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Geoffrey Maloney
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 07:02 pm:   

Caught up with Terry Dowling who was in my home town of Brisbane over the last week as one of the tutors for Clarion South. Terry seems to have enjoyed the tutoring immensely and it was good to spend an hour talking about writing and what important influences Ballard and Dick have been for the both of us.

Terry's famous for a series of themed short story collections revolving around a capatin of a sand ship, Blue Tyson, in the far distant future of Australia. The thing that makes Terry's writing stand out from many in Australia, and eslewhere perhaps, is the wonderful lyrical quality of his prose.

His least known collection, Wormwood, though, is, in my opinion, his best. It's a set of themed stories about a future Earth inhabited by whole bunch of unfathomable aliens and their interaction with the remains of the human population. It is excellent stuff and I recommend it every chance I get - unfortunately it's bloody hard to get hold of.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 03:44 pm:   

my favourite thing of terry dowling's is, oddly enough, contained in the one tiny book: 'the man who lost red' and 'scaring the train'. they're the things i like the most of his, and probably 'scaring the train' slightly moreso.

i never got into the tom tyson stuff. i only found it late into the series (i think the third collection had been published) and containing his undeniably fantastic prose, it just didn't move me anyhow. i think it might be that i just like his dark fantasy stuff more, as i quite enjoyed BLACKWATER DAYS and AN INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE NIGHT.
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Geoffrey Maloney
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 11:14 pm:   

Yeah, Ben, it interesting about the Tom Tyson (Rynosseros) series of work - Terry's so well known for it and many people just love it, but I agree with you. Although I love the prose style, the stories never moved me either. One of the reasons I keep mentioning Wormwood all the time. It's still very clever and the stories engaged and excited me a lot more, but it seems to have been lost in obscurity, and it defintely deserves a reprint.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 03:35 am:   

i was pretty surprised to be able to find a copy of WORMWOOD, actually. it was a little yellowed hardcover by the time i found it, and this gave it an extra 'find' quality. enjoyed it a fair bit. maybe bill and mirrordanse (or someone else) will get around to reprinting it. i'd like to see the same for BLACKWATER DAYS, too, since it's a book i like to recommend to people interested in the local scene and urban/dark fantasy.
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 04:05 pm:   

I love Terry's horror stories. Although I've published one of his sf stories on SCIFICTION I'm much more excited by his horror.
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Lee Battersby
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:46 am:   

I'm a huge fan of Terry's horror, and it's the lyricism that draws me in, something I am very leery about trying to replicate-- it's far too easy to fall into overwriting, and no matter how much i pick apart his work, the line is still too fine for my waning eyesight.

As to personal favourites, I'd have a hard time going past 'Stitch' or 'The Lagan Fishers'
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Christian Brimo
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 07:25 am:   

I randomly picked up a copy of Wormwood at a libaray booksale and I'm loving it to death. Has Terry written anything else in the setting? I want to find out more about this future Australia and the occupation
Ben, my copy is in good condition, so if you want to photocopy bits for a class or something just ask me

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