We're looking for biographical information about Terence Haile, the author of the science-fiction book "The Space Train". It's a very bad book, but we are trying to clear the copyright to turn it into an ebook nonetheless!

Unfortunately, Google and Wikipedia are silent on the topic of his biography.

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  • It looks like Digit Publishing, who originally published and presumably held copyright for Space Train only published works from 1955 to 1966, when I presume they were bought or went out of business. US online copyright only goes back to 1978, and I can't find anything else about copyrights held prior to this (in US or UK). :(
    – Josh
    Mar 16, 2012 at 19:05
  • 3
    Thanks Josh! I've actuall tracked down Digit Publishing's fate, which is more or less that when their sibling imprints were purchased in the late 1960s, they were left out and effectively ceased to exist. I'm hoping someone somewhere knows the author or his heirs so I can try to get their blessing, regardless of copyright status, which I believe is not a factor here. Mar 17, 2012 at 16:48
  • 4
    For the record, if anyone reads this, I've got a standing 1000 rep bounty for any new info about Terence Haile.
    – Valorum
    May 12, 2015 at 23:41
  • 2
    @Richard They published the ebook, so either they tracked somebody down, or did it anyway: singularityand.co/index.php/our-ebooks/our-authors/item/…
    – alexwlchan
    May 14, 2015 at 17:30
  • 1
    @Adamant - 19th January 1979
    – Valorum
    Dec 23, 2020 at 21:30

3 Answers 3


According to ISFDB, Terence Alfred Haile was born in Birmingham, England on the 22nd June 1921 and died in Walsall, England on the 19th January 1979.

During his lifetime he published two books, "Galaxies Ahead" in 1962 and "Space Train" in 1963 (latterly republished in 1972 as "The Claw").

For a published author, there is remarkably little information about him on the internet other than what appears to be his birth record (below), a death record and a possible marriage to a Kathleen T. Dunham in 1969. I couldn't even dig up a photo of the author.


According to the probate service, there's also no record of his having left a will.

Quite what he spent the intervening 58 years doing (aside from writing bad sci-fi novels, obviously) is anyone's guess.

"Peters, we are over a million years old!" he announced quietly. "When we were caught up in that double-sun explosion, we must have been carried along in its giddy orbit for over a million years! We were kept alive simply because we were in an air-locked compartment and did not do anything but sleep for most of the time, thus conserving our energy and our bodies to allow us to behave now as if we were normal men."' - Galaxies Ahead

Update - Sadly, the original paperback version of his book Space Train does not contain biographical details or an 'about the author'

  • 1
    FWIW, I have a subscription and can see past the paywall. The marriage information is not very helpful, though, given that there are a surprising number of marriages. A Terence Alfred Haile could easily have another middle name starting with an M or an A.
    – Adamant
    Aug 7, 2016 at 20:20
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    Well, sure. But do you have any reason to believe that one marriage is the correct one, rather than another?
    – Adamant
    Aug 7, 2016 at 20:22
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    I though you said the '62 marriage. And it looks like Wycombe to Birmingham is quite a bit further.
    – Adamant
    Aug 7, 2016 at 20:25
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    Honestly, in your place I'd take a trip to Walsall and look at some old copies of the Walsall Observer for obituaries. At least you wouldn't need to take a plane ride.
    – Adamant
    Aug 7, 2016 at 20:29
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    Some places selling the book Crevice Rock list it as being published by Watson Brown, same as Galaxies Ahead. Same Haile?
    – Adamant
    Aug 7, 2016 at 20:42

Death CertificateHaile Dunham weddingMarriage of Hailes' parents

Electors Register 1945

Terence Haile was the son of Christopher Haile and Hilda Victoria Aldred. They married in Sparkbrook, Birmingham in 1920.

I have copy of register entry.

Terence was born in 1921. He had at least two siblings, Reginald and Jean. Terence lived with his parents in Birmingham for many years, detail available if this is required, and he married Kathleen Dunham following her divorce from Robert Keith Dunham in 1969. Details available if required. Kathleen died in 1986

Electrician Christopher Haile married Hilda Victoria Aldred at Christ Church, Sparkbrook, Birmingham on 12th June, 1920.

