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Terence Park

Writer

First lines from Brant, The Tau Device, Lucky, On Burnley Road, Writing Day, Alibi

Books & Poetry

Silt From Distant Lands (2016)

The Slow Holocaust (2016)

Unfinished Tales (2016)

The Tau Device (2016)

Burnley (2015)

Brant (2014)

Lucky (2013)

A Guide to First Contact (2013)
Ice Made (2013)

for Hasiwriters

Has You Like It (2014)

for CWG exiles
36 Short Stories 2010/11 (2012)

36 Short Stories 2015 (2017)

This first collection of poetry by Terence Park ranges through time and space (Golden Age Islam, WW1, the Oort Cloud), dips into current affairs (Scottish Referendum, EU Referendum), with several stopovers at poetry within fiction. It doesn't shy from the darker side of life but Terence confesses to omitting obligatory cuss words.

Also included: Close As Kin, a second volume of poems from between October 2014 and March 2016.

The Slow Holocaust
and other stories

Writing Day: a wannabe librarian is on the run —from the last library on Earth.

The Slow Holocaust: once again millions of Britons are out of work.

The Wrong Lane: it’s the individual versus society, but who wins?

Undercroft: a crotchety scribe downs his quills. 

extract from Writing Day...

I have a worn down pencil stub and some cherished scraps of paper. About me are dim shadows. The charge in my torch is almost done. Now is not the time. I think back to my flight. Only a few hours ago, I had fled my small room; its meagre collection of treasures all left behind.     I had lived above the library. Its dowdy furniture and raggedly bound books were a last repository of fading knowledge. I was the assistant, the one to return borrowed books to the logging in desk and where necessary, provide a hot drink from our scanty stores. Many of those who returned books were in a worse state than the books themselves. My presence was tolerated as I subsisted in little more than a cubbyhole, however, my services were not governed by any formal arrangement —I was simply there when needed. And when not, I retired to my room.

Five tales. A journalist leaves the Big Apple to go tornado chasing in Indian country; an America where law enforcement is as feared as the mob; a private investigator checks out the legend of the Ridge Runner; a corsair threat to the Kingdom of Sicily; the slaughter of three Roman Legions at Teutoberger Wald has repercussions as far afield as Alexandria.

extract from Alibi...

The meal was over. I got up and went to the john. It smelled of stale tobacco smoke. After a few minutes, I checked my appearance —black gabardine coat over grey suit.     I decided to let my hair pick its own style —an autumn gale was building up outside and resistance would be futile —but I straightened a flick of hair before I returned to the dining area.     Red had gone by that time I was back out. Mousey girl still had skinny man with her. I ignored them and left. Red always pays the bills. He says they are chargeable business expenses. I don’t dwell on such things.

Synopsis

Lory Gato enjoys the privileged life, of an interstellar gourmet He gets sent to T'negi 36 where humans have a small presence. As new kids on the galactic block, humanity get the scraps — T'negi 36 is nearly airless and it'll be a long time before it's fit to live on. The few bars on T'negi 36 are closed because of problems with humans. He arranges, anyway, to meet a t'negi xeno-archaeologist, Liasse, who is researching a long dead civilisation. She believes whatever destroyed it is still a threat.

He has a run in with Earthers - humans who believe their manifest destiny is to (somehow) overthrow alien civilisations, steal alien terraforming technology, and colonize. The technology that powers interstellar civilisation suddenly fails... then it turns out that the Earthers have powerful allies. Lory and Liasse are thrown together in a desperate bid to survive.

extract from Kihir...

The why of Diggha’s motives wasn’t something to dwell upon. Maybe he didn’t want witnesses. What if he had been ordered to… I decided not to go to that place. There were things better not to know. I didn’t look back but, making the best speed I could, shuffled to Liasse. It seemed to take a lifetime, but was probably only a minute. Even so I looked — in vain — for something to prop me up. Dust settled more. Poking out from under the fallen rock beyond her was the tip of a boot. It didn’t move.     She lay half-sprawled on her side, hair a bunched knot and a graze to her temple that was beginning to well up. Her deeply hued green skin was wan. She was still and, as far as I could see, barely breathing. What could I do? There was no guarantee that human remedies would help her; in fact, if anything, they might cause harm. After all, t’negi and human environmental suits were sold separate to each other; logic suggested that one reason was to better tailor emergency kits, so they wouldn’t be knowingly mixed.

