A Scruffian Funferal
Waifs of history put under the Stamp. Fixed imperishable to skivvy forever for the groanhuffs. Scarpered to live wild, fight back, liberate every scruff still in chains. So sharpen yer shivs, scamps, and get ready to rumble. It's time for a little old school Halloween fun, on the night when every scruff is hellion and every groanhuff best be scared. More
Waifs of history put under the Stamp. Fixed imperishable to skivvy forever for the groanhuffs. Scarpered to live wild, fight back, liberate every scruff still in chains.
Orphans, foundlings, latchkey kids...
It's over a century now since the Scruffians nicked the Stamp, done for the last of the Waiftaker Generals, and brung down the whole bleeding Trade. Still, there's cribs being raided and scruffs being scrobbled, which means there's comeuppances called for, innit. So sharpen yer shivs, scamps, and get ready to rumble. It's time for a little old school Halloween fun, on the night when every scruff is hellion and every groanhuff best be scared.
Urchins, changelings, live-by-wits...
Like fugitives from the musical Oliver! by way of Clive Barker, like some queer punk bastard brat born of Neil Gaiman and William Burroughs, the anarchic Scruffians should appeal to readers of dark fantasy with a wicked sense of black humour and a fierce passion for social justice. Ain't no escapism without equality, mate, far as scruffs are concerned, so for those who've lost their spoons to the fuckeries of power and privilege, well, yer new cribmates have spoons to spare, innit. Sharpened to shivs, natch. Wielding whimsy in the service of satire then, with a wink to Peter Pan, a nod to The Borribles, and a salute to Sweeney Todd, this is punk fiction for yer inner feral child.
Or yer literal feral child, for that matter, if ye'd rather have em foul-mouthed and big-hearted than ever-so-polite but bigoty little twerps. Just don't blame me if yer eight year old decides she's Squigglet Muckentuff the Third now and wants to tackle institutional racism with a pennywhistle blowpipe and poison darts.
Rascals, scallywags, ruffians, scamps....
From short stories boiled down to pack the punch of a three-minute garage rock song to sprawling novellas as the pint-sized picaresque adventures of scallywag heroes of yore, here you'll find a panoply of postmodern fabbles ("it's like a fable with a bit of fib and a bit of babble thrown in for fun, innit!") packed full of the profane and the poignant. Offering humour in the face of horror, farcical and slapstick as a Punch and Judy show, solace in the face of sorrow, heartwarming as a locket from a dead mum set in a sniffly orphan's hand at Christmas, these are tales to break yer heart and remake it bigger than ever.
Scoundrels, hellions, Scruffians STAMP!....
Whether it's a quiet contemporary fantasy story of gay foster kid runaways drawn into this queer found family or a riotous historical fantasy yarn told by the fabbler of their new crib to "explificate" the Dire Situation of waifs down the centuries scrobbled and Fixed to serve as mill workers, chimney sweeps or worse, every story stands alone, self-reliant as a Whitechapel guttersnipe. Across and between these stories though, in the sneaky hints and clues of a Big Picture, there's shenanigans and malarkey afoot too, for any reader ready to play along and delve ever-deeper into the world of the Scruffians.
Praise for the Scruffians
“The post- post- modern Victorian fables that comprise Hal Duncan’s A Scruffian Survival Guide inhabit a unique dark fantasy world – a feral dream. The language is mad genius.” — Jeffrey Ford on A Scruffian Survival Guide
“Hal Duncan's cheeky and charming Scruffian stories hide a steely shiv of inspection that digs uncompromisingly into the ribs of the establishment. This latest volume, populated as always with wonderful characters old and new, deepens that exploration and brings it bang up to date. I loved every word of it.” — Neil Williamson on A Scruffian Survival Guide
"[A] wickedly entertaining collection of short fiction fantastical and queer in nature... sharp-tongued and a bit dark—I’d even say a little roguish, sometimes—these stories are delightful and provocative, and I’d certainly recommend picking them up for a read." — Tor.com on Scruffians!
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