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T.P. Archie's Blog


Writing Groups: Irwell Writers

Posted by Terence Park , 03 May 2017 · 167 views

Part way through a writing group session (Irwell Writers: meet every Tuesday 10 am till noon at The Mosses, Bury) and we were reading from our works. Theme: fairy stories.
My offering: [url="http://tparchie.deviantart.com/art/The-Faerie-Tree-678510694"]The Faerie Tree[/url], was cheekily taken from a work begun in 2013 (and never completed). In principle we are supposed to write to the theme, in the week, it's like homework you see, to suit the retired teachers in the group. gosh!:

I'm a disruptive influence and I rarely write 'to theme'. Fancy a villanelle? How about pontoon? or is it pantoum? I gave up doggerel many years back; who wants a spreadsheet given form bloating their back-catalogue? Anyway at least we weren't aping poetic formulae. Formulaic nonsense.
Back to fairy stories. I normally do realistic SF; the kind of stuff that JG Ballard and John Wyndham used to do, however I've read my fair share of fantasy ranging from Lord Dunsany, Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson and Robert Howard through to Tolkien, Avram Davidson, Andre Norton, CJ Cherryh and many, many others... plus of course folk tales; esp. Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, and let's not overlook CS Lewis's Narnia. The Tolkien effect resulted in many twee imitations. Aristotle's Poetics dwells on imitation but his point was aping real life, not a novel, but that's the publishing world for you.
Consider the above a peek into where The Faerie Tree is coming from.
Back to [i]The Faerie Tree...[/i]this Tuesday (01/05/17) I had a couple of sketches from 2013. They point to a slightly more mature approach (no cuss words, no explicit action) but plenty of hints. Of course what I had wasn't enough so to give it a little pizzazz, I added a further couple of hundred words. As the time approached for me to read my piece, I realised, to my horror, my latest addition "the pizzazz" was mislaid.
The full piece will come to... probably 5,000 words.



Posted by Terence Park , 28 April 2017 · 94 views
Xeno-Archaeology, Science Fiction and 3 more...
Xeno-Archaeology [b]Xeno-archaeology[/b]: the study of strange ancients.

Explanation: a future science that deals with the past. The [i]study[/i] part of it has a logical framework: i.e. it can be undertaken on dead planets or on places still capable of sustaining life. Either of these has intriguing possibilities. For [i]strange ancients[/i], read aliens. Xeno-archaeology is a big part of [i]The Tau Device[/i].

Take a dead planet: If it's got signs of former habitation, why is it dead? Are there other, similar dead planets in the interstellar vicinity? What if they died out at approximately the same time period... would that suggest a pattern of events... even a cause?

If you go back in Earth's history, dead civilisations die for a reason - usually they were pushed. There are dead regions on the Earth's surface. The Mongols wrecked irrigation works in Central Asia that had been in place for thousands of years; as a result of internecine Muslim strife in the 11th Cenury, much farmland in North Africa became desert (check out the [url="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banu_Hilal"]Banu Hilal[/url]).

Live planets present their own problems. The living take precedence over the dead; you just crushed your arch-enemy, do you keep reminders... trophies? Even if you did, over time they lose significance; day-to-day life takes priority. Reminders of the past become folk tales, myths and legends or are obliterated from memory. Land gets dug up, reused — at least on an airless world, everything is pretty much as it was when Armageddon came.

In the larger scheme of things, humans haven't been around long. Space is vast with the possibility of lots of extinct civilisations over billions of years. There'll be more things than just human agency to wipe out life and destroy planets: exploding suns, collisions, interspecies struggles... plus any other observations a budding xeno-archaeologist can come up with. If she (or he) is lucky, she comes across an artefact that has somehow survived over millions of years.

Jih Liasse, xeno-archaeologist in [i]The Tau Device[/i], is an alien; she doesn't know Earth's history and so doesn't know we've made parts of our planet unfit for habitation. However she gets the principle. Civilisations have competition, the struggle to survive is life or death. Xeno-archaeologists can assume that what is examined is long dead... nothing can come from it. This turns out to be not quite the case in[i] [url="https://www.amazon.com/Tau-Device-Terence-Park-ebook/dp/B01CC3X9L4"]The Tau Device[/url].[/i] In space, nothing is as it seems.



