Notes from New Sodom

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

Monday, December 23, 2013

No, WE Pardon YOU

THE ELDERS OF SODOM, by the Grace of Cock of the Celtic Union of National Territories of New Sodom and Elsewhen and of our other Realms and Territories, QUEERS, Heads of the Cocksuckery, Defenders of the Flounce, to all to whom it these Presents shall come,


WHEREAS Alan Mathison Turing at Knutsford Quarter Sessions on the 31st day of March 1952 pleaded guilty to and was convicted of divers counts of Oh My Lord Fucking Cock Almighty having the audacity to fuck and be fucked by persons of his own choice whose gender was none of your fucking business, and on that date sentence was postponed for a period of twelve months but the said Alan Matheson Turing was placed on Probation for a period of twelve months to submit for the fucking unspeakable abuse of chemical castration by a duly qualified medical practitioner at Manchester Royal Infirmary;

AND WHEREAS the said Alan Mathison Turing killed himself on the 7th day of June 1954 rather than suffer any longer the sheer fucking ignominy of this maltreatment;

NOW KNOW YE that We, in consideration of circumstances humbly represented unto Us, are Graciously pleased to extend Our Grace and Mercy unto you nation of heteronormative cuntfuckery, your sovereign and her government, and to grant you Our Free Pardon in respect of your responsibility for the said death;

AND to pardon and remit unto you the enmity imposed upon you for the aforesaid;

AND for so doing this shall be a sufficient warrant.

GIVEN at our Court of New Sodom
the 24th day of December 2013;
In the Year of Our Reign.

By Our Magnanimity's Whim

THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!! (sic)


NOTE that We yet hereby reserve Our Free Pardon for all other such acts of gross injustice over the years, decades and centuries past and, We are in no doubt, those yet to come;

BECAUSE We rather think that saving your hetero arses from the Nazis is not a prerequisite for you keeping your fucking nose out of what We do with our Cocks and Arses.


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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Price Slash on Escape from Hell!

The Kindle edition of Escape from Hell has been price-slashed, just so's ye know. The Kindle Countdown Deal I ran at the start of December boosted the sales by a not insubstantial factor, so I was intending to lower the base price after anyway. There's a fourteen-day lock on the price though after such a deal. That lock is now over, so it should now be available to buy for £1.53 or $3.02 (I think, basically $2.99 + tax.)

Just click through for links to the relevant Kindle Store:

Watch this spot for news of a Kindle Countdown Deal on the ebook of Errata. The price has to stay the same for 30 days for it to be eligible, but that period started on the 29th November, so there might well be a wee January Sale in the offing. 

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Friday, December 20, 2013

A Movie Pitch

When a redneck reality TV star is kicked off his show for homophobic slurs, he threatens to sue the network for discriminating against him as a Christian. The next day an idealistic young civil rights lawyer turns up to take on his case. Unbeknown to the star though, the lawyer is gay and has a cunning plan: to set a legal precedent establishing homophobia as a core tenet of Christianity, and thereby get the entire faith classified as a hate group. Unbeknown to the lawyer though, the star is just as gay, and before you know it, sparks are flying between the two.

Awkward situations reveal the attraction, flustering both characters. Even as the funds and support are pouring in from right wing politicians, pundits and the public, their attempts to maintain the pretense of heterosexuality become increasingly farcical--the star turning to ex-gay quacks, the lawyer narrowly escaping discovery in situation after situation. Eventually though, the absurdity of it all peaks, tension breaks, love gets its way, and a fateful night ends up with them waking together in bed the next day.

Now both begin to question what they're doing. Should the star really be defending his closet case homophobia? Should the lawyer really be exploiting the man he now loves? It all comes to a crunch as the court case is nearing completion, when the star decides he just can't go on living this lie--and fighting a cause that's against his very nature. Unfortunately, just as he's all set to declare his love, ironically hoping to persuade the lawyer to come out of the closet with him, now he finds out that his lover has been lying to him all along. The shit hits the fan, and after the inevitable bust-up both are left alone and miserable, each in their long dark night of the soul.