Their son, Terence, was born the following year (General Record Office reference Sep Qtr. Volume 06D page 790). The printed version of this event contains an error and shows his mothers surname to be Alfred, not Aldred. This mistake is also shown on other sites. In the parish register for Christs Church, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, his birth is shown as 22nd June, 1921 and he was baptised on 17th July, 1921. Witnesses were his mother and father and Louise Haile. The family address was 64, Barrows Road.

A National Register was taken on 29th September 1939 and information was used to produce ration cards and identity documents for WW2. The Haile family is shown to be still living at 64, Barrows Road, Birmingham. (Reference: National Archives TNA R39 5577C 015). Terence, a Cost Clerk, is shown living with his parents and a brother, Reginald. There is a “Closed Record” also shown. This may be another sibling called Jean, who was born in 1930. Although of age, no definite record of Terence joining the military has been found. There is, however, an R.A.F. record of a “T. Haile” in 1941. Currently this record cannot be accessed and verified. Although these records were due for release to the National Archives in 2004 they remain with RAF records branch. In 1945, Terence is to be found on an Electors Register at 124, Medlicott Road, Sparkhill Ward, Birmingham. Later registers show him at this address with his parents and family members up until 1960 or later.

In 1969 Terence married Kathleen Dunham (General Records Office reference September Quarter 1969, volume 9C page 3193) in District of Solihull Terence Haile married Kathleen T M Dunham. This was following her divorce earlier that year*. He died in 1979, Kathleen died in Sandwell on 31st July 1986. Following a Requiem Mass at the Church of the Holy Name, Great Barr, she was cremated at Newton Road, West Bromwich Crematorium on 6th August 1986.

*Robert Keith Dunham, son of Frank Alban Dunham & Marguerite Elesmore married Kathleen Theresa Mary Finnemore in 1958. The Coventry Evening Telegraph of Saturday 3rd March 1969, page 11, shows details: In a separate case a respondent husband Robert Keith Dunham, of 20, Brook Street, Wolston, on answer, was granted a decree nisi on the grounds of desertion by his wife, the petitioner, Kathleen Theresa Mary Dunham. The prayer of the petitioner, also alleging desertion, was rejected.

1939 register

To the best of my knowledge there are no direct living relatives. His mother died in 1970 and his father 1976. Reginald died in 1983, Jean was born in 1930 and do not know if she is still alive. Kathleen died in 1986 in Great Barr, Birmingham.

This may not be relevant but the British Library holds a copy of a publication entitled Animals, by a Terence Haile in 1966 Reference BLL 0100156422.

Also in the reference is Solihull. As this place is near Birmingham further research may prove this to be one and the same author.

The Birmingham Mail newspaper of 19th October 1951 includes a letter written by Terence Haile of Sparkhill entitled FAILURE.

The greatest failure of the Labour Government has been its inability to provide sufficient food for all. Why is it that our defeated enemy, Western Germany, has had no food rationing for years? Is private purchasing of food, as opposed to bulk buying, the answer? Lack in variety in food is responsible for lassitude of thousands of people to-day. The National Health Scheme is not too successful. Many doctors seem to lack interest in the welfare of patients. Is it because of the sluggish way in which they are paid or have they too many patients? Standards of hygiene are lower than ever, in restaurants particularly. The younger generation cannot be blamed when "slap-happy" educational methods are used in secondary schools, which in fact are neither secondary nor modern. Dismiss the cranks of the "Do as you like" mentality, and let us teach children something.

On Monday, October 22nd 1951, an article regarding housing appeared and Terence submitted another letter, entitled Private Builders.

