The Land of Somewhere Safe: where things go when you think, “I must put this somewhere safe,” and then can never find them again.
The Scruffians: irreverent foul-mouthed street urchins, older than their years, waifs who have been Fixed by the Stamp, frozen so that they are immortal, providing perpetual slave labour. But now the waifs have nicked the Stamp and burned down the Institute that housed it, preventing any more of their number being Fixed and exploited.
Peter and Lilly: two school kids orphaned by Nazi bombs, who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and evacuated from London during the Blitz. Sent far further north than intended, all the way to the Isle of Skye, they are taken in by Clan Chief Lady Morag MacGuffin of Dunstravaigin Castle. With them are the four Bastable children – a jolly queer bunch – who prove to be far more than they seem.
The Reverend Blackstone: no real reverend at all, but an occultish Nazi spy determined to get his hands on the priceless Stamp, even if he has to raise hisself a demon to do so…
Hal Duncan is a Scottish science fiction and fantasy writer based in Glasgow. A graduate of Glasgow University, his first book, Vellum, about a war between heaven and hell, was released in 2005. It has since been translated into several other languages and nominated to the World Fantasy Award and Locus Award. Ink, the follow up, was released in 2007.
Picture: Hal Duncan in Polcon 2007. Photo by Szymon Sokół. Source: Wikimedia Commons.