Clive Gilson

Biography

I was born in 1962 into a predominantly sporting household – Dad being a good footballer, playing senior amateur and lower league professional football in England, as well as running a series of private businesses in partnership with mum, herself an accomplished and medal winning dancer.

I obtained a degree in History from Leeds University before wandering rather haphazardly into the emerging world of business computing in the late nineteen-eighties.

A little like my sporting father, I followed a succession of amateur writing paths alongside my career in technology, including working as a freelance journalist and book reviewer, my one claim to fame being a by-line in a national newspaper in the UK, The Sunday People.

I also spent 10 years treading the boards, appearing all over the south of the UK in pantos and plays, in village halls and occasionally on the stage of a professional theatre or two.

Following the sporting theme, and a while after I hung up my own boots, I worked on live TV broadcasts for the BBC, ITV, TVNZ, EuroSport and others as a rugby "Stato", covering Heineken Cups, Six Nations, IRB World Sevens and IRB World Cups in the late '90's and early '00's.

I try to combine my love of storytelling with a passion for information technology, and am currently Vice President - Technology with a major UK FinTech company.

You can find out more about my work and contact me at: https://www.boyonabench.com

Smashwords Interview

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not quite the first story. I remember finishing my first full length book but sadly not what it was about. The first stories that really stuck were Shardik by Richard Adams, and Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. By then the door was fully open. Interestingly I've just re-read Shardik after forty odd years... and fallen in love with the story and the storytelling all over again.
When did you first start writing?
Telling stories has just been one of those things that I do. I can still remember clearly a number of those primary school essays that we had to write on a Monday in English classes - 'What I did on the weekend...' - mine were usually full of submarines and Vikings and tigers - pure Walter Mitty escapades. Fiction was just always there. I sort of lost the plot a bit during my teenage years, apart from a bit of dodgy poetry writing, but the habitual fantasising turned into something more concrete once I found my adult feet.
Read more of this interview.

Series

Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 2 - North America
Tales From The World's Firesides is a grand project. I've collected ‘000’s of traditional texts as part of other projects. Many of the original texts are available through channels like Project Gutenberg, but some of the narratives can be hard to read by modern readers, & so the Fireside project was born. Put simply, I collect, collate & adapt traditional tales from around the world & publish them as a modern archive. Part 2 - North America, is my current focus and will consist of a number of volumes covering First Nation story-telling, plus some traditional American and Canadian tales. These collections are born out of my love of story-telling & I hope that you'll share my affection for traditional tales, myths & legends. These collections of stories bring together magical tales told by firelight since the very first people tried to make sense of the world around them. These tales are universal. These tales have instructed us, have cautioned us, & entertained us for millennia. Read a few of these stories in soft light with a glass of something warming by your side. Read them aloud to friends & family. These stories are magical.
Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe
Tales From The World's Firesides is a grand project. I've collected ‘000’s of traditional texts as part of other projects. Many of the original texts are available through channels like Project Gutenberg, but some of the narratives can be hard to read by modern readers, & so the Fireside project was born. Put simply, I collect, collate & adapt traditional tales from around the world & publish them as a modern archive (and I can think of nowhere better than Smashwords to do this). Part 1 - Europe, consists of 19 titles covering a host of nations & regions. I'm not laying any claim to insight or specialist knowledge, but these collections are born out of my love of story-telling & I hope that you'll share my affection for traditional tales, myths & legends. These collections of stories bring together magical tales told by firelight since the very first people tried to make sense of the world around them. These tales are universal. These tales have instructed us, have cautioned us, & entertained us for millennia. Read a few of these stories in soft light with a glass of something warming by your side. Read them aloud to friends & family. These stories are magical.
The Cry Havoc Trilogy
There’s something in each story that is either memorably poignant, hauntingly unnerving or sidesplittingly funny. With deft turns of phrase and an imagination that would make Philip K. Dick jealous, Gilson foresees a dystopian future, the seeds of which are definitely being sown right now. The story is a chilling glimpse of what may come to pass, warmed by a thread of love that raises the narrative beyond despair. Disturbing and breath-taking in equal measure. The Apparat and Dirigiste tribes are ranging across our solar system seeking peace by waging war, raising the question: is humanity actually capable of peace? A riveting read.
A Solitude of Stars
Price: $3.99 USD.