All seems lost, the lovers torn apart, neither knowing how to extricate themselves from the legal mess they've got themselves into, but at the last minute, spurred by the prejudice of their "supporters," the lawyer proves the depth of his love, and the star is reminded of the Christian principle of forgiveness. Just as the lawyer is about to withdraw the suit, the star shows up in court, as determined as ever to win. Which they do, in part by exposing the TV exec who fired the star as a hypocrite guilty of homophobia himself. Now the press conference gives the big reveal, as a friend planted as reporter in the audience points out the implications: Christianity is now legally arguable as a hate group.

There's a twist though: when challenged on this, the star has a simple answer: sue me. He all but invites a class action suit from Christians for slander and defamation, against him the justice system and the right wing newspaper that supported him throughout. He's happy to cop to it, we learn, and pay them off with the very funds donated for this anti-PC cause. Essentially our heroes have conscripted every non-bigot in the faith to deal with all the "violation of free speech" bullshit from politicians and pundits; if the faithful don't want to be considered homophobes by definition, it's up to them to quash the defense of bigotry as faith. In the end, the lovers go off together, having set the cat among the pigeons, with a little kicker to close: the lawyer would, of course, be entirely up for representing the Christians who considered their faith slandered.

The end.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sodom! The Musical

Being an Adaptation and Modernisation of "The Farce of Sodom, or The Quintessence of Debauchery," by Lord Rochester, Libertine & Rakehell, as Versified and Perversified by THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!! (sic)

Rochester's Restoration Farce may be the most notorious work of bawdy fun in English Literature, scandalous when it was written and still gloriously filthy even by today's standards. Here, Rochester's lyrics have been modernised to a contemporary rock opera, with none of the mischief lost, maybe even a little added just for fun.

Here, you'll meet King Bollox of Sodom, his Royal Catamite, Puckinello, and his Pimpmaster General, Salascio; his queen, Cuntacaea, and her Whores of Honour, Vaginia, Labia and Clitorix; the Prince and Princess, Pricket and Slitia; General Buggerman and Virtuoso, Dildo-Maker by Royal Appointment.

What else is there to say? Given that the stage directions in the original include a woman representing a fountain in a garden by standing on her head and pissing... well, nuff said, really. Some day I hope to have at this again in Garageband and nail the actual music. Until then, maybe the lyrics on their own will be an amusing diversion for the price of a pack of Haribo wine gums.

And yeah, I kept that bit about the woman pissing in. Duh.

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Fabbles: 0.5 and The Taking of the Stamp

Meet the Scruffians, workhouse tykes and street arabs scrobbled by the Waiftaker General, dragged to the Institute and put to the Stamp that writes your very soul into your skin.

Meet the waifs of Ripper Vicky's Empire, Fixed forever as they are, never ageing, never starving, ever bouncing back to exactly how they were Fixed... the perfect child labour.

Meet the scamps and scrags, scallywags and scofflaws escaped from their chimney sweep and mill owner masters, hiding out in their rookery cribs, surviving as thieves and beggars... and fighting back.

This ebook contains the first half of the Fabbles: 1 print edition, "A Scruffian Christmas" and "The Beast of Buskerville."

Meet Flashjack the hellion and Puckerscruff the urchin; Squirlet Nicely and Vermintrude Toerag; Yapper, the Scruffian who learned to speak Dog; Whelp, the dog Fixed as a Scruffian; and Rake Jake Scallion, not a Scruffian, but the bestest mate any scruff ever had.

Meet Gobfabbler Halyard-Dunkling, Esquire, aka Gob, the fabbler of this here crib, fresh from his fabbles of Christmas spirit and canine spifflication in Fabbles: 0.5, here to tells yer, why, only the most important fabble of em all... the fabble of how the Scruffians took the Stamp!

This ebook contains the second half of the Fabbles: 1 print edition, "The Taking of the Stamp."

