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, was published in may 2016 and is the first of a five book series that will also feature a range of other offerings across various platforms. The second book in the series – The Isle of Ruins – is progressing well, and various musical, non-fiction, performance, poetic, QR code related, etc. dimensions to the overall project are at various stages of development. NOTE: The City of Quartz contains around ten pages of QR codes near the end, that link to various media associated with the project.


A short synopsis for the book that launches the project and the series ends this post [Note: the book can be purchased from various online booksellers e.g., and Book Depository (UK) for international buyers, and Booktopia, for Australian buyers. starting at around $15 US]. See also Fishpond (free postage in Australia as at Oct. 2016) and Angus and Robertson (Bookworld).Prices range from $15US plus postage to $28 Australian (though some sellers list it in the $30-40 Aust. range). Remember to take a close look at postage costs. Abe books also offers various options. Ebook version coming soon!]

GENERAL PROJECT NEWS: As at New Year’s Day 2017, the story of the unfolding of the Songs of the Interstitium project between 1997 and 2020 is slowly gathering pace across various media platforms. Updates on recent developments to the overall story follow:

1st January 2017: Steady progress throughout December 2016 in writing the second book of the series, i.e. The Isle of Ruins. Also the ebook version of the first book of the series is not far off and a talk on the project, and more specifically on The City of Quartz, is booked in for early May 2017 at the Bendigo Goldfields Library for members of the Bendigo Writers Council. Reader responses to the first book have been highly positive – and intriguing in many cases!

Mid-November 2016: A short Appendix to Book 5 of the series, i.e. The Orpheus Plague, has appeared in Painted Words 2016 (submitted by the Zoetics Instititue – Transmedia Publishing wing). Tracking the piece down, however, will require a bit of detective work on the part of readers!

Early November 2016: The City of Quartz available internationally as a print book. A3PortraitPosterCityofQuartz2 Posters (see right) featuring QR encoded links have started to appear across central and northern Victoria. The book has also been submitted to a number of Australian speculative fiction competitions and the project website has been listed/archived by TROVE/National Library of Australia (the book can be borrowed from 3 Australian libraries at present) and Austlit.

SPECIAL THANKS to PEOPLE WHO HAVE HELPED FURTHER THE PROJECT SO FAR (in this ‘reality’/’timeline’): Thanks to Sue Kingsmith., John Charalambous, Ev Charalambous, Peter Wiseman (and Media Australia), Win Kingsmith and John McNab in ‘this reality’ for structural and copyediting editing suggestions for the first book of the series. Many thanks also to Ev Charalambous and Kara Irvine-Kingsmith, for their work on the 12 songs ‘translated’/ ‘recreated’ from quantum traces emanating from two parallel universes linked to the alt. rock/alt universe band Interstitium. Thanks also to various ‘early bird readers’ for feedback, on the first novel: Robyn M, Steve L, Tru D, Marcus Estrin, Kathryn C, Gordon and Jo R, Bruce and Barb, John and Cath H, Emani C (Josh), Simon C, Tom A, Jan B, Emma B-G, Adam L and Simon W. Special thanks also, to the following people and organisations that have promoted/reviewed/published/tweeted about, or given me ‘gigs’ talking about or performing, aspects of the project: Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Perez Arrospide (of Motherbird/Artvilla/Poetry Life and Times); Sarah Russell (of Poetry Life Times blogsite),; the Painted Words 2016 project management team (for publishing part of the 5th novel); the Bendigo Writers Council (for an upcoming gig about the first book of the project); the organisers of Philosophy in the Library (for 3 gigs from 2012-16 dealing with New Science, SF and ancient Egyptian tropes fundamental to the project); the organisers of Write on the Fringe 2014 – part of the 2014 Bendigo Writers Festival (for a gig at the festival discussing ‘transmedia storytelling’); Marion Drummond – organiser of the Central Victorian Young Writers Association (for a gig in 2016 discussing ‘transmedia storytelling); G.N.Brawn and the staff of Cohesion Press [Australia] (for a gig at the Aradale Creativity Retreat 2014); the members of Scribblers Writers Group; and the library staff of Bendigo Kangan Institute and the Bendigo Goldfields Library. Of course, the story continues into 2017 …

“Try to remember … we are all, every day, living some sort of story …”

Continue reading “Songs of the Interstitium Transmedia Project”

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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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Explore Some of the Research Behind “The City of Quartz”

A range of texts, historical events, bands and historic cultural items feature in The City of Quartz. Readers of the book can delve into some of the research by following the links below:

  • emiletitleEmile by J. J. Rousseau. This book was first translated into English – from the French – in 1762. Go to a Project Gutenberg version below. Isles and Hobbes were influenced by Rousseau’s analysis – as found in Emile – of how civilisation subtly traumatises children. A revised version of Rousseau’s insights about what constitutes a healthy childhood, basically ‘healthy orbits’, fed into ‘The System of the Orbits’.
    Continue reading “Explore Some of the Research Behind “The City of Quartz””

Many Worlds/Many Selves: New Science Thinking Behind Songs of the Interstitium

The novels, poems, articles, songs etc. associated with Songs of the Interstitium are presented via the five novels as  the work of a range of creative subselves (‘creative heteronyms’) associated with the main character, i.e. ‘Rowan Sweeney’. The various ‘Rowans’ are living out a number of distinct, though parallel, timelines between 1990 and 2020. In ‘our timeline’ (which features in book 5 – Convergence: The Orpheus Plague)  the Zoetics Institute’s Transmedia wing oversees the entire project and Rowan lives on a block of land as a largely obscure writer/poet and teacher. The following post will explore more deeply what is meant by ‘creative subselves’ since New Science theorising on multiple realities underpins the entire project. Continue reading “Many Worlds/Many Selves: New Science Thinking Behind Songs of the Interstitium”

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”

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”

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