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Hal Duncan

fantasy author Hal DuncanVellum was nominated for the 2006 British Fantasy Society Best Novel. Hal Duncan’s website.

The Book of All Hours

The Book of All Hours — (2005-2007) Publisher: It’s 2017 and angels and demons walk the earth. Once they were human; now they are unkin, transformed by the ancient machine-code language of reality itself. They seek The Book of All Hours, the mythical tome within which the blueprint for all reality is transcribed, which has been lost somewhere in the Vellum — the vast realm of eternity upon which our world is a mere scratch. The Vellum, where the unkin are gathering for war. The Vellum, where a fallen angel and a renegade devil are about to settle an age-old feud. The Vellum, where the past, present, and future will collide with ancient worlds and myths. And the Vellum will burn…

book review Hal Duncan The Book of All Hours: 1. Vellum, 2. Ink book review Hal Duncan The Book of All Hours: 1. Vellum, 2. Ink

Vellum: Empty, pretentious twaddle

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Vellum by Hal Duncan

Forty pages into Vellum, I was dazzled. Hal Duncan's debut novel appeared to be every bit as phantasmagoric as the tidal wave of advance hype was claiming it was. A hundred pages in, my initial delight was morphing into skepticism. Yes, Duncan is a remarkably assured stylist, but is there any direction here? Is there ever going to emerge a cogent narrative to involve me beyond the author's obvious gift for lovely and visually evocative prose? By about 175 pages, I figured I had my answer.

I remember attending a critics' panel at a local convention several years ago, before I launched my site, listening to Bruce Sterling. I love Bruce to death, especially when he prattles on in that showoffy way of his, demonstrating how much more well-read and intellectually promiscuous he is than you. He was in fine form this day, ... Read More

Paper Cities: Diverse anthology

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Paper Cities by Ekaterina Sedia

Bring up urban fantasy nowadays and most readers will probably assume that you’re talking about such authors as Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon and so on, but in this new anthology from Senses Five Press, which is edited by Ekaterina Sedia, Paper Ci... Read More

The Solaris Book of New Fantasy: Celebrates the rich diversity of the genre

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The Solaris Book of New Fantasy by George Mann (ed.)

I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to short fiction. Because of my lack of experience in this area, I hope that you will bear with me as I try to provide a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of The Solaris Book of New Fantasy, even if I don’t always succeed. The plan is to first look at each short story individually providing synopses and commentary, followed by my evaluation of the compilation as a whole. So, let’s look at the stories:

1) “Who Slays the Gyant, Wounds the Beast” by Mark Chadbourn. On Christmas Eve in the year 1598 in a world where England is at war against the Faerie, England’s greatest spy Will Swyfte is on a mission of the greatest import — he has until dawn to prevent the Faerie Queen from crossing over to the other side... Read More

Speculative Horizons: Feel good about buying this anthology!

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Speculative Horizons edited by Patrick St. Denis

Speculative Horizons is a lovely little anthology edited by book blogger Patrick St. Denis (of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist fame). When the good people at Subterranean Press asked him whether he’d be interested in editing a short story collection, he understandably jumped on the idea (who wouldn’t?!), but asked that a portion of the proceeds be donated to breast cancer research. Not only is this an absolutely wonderful initiative, but it also means that you now have an excellent chance to buy a book and actually feel good about it.

This 128 page anthology contains five short stories by authors whose names many people who are interested in speculative fiction wil... Read More

More books by Hal Duncan

reveiw Hal Duncan Escape From Hell
Escape from Hell — (2008) Publisher: A hitman, a hooker, a homosexual kid, and a hobo suicide make the ultimate prison break… escape from Hell itself! But when news of their attempted escape gets out, the souls of the damned are transformed into a rioting mob, and all Hell truly does break loose. It’s Escape from New York meets Jacob’s Ladder, by one of fantasy’s rising stars.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsErrata — (2013) Publisher: Collecting for the first time, and revising for this edition, all four stories in the Errata sequence-“The City of Rotted Names,” “The Prince of End Times,” “The Whenever at the City’s Heart,” & “The Tower of Morning’s Bones”-this chapbook is a cubist collage of wordplay and worldblazing, a mosaic narrative of the battle for the city of the soul. Here, fans of Vellum & Ink can delve deeper into the mythos of The Book of All Hours, while new readers will find a stand-alone story, a wild ride into the world of a work described as “the Guernica of genre fiction.”


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