Hal Duncan Quotes

Words command us. Names define us. Definitions bind us. Words are where we keep our sacred secrets.

Destiny can sometimes be history coming back to bite you in the arse.

With undead armies, psychotic angels and exploding airships, Scar Night is a gripping, ripping yarn which rattles along at a great pace. Tether all that to the knock-out image at the heart of the novel-Deepgate, a Gothic city built on a network of chains over a great abyss-and you have urban fantasy at its best.

Homophobia’s just one form of abjection, and wherever you have a marker of deviance – skin colour, gender, gender identity, disability – you get the same mechanisms of prejudice.

I started thinking about the endless bullshit about quotas, and how certain types of character are fine “as long as it’s important to the story,” and so on, started thinking about the absence of the abject.

I’m sort of exploring where pacifism and socialism come into conflict. How do you reconcile a passionate rejection of might and violence with an attitude of “nil paseran” – “none shall pass” – in the face of fascism?

Most of my influences from outside the commerical strange fiction genre came in with university, discovering James Joyce and Wallace Stevens, Blake and Yeats, Pinter and Borges. And meanwhile within those genres I was discovering Gibson and Shepard, Jeter and Powers, Lovecraft and Peake.

Movies, novels, TV shows – these are the water fountains of today. We thirst for stories which speak to us by representing us, but we go to the water fountains in the centre of town looking for that, and we’re turned away, sent to the ghetto.

I wanted to do justice to texts that are in verse in their original, so I tried to invest my version with a comparable poetic power; hence even more literary fireworks there.

Where names of people or places would mean little to a contemporary reader, I figured “translation errors” could create interesting new meanings.

A 3K word story might well be done in some caffeine-and-nicotine-fuelled 36 hour session, and at the end of it, there’ll be a few passes of editing required, but I basically have a polished draft.

The conflict between pacifism and socialism ultimately reflects a greater quandary of how one engages with such a system.

Prejudice validates itself as righteous abhorrence of the criminally deviant. So Christian homophobia is just a metonym of that abjection in general.

I’ve got a number of stories written so far in that mythos, more lined up to be written, and a narrative arc taking shape between them. I was experimenting with releasing the stories online for Paypal donations, so the existing ones are currently available via the blog for free download, but the ball didn’t keep rolling in terms of meeting the targets I was setting.