Books

Tibik-kìzis - Tales from the Great Lakes & Canada
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 2 - North America, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,010. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » American / General
These tales are a selection of those told by the tribes & peoples of the Great Lakes & what are now largely Canadian provinces, mostly collected during the mid to late nineteenth century. Folktales have been a part of the social & cultural life of Native American regardless of whether they were sedentary agriculturists or nomadic hunters.
Okaraxta - Tales from the Great Plains
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 2 - North America, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 99,350. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » American / General
There are many sources & traditions within Native American storytelling & mythologies. These tales are a selection of those told by the tribes & peoples of the Great Plains, but by no means does this book cover all aspects even within just this sub-group. It's been one of the absolute delights of the summer discovering just how deep & rich are the veins of folk & tribal lore across the Americas.
Tales From Germania
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 19. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 98,230. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / German
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from the Germanic tradition... Tales From Germania concentrates on those lesser known but still wonderful stories from the Brothers Grimm alongside other collectors such as Andrew Lang, Margaret Arndt and Logan Marshall. I also found some interesting but unattributed tales to add to the mix.
Tales From Gallia
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 18. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 104,260. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / French
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from France & the Gallic tradition. In Tales from Gallia we have a collection of tales from the French & Gallic folk tradition. French fairy tales are particularly known by their literary quality. Charles Perrault derived almost all his tales from folk sources, but rewrote them for an upper-class audience, removing some of the more rustic elements.
Tales Told By The Wind Mother
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 17. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 97,420. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from the Hungary & the Magyars tradition. Here we have the next collection in the series Tales from the World's Firesides. This collection mines the rich seams of folk and fairy tales from the Magyar tradition.
Tales from the Land of the Strigoi
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 16. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 116,160. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Eastern Russian & Former Soviet Union
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Romania These are some of the most engaging stories that I’ve collected together for a long time. The Romanian folklore tradition has a vitality that really shines through in these traditional tales, and I’m sure, like me, you will fall just a little bit in love with some of these wonderful characters.
Tales from the Samodivi
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 15. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 60,640. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Eastern Russian & Former Soviet Union
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from the Balkans. The Balkan Peninsula is a region in South-Eastern Europe, and has a full and rich history and tradition where cultures have been mixing for at least 2,000 years and Slavic civilisation has had an especially strong influence. The result is diverse and fascinating folklore with its own set of mythical beings and legendary heroes.
Tales of Fire & Bronze
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 14. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 92,920. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / General
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Greece Myths and tales from Greece. The Greek myths were initially an oral-poetic tradition of epic proportion. As ever, it’s been a delight and an education to read and work with these stunning texts. I hope you enjoy them too, for as the final line of The Golden Crab says, “And then they lived happily, and we who hear the story are happier still.”
Tales Told by Bulls and Wolves
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 13. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 112,990. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Italian
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Italy Folklore, fantasy and fairy tales from Italy & Sicily. As ever it’s been a delightful journey wandering through Italy’s famous cities and grand histories as I put this small collection together. I hope that you enjoy these stories too.
Tales from the Land of Rabbits
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 12. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 88,090. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Spanish & Portuguese
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Spain & Portugal These first tales herald from Spain & Portugal, from a broad set of sources and translations. There is a real flavour of the peninsular in these stories, reflecting as they do Spain and Portugal’s long history of thought, religion and conflict. I hope you enjoy these stories.
More Tales of Snow and Ice
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 8. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 102,710. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Scandinavian
More Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Scandinavia This is the second in a two volume collection of tales from Scandinavia. There is a clear and rich tradition of storytelling in the north, perhaps dictated by long winter nights and roaring fires. Whenever you read these sagas and tales you tap into a centuries old heritage wrapped in wonder and magic and outlandish heroism.
More Tales of Hope and Glory
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 6. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 120,170. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
More Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from England This is the second book in the Fireside series covering the English story-telling tradition. Listening to a story is like going on a journey. Only you can see the pictures in your mind. Only you can conjure the demons & the dragons and the heroes with such vivacity.
