Songs of the Interstitium

(A Transmedia Project set in Multiple Worlds)

Songs of the Interstitium Transmedia Project

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.


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The City of Quartz Talk launches ‘Songs of the Interstitium’ Project

On May 2nd 2016 Ian Irvine (Hobson) delivered a talk for the Philosophy in the Library group on a key theme in The City of Quartz (a novel) i.e. the fascination we have for fictional versions of parallel worlds/parallel realities and counterfactuals. The novel is the first of the 5 book Songs of the Interstitium series – which will also unfolds as a multi-platform project. The City of Quartz is set in an alternative central Victoria and explores both alternative reality and alternative selves tropes.

This site will act as a hub for a range of entrance points to the story  (both old media and new media). As the project unfolds through five novels, multiple poetry collections, various non-fiction articles, the songs of a parallel reality band called Interstitium, online courses on various imaginative topics etc. we will slowly introduce ‘participatory creativity’ experiences that will allow audiences to inhabit (and perhaps partially create) some of the worlds Rowan Sweeney and his band of creative misfits and doppelganger selves find themselves in. Around 70 people attended the event at the Bendigo Library and dozens of fascinating questions were asked as the draft cover of The City of Quartz was unveiled for the first time …

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Alternative Reality/Alternative Rock band Interstitium (as featured in The City of Quartz)

Interstitium is a central Victorian alternative rock band straddling at least two parallel realities. The band features in the novel ‘The City of Quartz’ – the first book in the Songs of the Interstitium transmedia project launched recently. Twelves songs by the band – which were translated using ‘quantum translation software’ – played at a concert held at Dinas Yarkuk in 1997 are featured at the Reverbnation site (see link below). Various characters from the novel also feature at the Reverbnation site. Go to: Interstitium. See also a QTS live translation of the full concert at Soundcloud: Dinas Yarkuk (Interstitium live. See also embedded content below.

To hear individual songs via the Reverbnation site for InterstitiumContinue reading “Alternative Reality/Alternative Rock band Interstitium (as featured in The City of Quartz)”

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The City of Quartz Now on Sale

A3PortraitPosterCityofQuartz2The City of Quartz, the first novel in the Songs of the Interstitium series, is finally available as a print book. The first site offering the novel to the general public is the Book Depository (UK) which has free postage to many countries. More online booksellers will be listing the book over the next month or so in Australia, the US, UK and Europe and elsewhere. If you live in Bendigo, you can also buy the book directly from me.

Note: The ebook version is due out November, 2016. Also, the print version of the novel contains QR codes that link to a range of online content


The City of Quartz
Author: Irvine, Ian [also writing as Ian Irvine (Hobson) and Ian Hobson (b 1964, UK)]
Published: Bendigo (central Victoria) by The Zoetics Institute (Transmedia Publishing) (with design and layout by Media Australia).
Physical Description: 564 p. ; 99.000 x 099.000 mm.
Language: English
0646956329 (Trade Paper)
Approx. Online Bookseller Prices (various regions): Aust. $29; UK 17.50; US $23; and EU 24

Note: Orders are fulfilled using Ingram Spark’s global printing/distribution system.
Libraries Australia ID: 


Review of Poetry Arising out of Songs of the Interstitium Project (June 25th 2016) (attached to Poetry Life and Times (PLT) and Artvilla) recently reviewed the first poetry sequences arising out of the Songs of the Interstitium transmedia project: see Motherbird Review by Robin Ouzman Hislop (June 25th, 2016) of Poetry Life and Times (UK/Spain).

“In Songs of the Interstitium in Book 3 – Poetry Sequence from Library of Marvellous Hybrids we are introduced to 3 series of poetics, all created by the fictional Rowan Sweeney. One is almost reminded of the Portuguese poet Pessoa and the many fictional identities he assumed to write poetry through. [He treats a number of new science and new media themes] with tremendous innovative, imaginative literary force and mood. There are brilliant constructions, where the poet grapples with an understanding of consciousness and the history of archetypes that underlay it. However, I must admit, that for sheer force of lyricalism, where the poet depicts the shocked mind of Darwin, as the concept of evolution dawns on him, I personally am most drawn to the Coral Reverie: Voyage on the Beagle: (The Darwinian Poems) series.” Robin Ouzman Hislop, editor of Poetry Life and Times and

Artvilla also published the review and links to the poetic part of the project at: Artvilla.

Animations in a Parallel Universe discuss Songs of the Interstitium

Various semi-comic animations introducing the series have been rendered to date. The clips below are brought to life via Plotogon animation creation software.