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Blog Refurbishment

Apologies if you've been following the blog, btw, and all the recent postings seem like promotional overkill. Actually, with some of this stuff--e.g. the immediately previous post on "Die, Vampire, Die!"--I'm not so much pimping as just getting entries up for linking from the sidebar or the bibliography. Once we've got everything set up with a page each for whatever, and Amazon buttons on it, and whatnot, it should all be a little less "BUY MY BOOKS, MOTHERFUCKER!"

So bear with me while I get my shit in order, yeah?

And come to think of it, feel free to have a snoop around the Projects and Buy menus and the Bibliography (under About,) let me know if there's any navigational issues. Imma try to make it all a bit more accessible for anyone wandering in with no prior knwledge of who the fuck I am, yanno?


Die, Vampire, Die!

Actually there’s a few things that are pretty damned lethal – basically anything with a sufficient concentration of carbon in it. And it took me – what? – a few months to find that out. The elders still think the worst they have to worry about is some mad Hun with a sharpened table-leg...

In a darkly comic monologue, 12K words of black satire, a vampire scientist leads his somewhat flighty sire-mate on a tour of the laboratory where he's studying the not-so-glorious downsides to eternal life: like the potential of D65 industrial illuminant to cause "catastrophic system failure"; or the acid rain caused by two thousand years of holy water evaporating into the atmosphere.

Lucky for both of them, our vamp of science has their sire safely locked away from harm's reach. And, yes, that new undead experimental subject/helper really is quite fascinating... almost seems to have initiative.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Coming Soon to Kindle

Yeah, I think I accidentally hit on a sort of retro gay porn novel look when I was designing the cover, but hey, it's a contemporary rock opera take on a Restoration Farce, so fuck it; while I'm updating the filth of the past for a contemporary audience, I thought I may as well go all in, and dance blithely into another era entirely. Oh, and that's the pert and pretty ass of Peinte's Orphée looking all twink porn on the cover, from a photograph turned on its side for extra saucinesss. But it's not smut if it's historical, right? Also, that gives us Classical Greece and the late 19th century too, just to make it all the more transtemporal... as Sodom is, motherfuckers, old or new.

So, yeah, I've no idea if anyone will want to buy a libretto for a musical without the slightest clue what the music sounds like--and a musical without the slightest chance of ever getting staged, to be honest, given the sort of stage directions inherited from Rocheter--but I figured it was more sensible to put the results of another of those mad projects up on Kindle than to leave them languishing in some link hidden away in the menu or the blog archives. A free download is all very well, but there's not much point if people never fricking notice it to download it.

Anyway, as you were. I just thought I'd chuck the cover up in a post here, in prep for when the review process is done at Amazon and it becomes available on the Kindle Store(s).


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nowhere Town

Nowhere Town: A Punk-Ass Musical, the Book and Libretto

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
I bid you welcome, from a drunken poet, to a cruel world.
Be seated, take your coats off, just kick back.
We have a tale for you tonight, my friends, the tale of Jack.
This is a tale of Love and Death.
This is a tale of those two thieves of breath.
This is a tale—we hope—to make your hearts swell.
This is a tale of how the living go to Hell...

Jack Flash is a punk rock star bent on self-destruction. When he picks a fight with the wrong thug after a gig, he finds himself not just at Death's door, but on the other side of it, in the No Exit Lounge and Bar in Limbo--albeit too drunk to have a clue where he is. There he meets an absinthe-soaked blues singer by name of Chorus, middle-man for Death and Jack's guide to the netherworld. As the two dissolute wastrels bond over their woes, Jack's tragic tale unfolds--of a true love found and lost, of Puck, the boy Jack couldn't save--and Chorus offers Jack that one last chance he wishes for.

In this full book and libretto for the stage musical--demo tracks on SoundCloud--our gay punk Orpheus must journey down into Hell itself--or at least one nightmareish cabaret franchise of it--to save the soul of the boy he loves from the demonic Proprietor of the Hellhole, a fiend who feeds on pain, nurturing misery to a terrible poison. And with Jack's bitter grief making him the juiciest of morsels, his own soul is as much in the balance as Puck's, if he can't do what has to be done. It's Les Mis meets Hedwig meets Tommy meets The Beggar's Opera. Pour yourself an absinthe, slug it back and settle in for the show. As a wise man once said, Hey ho, let's go!