Taken from my site: [url="https://thetaudevice.wordpress.com/"]The Tau Device[/url]


CWG 2015 anthology imminent

Posted by Terence Park , 28 April 2017 · 120 views
My Telegraph, Anthology and 3 more...
CWG 2015 anthology imminent Just finished assembling the long delayed [i][color=#800000]36 Short Stories 2015[/color][/i]. This is an anthology taken from winners and runners up in the CWG Monthly Short Story competition. Their regular publisher wasn't available so I volunteered.
Contributors to this anthology have stuck with their My Telegraph handles, these being: AmericanMum, Araminta, Atiller, Capucin, Chester_Goode, Danthemann, ExpatAngie, FizzeeRascal, Gazoopi, Giselle, Lostinwords, PavlovaQueen, Ponsuda, Seadams and TurkishJenny.
It's on A5 / 284pp / 70k words.

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Next on the horizon: CWG 2016

TP 28/04/2015


Via Mobile

Posted by Terence Park , 28 April 2017 · 88 views


Using ACQ via mobile sucks.
Gonna stick to PC


My Telegraph (obit)

Posted by Terence Park , 01 September 2016 · 321 views
Writing Groups, My Telegraph and 1 more...
My Telegraph was a blogging and commenting platform hosted on the Daily Telegraph servers (the DT is a national UK paper published daily). It was a free service with an interface that used aspects of Wordpress and Disqus and was provided as is. There were some 20,000 + registered usernames. Many of these participated in the user groups and back in 2010 with my first draft to my first novel handy, I was ready to engage. I headed straight for Creative Writing. It quickly became apparent that the group was headed for oblivion — it's members needed organising so I re-jigged its competition. In 2012, the DT began promoting a new group, the Short Story Club. We had no idea what would happen when it was introduced — how it would run and whether it would replace Creative Writing... in the end, with the inputs of author [url="http://www.louisedoughty.com/"]Louise Doughty[/url], it became a success. There was a back story, however. The DT promoted this new group but the landing page was hard to navigate and there was no supporting infrastructure, this left those wishing to take part not knowing what to do —and there were thousands of them. For several months it was chaos —hundreds of joiners each week, many of whom leaked over to the Creative Writers Group —we helped where we could —some stayed. It took a while to sort things out.

Late on in 2015, the Daily Telegraph began changing its main site. Commenting disappeared from some articles. By Easter 2016, virtually all of DT had moved to a new look and feel. The blogging platform, My Telegraph, remained untouched. It was legacy and obviously low priority, a system ready for the chop. This was a hidden community that could have been much more user groups such as Rugby, Finance, Book Club, Job and Careers, Expat, Corduroy Mansions, The Archers Messageboard, Politics,Travel, Technology... there was much potential but these groups just withered for lack of attention. The DT didn't respond to questions about the future of the platform. Users speculated and began to make plans. It was only a matter of time before the plug was pulled, which happened June 2016. Usernames, blogs, groups and platform all disappeared, lost in the final dark of: no servers, no data. History. Ah yes, I forgot History. The link is of course dead.

As a social site, users were prone to petty acts of spite – they had vendettas and ganged up on each other. Doubtless this helped convince DT of the wisdom of closing it. The community became a net diaspora and survives on Facebook and WordPress. There is a closed group at [url="https://www.facebook.com/groups/512280382310342/"]https://www.facebook.com/groups/512280382310342/[/url] and several WordPress presences.

For old time’s sake, here’s a memory:

More info on [url="https://tparchie.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/the-new-telegraph/"]DT's My Telegraph[/url].


