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al duncan
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 03:01 pm:   

A wee short story of mine, The Disappearance of James H____, is now online at Strange Horizons.
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Carole C
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 02:14 am:   

Liked that, Al!
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Christopher Barzak
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 06:00 am:   

Excellent story, Hal. Can't wait to read your novel.
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al duncan
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 06:06 am:   

Cheers guys! Glad ye liked it.
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Dave Schwartz
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 02:15 pm:   

Good stuff, Hal. Want more!
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 03:01 am:   

Ta, Dave.

Some non-fiction now... Cheryl Morgan at Emerald City has just posted up a wee Guide to Glasgow for anyone coming to WorldCon in August. There's an article by meself (largely about watering holes, natch) along with stuff from other GSFWC members.
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al duncan
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - 04:21 am:   

Just in case anyone missed it over on Neil Williamson's thread, another goody available at WorldCon will be the Nova Scotia Anthology, edited by Neil and Andrew Wilson, and containing a number of, I'm sure, damn fine stories -- along with one of mine.

Even if ye can't make it WorldCon, have no fear. You can pre-order it online even as we speak.
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neilw
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 04:10 am:   

Al - thanks for the pointer - but your links don't work.

:D
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   

Kack. Dunno what went wrong there.
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al duncan
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 05:17 am:   

Back to pimping myself... with an interview at Fantasy Book Spot.
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al duncan
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 05:19 am:   

And while I'm at it... does this one work for Nova Scotia?
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al duncan
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 05:20 am:   

... and to but it at Amazon?
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al duncan
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 05:22 am:   

*Ahem*... "buy" it, that is.

Ah well, at least the links work.
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al duncan
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 - 10:49 am:   

Another wee interview, this one courtesy of Joe Gordon at his Forbidden Planet International Blog.
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al duncan
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 06:31 am:   

You can now read my novellete "The Chiaroscurist" for FREE & GRATIS (hurrah for Mr Klima!) at the Electric Velocipede website... not to mention quite a few other tasty goodies from the same issue -- Neil Williamson, Jay Caselberg, Anna Tambour, Mark Rich, Kristine Ong Muslim.

Go ye and enjoy the fruits of our writerly loins. Or the eggplants of our loins as the case may be.
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gary gibson
Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 08:00 am:   

"Go ye and enjoy the fruits of our writerly loins."

... wouldn't that be meat and two veg, Al?
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 03:41 am:   

I read "The Chiaroscurist" and liked it. It's a lot better than "The Disappearance of James H", which to be honest, didn't impress.

So, I'm gathering that this story is in the same universe as Vellum? It has an antiquarian feel to me, both in the setting and language. The setting seems Italian renaisance. I was surprised to find elves and gnomes and such, in your fantasy world.

Overall it's good prose, but it could use a bit of smoothing over, which I'll bet you'd agree. You use a lot of scene breaks, which is fine, but in one instance, it doesn't seem to fit. I'll point it out for you:

I leave the shirt untucked as cover, shaking my head.
—You will spoil me for other women, I say.
###
—Then you must marry me, she says. Take me away from all this and make an honest woman of me.
I sit on the bed to kiss her.


Why the scene break between the dialog, there?

Anyway, I hope that's not too critical for you. I'll be checking out Vellum down the road.
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 04:29 am:   

I'm gathering that this story is in the same universe as Vellum?

Well, the Vellum's a multiverse. A present day version of this world appears in one chapter of the novel, but it's not the main backdrop.

Why the scene break between the dialog, there?

Each titled section is in four "panels" separated by section breaks. They're not scene breaks so much as the prose equivalent of the white space between stanzas... or like panels of a mediaeval fresco. Sometimes these map to a change of focus, a change of shot, the end of one exchange and the beginning of another. But there are also breaks in the middle of dialogue that represent simply a pause. Think of enjambment as used in a poem.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 04:57 am:   

Sometimes these map to a change of focus, a change of shot, the end of one exchange and the beginning of another. But there are also breaks in the middle of dialogue that represent simply a pause.

Yes, I got that. It just seemed jarring, in that instance. But whatever. It's fine. You clearly put a lot of thought into the structure, which I'm assuming you're trying to mirror the artist, in the story's work?
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 05:08 am:   

I guess instead of a pause, I got the impression that the scene skipped ahead, just very slightly, like a little skip on a CD. Instead of flowing naturally.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 05:23 am:   

I guess I should have made it clear that by scene break, I'm including a change of camera angle or focus and exchange. But not a pause in dialog.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 06:17 am:   

You may not like that criticism. But keep in mind that when I read it, I wasn't analyzing or reading into the structure. I didn't count the number of sections after each title, or anything.
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 08:00 am:   

No worries. The four panel section thing is just an unconventional convention I use to break up scenes into... something I don't actually have a word for (I mean, what do you call a structure midway between a scene and a paragraph?). Anyway, mostly these breaks are in places where it seems "natural", and this is what most everyone expects, I suspect. But I'm a contrary bugger so sometimes I'll make these deliberately artificial, with dialogue straddling the break. As I say, it's a prose equivalent of enjambment. And hence jarring.

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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:06 am:   

Okay. Yeah, I also thought some of the breaks and scene changes were really well done. I just pointed out the one which didn't seem right. But, in an odd, I guess, artificial way, that break or pause may have even enhanced the scene. But then again, it can also impede the flow.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:22 am:   

And why did you put that huge exploding blimp shaped like a penis in the story? That totally fucking threw me off.

JeffV
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neilw
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:32 am:   

Not just that story, Jeff, but all his stories. "Again with the exploding blimp!" we cry.

I suspect there may be subtext to this fixation, but I'm not sure.

neilw
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 09:36 am:   

Subtext?

Those exploding airships are powered by orgone-energy, remember; it's not so much subtext as just plain text.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 10:04 am:   

ALL of his stories?!?!? What a MacGuffin.

JeffV
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 11:15 am:   

I saw the blimp as a leit motif representing the passing of the previous generation of SF/F writers, making way for a faster, smaller new generation of writers.

JK
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2005 - 01:38 pm:   

Well, since you brought it up...
What's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenberg?











One's a flaming Nazi windbag and the other's a dirigible... :-)
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AT
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2005 - 01:30 am:   

"I saw the blimp as a leit motif representing the passing of the previous generation of SF/F writers, making way for a faster, smaller new generation of writers."

A lite motif?
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al duncan
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2005 - 09:51 am:   

"... a faster, smaller new generation of writers."

Ah, that would be the ornithopters armed with chi-cannons. But really it's just that I like explosions. Or Jack does, anyway.

Anyhoo, more media-sluttery: there's a 2-page (2-page! wohoo!) profile out of "Scotland's new king of wild fictional frontiers" in this month's issue of SFX. Man, I got the same column inches as Nicole Kidman and Maggie Grace from Lost! And it also gives wee name-checks (hurrah!) to Jeff V, Gary G and our mutual editor, Peter Lavery... Ooh, ooh, ooh, and there's a five star review of Vellum too just to put the icing on the cake!

Ya beauty, as we say here in Glasgow.
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 - 11:49 am:   

And media slut little moi has yet another interview up at a newish site Pretentious Heathens UK. There's some other good interviews too -- Moorcock, Ford and Bishop -- in their archives.
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al duncan
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 05:48 am:   

My story, "The Angel of Gamblers", will be published in the Eidolon I anthology coming out in November from Eidolon & Prime. It's got poker, metaphysics and Jack Flash. What more could ye want? (Apart from cake, of course... ye can never have enough cake... or Guinness... or the smell of wet dog fur... or square sausage on a roll with a bottle of Irn Bru... or... I'll shut up now.)

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