Barnaby Taylor, Terminal Transit – Irish, Apocalyptic, Science Fiction Novel

Synopsis

A brilliant research student discovers a plot fulminated by demons from another dimension and kills himself in the process. The fate of the world is left in the hands of an elderly academic and a mysterious orphan.

Using the facts surrounding Ireland’s economic collapse in 2008 as it’s starting point, Terminal Transit is an apocalyptic adventure dealing with death and destruction in a Dublin slowly devastated by demonic intervention.

Can the end of the world be avoided?

Or is this planet simply scheduled for Terminal Transit?

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Terminal Transit,

‘Chapter I ‘The Song of the NotBeSpeak’’

Verse 1

Professor Amhalgaidh Mac an Bhaird is elderly now, almost ancient. He is an Honorary Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Trinity College and has lived in rooms overlooking Front Square for the last forty-seven years.

Professor Mac an Bhaird has devoted his adult life to the study of what he likes to call the ‘small things that we forget to remember very quickly.’ The Professor’s work is part-chrestomathy, part-analect, and wholly singular in its peculiar ambition. When he wasn’t teaching Professor Mac an Bhaird would spend all his spare time poring over maps and manuscripts and pamphlets and postcards and timetables and booklets and brochures and tickets and notices and newsletters and invitation slips and certificates and all the other truly wonderful ephemera that accumulates when the world isn’t really paying attention.

His wife Sibeal, herself a leading authority on Teutonic textile design during the feudal period, used to joke that the most overlooked thing in all his dealings with the world was undoubtedly her.

‘I fear that one day the only way that you will know that I am still here is when you see my name included on some long-lost list you discover scribbled on a dusty envelope. Only then will you remember to look up and there I’ll be, waiting forlornly in the corner for my turn.’

She slipped her arms around his waist.

‘I love you, Mac.’

‘That will never be the case, my dear,’ said the very-certain scholar as he kissed his wife on the neck.

‘We are simply not fated to end up as forgotten entries in another person’s ledger.’

He pulled her closer.

‘We will fade beautifully towards death together like the most pulchritudinous love letters scribbled on the comeliest of Victorian Christmas cards.’

But Sibeal was taken whilst in labour at 11.03am on September the Sixteenth 1973 and it was at exactly 11.04am that Professor Mac an Bhaird retreated into the deadly safety of scholarly solitude.

That was all those years ago. Now, following a lifetime of lectures and lonely meals in Commons, he sits in his armchair all day indexing his life’s work, Mac an Bhaird’s Miscellanea: Towards the Proposing of a Taxonomy of the Not-Noticed, Oft-Forgotten and Un-Remembered.

Currently standing at over three hundred and thirty-three thousand words Mac an Bhaird’s Miscellanea is a testament to the determination of one man to catalogue, chart, outline, and unravel the seemingly innocuous connections between matters of apparently such little importance as to there being little or no connection between them in the first place. But before we consider a lifetime’s work to be simply pointless and therefore without value we mustn’t forget that generations of academic discourse have depended entirely on exactly the kind of specific pedantry demonstrated here by an elderly Professor. If nothing else this in itself would be a suitably fitting summary of one man’s contribution to the body of knowledge but Mac an Bhaird’s Miscellanea goes much further here because it also exists as a wondrously moving monument to the prodigious properties of paper.

Three hundred and thirty-three thousand words have dutifully wended their way across nearly five hundred and ninety pages and after decades of hermetic handling each page now bears the delicious hallmark of any handwritten document that has aged naturally over time. Many pages are beautifully curled at the corners, as their repeated turning over time now causes them when stacked to fold like the pulpy petals of some ancient, thought-veined bloom. Other pages are torn in places; the longer tears carefully repaired with stamp hinges, now brittle after years of determined gripping. Shorter tears have been left alone for now, borne in mind, or occasionally, overlooked entirely.

All the pages that comprise Mac an Bhaird’s Miscellanea bear the accumulated marks of a lifetime of close attention; stained in some places by the sweat of a thumb; yellowed and coffee-ringed; the sweeping smudge of the back of a hand; ink whirls; curlicues; crossings-out; pencil; ball-point; fountain; wondrous water marks and the arcane collection of proofreading marks unknown to so much of the modern world today – ][, eq #, wc/ww, lc, sp, ||, s/v, first ref., half title, ligature, and stet.