Synopsis

Burnley looks at less well known facts about the town. It includes an edited account of the last years of Burnley Grammar School. These are presented to give a clear picture of the main concerns of the school and yet highlight areas where specific names come to the fore. Those with long enough memories are likely to find names and activities of interest. [I enclose my observations by square brackets.]

The account draws from The Brun a yearbook / annual report on the doings of societies, sports, house reports and other affairs of the now vanished Burnley Grammar School. They were black and white with a touch of colour on the cover. My collection spans 1968 to 1974.

...former teacher Mr Fraser

On his retirement, Mr. D.W Fraser reflected on changes in school life over the previous forty years: Formerly there were no school meals or special transport and until 1959, the school was scattered over town – Physics, Art and Woodwork were taken in the College which was the home of the     High School. There was firm enforcement of the rule that     Grammar School boys and High School girls should not meet. P.E. Took place in Gorman’s Gym on Bridge Street, and Ebenezer was used as an annexe for seven classes. All the School had games in the last two periods on Wednesday afternoon.

Football in winter was held at Walshaw, known as ‘Swamp Top’, where pitch 11 always seemed to be under water. In summer, cricket was held at Turf Moor Cricket Ground. The Headmaster ruled that the game should not end before 5:30 pm. And that, if the game finished early (i.e. before 5:15 pm.) two more innings should be played.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bio

Terence began writing in 2009. He has published two novels, several collections of short stories, and a book about Burnley Grammar School. Most of his life has been spent in and around Burnley, Lancashire. He has lived through interesting times which at times infuses his work. 

Terence's first memories are from before his parents separated. His father was an alcoholic and his mother a refugee. Ultimately they divorced. Although he was placed in foster care, by the age he three he was reunited with his mother and went on to be brought up in a single parent family. Most of his youth was spent in poverty as his father rarely remitted maintenance which ensured years of difficulty. When he was seven his mother settled in Stoneyholme, an estate with a poor reputation in Burnley. As a child he rarely mixed with the street kids that roamed the area, preferring instead to read. He went on pass the eleven plus and attended Burnley Grammar School. Although he has fond memories of the place, it left him with an abiding sense of petty minded school cliques. He considers this a step up from being confronted in the street for having a mother with a non-English accent. Much of that early life was spent collecting American Comic Books and reading Science Fiction and Fantasy. His 'A' level results were poor.
During the mid 1970's, Terence started work, becoming a Work Study Assistant at Belwoven Labels. He qualified as a Management Accountant and With the advent of personal computing, became an expert spreadsheet modeller. He went on to work in Construction, Electricity and Aerospace and currently provides strategic inputs to local charity Relate Lancashire. Through the years he continued reading and collecting works by favourite authors. These included works by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Philip K Dick, Philip José Farmer, Harry Harrison, Robert Heinlein... and many, many more. His collection of old (and probably worthless) paperbacks now exceeds 1,500. 
He was married in December 1990 and has four children, now grown up. He still has 2 dogs and 1 cat which he shares with a long suffering wife. Terence has five brothers.

 

On the net

I enjoyed “The Tau Device”, and the story subtly pulled me in with its quirky writing style given through the voice of the main character, Lory. Fans of science fiction will find this book to be an enjoyable, fun and interesting read...

Alexandra,
Goodreads

Lory Gato's earthly life as a businessman and a gourmet comes to an end as soon as he is sent to an unusual planet where humanoid bots have a stronger presence than humans (humans in fact, constitute just a small minority)...

The Tau Device follows the adventures of interstellar gourmet Lory Gato, sent by his employers to check out the food and drink on the planet T’negi 36. From this slightly odd premise, the story develops in interesting and unpredictable ways. He meets archaeologist Jih Liasse, a member of the resident T’negi humanoid species, and is attracted to her, despite the fact that their biologies are so different that they cannot safely touch each other’s skin. Things get even more complicated when she invites him to a dig site where the pair encounter human extremists, an aggressive and powerful alien, and disembodied spirits from a long dead civilisation.

Tim Taylor,
Amazon

Machardan,
Goodreads

News & Events

29 Mar 17

The British Fantasy Society and Fantasy Creation

On 11th March 2017 I went to the 2nd 2017 York Pubmeet of the British Fantasy Society. AJ Dalton (also known as Andy) gave a talk on meta-physical fantasy and did a round up of sub-genres in Fantasy. That was followed by a reading. I made notes:

  • High fantasy

  • Little Human fantasy

  • Pagan fantasy

  • Epic fantasy

  • Flintlock fantasy

  • Urban fantasy

  • Comedic fantasy

  • Metaphysical fantasy

  • Dark fantasy

  • Dystopian YA fantasy

  • Grimdark fantasy

  • and of course derivative Tolkien-esque Nature fantasy

Chit-chat later on was aided by libations from the bar – which I had to decline as I have a 1½ hour drive home – we stuck to PC topics such as the state of SF. Read my report here.

