The Whitaker

Over the past few days I’ve been toying with writing up my notes on Energy Risk – outside the crazy world of books is an even crazier world of finance, and risk modelling. In a former life, I did risk modelling for former regional electricity company, Norweb. It might be twenty years back but some things stick in memory. I’ve made a start but, reluctantly, I’ve put it aside. Tonight I’m off to The Whitaker.

Welcome banner-elephant

My first point of contact for The Whitaker is a respected poet: Jim Taylor. Jim has run Irwell Writers in Bury for many years and goes to Hasiwriters, which I also attend. Jim has won several poetry competitions and he’s also got a play about the school inspection regime under his hat. It’s funny (I’ve seen it) and, as he’s a retired headmaster, it hits quite close to the bone. The School Inspector
Come-on Jim, get it published!
Anyway, back to The Whitaker.

The Whitaker is an art gallery and museum in Rossendale, Lancashire, UK. It regularly holds sessions in support of the arts and tonight. The second Wednesday of every month is the opportunity for poets, writers and others to recite or perform their creations. New works are encouraged.

In tonight’s session, 08/06/2016, I will trial poetry from Silt From Distant Lands. This collection came out in May 2016 and contains poems stretching back to 2011.

cover to Silt From Distant Lands

If there’s time, I will be give those engines of creation and destruction from my novel A Guide to First Contact a bit of a spin. They sit out there in the Oort Cloud, responsible for evolution, change and all sorts of mayhem on Earth; it’s time to perform them.

cover to A Guide to First Contact

Here’s an extract

Beginnings. What is a beginning and who would know it for one – and what if no one can report it so? If we knew the beginning would everything become clear? Perhaps, in a time one thousand centuries before this era, our beginning might have the following shape…
Out in the blackness of interstellar space where the solar wind does not go are places beyond our ken; not because we wish it, but because our instruments are too crude to read their subtle signs. Empty wastes where the tides of gravity are so weak that the background signatures of this universe can be measured and known.
Inevitably, examination of those far places must inform discussion of its composition and even provide suitable answers.
Could they contain the solution to Fritz Zwicky’s problem? Zwicky noted that there was too little visible mass to explain the behaviour of galaxies and stars. After checking his calculations, he concluded that the missing mass must be too dark to detect. Dark matter. Hiding in the endless wastes between the stars.
So stars, and planets in the sway of those self-same stars, hold twenty per cent of all matter; the other eighty per cent has to be found elsewhere. An elsewhere sparsely populated by random rocks and objects whose orbits have decayed beyond recapture. But eighty per cent of all matter hidden from plain view in those enigmatic expanses? What can this be made of? If only one could examine those cryptic wastes and be certain.
In those places could there be beauty? Perhaps through a loosely self-similar pattern of particulate distribution, sufficient to satisfy those willing to look for design in chaos. Even if only in the dispersion of debris and other residue from ancient event.

About Terence Park

Board games, US Comic books, SF Paperbacks, Vinyl records; I've plenty of them all. I write SF (the serious sort). I also do spreadsheets.
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