Demo Tracks

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Whatever the Fuck You Want

When Orlando strides in as the new kid at Arden High, Ross falls for him in an instant. A brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse, Orlando is the Breakfast Club all rolled up into one, Ross’s perfect man. Unfortunately, when they meet at the football try-outs, Ross is in drag to spite his draconian dad, Coach Fredericks, and it’s “Rosalind” that Orlando falls head-over-heels in love with.

With a misunderstanding when Ross tries to come clean, and a little mischief on the part of Touchstone, Ross's joker friend, soon the two are caught up in a crazy game, with Ross roleplaying "Rosalind" so Orlando can practice his romance, and Orlando still convinced that somewhere out there a real "Rosalind" is waiting to be found.

As Orlando searches for his true love, and Ross is torn between truth and fantasy, mixed signals and mixed feelings abound in this contemporary retelling of As You Like It--re-envisioned as a screenplay for a high school movie--until Ross, Orlando and everyone around them must ask the crucial question: just what is it that you want?

For the story behind the story, click here.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Need We Say More?

After the cut...

Read more »

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Unfortunate Rake

So I was watching the second season of Ripper Street t'other night, and it reminded me of that scene in season one where all the coppers sing "The Unfortunate Rake," which sadly isn't on YouTube, although if you need a reference this is:

Read more »

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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

A nice wee heads-up from Steve Berman at Lethe Press brings me this, to make my weekend:

The Arthurian legend of the Fisher King, the myth of Orpheus, Shakespeare’s Tempest, comic book superheroes, and Twilight are just a few of the tales that Duncan (Ink) deconstructs through a prism of queer sexuality, youthful rebellion, and rage against authority, in this thrilling, funny, and moving collection...


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Manuscript Critique Service

I normally offer this service through an online agency, but there's nothing coming in from there at the moment, so I thought I'd open up a direct channel, and offer what I look at as a sort of literary MOT.

So here's the skinny:

Who am I?

I'm an internationally-renowned, award-winning professional author; a novelist, short story writer and poet; songwriter, playwright and critic; translated and published in nigh on a dozen countries; winner and nominee in multiple high-profile awards; judge in the 2012 British Fantasy Awards; with over twenty years experience workshopping as part of the Glasgow SF Writers' Circle (other grandees including William King, Gary Gibson, Mike Cobley, Neil Williamson and Phil Raines); currently a professional editor with the Writer' Workshop, providing in-depth feedback on manuscripts; my first novel, VELLUM, was described by no less than Lucius Shepard as "at very least, the Guernica of genre fiction."

Who are you?

You're a writer at whatever level with a novel manuscript (of 50K words plus) you'd like feedback on. Maybe you've shown it to family and friends and got positive responses, but you're not sure how much weight to put on them. Maybe you haven't shown it to anyone, unsure if a workshop group will give you feedback of substance or just well-intentioned but less-than-useful backslapping. Maybe you think your work is pretty damn good, but you know your own bias, want an objective judgement. Maybe you have niggling doubts that you can't quite resolve into articulable problems. Maybe you can see exactly what's wrong, but don't know where to begin with fixing the issues. Maybe you're bogged down in a work that feels an insoluble mess, but the idea at the heart of it is one you're still in love with, one you know would make a great book if you could just bring your skills up to scratch to thrash it into shape.

What can I offer you?

What I can offer is:

1) The report: an in-depth critique, an analysis of your text on every level, from the basics of manuscript presentation through to the more high-level aspects of general narrative structure and dynamics. I'll aim to provide this within a month of the manuscript's arrival and my agreement to work on it, and you can expect the report to be a minimum of 10K words. In the past, actually, reports have stretched as high as 30K words, which is a mark of just how thorough I'll go if need be.

2) A follow-up call: when you get the report back, there may well be things you'd like to clarify in it, ideas on how to proceed that you'd like to run by me, so included with the report is the option for an informal back-and-forth via phone or Skype, to be arranged at our mutual convenience. I'll happily extend this to cover aspects of the business, if you want advice in that area.