This provokes the question: how do you make fantasy work? I’m read in Tolkien’s Middle Earth & Undying Lands, Witch World / High Hallack of Andre Norton (Guardian of Estcarp :-)), plus at random Thomas Burnett  Swann, Marion Campbell, Mervyn Peake, Jack Vance, Clark Ashton Smith, Guy Gavriel Kay, Robert E Howard, ER Eddison, Michael Moorcock… respectively: myth-making for the English, animist influenced sorcery, werekind from pre-Christian times, Druidic tale, character sketches, magical future science… all different. Those who note a dearth of recent / self-published fantasy works I would point in the direction of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, Neverwhere and Sandman.

My first rendering (Brant) takes a point of time before the last and worst nomadic eruption (Turco-Mongol hordes in the real Earth) and transposes it to a fantasy earth. The hero comes from the high sided valleys in the realm of Flotyn Bryn-i-Gwyn. He travels east, through the lowlands of Lagelan, eventually reaching the Northland Steppes where the nomads roam. To the south are the lands of the Khaif. So how are successors to mighty empires chosen? Well there is the Khaif in exile who holds court in the hidden city of Hrim. Where can magic be found? Not in the lands of the Khaif which, precisely because they are prone to the barbarities of civil war, are well policed. Thus they are found in the lawless lands that have never been fully tamed, or kingdoms fallen to ruin. Magic is a precarious subject; it has been banished from most places and so many consider it a fantasy, yet it exists in a mirror realm and in creatures who feed from human emotion whether fear, hate, frenzy, lust or love, even in those to whom using it is as natural as drawing breath. Yet they are not omnipotent, their power is consistent with their position in the grand scheme of things,

The kingdom of Tyrikhon has fallen on hard times. It borders Brychon Woods. Our hero, Brant, draws near. Heroic / Epic Fantasy

There is a magic in the seasons. My second venture into the world of the Northland Steppes sees a savage raider whose hands can create as well as destroy, with exceptional consequences. This story is told in Under Winter’s Bough. Metaphysical Fantasy

The changing of the Khaif is generally accomplished with much suffering – those with enemies will die long and painful deaths and those with suspect loyalties face the prospect of joining them. A small child can become a great hero if let live. A work in progress, working title: Tales of the Khaif. Heroic Fantasy

Outside that world I have two other works under way.

A Westerner working on the super highway being built on the Old Silk Road falls in with Erisse of the Illyany. That’s where his troubles start. The Illyany (a fictional people) originate from the Ili valley in Xin-Kiang. They are animists and can live on after death. Dark Fantasy

A group of seekers unwittingly arouse Ming and Ting, two capricious, intangible beings who have for many centuries have kept their part of the great forest clean by destroying any bird or animal with the temerity to come within a few miles. The seekers are former heroes from a now-conquered realm. They are geas bound by a magic which forces them to quest but they do not know what the quest is. Working title: A Sending. Epic Fantasy

Brant
Under Winter's Bough
 

News & Events

29 Mar 17

Fantasy Creation

Sub-genres in Fantasy

On 11th March 2017 I went to the 2nd 2017 York Pubmeet of the British Fantasy Society. AJ Dalton (also known as Andy) gave a talk on meta-physical fantasy and did a round up of sub-genres in Fantasy. That was followed by a reading. I made notes:

  • High fantasy

  • Little Human fantasy

  • Pagan fantasy

  • Epic fantasy

  • Flintlock fantasy

  • Urban fantasy

  • Comedic fantasy

  • Metaphysical fantasy

  • Dark fantasy

  • Dystopian YA fantasy

  • Grimdark fantasy

  • and of course derivative Tolkien-esque Nature fantasy

Chit-chat later on was aided by libations from the bar – which I had to decline as I have a 1½ hour drive home – we stuck to PC topics such as the state of SF. Read my report here.