One can read the history of the man in the history of his handwriting and so the bold decisive strokes of a confident young academic gave way to the angry slashes of someone widowed far too soon which then gave way over time to the precise and rigid emphasising of a man obsessed which then give way to the eventually slowed and resigned notation of a dying gentleman battling to complete his life’s work before he passed away.

Yet across the entire length of this turbulent history, one thing had remained a steady constant, Professor Mac an Bhaird’s handwriting was terribly tiny.

Barrow Girl – Tomb Raider meets the Book of Kells – Chapter Three

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Barrow Girl, Chapter 3

Inteachán lives alone in a small flat that overlooks Front Square in Trinity College, Dublin. Fourth window. Fifth floor. Sixth door. A secret gate on Pearse Street. The flat has been in Inteachán’s family since 1804. A drunken game of Faro. A lost bet honoured the next morning. Sealed deeds and ornate key.

Inteachán’s flat does not feature as part of the official tour of Trinity. No gown-wearing students halt crowds of tourists in front of the building and tell them that ‘the world’s one and only hope for salvation lives here.’ A plaque does not sit on the wall. The gift shop does not sell tea towels with her face on them. No key rings. No bookmarks. No feedback on TripAdvisor.

When the rest of her family were lost to the NotBeSpeak it was the obvious place for Inteachán to hide. The only place. There was nowhere else. That was two years ago. Inteachán has been living there ever since. You grow up quickly when you lose everyone you know. You become self-dependent straightaway. You rely upon yourself before you rely upon others. You become quite quite fearless. Inteachán is quite quite fearless.

Barnaby Taylor 2018 – All rights Reserved

Barrow Girl (Barnaby Taylor, 2017)

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Introduction

This is the story of a girl called Inteachán and the things she does. Inteachán does these things because she is very good at doing them. You might say that she was born to do them. You might also say that she has no choice. Either way you would be right. Inteachán does what she does because she has to. Or else the world will end. Simple as.

Inteachán does not always see things this way. Sometimes she likes to pretend that she is simply ordinary. Uneventful. Unnoticed, even, but someone this discreet can never really exist in a book that bears their name. Perhaps this is something to ask her if you ever get the chance?

The things that Inteachán does are also secret. Hidden. Obscure. Out of view. Unknown to most of the rest of the world. Occult, as in not apparent, but also just occult. They have to be.

Do you really think that the world would knowingly let an eleven year-old girl save it from complete and utter annihilation?

Bara Cailín Ident test

Hi Everyone

Here’s a test ident for Bara Cailín. I am trying to capture that particularly unsettling feeling that I always associate with British science fiction, supernatural and horror television shows from the 1970s – in particular, Roger Price’s The Tomorrow People (1973-1979); Children of the Stones (Peter Graham Scott, 1977); and Nigel Kneale’s wonderful Quatermass IV (1979).

Bara Cailín – Trailer #2

Hi Everyone

Today I’m experimenting with basic trailers for the Bara Cailín series.

I would really appreciate any feedback you might have regarding this trailer so if you have a moment please could you vote using the form below.

Bara Cailín 1: 11 ‘From the Sea’

Mac cleared his throat, opened his Miscellanea and started reading.

‘Fomhóire means ‘from the sea’ and is the name given to the divine powers, or gods of night, death and cold. The Fomhóire were misshapen and were believed to have the heads of goats and bulls. They also were believed to have only one leg and one arm each, and these grew out of the middle of their chests. The Fomhóire were the ancestors of the evil faeries and, according to legend, of all misshapen persons. The giants and leprechauns are also said to belong to the Fomhóire.’

Bara Cailín 1: 10 ‘Fomhóire’

Mac stopped reading. He turned to Inteachán. ‘Every civilisation has its own names for spirits and faeries and demons and balrogs and wights. Here we have always tended to use the word ‘Fomhóire’.’

Mac smiled.

‘We have always known them this way but I now know them as another – the NotBeSpeak.’

‘But what are they?’ asked Inteachán. ‘I don’t understand.’

Mac smiled again.

‘How could you?’ he said kindly. ‘They are Everything and Nothing at once. All and Nought together.’