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. Amazon.com, 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 June 2017, the unfolding of the Songs of the Interstitium project (set between 1997 and 2020) is slowly gathering pace across various media platforms. Updates on recent developments to the overall story follow.
Bendigo Writers Council Newsletter (June 2017 Edition): A short review is distributed re: talk on Simulated Realities and Parallel Worlds (which took place on May 17th 2017). Read extracts from the review/newsletter: Review of Simulated Reality and Parallel Worlds Talk for BWC May17th 2017. [Thanks to Kev Stacey and Annie Young, also BWC executive for hosting the event].
28th May 2017: A 25 page article entitled ‘Are You Living Inside a 23 Century Literary Masterpiece?’ was published at Authorsden.com. The article explores the history of the ‘Simulated Reality’ trope in Sci Fi and Quantum Fiction and includes a worksheet designed to assist writers create their own ‘Simulated Reality’ stories. The article is an in-depth exploration of some of the material covered in the workshop discussed below. Click to go direct to the PDF. Note: the Simulated Reality trope will be used in Book Two of the Songs of the Interstitium project – i.e. The Isle of Ruins.
Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (7-9pm, Bendigo Goldfields Library): Many thanks to the 30+ writers/participants who attended the talk/workshop which was entitled Two Tropes of Quantum Fiction: Many Worlds/Many Selves and Simulated Realities (or ‘Are we Living Inside a 23 Century C.E. Literary Masterpiece?‘). Participants birthed ideas for novels, stories and poems and generally discussed the finer points of these fascinating speculative fiction tropes. The presentation added to the performance and nonfiction dimensions of the Songs of the Interstitium Transmedia Project and the novel The City of Quartz was used to illustrate aspects of the presentation. Thanks also to the Bendigo Goldfields Library and the Bendigo Writers Council for staging the event. See also event flier.
March 11th 2017: Afterlife 1: After the Fall’ the first poem from the ‘Afterlife‘ sequence, which appears to be linked to Story Line 1 of The Isle of Ruins novel MS is posted to Authorsden. The characters involved in the poem appear to be an Editor/Publisher version of the same Rowan Sweeney found in The City of Quartz and a famous Australian fantasy writer resident in the UK (though this is yet to be confirmed).
Feb 26th 2017: A reading from Chapter 48 of The City of Quartz performed at the Feb. 2017 The Write Stuff @ Music Man Bendigo event. Also: short introduction to the ‘Songs of the Interstitium’ transmedia project. NB: this public event, and events like it in our timeline/narrative line, may feature in the creative non-fiction narrative unfolding in the final book of the series/project.
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, The City of Quartz, is not far off. Reader responses to the first book have been very 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. 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 THOSE 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 editing and copy 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 M, 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: the organisers of The Write Stuff (Bendigo); 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 a gig discussing Sf and Quantum Fiction tropes associated with the project and, special thanks to Kev Stacey and Annie Young for reviewing the workshop); 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; Phoenix FM and James Roberts (host for the ‘Crazy Words’ show), Austlit staff; and the library staff of Bendigo Kangan Institute and the Bendigo Goldfields Library. The project continues in 2017 …
The City of Quartz by Ian Irvine (Hobson)
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’ into our ‘global super-brain’. The content purports to have been gathered and collated by the ‘Dinas Yarkuk Transmedia Collective’.
In the first manuscript to be published we encounter Rowan Sweeney, 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.