Wizard War Hugh Cook Chronicles

Wizard War Hugh Cook Chronicles

Diary 46

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A little background on the writing of Hugh Cook's "Wizard War" book and the writing of the ten-volume CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS series (first volume published in the UK as "The Wizards and the Warriors" and in the USA as "Wizard War".) Also, some notes on archive material on this site which relates to the CHRONICLES.

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Section 46 Entry 0001. Date: 2003 June 15 Sunday.
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Recently, I've had a couple of people e-mail me stuff - in one case material, and in the other case an idea - which has helped me creatively. A long time back, I had a ten-volume fantasy series published, the CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS (some volumes of which were published in North America, the first with the title WIZARD WAR.) With the website, I've been trying to push ahead with new things rather than dwell on the past.

However, thanks to the recent contributions I've received by e-mail, my thoughts have once again turned to the CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS.

list of novels by Hugh Cook

complete text of two CHRONICLES novels:-



view largest version of milieu map at:



castle wall, dark; moat, with bridge; trees in background; all purple-red beneath a purple sky, the trees fringed with a jagged yellow suggestive of paranoid schizophrenia - welcome to my imagination!

The first novel in the series, the WIZARD WAR novel, published in the UK as THE WIZARDS AND THE WARRIORS, was dominated by the castles of my imagination, overpowering structures of monumental stone, of fallen power, of abandoned ruin.

These castles came out of my earlist childhood in England. Supplemented, a little later, by the Japanese military - at age six I my playworld included the huge rusted hulk of an iron anti-aircraft fortification on Ocean Island (nowadays Banaba), a dot near the equator where I spent two years ... this dot the template for Untunchilamon.

Because I've been trying to push ahead with new things, I haven't spent much time over the last few years thinking about the CHRONICLES. But, as mentioned above, recent contributions received by e-mail have once again bent my thoughts that way.

I have to say that I do not have a collaborative temperament, and, as a rule, when it comes to my writing, I've neither sought nor welcomed any input of any kind whatsoever from anyone, ever.

However ....

A while back, Andy Bailey of England sent me the most wonderful map. He had stitched together various maps of the WIZARD WAR / CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS milieu and had then adroitly colorized the resulting geography.

And seeing the map in color like that really got me where I lived.

Below is a shrunken-down copy of the map. To see a larger version on this site, click the map ....

map showing fantasy milieu for the WIZARD WAR novel and the CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS series

So, anyway, I got this really wonderful map, and that woke things up ... bits of the darkness began to wake up and walk ... and a few times I had a look at some of the rubble left over from the construction of the CHRONICLES, plans for huge, enormous, sprawling sagas, for a series of ten volumes, twenty, thirty, sixty ....

All absolutely impossible ....

So I came to a decision: I'll put the map up, and maybe it will help sell a few more books (some of the volumes are out of print, but, in the UK, copies of some of the books can still be bought through


For example (and the following link goes through to the relevant page on the amazon.co.uk site)


Click through to the amazon.co.uk reader reviews for THE WEREWOLF AND THE WORMLORD with the following link:-


(Warning!! As of 2003 June 14, the book above was standing at 87,119 in the Amazon.co.uk Sales Rank!! Get your copy today before stocks run out!!)

Anyway (the commercial break is over, I think) the map certainly woke up my imagination. But ... write more books set in the CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS milieu? No. Considerations of time made that impossible.

Instead, the next bits of fiction that got finished were some pieces of flash fiction, little itty bitty stories, very very short stories, so short that the modern writer has time to write one (during the homeward journey on the train, for example) and the modern reader actually has time to read one (or two or even three).

And then out of the blue I got an e-mail from Bjorn saying, hey, since you're writing flash fiction, why not do some CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS flash fiction?

This instantly struck a chord with me, since the chaotic mess of fragments that I've got in stock would certainly yield up a few flash fictions. So, within two and a half seconds, I'd decided, yes, I'll do that.

This is certainly one idea that I would never have gotten by myself, because the CHRONICLES are, in my imagination, monumental ... if the elephant trainer starts running a flea circus as a sideline, it doesn't occur to him to try to incorporate one of his elephants into the act ....

Then, today, I started to remember something, hazily ... a few years after the publication of THE WIZARDS AND THE WARRIORS (aka WIZARD WAR), the first volume of the CHRONICLES OF AN AGE OF DARKNESS series, I (for some reason) decided I'd like to write a revised version, which I did ... not that there was any commercial point in doing so, since a publisher wouldn't be interested in a revised version of a book still (then) in print.

And after all these years I can't really remember what the revised version was about. Was it just changing a few commas? Or was something more substantial involved? If so, did the revised version have some stand-alone incidents which might serve as stories in their own right? And do I still have the revised version on disk?

Time to look in my "writer" archive, the size of which is 335 megabytes ... mostly duplicates of things, but, even so ... a lot to search through ...

I don't find what I'm looking for, though I do find endless amounts of other stuff, plans, for, for example, a projected series to be called THE ARTS OF THE ELEMENTS, my notes for which include the following:-

In the Indiris Archipelago, otherwise known as Indiris, the ruling island of Lasenamengo is governed by a Council of Wisdom heavily influenced by two strong and powerful clans, the Sensedris Ma Jurf (the Lords of Air) and the Sensedris Ma Kalakan (the Lords of Fire). The Sensedris are the upcaste members of these two ruling clans, as opposed to the Gubamagenji, the downcaste members of the subservient clans. The head of the Jurf is Sensedris Larvik of the Jurf. The head of the Kalakan is Sensedris Borisov of the Kalakan.

I find all kinds of weird stuff, like huge lists of words:-

douce [sweet]
drinking hyson [very fine sort of green tea]
galantine [poultry, veal etc cold in jelly]
labile [adj, unstable, apt to slip/change]
abiosis [absence of life]
balsamiferous [producing balsam (liquid resin)]
ianthine [violet-coloured]
labor improbus [persistent, dogged labour]
perspicuous [lucid]
dottle [fool]
galdragon [sorceress, witch]
nacelle [a little boat]
ablation [removal; decrease by melting]
labrose [thick-lipped]

.... but, really, very little in the way of CHRONICLES stuff. Possibly I have some more stuff still on floppy disk. I brought with me to Japan a substantial box of floppy disks (a big box containing boxes holding ten, twenty, thirty or more floppy disks) and I still (after six years) haven't found the time to go through it all.

Still, I think that by the time I've done some more hunting around I should have found at least enough for a few flash fictions. Thanks, Bjorn.

2003 June 18 Wednesday. Brief note: so far, no sign anywhere of any revised draft of THE WIZARDS AND THE WARRIORS, and I'm starting to feel that it may have been typewritten, in which case it would have been incinerated some years back when I cleaned out my paperwork.
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PORT DOMAX - a CHRONICLES flash fiction

CHRONICLES archive material:



scraps, fragments, offcuts -

detritus from the chaos of creation


1989 draft CHRONCILES development plan


notes on dragon chess (the game)

random scraps


a sex poem

a shower scene

Untunchilamon data Untunchilamon

WORSHIPPERS / WAY plot summary



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