What exactly are you in for?

The purpose here is not validation or support. As with an MOT on a car, I'll be reading for issues, on the look-out for flaws to fix, with absolute honesty a prerequisite--or you simply won't be getting your money's worth, after all. I like to think I'm like that doctor in The Big Lebowski--a good man, and thorough, so my aim is always to galvanise rather than discourage, but if a book needs me to be brutally blunt, I won't soft-pedal or sugar-coat the bottom line. I will do my damnedest to find a workable solution to any issue though, and one that's sympathetic to the book's ambitions, as best I understand them. The aim is to make the book the best it can be, to help it achieve the standards it sets for itself, not to fit a mold of my personal preferences.

Reports are usually broken down into sections, so as to deal with every aspect of narrative from the ground up. I'll cover: manuscript presentation; basic prose quality; narrative prose quality; Point of View and voice; dialogue; action (problems of logic, activity, deposition, skimwriting); description and exposition; worldscape (problems with premises/conceits, the basic environs, creatures, cultures); setting (staging, blocking, dressing); character; formal narrative structure on the scene, chapter and act level; general plot dynamics (the narrative trigger, the core conflict, the resolution.)

If you look at the Writing 101 entries under the Learn menu option above, you'll get a sense of the depth I'm liable to go into, as and when required, the sort of elbow-deep advice I'll be giving, unpacking your text to explore the techniques you could and should be using. With close reference to your text, I'll be aiming to give clear practical guidance on every aspect of the craft, not just a broad description of flaws and potential fixes, but the next best thing to a book on writing tailored specifically to your manuscript.

How do I arrange a critique?

In the first instance, send me a query email at, with "MS CRITIQUE" in the subject line, attaching a copy of your manuscript in MS Word .doc or .docx format. I'll send confirmation so you know it's got through. Then, once I've had a glance at the text, if I think I can help you, I'll send you a quote. If this is agreeable, you can make a payment to me by Paypal, and I'll set to work.

I might not think I can help you, whether it's a matter of time commitments or the nature of the manuscript, so please don't be offended if I decline. If it's a work of franchise/fan fiction, for example, I can't help you make it legally publishable, so craft is a moot point. If it's a work of literary genius, I won't take your money--not if all I'd have to say about it is this rocks. And while I'm comfortable critiquing a whole range of approaches, from the most high-flown and experimental pomo to the most commercial category fiction, if I don't think the idiom fits my skillset, I'd rather someone else had a satisfied customer than leave you feeling disgruntled.

How much will it cost?

The fee is £50 per 10K words, to be paid in advance by Paypal, so we're talking about £500 for a novel of the average 100K words. It's not cheap, I know, but there's a substantial amount of time and work goes into these reports; I'd say that's a fair rate.

For more information, if you have any questions or concerns regarding what's entailed, feel free to drop me a line at


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

More Kindle Stuff

These have been up for free for yonks, but I figured I'd whack them into Kindle Direct ebooks and punt them on Amazon anyways.

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Sunday, December 01, 2013

FABBLES: 1... A Scruffian Chapbook

UPDATE 2013/12/01: FABBLES: 1 is now released. Fly and be free, little chapbook! Fly and be free!

Meet the Scruffians, workhouse tykes and street arabs scrobbled by the Waiftaker General, dragged to the Institute and put to the Stamp that writes your very soul into your skin.

Meet the waifs of Ripper Vicky's Empire, Fixed forever as they are, never ageing, never starving, ever bouncing back to exactly how they were Fixed... the perfect child labour.

Meet the scamps and scrags, scallywags and scofflaws escaped from their chimney sweep and mill owner masters, hiding out in their rookery cribs, surviving as thieves and beggars... and fighting back.

Meet Flashjack the hellion and Puckerscruff the urchin; Squirlet Nicely and Vermintrude Toerag; Yapper, the Scruffian who learned to speak Dog; Whelp, the dog Fixed as a Scruffian; and Rake Jake Scallion, not a Scruffian, but the bestest mate any scruff ever had.

