A FIRST-TIME Kilkenny author has secured a three-book deal from Stieg Larsson publisher Quercus.
The launch of Aidan Harte’s novel Irenicon took place last month at the British National Science Fiction Convention, and it is now in bookshops throughout Ireland.
Since publication, the book has been well received, garnering four/five star reviews from the two big genre magazines in the UK. In his review in SFX, science fiction author Jon Courtenay Grimwood said, ‘If there were stars for world building Irenicon would be five plus, no question. And Harte brings a level of intelligence to the book that’s impressive.’ This month’s Sci-Fi Now was also impressed: ‘The book is a fountain of gorgeous detail, festooned with enriching codices and enlightening, subtly subsumed exposition … Readers who know a good fantasy and do not feel themselves intimidated by one in which our hero is not ‘Dragonborn’, will enjoy Irenicon immensely. Well written and conceived, we look forward to Harte’s future works with relish.’
Irenicon is set in a dark alternative world. It tells the story of the war between two city-states, scientifically advanced Concord and primitive Rasenna. Rasenna is a city of towers divided by feuds and a river that shouldn’t be there. Rasenna’s young Contessa, Sofia Scaligeri, has never been in love until she falls for the worst possible person: a Concordian engineer: Things get even more complicated when Concord’s rulers discover their engineer has “gone native”, and determine to crush him and the rebellion of Rasenna.
Harte is a Galmoy-native. The 33 year-old worked initially in animation. After directing the IFTA winning series Skunk Fu for the BBC, he went to study fine art in Florence. It was there that he conceived Irenicon, “After learning about da Vinci’s mad scheme to flood neighbouring Pisa by diverting the River Arno, I began to speculate how history would differ had it worked. From that idea came Irenicon.”
He is now working on the sequel, which will be published in 2013.