Creative Writers on My Telegraph - A Reflection

Posted by Terence Park , 11 April 2016 · 252 views
The Daily Telegraph, My Telegraph and 2 more...
It's time for a bit of reflection.
When I first joined [url="http://my.telegraph.co.uk/"]My Telegraph[/url] - the blogging platform of [url="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/"]The Daily Telegraph[/url] (DT) - back in 2008, it was with a view to planning ahead for the impending decline of MySpace. I blogged there - not chatty stuff - just a place to keep online lists and notes... hobby stuff of no interest to anyone but me. The implosion of MySpace was dramatic, resulting in random cuts to functionality. The interface was moving the same way as Facebook - stream of consciousness on a page. As a result of this, nothing stayed fixed in one place. I spent more time flicking through pages and pages of the MySpace interface to find stuff, and less actually posting. It didn't do the job as it couldn't be organised — it got so bad that my first blog posts on My Telegraph were only done as waypoint links to my MySpace junk. I'd already trialled Wordpress and rejected.
By 2009 I began to migrate my bloggingactivities to My Telegraph. It looked a safer bet. It was a different proposition with a sometimes frustrating Wordpress-Disqus interface — early on I muddled through without success (comments but no blog - who remembers that?). Eventually Kate Day - then site admin - helped sort out the initial mess-up in my access rights — blogging is a by-product but when all is said and done, it has to actually work.
Late 2009 I had written a [url="http://aguidetofirstcontact.wordpress.com/"]60,000 word draft[/url] (SF). My Telegraph had [url="http://my.telegraph.co.uk/groups/"]Groups[/url] and I noticed that the [url="http://my.telegraph.co.uk/groups/creative-writing/"]Creative Writers Group[/url] (CWG) had run into an impasse - they wanted a writing competition but no one wanted to run it. In February 2010 I offered. Early 2012 I stepped back. The DT had a voting widget (via Nick Petrie) in the offing and, even though the competition was much bigger with the spill-over from the [url="http://my.telegraph.co.uk/groups/the-short-story-club/"]Short Story Club[/url], it was time for others to take the helm. There was no reason it wouldn't survive. I'd provided a template that worked and still works.
One reason for running CWG was to get feedback on my writing. It seemed a reasonable quid pro quo. If that seems nakedly instrumental - that's a direct legacy of growing up on nasty, back-street estates, Up North.
RL makes its demands and I can well understand the business imperatives driving DT - or is it now NewT? The New Telegraph is change - it no longer allows comments on articles - it's possible for members to pitch into the morass of DT's Facebook presence but that doesn't commend itself to reasoned debate. More problematical is that the commenting system was, and still is used by the My Telegraph. It's fundamental to how the blogging platform works... but a reading of the runes suggests that virtually all support has been pulled away - spammers are breaking the groups, it's only a matter of time before fake blogger ids, spewing out the trash of the net, make the platform unusable. It doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to conclude that license / support contracts for My Telegraph are being allowed to lapse and the logical conclusion is that My Telegraph will be left to die. My DT contacts aren't replying. They'll be caught up in other, new things, breaking any connection they might have had. The immediacy of the here and now breaks the connection to history. It's possible that that place will remain relatively stable for some time. I will be taking the precaution of checking my blog posts for stuff I would rather not lose. Maybe I'll migrate. I have other blogs - in this place for one. It'll be a shame in a way. In another time and place that would call for a flashy graphic proclaiming:
[size=6][color=#00ff00]Mi[/color]gr[color=#0000ff]a[/color]tion C[color=#ffff00]ri[/color]si[color=#ff6600]s[/color][/size]
The spirit of that place can be migrated elsewhere but not the asymmetric functionality. I've said my piece elswehere ([url="http://my.telegraph.co.uk/bleda/bleda/3281/a-final-call/"]Bleda[/url] and[url="http://my.telegraph.co.uk/gazoopi2/?p=1992"]Gazoopi[/url]) That's a topic for more active members.
The body lies still but the spirit lives on.



Posted by Terence Park , 11 April 2016 · 200 views
Burnley, Grammar Schools and 3 more...
I ought to mention my book: [url="https://burnleythebrun.wordpress.com/"]Burnley[/url] which gives the history of the town and an account of Burnley Grammar School in the years before it closed. Much of this account is taken from copies of the school yearbook, [i]The Brun[/i], which I have kept over the years. The school was over 400 years old when it was finally closed and as a result, I have delved into the history of the town, uncovering some little known facts in the process.
The technical side of reproducing the images was challenging. I am grateful for the interest shown in this project and, in particular, for the support of the [url="http://www.burnleyexpress.net/"]Burnley Express[/url].
This book is only available via [url="http://www.lulu.com/content/16212141"]POD[/url]

Published February 2015
ISBN 978-1-326-17903-8

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The Tau Device reached first draft