"When thousands of ex-Servicemen have no hope of getting a house for their families for many years to come, there is obviously something seriously wrong with the Labour Government’s policy. There is a lack of materials but the root cause of the trouble is the refusal of the Government to allow private builders to proceed normally. Why have the private builders been treated so shamefully? Let anyone who can, build, and build quickly: blocks of flats, smaller houses-any form of decent habitation for decent, hard-working British people. Not having any racial prejudice of any kind, I still think it is madness to allow so many foreign people into this over-populated country, aggravating the already serious housing situation. Marriage, child upbringing, sanitation, happiness, health – all these things depend upon good housing conditions. Labour has not helped-can the Tories?"

Was Terence an "angry young man" (he was 30 when this was written) or could he see into the future?

On August 15th, 1952, in reply to a letter regarding sportsmanship and rugby football, printed earlier in the Evening Despatch newspaper, Terence wrote of his personal experiences surrounding soccer, cricket and tennis, declaring “Equally if there were more soccer players, tennis enthusiasts, baseball players, lacrosse experts and athletes, there would be much better relations throughout the world. In short, if mankind was able to devote more time to pleasant pursuits, sport or otherwise, instead of being continually misled by power groups, the world would certainly be a better place”

In 1962 Terence lived at 119, Yoxall Road, Shirley (REF.BCOL and Telephone Directories 1962 to 1973 No. Shirley 5733/021-744-5733) and was making a name for himself as a writer of paperbacks.

A quote from the Birmingham Mail of May 1st 1962 states that

"He has now turned from Westerns to space fiction. His latest, published today, is "Space Train" (Digit Books)".

The piece goes on to say he was educated at Waverley Grammar School and served in the RAF 1941-1946. While in Rabat, Morocco, he edited a camp newspaper. In civilian life he was a Cost Clerk, assistant surveyor, school teacher, industrial buyer and works manager assistant. His hobbies included music and tennis.

In 1966, at the time of his aunt's death, Terence is shown as a book seller.

Terence Haile married Kathleen Theresa Mary Dunham at the Register Office, Solihull, on the 15th September, 1969. He was a 48 year old bachelor and gave his profession as a Company Secretary. Kathleen was a 39 year old secretary and her previous marriage had been dissolved (see earlier content). The witnesses were R. Haile (Terence’s brother, Reginald?) and L. C. Finnemore (Kathleen’s brother, Louis Charles?)

Terence Haile died on 19th January, 1979 at Walsall General (Sister Dora) Hospital. Cause of death was given after a Post Mortem, without an Inquest, as acute left ventricular and pulmonary oedema due to heart failure coronary atherosclerosis. Information supplied by his widow is that he had been an Assistant Chief Buyer and lived at 32, George Road, Great Barr, Birmingham.

  • 2
    Although I am unrelated to Robert Dunham's family, I have copies of wedding detail of Terence Haile parents, address details for Terence and family from 1945-1960+. Newspaper clip of Kathleen's divorce, prior to marrying Terence. Is this of interest to you? Jun 1, 2022 at 14:45
  • 2
    Yes, please post it all
    – Valorum
    Jun 1, 2022 at 14:57
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    I'm pleased that my input has been of some use, although I haven't found living relatives as yet. Terencesnephew, Stewart Haile still lives in Birmingham but haven't tracked him down - yet. Jun 13, 2022 at 18:59
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    Hopefully I'll soon be able to post a picture of the elusive Mr Haile. Jun 14, 2022 at 9:33
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    Members of the Haile family have been found and contacted and I await their reply Jun 30, 2022 at 7:00

He wrote a third book titled "The Sports Stars In Danger", which was not science fiction. He also wrote two Westerns called "Trail's End" and "Crevice Rock".

