Notes from New Sodom

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

Friday, January 29, 1999

Vellum and Ink: The Book of All Hours

VELLUM: The Book of All Hours 1

It's 2017 and the end days are coming, beings that were once human gathering to fight in one last great war for control of the Vellum - the vast realm of eternity on which our world is just a scratch. But to a draft-dodging Irish angel and a trailer-trash tomboy called Phreedom, it's about to become brutally clear that there's no great divine or diabolic plan at play here, just a vicious battle between the hawks of Heaven and Hell, with humanity stuck in the middle, and where the easy rhetoric of Good and Evil, Order versus Chaos just doesn't apply. Here there are no heroes, no darlings of destiny struggling to save the day, and there are no villains, no dark lords of evil out to destroy the world. Or at least if there are, it's not quite clear which is which. Here, the most ancient gods and the most modern humans are equally fate's fools, victims of their own hubris, struggling to save their own skins, their own souls, but sometimes...just sometimes...sacrificing everything in the name of humanity.

 INK: The Book of All Hours 2

Once, in the depths of prehistory, they were human. But in a moment of brutal transfiguration, they became unkin, beings who possessed the power to alter reality by accessing the Vellum: a realm of eternity containing every possibility, every paradox, every heaven . . . and every hell. The Vellum became a battleground where forces of order and chaos fought across time and space. The ultimate weapon in that bloody war spanning through history and myth, dreams and memory, was The Book of All Hours, a legendary tome within which the blueprint for all reality is inscribed, a volume long lost amid the infinite folds of the Vellum.

Until, in 2017, it was found by Reynard Carter, a young man with the blood of unkin in his veins.

Until Phreedom Messenger and her brother, Thomas, were swept up in an archetypal dance of death and rebirth.

Until a hermit named Seamus Finnan found the courage to re-forge his broken soul, and a self-proclaimed angel called Metatron unleashed a plague of AI bitmites.

Now, in the aftermath of the apocalypse, several survivors search desperately for the remnants of themselves scattered across the Vellum like torn pages, determined to use the blood of the unkin to rewrite The Book of All Hours, and to forge a new destiny for themselves and all humanity. Reality will never be the same.

What the Reviews Say

"It's one of the most assured first novels of the decade, and it's a novel many writers beginning their tenth novel would kill to have written"
-- Vanderworld

-- San Diego Union-Tribune
-- Rocky Mountain News
-- New York Literary Society
"Overwhelming in its complexity, sumptuous in its recitation, this is a truly monumental work."
-- The Good Book Guide
-- Front Street Reviews
"Readers who enjoy the likes of Jeff VanderMeer, Theodore Sturgeon and Neil Gaiman will appreciate the burning energy and imaginative prose of Vellum and find themselves already anticipating Duncan's next novel."
-- Gavin Grant, Bookpage
-- Matt Cheney, Locus Magazine (Best of 2005)
-- Rob Bedford, SFFWorld
"... a mind-blowing read that's genuinely like nothing you've ever read before... expanded fantasy's limits like nothing published in years."
-- SFX
"... a novel of incredible ambition, a head-on collision between Borges and, say, Neil Gaiman, with a breathtaking metaphysical conceit..."
-- The Glasgow Herald
-- Cape Times
"A confident debut... a compelling alternative look at the world and its history."
-- Dreamwatch

Watch the fan-made trailer for VELLUM:

Watch the fan-made trailer for INK:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, big, scary, intense, incredible. Apparently, at least that is what is happening for me now, only a hundred or so pages into this immense, electrifying novel. Feindish in its complexity, yet friendly in its writing and ability to draw you into the deepest recesses of the age old "good vs evil" cliche. Fabulous. Thank you, finally something to really praise about and believe in!

11:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wrote a review for the American publication of you awesome book:

I cannot wait for Ink

William Alan Ritch

3:49 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Hey, William! That's a great review. It gets right to the thematic heart of the book, very much captures what it's about. I'll add this to the main post. Many thanks!

And cheers to you too, Anon. :)

2:27 pm  
Blogger Aishwarya said...

A friend forced Vellum on me a couple of days ago and I'm about to start reading. So hello. :)

6:58 pm  
Blogger Beatrice Neumann said...

Same dealio here... just got Vellum recently (the owner of the book store recommended it) and I'll start reading it tonite.
Very excited!

8:40 am  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Hello Aishwarya, Beatrice. Hope yez like it.

12:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read a review and needed several weeks and many providers in the net to get my hands on this book. Not so easy from Germany. But I can tell you - it was worth all the time. I love this complexity and am waiting for more after finishing ink.

10:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm french and I didn't go very long in school, so I don't know speak english very well. Sorry for my uggly grammar and vocabulary.
It's maybe stupid, but I want to thank you for the nice moment which I lived with "le livre de toutes les heures".
I bought "Vélum" when I was 17 (because the cover was pretty, honestly), and it impressed me. I don't know how say that in a foreign language, but it became THE book. It was like read a cathedral. I waited after Ink a century (something like that)and read it was a really good time too. And read a twice and third time all that too... Even more because I understood the book better (it's so giant, a first read is not enough to understand all this mess).
All this tortured english for say "thank you", something like that. I don't know.

10:53 am  
Anonymous Gabriela said...

I tarted reading Vellum 3 days ago. Cant stop thinking about it, dreaming about it, talking about it. Its everything I've been looking for in a book for a very long time.
Thank you

7:40 pm  
Blogger Hal Duncan said...

Thanks for the kind words, Gabriela (Khayyin and Anon too -- better late than never, I hope.) Glad to hear it's made such an impression. :)

4:53 am  

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