He’s even made forays beyond print, writing a queer rock musical which debuted as a student production in Chicago in 2010, and collaborating with Scottish bands Aereogramme, on the /Ballads of the Book/ album from Chemikal Underground, and The Dead Man’s Waltz, on the Edinburgh Fringe show Story’s End.
A blend of pulp and postmodernism, his first novel, Vellum, 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.