Mad as Hell - and Loving It! Ruthless mercenaries, hired by an ex-Pentagon chemical-weapons designer turned rogue, take over a small town in Oregon. The plan: use the citizenry as guinea pigs in a test-run of a bootlegged bio-agent for an Islamist terror organization. But something goes wrong and the mercs and their clients find themselves surrounded by townsfolk who have turned into hyper-coordinated killing machines. PAROXYSM is an action-packed tale about the seductive power of righteous violence, about how ordinary people can explode when fate gives them the power to hit back. And once they've gone down that road, there's turning back.
The name I answer to is Matt Hughes. I write science fiction, fantasy and suspense fiction. To keep two genres separate, I now use my full name, Matthew Hughes, for sff, and the shorter form for the crime stuff. I also write media tie-ins as Hugh Matthews. I've won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award, and have been shortlisted for the Aurora, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, A.E. Van Vogt, and Derringer Awards. I was born sixty-four years ago in Liverpool, England, but my family moved to Canada when I was five. I've made my living as a writer all of my adult life, first as a journalist, then as a staff speechwriter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Environment, and - from 1979 until a few years back- as a freelance corporate and political speechwriter in British Columbia. I'm a university drop-out from a working poor background. Before getting into newspapers, I worked in a factory that made school desks, drove a grocery delivery truck, was night janitor in a GM dealership, and did a short stint as an orderly in a private mental hospital. As a teenager, I served a year as a volunteer with the Company of Young Canadians (something like VISTA in the US). I've been married to a very patient woman since the late 1960s, and I have three grown sons. In late 2007, I took up a secondary occupation - that of an unpaid housesitter - so that I can afford to keep on writing fiction yet still eat every day. These days, any snail-mail address of mine must be considered temporary; but you can send me an e-mail via the address on my web page: www.matthewhughes.org. I'm always interested to hear from people who've read my work.