Hal Duncan – Jericho Writers
Jericho Writers
4 Acer Walk , Oxford, OX2 6EX, United Kingdom
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Hal Duncan

Hal Duncan - Editor

Hal Duncan is a queer Scottish writer and editor, known mainly for his literary fantasy and science fiction novels, but writing also short stories, poetry and criticism.

A blend of pulp and postmodernism, his first novel, Vellum (Tor), was described by Lucius Shepard as ‘the Guernica of genre fiction’, and shared awards shortlists with everyone from Neil Gaiman (BFS Award) to Brett Easton Ellis and Haruki Murakami (World Fantasy Award). It won the Spectrum Award (for LGBT science-fiction/fantasy), the Kurd-Lasswitz-Preis and Tuehtivaeltaja (for the German and Finnish translations respectively) and was nominated for the Crawford, the Locus and (for the French translation) the Prix Europeen Utopiales.

Hal was also a judge on the 2012 British Fantasy Awards and co-edited the Caledonia Dreamin’ anthology in 2013. As professional freelance editor, he worked on Sean Eads’ Lord Byron’s Prophecy, finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award 2016, while as mentor he worked on an early draft of Cameron Johnston’s The Traitor God, subsequently picked up by Angry Robot and shortlisted for the Dragon Awards 2018.



Hal is a fountain of knowledge, particularly when it comes to Fantasy and Science Fiction. Hal’s reports are often as in-depth as they come, covering everything to world-building to structure.


Over thirty years workshopping, nigh on ten working with Jericho Writers, and a half dozen as professional editor, I’ve come to love the elbows-deep struggle to crack those novels a writer has got lost in. No matter how rough the prose, how broken the PoV, how rambling the plot, the more frustrating it is to read even, the greater the reward when you can see where maybe just a single wrong turn led the writer astray, how the right wee tweak to rectify that might ripple gloriously through all that follows. And suddenly you see not just the passion and tantalising veins of vision and skill, but the real potential of the novel that’s simply being thwarted by some misstep invisible to them. When you can lay bare the problem that’s been gnawing at them with vague doubts, suggest a solution they recognise as true the moment they see it… a writer galvanised by your feedback, back in love with the work, raring to forge ahead… that’s a wonderful feeling.

Genres Hal specialises in

Science Fiction

Hal's published books



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