Favourite Fantasy Authors

This provokes the question: how do you make fantasy work? I’m read in Tolkien’s Middle Earth & Undying Lands, Witch World / High Hallack of Andre Norton (Guardian of Estcarp :-)), plus at random Thomas Burnett  Swann, Marion Campbell, Mervyn Peake, Jack Vance, Clark Ashton Smith, Guy Gavriel Kay, Robert E Howard, ER Eddison, Michael Moorcock… respectively: myth-making for the English, animist influenced sorcery, werekind from pre-Christian times, Druidic tale, character sketches, magical future science… all different. Those who note a dearth of recent / self-published fantasy works I would point in the direction of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, Neverwhere and Sandman.

What Defines Fantasy?

What defines fantasy? This is all about dream building. Poets and bards tell the tale but the dream builders are the savage young oafs who dare to sack, loot, murder and rape their way across the civilised places of the past. The magic comes from that glory – defeating those who dare to lock up their worldly goods. The magic? that’s the artifice, nurtured by civilised communities, ripped away by greedy bedazzled eyes. Magic because thugs have few innate qualities beyond slaughter and destruction – when Genghis Khan sacked cities, he let live the best artisans, weapon-makers and good looking women (a tiny fraction). Thus magical items are accounted for too. Eternal beauty and youth: in a civilised environment more women (and men) live well into middle age and look better for it; childbearing isn’t the end of a woman’s life; inability to keep up with his younger bloodthirsty counterparts isn’t the end for a man. Not quite the elvish millennial life, but still a marvel for ruder, cruder tribes. What about magical creatures, the half-human and the chimerical? Those who see and work within the secret patterns of nature, those whose only company is beasts and working with them continuously, understand them better than men. Fantastical creatures become observation inspired to flights of fantasy. The invocation in Leviticus 18-23 suggests that the carnal coupling that might produce such creatures wasn’t unknown.

Dark-Epic Heroic-Metaphysical Fantasy... Hmm!

My first rendering (Brant) takes a point of time before the last and worst nomadic eruption (Turco-Mongol hordes in the real Earth) and transposes it to a fantasy earth. The hero comes from the high sided valleys in the realm of Flotyn Bryn-i-Gwyn. He travels east, through the lowlands of Lagelan, eventually reaching the Northland Steppes where the nomads roam. To the south are the lands of the Khaif. So how are successors to mighty empires chosen? Well there is the Khaif in exile who holds court in the hidden city of Hrim. Where can magic be found? Not in the lands of the Khaif which, precisely because they are prone to the barbarities of civil war, are well policed. Thus they are found in the lawless lands that have never been fully tamed, or kingdoms fallen to ruin. Magic is a precarious subject; it has been banished from most places and so many consider it a fantasy, yet it exists in a mirror realm and in creatures who feed from human emotion whether fear, hate, frenzy, lust or love, even in those to whom using it is as natural as drawing breath. Yet they are not omnipotent, their power is consistent with their position in the grand scheme of things,

The kingdom of Tyrikhon has fallen on hard times. It borders Brychon Woods. Our hero, Brant, draws near. Heroic / Epic Fantasy

There is a magic in the seasons. My second venture into the world of the Northland Steppes sees a savage raider whose hands can create as well as destroy, with exceptional consequences. This story is told in Under Winter’s Bough. Metaphysical Fantasy

The changing of the Khaif is generally accomplished with much suffering – those with enemies will die long and painful deaths and those with suspect loyalties face the prospect of joining them. A small child can become a great hero if let live. A work in progress, working title: Tales of the Khaif. Heroic Fantasy

Outside that world I have two other works under way.

A Westerner working on the super highway being built on the Old Silk Road falls in with Erisse of the Illyany. That’s where his troubles start. The Illyany (a fictional people) originate from the Ili valley in Xin-Kiang. They are animists and can live on after death. Dark Fantasy

A group of seekers unwittingly arouse Ming and Ting, two capricious, intangible beings who have for many centuries have kept their part of the great forest clean by destroying any bird or animal with the temerity to come within a few miles. The seekers are former heroes from a now-conquered realm. They are geas bound by a magic which forces them to quest but they do not know what the quest is. Working title: A Sending. Epic Fantasy

Brant
Under Winter's Bough
Fantasy by Numbers

Fantasy reduced to prosaic explanations – knowing the source can tend to reduce the sparkle, but the point isn’t to produce mechanical prose, it’s about identifying influences. I am not against systems of magic or dark rituals but these are best demonstrated in the turn of events; lengthy expositions are best derogated to the appendices or better still the author’s head. There are far lengthier treatments about eg The Golden Bough. I treat the reality behind the myth as a jumping off point. Heroic tales are authentic; if your fantasy epic feels like one then you’re on the right track.

 

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