Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006


It's 05:50 in the morning and I just finished INK, which means I just finished THE BOOK OF ALL HOURS, which means... holy motherfucking mother of fuck, it's... done.

Thank fuck for that. Christ knows, I'm sure my editor(s) will be happy to (finally) see it. Until they do the word count, that is. Eek.

Anyhoo... just thought I'd share.

But hey, I might actually have time to blog again soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Al. But, damnn, this mean we mere mortals still have to wait another six months before we get to read it!

7:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Hal - you know, if you're looking for someone to go through and check the spelling and grammar, you know - more than happy to do it - wouldn't think twice in fact... you know, it's so important to put out a quality product, and, in fact, I think quite a few of us could do it, to ensure consistency.... no need to pay us - in fact, we'll pay you. please? pretty please???

9:20 am  
Blogger Glen Mhor Whisky said...

I best hurry up and read the first one then! Well done for finishing off the latest one.

12:48 pm  
Blogger paul f cockburn said...

As long as you weren't just putting words down at random towards the end... then again, depending on how it's done...

Truly, well done for finishing Ink. Now the really hard work of editing and revising begins! ;-)

3:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al - Congrats on Ink's completion - draft one? Just wait until the editor gets his paws on it - then the sparks'll really start to flash.

4:16 pm  
Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Kick ass! Big congratulations on the completion.

7:00 pm  
Blogger Stephanie Campisi said...

Congrats! I've just started Vellum, and am most impressed. Looking forward to seeing Ink's gorgeous cover on the shelves.

8:51 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Cheers, guys. I'm well chuffed, meself. It's the pre-edit draft, so, yeah, I've got all that lovely editing and copy-editing stuff to look forward to, as I get to argue everything from "What do you mean most readers aren't familiar with the tradition that Thomas Didymos was Jesus's twin? Isn't it obvious from the derivation of his name?" to "Look... onto *is* a word; I don't care what the pedants say; language is dynamic". So it is sorta draft one, but then I don't really do sequential drafts -- I keep looping back and rewriting as I go, two steps forward, one step back, and much of INK was written in separate sections which I wrote and rewrote like that individually, anyway -- so it's basically at submission stage as far as I'm concerned. Spent ten years working on the sodding monster; it fucking well should be.

Anonymous: Oh, how tempted I am. Having just spent the last two days arguing with Word's spell-checker which -- for some strange reason -- doesn't realise that draggle or scruffling are perfectly good words (I mean... just because I invented them), and is an utter ignoramus when it comes to Middle-Eastern geography (Basra, fer fuck's sake... don't you watch the news, infernal machine?), and only has UK English and US English with no bloody Scots (ya scunner!), and worst of all -- worst of all! -- is so naive and/or prudish that it doesn't recognise the word "motherfucker"... man, I've realised my work is just not designed for spell-checkers without initiative.

Think five hours sitting there clicking "Add to Dictionary" over and over and over again.

5:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing up Ink! Can't wait to read it.


8:52 am  
Blogger AbbotOfUnreason said...


Ditto on any help you need.

You said the Book of All Hours is finished. I thought this was going to be a trilogy? There's not going to be a Quill?

4:27 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Cheers, Jeremy, Taleswapper.

Trilogy? No sir. Trilogies are so passe. And "diptych" sounds so much fancier.

Although "Quill" is a cool name for a Book of all Hours stylee book... but, no, if I was going to spin it out into a trilogy I'd call the third one "Doodles" and make it a picture book.

4:38 pm  
Blogger Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

Any rumours Hal's next book is in fact to be titled 'All Work and No Play Makes Hal a Dull Boy' are, to my knowledge, entirely unfounded.

4:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeaaaah! Good for you, and good for us. I just started to read Vellum, and what? It's not a fantasy, not a stuff'n'fiction however they says, it's just Literature. Thanks, Hal. I hope you and your agent accept the offer for Romanian translation.

8:43 pm  
Blogger clindsay said...

Rock on!

But I'm sad I won't be working on Vellum any longer. :-(

12:14 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Hey, La Gringa!!! How's the new hair? :)

"Sad" is an understatement, far as I'm concerned. I mean, apart from yer being a cool dude I had a stonking time hanging out with in NY and was really looking forward to working with... apart from yer being a shit-hot publicist totally fucking steeped in the biz... apart from ye having some *particularly* cool ideas about where to push VELLUM... apart from, Christ, so on and so on and so on... well, let's just say I was gutted. Crazy decision. Fucking bugfuck fucking crazy decision.

12:55 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Gary: Believe it or not, the next book will actually have a (short) section done as an excerpt from the main character's notebook / journal, where the phrase "FUCKING WORDS" is repeated over and over again a la The Shining.

No shit.

1:13 pm  
Blogger JeffV said...


(And thanks for the Vellum copy!)


2:26 pm  

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