More Tales of Saints and Scholars
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 183,910. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
More Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Ireland This is a second volume of Irish tales, so rich are the story-mining seams taken from just the few Irish collections I have in my possession at the moment. Across the two volumes we have around one hundred and forty tales taken from pretty well every tradition, including classic tales of Irish legend, fairy and folk beliefs.
The Insomniac Booth
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 83,050. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fairy tales
The Insomniac Booth continues many of the themes that first emerged in Clive Gilson's earlier collection of short stories, The Mechanic's Curse. This second collection continues with the investigation of magical realism and the glories of traditional folk and faery tales, and, as ever, these are intimate tales, focusing on broad but subtle themes and personal recollections.
The Mechanic's Curse
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,970. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Fairy tales
These are intimate tales, focusing on broad but subtle themes and personal recollections. Clive's stories continue to link recurring themes of urban and future decay – splintered glass, dust motes and cracked plaster; the loss of loved ones, of the ability to remember; black and white movies of the mind.
A Solitude of Stars
Series: The Cry Havoc Trilogy, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 84,100. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Book 1 in the Cry Havoc Trilogy With deft turns of phrase and an imagination that would make Philip K. Dick jealous, this is a tale of dystopian futures. A chilling glimpse of what may come to pass, warmed by a thread of love that raises the narrative beyond despair. I found the stories disturbing and breath-taking in equal measure. Book 2, A Symphony of Sorrows, due early 2020.
Songs of Bliss
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 123,570. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Just how far will a father go to protect his daughter, especially when his 'protection' is so fundamentally flawed? A crime thriller set amid the tranquil beauty of North Devon's rolling hills and seaside towns.
Tales from the Old Norse
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 11. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 103,500. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Scandinavian
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Sweden, Norway & Denmark And so we reach the final volume in this small collection of tales from the north. Originally I intended to complete the series with the Finnish volume, but as ever, there were just too many fabulous stories in my archive to call such an immediate halt.
Tales from the Forest Lands
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 10. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,730. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Scandinavian
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Finland This volume of tales from the north concentrates on Finland. Much of Finnish mythology survived within an oral tradition of mythical poem-singing & folklore well into the 19th century. One of my favourite aspects of Finnish mythology is the wonderful sense of darkness at its heart.
Tales from the Viking Isles
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 9. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,940. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Scandinavian
Viking Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas Stories from northern lands, this volume concentrates on Sagas from Viking isles; Iceland and The Faroe Isles. These forms are known as family sagas, & were often told by the “skald” bards. For the most part these sagas take the form of prose narratives & are mostly based on historical events that took place in the 9th, 10th, & 11th centuries.
Tales from Lands of Snow and Ice
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 7. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 95,880. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / Scandinavian
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Scandinavia In this volume we have some of my favourite stories as told by Andersen, Asbjørnsen et al. The stories are drawn from Lang’s Coloured Fairy Books, Andersen’s Fairy Tales, from The Birch and the Star, and from Asbjørnsen collaboration on Tales from the Fjeld.
Tales from the Land of Hope and Glory
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 137,670. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from England This book covers the English tradition in folk and fairy tale, in fable and saga. In compiling this collection from just a few of our forebears, I have been very warmly surprised at the breadth of subject matter. I’ve also come across stories that I had never read before, so the journey has been a delight.
Tales from the Land of Saints and Scholars
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 224,960. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Ireland This is first in what may become two volumes, so rich are the story-mining seams taken from just the few Irish collections I have in my possession at the moment. These first stories have been taken from around one hundred & forty Irish tales, themselves taken from pretty well every Irish tradition.
Tales from the Land of the Brave
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 147,800. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Scotland Book number two in the Fireside series of traditional folk and fairy tales from around the world. These tales are drawn from some of the great tradition of Scottish storytelling, and as ever, these stories illustrate the beauty and the darkness inherent in our ancestral memories and in our “modern” interpretations of this confusing world.
Tales From The Land of Dragons
Series: Tales from the World's Firesides - Part 1 - Europe, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,950. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Literary collections » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Folk & Fairy Tales, Legends, Myths & Sagas from Wales I’ve always drawn heavily on traditional folk & fairy tales, & amassed a collection of thousands of tales from around the world. Now that I’ve got a digitised archive up & running, I’m ready start on the great project… & this volume, Tales from the Land of Dragons, is the first in a set of collections of folk and fairy tales cover

Clive Gilson's tag cloud

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