it is available as two ebooks, because it comes in two different editions, male and female, that differ in 10% of their contents. This is a trick that I picked up from Milorad Pavić, whose Dictionary of the Khazars also comes in male and female editions.

People keep asking me how I selected the variant stories for the two editions. The fact of the matter is that there is no rhyme or reason to the selection. I am not trying to make a point about differing male and female tastes in fiction. Quite the contrary! The differences are surely there but also insignificant.

As incredible as it sounds, there may actually be a print version next year. A publisher who has already issued a couple of my books is interested in bringing out a strictly limited multi-volume edition. It remains to be seen how practical this venture will turn out to be...

In the meantime here is the collection for the Kindle. THE MILLION WORD STORYBOOK features exactly 365 stories, one every day for an entire year. If you follow the link and click on 'Look Inside' you can read a sample for free. The book is so long that the sample, which is a certain percentage of the digital book, already contains 54 stories.

Links to purchase this ebook can be found below...

Amazon US -- Female Edition
Amazon US -- Male Edition

Amazon UK -- Female Edition
Amazon UK -- Male Edition

This collection contains approximately one third of my total fiction output over the past 25 years. The stories are presented in chronological order of their composition. The earliest dates from 1990 and the latest dates from this year 2015 and in fact is one of my most recently completed tales. As I plan to write 1000 stories in my working life, this collection will contain one quarter of my entire output ever!

I believe that this is a major literary event. Well, at the very least, it is a major personal event for myself and for the writer that I am and have been all my life...


My new book was published yesterday! I am extremely delighted with this one.

32 quirky tales of unusual fantasy, philosophical satire, ironic adventure and logical daftness... The official launch date is actually next month but my author's copies are already in my hands. I am working on preparing an official launch event soon. It will be a party of some kind.

Review copies have been sent out and have reached most of the reviewers. I have high hopes for this collection, but of course what I like isn't always what the reading public like. In fact it is frequently at odds.

No matter. I write the kinds of books I most enjoy reading and ultimately that's all that really matters.


I am absolutely delighted to announce the publication of my new book! ORPHEUS ON THE UNDERGROUND from Tartarus Press is a collection of weird phantasmagorical stories that has been wonderfully illustrated by the genius artist Chris Harrendence.

It exists right now and is available to be purchased from the publisher. And soon it will be available from other places... I am very pleased with this book. Tartarus Press have a superstition that authors shouldn't talk about their books until they are published, which is why I kept so quiet about this one.

It has been more than twelve years since I was last published by Tartarus Press. They always create a truly impressive product, books that are beautiful art objects, and it is a privilege as well as a pleasure to be published by such a fine publishing house.

Here is part of the blurb that Tartarus have created for this book:

"Orpheus on the Underground is the new Rhys Hughes collection from Tartarus Press, containing fifteen previously unpublished stories and ‘The Concise Picaresque Adventures of the Wanderlust Bridge’, which first appeared in Strange Tales II, 2008. Ranging from the ghostly, through horror to the entirely fantastic, Hughes’ marvellously inventive tales steer the reader through the bizarre labyrinths of his unique talent for the strange... In the twenty years since the publication of his first short story collection (Worming the Harpy, Tartarus Press, 1995) Rhys Hughes has become an éminence grise of the strange tale. He wears his reputation lightly, and it is the sheer fun and individuality of the stories in Orpheus on the Underground that make them so memorable."


I have just heard from Hippocampus Press in the USA that my new book of stories has gone to the printers. They were also good enough to show me the full cover of my collection. Here it is...

It amuses me that the title of this book Bone Idle in the Charnel House can be turned into the acronym BITCH. This was entirely unintentional.

I had to fill in a 'promotion form' for this book which included a brief summary of what it's about. I wrote, "A collection of weird stories that often develop in an unusual manner from an original premise. The stories are part of the grand tradition of the ‘weird story’ but they seek to be rather different from most stories of this type. My hope is that these stories simultaneously will be a part of the tradition of the weird story but also help to push the definition forward a little."


My latest book is the novel Captains Stupendous, which began life as a 'Corto Maltese' novella entitled 'The Coandă Effect', published by Ex Occidente in Romania a few years ago. I rewrote it so that the main character is now Scipio Faraway. Then I wrote two novellas as sequels featuring Scipio's brothers, Distanto in 'The Gargantuan Legion' and Neary in 'The Apedog Incident'. All three novellas together constitute the novel. Needless to say the plotting was quite tricky, but I think I managed to tie all the strands of all the plots together neatly at the end...

This photo shows me at the official book signing in the Forbidden Planet bookshop in London recently.

The Young Dictator is available from Amazon right now and will be available from many other places in the coming weeks... This novel is my most accessible book to date, so if you are new to my work and want to try something but don't know what to go for, I'll say try this one. It has been described as Roald Dahl meets Spike Milligan and Kurt Vonnegut and that's exactly the effect I was aiming for!

Many years ago I tried to write a children's story but I never completed it. Then back in 2010 the editor Mike Ashley asked me to write a YA (young Adults) story for an anthology he was compiling. I dusted off the story I had started long before and finished it for him. As it happened, his anthology was cancelled so I decided to make my story the first chapter of a novel. The result was The Young Dictator. It's not really a YA novel, though I do think it can be easily read by anyone from the age of 12 onward.

That first chapter was published as a stand-alone story in the Spring issue of the BFS (British Fantasy Society) journal last year and was received well by readers. I sent the finished novel to my agent but he didn't like it very much. He felt that the main character, Jenny, a young girl, was too vicious. But that's the point. The novel is a comedy about dictatorship and nice dictators aren't much fun in fiction, are they? My agent also didn't enjoy the fact that the novel often uses lateral logic rather than the logic of everyday events.

Luckily there was a publisher out there who was willing to embrace absurdity and humorous darkness. Pillar International Publishing was founded in Ireland in the 1930s by Victor Lloyd and named after Nelson's Pillar, a structure that stood in the middle of O'Connell Street in Dublin until it was blown up by the IRA in 1966 (it had already survived an earlier attack in 1955 in which nine students had tried to melt it with flamethrowers). The original press issued many murder mysteries of the Death Carries a Coffin and She Died of Death type...

Victor's grandson, Mark Lloyd, refounded the press last year and by happy chance I learned of its existence thanks to the writer Sara Crowe. I submitted the book and it was accepted, and now it is a physical object and an ebook. I am proud of all my books but this one has increased the width of my grin by an unprecedented magnitude. It can be purchased online from Amazon here. All hail The Young Dictator! All hail her Gran too!


My latest book is now available for general consumption. The Just Not So Stories features no less than 30 of my most absurdist-flavoured tales, including some of my personal favourites such as 'The Leveller of Neptune', 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People', 'Message to Rosita', 'My Crow Nation', 'The Blue Jewel Fruit' and 'The Sun Trap'.

The Just Not So Stories is published by The Exaggerated Press (a relatively new British small-press) and can be purchased here for the sum of £7.99, making it one of my cheapest ever books!

Now released as a trade paperback is my novel The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange. The limited edition has sold out! So the ordinary paperback is finally available. In the meantime here's a review of the novel.

People sometimes ask me which book of mine is the most suitable for a reader new to my work. The answer is Tallest Stories, which was published at the beginning of 2013. This book is almost a microcosm of everything I have written and will ever write! It's a particular favourite of mine.

Maybe I shouldn't have favourites among my own children but... well I am especially proud of this book! It is readily available from Amazon and elsewhere but can be ordered directly from the publisher by visiting this webpage.

Hope you enjoy!