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hal duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 06:04 am:   

Hi, everybody. Just a quick note to introduce myself.

I'm Hal Duncan, aka Al Duncan (the "H" is silent, ye see... and sometimes invisible), and I'm a long-standing member of the Glasgow SF Writer's Circle who's recently joined the illustrious ranks of Tor UK as one of their new authors (woohoo!). Some random facts:

I drink Guinness.
I was brought up in a small town in Ayrshire called Kilwinning, home to the #0 (Mother) Lodge of the Freemasons (and one day intend to write a rollicking occult-conspiracy / coming-of-age novel about this).
My first novel called Vellum is coming out sometime in the near future from aforementioned Tor UK (no date set yet).
I currently live on the same street in Glasgow where Alexander Trocchi once stayed.
When drunk I have been known to blather on incoherently about how the last line of Ulysses is "the most beautiful thing ever written so it is man yes I say yes it is yes"
I hate the Swiss for no rational reason whatsoever.
I drink Guinness.

I know I mentioned Guinness twice but, hey, it's Guinness. It's 45% fortitude, you know.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 06:07 am:   

Welcome, (H)al! Vellum is an awesome novel--everybody should go pick it up when it comes out.

JeffV
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 06:21 am:   

Ah, shucks. Thanks, man! And thanks for setting us up with the board, btw.
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neilw
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 06:59 am:   

Al - to reiterate Jeff's endorsement of Vellum. It's a superb achievement. Great to see you in your own spot on the boards.

>Last line of Ulysses is "the most beautiful thing ever written so it is man yes I say yes it is yes"

With no full stop Maybe one day you'll convince us

>Guinness. It's 45% fortitude, you know.

And the other 55% is a mixture of latitude, lassitude and ermintrude. So I hear. :D

neil
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 07:20 am:   

Al: I had no idea you had a book coming out. That's great news. Congratulations. Glad to see you have a center of operations here on the board. Best of luck with both.
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 07:54 am:   

Hi Neil! Hi Jeff!

Thanks and thanks. Glad to be here, with some mighty fine neighbours too.

I meant to post on one of yer threads, Jeff, btw, that I've just finished reading The Portrait Of Mrs Charbuque. Absolutely smashing. The central conceit is just gorgeous, and I loved where you took it thematically. Read it in two sittings (and it was only two because the first sitting was interrupted by the siren call of Saturday night.)

>>And the other 55% is a mixture of latitude, lassitude and ermintrude.

Yup, it's the beef that gives it that rich, dark colour. Mmmmmmmm, beef.
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the evil swiss
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:44 am:   

Toblerone!

bwa ha ha ha haa ...
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gary gibson
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:47 am:   

Hi Al!
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fur
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 11:59 am:   

The h is patently invisible.
Congrats on Vellum - it's bloody unbelievable: a really astounding debut.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:58 pm:   

So--question. Do you also write short fiction, Al?

JeffV
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al duncan
Posted on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 02:06 am:   

Hi Gary! Hi Fur! Thanks indeed.

But as for you, evil swiss, you can sod off with yer toblerone and yer cuckoo clocks and yer not giving women the vote till 1971. Bloody alpies.
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al duncan
Posted on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 02:39 am:   

Jeff: How short is short? What I mean is, yes, but I just can't seem to get under 9,000 words these days (I just managed to keep the last short story I wrote down to that and even now I can feel it swirling in the back of my head, hisspering "novel idea... novel idea... novel idea... "). Christ, Vellum's 180k and it's just #1 of 2!

But yeah, I've got some short(ish) fiction kicking about at the moment that I'm waiting to hear back on. I have to admit I'm pretty slack with submitting, and that tendency towards the lengthy side, I think, hasn't done me any favours in sales; ten years back, I managed to flog the first story I ever sent off... and not a sausage since then. Also a lot of the short stories I wrote over the last decade kinda got eaten by The Book Of All Hours. Actually, I think one big reason they weren't selling was because I thought I was writing short fiction and was actually secretly writing sections of the novel. They didn't quite stand alone the way I wanted them to.

Anyhoo, I'm hoping to get into doing some proper short short stuff once I get the first draft of Ink done. I really love the kind of pataphysical fiction Guy Davenport does - so simple but so complex - so I really fancy doing some stories in that vein. Pared down, low-key, little mysteries.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 06:40 am:   

Al: Thanks for checking Mrs. C. Glad you enjoyed it.
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 07:48 am:   

OK, so I finally succumbed to the dark urge to find yet another outlet for my lunatic ravings. So if you're looking for an insight into the world of Al, a world full of arcane texts, pub-table philosophy and evil Swiss plotting to take over the world, feel free to check out my Notes From The Geek Show here.
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neilw
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:04 am:   

Oh... Al.

*shakes head*
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 08:11 am:   

Hey, sometimes I forget to bring the most up-to-date copy of Ink into work with me, and what's a boy supposed to do with his shirking time then? I can't spend all day grazing these message boards.
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the evil swiss
Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 11:27 am:   

The evil swiss? The world has not seen the last of ... the evil swiss!

mnmbwa ha ha ha ha !!
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al duncan
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 02:48 am:   

Oh, yeah? Say that in Swiss then, goatboy. Go on. Oh, sure, you can say there's no Swiss language, but I don't believe a word of it. French, Italian and German, my ass. What language do you speak when yer hiding away in yer mountain bunkers, polishing yer guns and counting all that Nazi gold? Eh? Eh?! I'll tell you. Swiss.

