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Shadow of Ashland
Terence M. Green
Forge Books, 224 pages

Shadow of Ashland
Terence M. Green
Terence M. Green was born in 1947 in Toronto, Ontario, and still lives there with his wife and family. Since 1968, he taught English at East York Collegiate Institute until his retirement recently. He was educated at the University of Toronto where he was awarded both a B.A. and B.Ed. He also has an M.A. in Anglo-Irish Studies from University College, Dublin.

Shadow of Ashland was nominated for a World Fantasy Award.

Terence M. Green Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rodger Turner

Are you one of those lucky folk who know their family history? By that I mean, do you know what your grandparents and/or your aunts/uncles are/were like as people rather that just as big folk with big voices who told you to go out and play? Yeah? Well, consider yourself lucky. Some of us didn't and wish, at times, we did. But I've had a glimpse of what this must be like. For I've been fortunate enough to read Shadows of Ashland.

Leo Nolan's mother is dying. She rambles on about her brother, Jack, coming back for a visit. But Jack disappeared some 50 years ago. Leo wonders about what happened to him. His fascination with Jack leads him to question his father and his family about the cause. He discovers Jack left Canada for Detroit to build cars. Some letters kept by family members surface, leading Leo on a journey to find out more. Eerily, the post office begins to deliver letters from Jack with a postmark a half-century old. The addresses on the letters map out a trail across the Midwest then swing east to Ashland, Kentucky. Leo decides to see if he can track down whoever is sending these letters and whether their contents are accurate. His vacation leads him to the tiny community of Ashland. Encounters with residents lead him to conclude that his uncle was involved in something more dangerous and desperate than what is indicated in the letters. His mental visualization of the times and people suddenly become all too real when, late one night, he spots a man on the street who might be Jack, looking like the pictures taken 50 years before. Leo speaks to him and finds himself caught up in Jack's life.

Some dozen years ago, I was on an airline shuttle bus riding from Providence to Logan Airport after attending a convention. That weekend, I had read a freebie SF digest magazine because it contained a story by one of my favourite authors. In the same issue was a story called Ashland, KY by Terence M. Green. I read this story too, to kill some time before going out to dinner. I was mesmerized: what prose, what delicacy of character, what warmth of style, what depth of feeling for family, whatta writer. On that bus was Terence M. Green. About all I remember was how much I gushed about his story, his skill and his beard (Terry has a great beard). He expanded the story into this novel, bringing all the delight of the story into the longer form. He didn't skimp on detail, he didn't pad, he didn't fritter away the soul of the theme. He just made me wish I hadn't missed the chance to learn more about those people who were my family.

Copyright © 1996, 2002 Rodger Turner

Rodger has read a lot of science fiction and fantasy in forty years. He can only shake his head and say, "So many books, so little time."

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