Posted by Terence Park , 10 December 2015 · 208 views
SF, Robert E Howard, Juvaini and 4 more...
The Tau Device reached first draft [i]The Tau Device[/i] reached first draft. That's a month back. Soon it'll be edited. I've hired Stephen Cashmore of [url="http://www.sfep.org.uk/"]SfEP[/url] (that's the Society for Editors and Proofreaders) who I've used before. 82,000 words. In real pages that comes to around 250. What's a real page? Conan the Conqueror: 44 lines per page, 200 pp.
Conan, a real hero - a man's man, from an age when men were real men and the women were... well pretty scary as well. When I first read Howard's Conan, I never realised that he only wrote the one novel - The Hour of the Dragon - which became [i][font=times new roman][size=4]Conan the Conqueror. [/i]At that time, L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter were busy reviving him in the US, and we in the UK got the backwash. The edition below appeared in the UK in 1974, 7 years after the US edition and 4 years after Marvel began a comic book serialisation with the great Barry Smith.
Lin Carter and L. Sprague de camp began a Conan industry which spawned many adventures that could have been written by Howard if he'd lived to be something like 70 (just jokin' - 69½). For a while I collected them but the industry of imitation lacked authenticity. Howard's work however - now that took me down strange by-ways. It was clear from his attention to detail in putting together his Hyborian Age that he had quite a good grasp of history. Many years later, as I studied texts dealing with historical events in Central Asia, Turks & Persians I was struck by similarities with Turan & Hyrkania. Things like that gave his work an air of authenticity. Of course Howard's Hyborian Age ended when the Hyrkanians, who were steppe dwellers, marched west to conquer or destroy - about 12,000 fictional years back.
Conan the Conqueror - Sphere edition, UK - 30p

In the real world, the Turks (also nomad dwellers) crushed the last classical empires and by the middle of the thirteenth century were ready to assault Austria (for which read Vienna) and Venice. At this juncture more important events back east in Karakorum - the death of the Great Kahn Ögedei - meant the Mongol generals retired from Europe, taking their Turkic vassals with them. They'd mostly completed their task: the subjugation of those nomads who refused to join the Turco-Mongol hordes.

The entry image is of Terken Khatun, The Mother of Sultan Muhammad, being led captive by the Mongols. It is taken from a very old MS of Rashid-al-Din in the Bibliothèque Nationale. The doings of the Mongols and Turks are covered in Juvaini's contemporaneous account: [i]The History of the World-Conqueror[/i] (translated by John Andrew Boyle for Harvard University Press / © 1958 by Manchester University Press)

Back to Conan the Conqueror/ The Hour of the Dragon. About 70k words long. Must have taken some work in the days before computers, writing software and online research.
Within 24 hours of finishing [i]The Tau Device[/i], I got writing withdrawal symptoms. Some things don't change.


Influences and Inspirations

Posted by Terence Park , 21 December 2014 · 303 views
Jack Kirby and 5 more...
Influences and Inspirations [b]Influences and Inspirations[/b] by [url="http://connect.lulu.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/39352"]TerencePark[/url] on 12-20-2014 12:29

Influences. Mine began in comic books; American comic books, from the Silver Age. I was there when Jack Kirby's Fourth World came out and what an impact it had on me.

American comic books of the 60's sold in their millions. Well some of them did. The biggest in terms of circulation was Superman. The comic was widely distributed and could sell up to 1 million copies each issue. In practise it sold between 70% and 80% of that figure. A common theme that irritated more sophisticated comic book buyers was: DC would run a story with life-changing consequences that under the rules of continuity, ought to be evident in future issues. But this didn’t happen; characters were reset at the start of each new issue.
The main rival to DC was Marvel. it had a strong line of heroes. They sold well, each ranking up sales between 200k and 400k per month. Unlike DC, they were every month - many DC titles were bi-monthly, or came out, at best, 8 times per year. Supes was the big DC star. At that time he was in [i]Superman, Action Comics, World's Finest Comics, Justice League of America, Superman's girlfriend - Lois Lane, Superman's pal - Jimmy Olsen[/i].
Oh, bring those memories back. The big problem for the Superman family was that they fared less well, subsisting on circulations of 150k - which at that time was a trigger for cancellation. They were ripe for change. DC knew this but its culture was somnolent. It needed shock treatment to stay on terms with Marvel.

The star in Marvel's armoury was the late, great, Jack King Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg). He worked on titles like [i]The Mighty Thor, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Sgt Fury's Howling Commandos[/i], and had been instrumental in bringing to life outstanding comic book characters such as Galactus and the Silver Surfer.
Kirby had great vision and was an absolute art monster. He regularly did 3 + comic books per month. that was 60 + pages of art work. Many struggled to put in a full shift of 20.

In 1970, Jack dropped a bombshell onto Stan (the Man) Lee. He was leaving. it wasn't as if Stan didn't know this was coming. Kirby had been taken for granted and Marvel weren't going to change. They had DC on its knees. Marvel comics had heroes with real life problems - a new thing at time, as under the Comics Code Authority, comics had reverted to simplistic pre-teen content, which defined DC. Marvel had found a formula that didn’t cross the Authority and yet appealed to older audiences. DC managed mouldering properties. Superman had a whole family to support - but suddenly, Jack Kirby was available. He had worked at DC in years past - on stuff such as [i]Newsboy Legion, Manhunter, the Sandman[/i].... There were no other real opportunities in the field for Jack - Charlton wouldn’t publish its one bi-monthly superhero title -[i]E-Man[/i] - until 1973, Archie comics didn't do superheroes, Dark Horse, Image and other imprints were yet to be formed;[i]Creepy[/i] and [i]Eerie[/i] (the Horror market) wasn't where Jack was coming from and besides they were only b&w.