Schickenfrickenrazzefrazzen Swiss.
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Tamar
Posted on Friday, August 27, 2004 - 09:41 am:   

Hi, Al. Welcome to the boards, and congrats on the book. Any friend of Neil's is a friend of mine. Erm... I'm assuming you *are* a friend of Neil's?;)
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 02:12 am:   

Hi Tamar.

Thanks. Yeah, Neil and meself are cronies via the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's Circle, so I've known him for - quite literally - years. Lovely man. Does a rollicking good honky-tonk cover of Black Sabbath's Paranoid.
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neilw
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 04:03 am:   

More like 'many years'. Not that they've *all* been bad, of course.

Actually the two of you probably met at Phil & Craig's Prohibition Party a few years ago.

>Does a rollicking good honky-tonk cover of Black Sabbath's Paranoid.

Al, now you know that's not true. Which is not to say that it couldn't *be* true if you wanted it badly enough. I can have a word with the guys - doubt we'll be able to fit it in for Wednesday night however.
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 04:43 am:   

Oops. Monday morning pre-coffee finger-gibberish there. I meant, of course, to say Motorhead's The Ace Of Spades.

The only way to do Paranoid justice is as a Reggae number, of course.

Finished wit me wooman cause she could nat elp me wit me mind. (ey-oh!)
People tink I'n'I insane because me frownin all de time.
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rwexler
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:07 am:   

Hi Al. Congrats on the book! Any imaginary friend of Neil's is an imaginary friend of mine.

Robert
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gary gibson
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:31 am:   

hey, paranoid as a reggae number is _my_ idea, remember.

though phil did come up with the 'ey-oh', as i recall.
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 07:56 am:   

Robert: Hi. Thanks! Honestly, I'm not imaginary. Leastways, I don't think I am. Others may disagree.

Gary: mumble mumble group effort mutter mumble didn't say I thought of it mumble mutter just cause you can actually play guitar mutter mutter phooey
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neilw slightly concerned
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 08:44 am:   

No, Al you're definitely not imaginary.

However, Robert, I'd like you to meet Jeemy the cheese-thieving mouse, Silent Susie the glum little goth-girl ghost, and Mr Tombola. Don't even speak to Tombola. I warn you. It's not worth the hassle.

Hey, I like the reggae paranoid, whoever came up with it. We've had a request for Whole Lotta Rosie as well, which we considered doing in the Jerry Lee Lewis piano-stylee for like five minutes until we realised that folks might start to think of us as a gimmick band.


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rwexler
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 10:16 am:   

I've already spoken to Mr. Tombola and now there's coal dust all over the kitchen counter.
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gary gibson
Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 03:03 pm:   

Mr Tombola. Wanted for questioning in thirty-five US states, and let's not mention the leather lederhosen unwashed since the Swiss Cheese scandal of '95. Which is why, of course, Jeemy is psychologically scarred and only able to think in terms of cheese-thieving. Could have been worse. Would never have used the 'coals to Newcastle' phrase if I'd thought he was going to take it literally, but you live and learn.
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neilw
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 01:46 am:   

Goddamn that Tombola. Now there's an imaginary friend you really don't want to have.

Ever wonder why no-one's seen Harvey the rabbit since the fifties? He's in pit in Wales, buried up to his neck in anthracite. Oh, that beautiful white fur. That bastard.
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Jeff Ford
Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2005 - 06:48 am:   

Al: Can you drop me a line at delicate@erols.com
Thanks!
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 07:58 am:   

Who the hell am I? I am famous!

Well, OK. One news article is not quite international fame and fortune, but it's a step in the right direction. Kudos to Gary for bringing meself and Mike into the interview.

And it was a really sunny day. Yes, I am a complete poser, but it was a really sunny day. The shades weren't entirely for show.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 08:39 am:   

Nice! You look really . . . sci fi . . . in those glasses.

(ducks for cover)

JK
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 08:50 am:   

Razzafrazzanschickenfrickenscifischeisen, Klima! Sci-Fi my ass! Pah!

Actually, Sci-Fi, I can deal with; I'm not ashamed of my geek-boy heritage. I'm just glad the headline didn't use the phrase "Beam Down".

And I swear to God, it was a scorcher. And that building behind us is shiny silvery steel, reflective as fuck. And the concrete underfoot was white. It's true, I tell you, it's true.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 10:34 am:   

LOL! You made me laugh so hard I choked on my lunch!

Seriously, though, that was a cool article. I'm excited to pick up some Tor UK books when I'm over there this Summer. (and some Walker's Poppadom Crisps)

JK
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 06:50 am:   

Howdy Hal,
I just read (okay, in theory it was proofread) your story "The Chiaroscurist." Great fuckin' story, if I do say so myself. Bravo!

(For the curious, "The Chiaroscurist" will appear in Electric Velocipede #10, due out at Worldcon in Glasgow, where a certain Mr. Duncan resides. Hmmmm, could this be a conspiracy?)
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 04:09 pm:   

Hey Minz! Cheers! Very glad ye liked it. Leaving aside the fact that a certain Mr Williamson, who also resides in Glasgow, is also in that self-same issue of Electric Velocipede due out at WorldCon, how could it possibly be a conspiracy?

No, I say. No. Pay no attention to the Weegees behind the curtain.

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