Meet Gobfabbler Halyard-Dunkling, Esquire, aka Gob, the fabbler of this here crib, with his fabbles of Christmas spirit, canine spifflication, and why, only the most important fabble of em all... the fabble of how the Scruffians took the Stamp!

Just in time for Christmas, (leastways it should be if yer order sharpish,) a perfect wee stocking filler for friends and family. Buy one for yourself! Buy one for your mate! Buy one for your mate's small child and get them to read the first story aloud in their best Mockney accent as you all sit round the Yuletide fire! They won't be that scarred for life. And even if they are, it'll be scarred in a good way. Like if David Cronenberg remade Oliver! on a script from Clive Barker... and kept the songs. Which would be awesome, right?

Whe-e-e-e-ere is love? It's in the sausages, mate. Them sausages is made with oodles of love!




A: That's not really a queston, but OK, here's the skinny...

ToC: "A Scruffian Christmas"; "The Beast of Buskerville"; "The Taking of the Stamp."
Publisher: New Sodom Press (i.e. Yours Truly via Lulu)
Pages: 86
Release date: 1st December 2013
Trade edition: £6.00 from Lulu (plus Lulu's charge for postage and packing)
Speshul edition: £12/£14/£15 direct from Yours Truly (postage and packing included)


A: The chapbook has been put out for distribution to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingrams, and such, but when and if Amazon get copies in stock is another matter. Click the relevant button and go for it, by all means.

If it's not showing in stock and you don't want to order from Lulu, you might try adding Fabbles: 1 to your wishlist. Who knows, if enough people do it, maybe Amazon will get their finger out and order in some copies, eh?


A: The speshul edition has a printed-in bookplate and additional illustration that's not in the trade edition. Order a speshul edition copy direct, and I'll sign, line and date it, dedicated to the person of your choice, and decorated by the Scruffian of your choice. The first 26 copies were lettered in accordance with the Alfabetcha in the author's best childlike scrawl, but these have now all been sold.


A: Decoration may involve: crayon; groAnhuFF blood; glitter; stickMen dloob; fingerpainting; the WAfetAker GenerAl's blud? It will not involve blood. Awwwwwww!

For a list of Scruffians to choose from, see "An Alfabetcha of Scrufian Names," downloadable here.


A: Price: £12, by Paypal, UK postage and packing included. If you're in Europe, postage is a couple of quid more, so we'll call it £14. If you're in the US or further afield, add another quid to make it £15.


A: Scruffians sponsor-subscribers should check their email for the last circular (23rd November, 2013,) which contains a discount code for the special edition. Because, thanks.


A: To place your order, just click the Paypal button below and add a note with the dedication details required or, if Paypal won't let you add a note, (it seems to happen sometimes,) make your payment and drop me a follow-up email at hal AT halduncan DOT com, from (or with a mention of) the same address you paid via.

If you have any trouble with the Paypal button, my Paypal is al DOT duncan AT ntlworld DOT com. No "h," not "hal," just "al." The story of my byline is a long and complicated one involving a Scottish writer called Alasdair Duncan, a gay writer called Alasdair Duncan, and a gay Scottish writer called Alasdair Duncan (i.e. me.) Suffice to say, the "h" is dropped 'ere in best Scruffian fashion.


A: Sorry, there's no ebook edition of the chapbook as a whole. However, "The Taking of the Stamp" is currently out from Popcorn, an imprint of La Case Books, available for Kindle and all other major platforms. So for those who don't want a hardcopy of it, just ebook editions of the other two stories, I've put "A Scruffian Christmas" and "The Beast of Buskerville" up on Kindle Direct, collected into a companion double-header by name of FABBLES: 0.5, which you can get now at Amazon UK or at Amazon US.

Also, if you order FABBLES: 1 direct or send me a proof of purchase of your order via Lulu or Amazon, I'll happily provide you with digital versions of "A Scruffian Christmas" and "The Beast of Buskerville."