The magical realist novel, The City of Quartz, is the first of a five book series that will also feature a range of multi-platform offerings over the next decade or so. The second book in the series – The Isle of Ruins – is already in the works and various musical, non-fiction, educational, poetic, QR code, social media, photographic, etc. dimensions to the overall project are at various stages of development.
The MS for The City of Quartz was found in an ornate box within a cave complex near Harcourt, central Victoria in 2007. The box contained five longer novel or creative non-fiction manuscripts in all, plus a bizarre map, the flag and currency of a strange country and a DVD featuring puzzling multimedia content and an obscure warning about the supposed capacity of the DVD and its content to ‘destabilize analog www environments if prematurely released’ via our global ‘super-brain’. The content purports to have been gathered and collated by the ‘Dinas Yarkuk Transmedia Collective’.
Here is a short synopsis for the book that launches the project and the series [Note: the book will be available by August 2016] …
The City of Quartz by Ian Irvine (Hobson)
Rowan Sweeney is a thirty-three year old perpetual student with relationship and vocational issues. Out of desperation he takes a job with Douglass Green – a Doctor of ‘something or other’, publisher of ‘curios’, and New Age therapist living in Central Victoria. Rowan soon discovers Green has a hidden agenda involving Neo-Druidism, Alchemy, cricket, music, obscure languages, and a quantum computer. Asked to write a biography about Abraham Isles, ‘an important 19th Century convict-mystic’, Rowan quickly realises he’s in over his head.
The novel is partially set in an Alternative Australia where the European colonisation of the continent took a different path early in the 1830s – a path that led to a functional Aboriginal/Koori state that incorporated progressive/Idealist migrants from Europe and elsewhere. The novel explores themes related to: the place of creativity in life and society, the impact of colonisation on indigenous peoples, New Science notions of self-identity, love and remorse, creativity and physical reality, and the age old conflict between Materialism and sacralised views of the cosmos. It is also a love story about the difficulties creative people face in assuming adult responsibilities in our complex post-modern world.