Jack went to DC. He was full of ideas.
The comics blazed out the news:
Marvel ran a monthly Bullpen Bulletin Board in most of their comics. it was the biggest news in comics industry but they said nothing. Jack's output was prodigious and regular pencillers had to be found to replace him. There are various accounts of the inner workings of Marvel’s Bullpen - here isn’t the place for that.

Jack brought his Fourth World Saga with him. This was an interlinked tale
of good and evil. New Genesis v Apokolips. It ran in three comic books: [i]The New Gods, The Forever People and Mister Miracle[/i]. These ran side by side, along with a re-envisioned pal of Supes - Jimmy Olsen, who got a bunch of side-kicks - the Newsboy Legion. [i]Kirby (& Joe Simon) created the original Newsboy Legion which was based on the child-labour used by the respective newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst at the start of the Twentieth Century. These weren’t employees but rather purchased the papers from the publishers and sold them as independent agents. Yep. Child-labour. New York then.[/i]
DC were protective of the Superman look. Change meant threat and DC baulked at Jack's envisioning of Superman. He drew Supes' face, they redrew it. Jack's art style was dynamic. House artists were static. Jack's Superman looked muscular. If DC's house artists were told to bring Jack's Superman into line - well that's what they did. Re-booting heroes was - well done with care. The debates surrounding owner-creator v hired-hand were still to come.

Change brought opportunities. The insignia; for a long time, a double circle enclosing the letters DC in the top left hand corner, was revamped. For Jack Kirby’s series, the circle grew and now contained a bullet image of the main character(s) in the comic.

Below are the covers from the respective first issues of his Fourth World. Beyond tweaking for ‘color-cast’ I have left them as they are. I could clean up these images - but why? They have character as they are...

[b]The New Gods[/b]
Main character: Orion of the New Gods
Earth name: O’Ryan
New Gods #1
Read: Orion Fights for Earth

[b]Mister Miracle[/b]
Main character: Scot Free of New Genesis. He decides to become an escape artist - this is both metaphor for his escape from Apokolips and for sublimation of hope into cynicism in attempts to revive an obsolete form of entertainment. In many ways he is diametrically opposed to Orion, who, when the chips are down, resorts to smashing his way out of traps.
Mister-Miracle #1 cover
No Trap can Hold Him

[b]The Forever People[/b]
The genesis of this group is quite interesting. Jack was often disturbed by groups of motorbike enthusiasts, tearing up and down the road that his California hangout overlooked. Enthusiasts? Fiends? it depends on which side of the peace and quiet debate you lie. They irritated the life out of him- and became the inspiration for his Forever People
The-Forever-People #1 cover
Big Bonus Beautiful Dreamer

and from page 10 of The New Gods: [b]Apokolips[/b]
Ruled by the enemy of life, Darkseid. Simple but great visuals.

(if you've lived in some neighborhoods, this might look pretty familiar!)
Was it good? How can you ask? Re-reading these is a visual feast.
Final thought. Just look at that blurb.

I like grand themes but I prefer them realistic. My work is probably closer to [i]The Road [/i]than Kirby's [i]Fourth World [/i]content-wise.

Originally published October 24, 2014 on my [url="http://my.telegraph.co.uk/archietp/archie_tp/16010506/american-comic-books-jack-kirbys-fourth-world/"]Daily Telegraph blog[/url].


Ice Made and other stories

Posted by Terence Park , 22 February 2013 · 298 views
short stories, history and 3 more...

The Burnley Express will run an article on the short story collection: Ice Made and other stories. This article will go on page 8 of the Tuesday edition, 26/02/2013.


Dominic Collis, Senior Reporter, East Lancashire Newspapers
Contact Details
Twitter: @domgc
Web: www.burnleyexpress.net
The Burnley Express is the local paper for my home town.

