Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Quartet and Triptych, by Matthew Hughes
The only thing I've read by Matthew Hughes before this was "Grolion of Almery", his wonderful contribution to Songs of the Dying Earth, and though this novella (not a collection of seven stories, despite the title) is not an outright tribute, Jack Vance's influence looms just as large, in its delicious language, dry humour, casual cruelty and elegant flourishes. But it's much more than a pastiche, and if you were to suggest that it surpasses Vance I would struggle to find counter-arguments. I loved every word of it, and if this is typical of Hughes' work I expect I'll read every novel he ever writes. It's brimming with lovely ideas and spirited language, and never settles for the obvious when it can offer the superb. Marvellous.
Quartet and Triptych, Matthew Hughes, PS Publishing, hb, 90pp.