Search SFE    Search EoF

  Omit cross-reference entries  

Hughes, Rhys

Entry updated 26 February 2024. Tagged: Author.

Icon made by Freepik from


(1966-    ) Welsh author of a very large number of stories to date, his stated life's ambition being to create an interlocking sequence of 1000 tales, the whole to comprise a sequence now called Pandora's Bluff. In 2022 he announced completion of this project, with some stories yet to be published. Most of this work, beginning with "Cutting Back" for Peeping Tom in 1993, runs a gamut of the fantastic in literature from scattergun Fabulation to rigorous narrative designs of an Oulipo precision, most notably in the Club Story assemblage Engelbrecht Again! Being the Further Exploits of Engelbrecht [for full subtitle see Checklist] (coll of linked stories 2008), a Sequel by Other Hands to The Exploits of Engelbrecht (coll of linked stories 1950) by Maurice Richardson. The arguments that tie these multifarious takes together (see Alternate Cosmos; Perception; Cosmology) tend to be internal, autonomous, garishly gnomic; there is relatively little sf in his work to date, though The Crystal Cosmos (2007 chap) is a Space Opera in a state of flamboyant, aroused homage to the work of Ian Watson. His work as a whole is not reducible to good sense through the analytical tools used in this encyclopedia, but The Coandă Effect: A Corto Maltese Adventure (2010 Romania) – which describes aeronautical Inventions in Europe just before World War One, incorporating inter alia events connected with the iceberg that sank the Titanic – is unmistakably Steampunk, as are Twisthorn Bellow (2010), featuring a Golem steeped in a vat of nitroglycerin; The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange (2013), an Alternate Worlds tale set in a universe that in part resembles our own 1930s but in which Magic works, Canadians dominate North America, Strange himself is exaggeratedly simian (see Apes as Human), and Hitler won (see Hitler Wins). Captains Stupendous; Or, the Fantastical Family Faraway (2014) describes the adventures on land, sea and air of the three Faraway brothers; The Nostalgia That Never Was: 222 Apocryphal Incidents & Speculations (coll of linked vignettes 2018) is conceptually influenced by Karel Čapek's Apocryphal Stories (coll 1932; exp 1945) and Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (1972).

Of Hughes's recent collections, the substantial Link Arms with Toads! (coll 2011) contains several tales into which sf elements are exorbitantly woven, including "The Mirror in the Looking Glass", about an AI built into a mirror whose nature it does not understand, causing it acute Paranoia when other creatures grimace strangely when they look at it. Of those authors who have influenced him (or whose works he has ransacked), some of those given entries here include Jorge Luis Borges, Dino Buzzati, Philip José Farmer, William Hope Hodgson, Stanisław Lem, Spike Milligan, Michael Moorcock, J B Morton, Vladimir Nabokov, Milorad Pavić, John Sladek and Jack Vance. [JC]

Rhys Henry Hughes

born Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales: 24 September 1966



Rhysop's Fables

  • Rhysop's Fables (Swansea, Wales: Gloomy Seahorse Press, 2012) [coll: ebook: Rhysop's Fables: na/]
    • Fables of Rhysop (Swansea, Wales: Gloomy Seahorse Press, 2012) [coll: ebook: rev vt of the above: with seven stories omitted and three added: Rhysop's Fables: na/]
  • Rhysop's Return: 57 Varieties of Daftness (Swansea, Wales: Gloomy Seahorse Press, 2012) [coll: ebook: Rhysop's Fables: na/]
    • Rhysop's Fables (Swansea, Wales: Gloomy Seahorse Press, 2012) [omni of the above plus Fables of Rhysop plus added story: illus/Chris Harrendence: pb/Rhys Hughes]

individual titles

collections and stories

works as editor


previous versions of this entry

This website uses cookies.  More information here. Accept Cookies