Watch Scott and Jessica – animations from a parallel universe – discuss Dinas Yarkuk: City of Quartz (novel), quantum physics, Australia and salt water crocodiles!

Continue reading “Animations in a Parallel Universe discuss Songs of the Interstitium”

Many worlds/ many selves? Take the Poll …

[Image: Sprague de Camp’s The Wheels of If (1940), was one of the first books to explore the idea of parallel realities in a way influenced by the New Physics. Image is in the public domain.]

The various novels and media associated with Songs of the Interstitium explore ideas arising out of the ‘New Physics’. In particular, the ‘Many Worlds; or ‘Parallel Universes’ theory of physical reality is explored. This story trope mutated early in the 20th century out of 19th century ‘doppelganger’ tropes beloved of Gothic and Neo-Romantic writers. Fantastically, several of the major physics theories purporting to explain the mismatch between the findings of quantum mechanics at the micro level of matter and Einstein’s theories concerning large scale objects speak of ‘many worlds/universes’. What do you think – does reality branch out constantly every time the ‘wave function’ of matter appears to collapse or is something else going on? Take the poll … Continue reading “Many worlds/ many selves? Take the Poll …”

QR Code Experiment for Songs of the Interstitium

We’re gradually adding various less conventional media access points (“Portals”) to the Songs of the Interstitium project. Currently we’re playing around with QR codes embedded in images (which will be used in posters/in the pages of The City of Quartz/on postcards, etc.). The coded images lead to extra web content. You can try it with the image and QR codes featured above (though you may need to open the full image and blog post to get a clear image scan). To unlock the content download a free QR code scanner app to your favourite device – e.g. a phone, lap-top with camera or tablet – and scan the above (and below) QR codes (embedded in the poster) to access ‘mystery content’. Continue reading “QR Code Experiment for Songs of the Interstitium”

Book Three – Poetry Sequences from ‘Library of the Marvellous Hybrids’

Library of the Marvellous Hybrids – the third novel of the ‘Songs of the Interstitium series/transmedia project’ – follows Rowan Sweeney (residing in an alternative version of post-millennial Italy as an experimental/Quantum poet and university academic) as he performs across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and India. He writes a number of poetry sequences during his travels that entered our timeline/reality by way of an ornate wooden box found in a cave complex at the back of a block of land near Harcourt, central Victoria (Australia in 2006). Although the novel (Library of the Marvellous Hybrids) will not be published for a couple of years, poetry associated with the Marvellous Hybrids novel has been circulating internationally since 2012.

Access full versions of the relevant poetry sequences by clicking on the links below:

The Alchemical Sequence
Coral Reverie: The Darwinian Poems
Awake in the Chamber of Darkness – the Egyptian Sequence
Continue reading “Book Three – Poetry Sequences from ‘Library of the Marvellous Hybrids’”

The City of Quartz: A many worlds, many selves transmedia project.

Fr. Chansons de l’interstitium – La Ville de Quartz – A beaucoup de mondes, de nombreux mêmes projet transmédia.

Welsh. Caneuon y Interstitium – Mae Dinas Quartz – Mae llawer o fyd, mae llawer o hunain prosiect Transmedia.

Sc. Gaelic. òrain an Interstitium – The City of èitiag – Tha iomadh saoghal, iomadh pròiseact thar-mheadhanach fèin.

Pan Koori?

Arabic: مدينة الكوارتز  – transmedia والعديد من العوالم، العديد من الأنفس مشروع .

Continue reading “The City of Quartz: A many worlds, many selves transmedia project.”

Goya’s Child (1) are Alluded to in the City of Quartz

‘A genuine (rather than fictive) but obscure Central Victorian alt. rock band of the 1990s called Goya’s Child are alluded to in The City of Quartz. Click below to hear some of their songs

Continue reading “Goya’s Child (1) are Alluded to in the City of Quartz”

New Science Perspectives on Ghosts and Other Paranormal Phenomena

The following talk/presentation, delivered at the Aradale Creativity Retreat in 2014, speculates on certain traditional ‘supernatural’ or ‘paranormal’ anomalies/phenomena that might warrant New Science perspectives. The idea of the talk was to encourage creative people to engage with the findings of the New Physics and move beyond Classical Science perspectives on a range of sometimes inexplicable phenomena.

Talk/article: New Science Perspectives on Ghosts and other Paranormal Phenomena Continue reading “New Science Perspectives on Ghosts and Other Paranormal Phenomena”

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