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This website seems to have accurate information. It mentions a third, previously unknown, Terence Haile book titled "The Sports Stars In Danger":

Terence HAILE {UK} (M: 1921 (wrongly 1920) Jun 22 - 1979 (wrongly 1980))

The Sports Stars In Danger [1952]

Space Train [1962]

Galaxies Ahead [1963]

A Google search found a blurb for this book, along with art, from a British sports horror fan board: It is very Terence Haile-esque:

Blurb: Terence Haile takes you behind the scenes with the glamour of sporting personalities. A murder mystery interwoven with love interest, and exciting descriptive scenes of sporting events brilliantly told by a modern young Author who keeps you in continuous suspense as he unfolds the story of the disappearance of a Famous Sports Star. Mysterious accidents, disagreements between the Sports Stars' Directors, a brutal attack and the discovery of a battered body, the Police on the track of the murderers, a crop of threatening letters, suicide and kidnapping which throws suspicion on many well known sports players. All these events make this a grand, vivid Thriller packed with action that will give lovers of sport the world over continuous enjoyment.

The book is also mentioned in a book called "An Athletics Compendium". It is a compendium of British books on sports. I found a scanned copy here:

enter image description here

There is no other record of this book online. Amazon has no copies of it, and neither does Google. It certainly isn't a common book. Quite likely, the proboards commenter who posted the cover has no clue that his copy may be one of the last few in existence. The scifi compendiums don't mention it, as it is a regular sports thriller, not science fiction.

The above info seems certain, and I found he also wrote some Westerns. I found one for sale on Abebooks called Trail's End. It is from the correct time period, published in 1963. It has a British publisher. The Publisher is listed as DIGIT: the very same as Space Train!

About this Item

Brown Watson Wagon Wheel Digit W222 1963 edition paperback, vg In stock shipped from our UK warehouse. Bookseller Inventory # 59742

(Note that the pics are from an 1971 American edition of the book. From the back and publication dates though, it is clear that the primary place of publication was England, with all other foreign English-speaking countries sharing a later-published international edition.) The back of the book reads like something so bad that only he could have wrote it:

enter image description here enter image description here

UPDATE 2022: Found pics of the earlier British edition: enter image description here enter image description here

Since they share the same publisher, it seems very likely it is the same Terence Haile. In addition, user Adamant mentions that there is another book by Terence Haile called Crevice Rock. UPDATED 2021: I found some pictures on Ebay:

enter image description here enter image description here

The listing of the Crevice Rock book says 1961, the same era as Space Train. The writing is extremely similar.

It seems likely that it was primarily published in Britian at first, and it was only later subsequently published in America. (The earliest American edition I could find is 1972, while the British Watson Brown published the books in the 1960's.) There is almost zero chance that there were two Terence Hailes with poor writing skills with the same publisher in the same time period.

Although it may seem unlikely that small-time author Terence Haile had American editions of his books, he seems to be popular enough to have German translations of his books:

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enter image description here

I can't seem to find confirmation that these were direct translations from Terence Haile that wrote the Westerns above, but it comes from a list that contains definite non-Germanic authors and seems to be from the correct time period. However, the titles are different, but it seems likely that the translator just changed the titles, as there are hardly any chance that there was two Terence Hailes writing bad science fiction and westerns. (EDIT: User Oliver has confirmed the books are the same.)

  • 1
    @Valorum The Western novel clearly was not originally published in America: The Abebooks gives a publication date of 1963 for the British one, while the American editiuons list 1971.
    – TheAsh
    Jun 20, 2019 at 6:32
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    @Valorum The Sports one is British - there is ZERO chance of two Thomas Heales with poor writing skills both published authors in that time period. And they did not take info from the scifi databases - otherwise A) they would have added the westerns B) They have to have gotten the incorrect dates from somewhere in order to correct them. Thus, they have a different source.
    – TheAsh
    Jun 20, 2019 at 6:34
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    Excellent. That they're published by the same obscure publisher is a big boost. Even if this turns out to be a different Haile, it's certainly useful new info because we'll know we're chasing two ghosts, not one.
    – Valorum
    Jun 20, 2019 at 6:57
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    I would still love some biographical detail about him, especially his life history. I'll repost the bounty once yours is finalised.
    – Valorum
    Jun 20, 2019 at 14:54
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    @Valorum me too. I just added in that it is highly unlikely for there to be two British authors named Terence Haile from the same time period.
    – TheAsh
    Jun 20, 2019 at 14:57

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