About Ice Maid (the hard copy edition)

Ice Maid is a hard copy edition that collects together all my short stories in a 19cm x 24.5cm volume. This large format paperback has all the notes from An Empty Bucket and includes a piece about the world and how we see it, which isn’t in any of the Kindle editions (see below). The back cover features a map of the Rossendale valley which long time residents of My Telegraph may well recognise. It is laid out in easy to read TimesNewRoman 12pt at 1½ line spacing.

This is my first short story collection.

For those who do not feel attracted by the look and feel of books this collection is split into three Kindle editions.

Ice Made

About Ice Made
In Ice Made, a Canadian ice sculptor, committed to his art, creates a little more than he bargains for. If Canada is too cold, how about the Kalahari Desert; A Firmament of Stars tells how the San peoples that live there might view us. How do we see the world? Is our point of view the only good one? How might we seem to our pets? What if they could talk? Carrie is a cat and Dodger a dog. Each has a different story. A wheelchair bound man tells his thoughts in Impressions. How about the way we might seem to an off-worlder; a visiting alien, Aeschia, has her say. A young woman discovers the truth about her father and faces a dilemma in The India Box. The life of a likely lad is changed when he discovers a ghost, compelled to relive her last moments in A Certain Full Moon. A scheme to reanimate a dead singer takes an unexpected turn in Eggman. Check out the disintegrating society and urban decay in Fugitive, The Wrong Lane, End of the Line and The Old House.

An Empty Bucket


About An Empty Bucket

An Empty Bucket shows a romance in which gardening plays a role; that relationship is then re-examined in Music from a Bottle. In The Distance looks at the thorny issue of addiction to all things American including debt. When it comes to winning gameshows, all manner of e-chicanery is justified especially when the fabulous prize is The Flitter. In Wending Hall the Saxon - Norman relationship is revisited.
In Message for Oeipa a young woman living in Alexandria becomes betrothed. Except he's in the Roman army... and three Roman legions are just about to get slaughtered. Winter in Alexandriacontinues this tale. It's 9 AD and the battle of Teutoburg Forest has happened - but if Oeipa's intended is one of the slain, how can they get married?
Assume a giant reservoir in Rossendale - such a reservoir could have significantly exceeded the volume of Lake Windermere. It would have been 300 + metres above sea level and also would be much closer to the great cities of Lancashire and Yorkshire than the Lake District is. This was actually planned but abandoned following WWII for financial reasons. In the following three stories this reservoir is built and called Bacup Water.
Find out what happened to those displaced by the scheme in Little Jimmy. Discover the hazards of dabbling with asbestos products in Asbestalux. The British Empire still reigns supreme in Pax Imperii. Dialect local to Lancashire used.

Master of the Universe


About Master of the Universe

This collection of 9 stories is unashamed Science Fiction / Fantasy.
Master of the Universe tells of a city trader (who else?) with a big secret. Night of Life implies that first contact with aliens may come with strings. Cuckoo looks at cross species hook-ups.
First contact with aliens can't always go right. In Joe it has gone badly wrong and the extinction of the human race is on the cards at the hands of the xenophids; Joe is trying to organise the survivors. Lose your temper at your peril in A Day to Remember (set in Joe's universe).
UK-WorldGov have just got their first space ship the 'Matter-Grabba'. It's powered by alien technology and it's on its first mission: to investigate a strange dark matter galaxy - VIRGOHI121 - in Derelict. The problem is that strange dark matter galaxies can be risky.
The royal blood line of a kingdom comes under threat in Orby and Brant, a knight-errant, is drawn into the ensuing intrigue. Following the events in Orby, Brant is preyed upon by supernatural creatures in Where Wild Things Play. The only thing is he doesn't believe in the supernatural - to his peril.
City shows a darker underside to fantasy.

About me.

Archie came to this planet a few years ago and liked it so much he invited himself to stay. He has spent time in the former textile towns of an area frequently referred to as 'Up-North'. A keen student of other life-forms, he lives with a small colony of non-humans (four dogs and two cats). His adoptive family have been known to take him on walks. When opportunity allows he can be spotted at local writing groups. He kick-started the Creative Writing Group on My Telegraph (which is hosted by the Daily Telegraph). This was much to the consternation of the online denizens, who were resigned to competition withdrawal symptoms and the funless gloom that goes with it.
He is interested in history and has read many SF / Fantasy books. Having taken so much from the genre he thinks it's about time he put something back. His magnum opus recounts how first contact with aliens leads to the appointment of the French as cultural custodians of the Earth - much to the annoyance of the Americans.
In a parallel life he is a dull and uninteresting accountant.


Feedback and Readings

I blog on My Telegraph (hosted by the Daily Telegraph).