Ian Irvine

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For the New Zealand rugby union player, see Ian Irvine (rugby union).
Ian Irvine
Ian 2010 72dpi.jpg
Born 1950
Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Novelist,
marine scientist
Nationality Australian
Period 1998 – present
Genre Fantasy,
futuristic eco-thrillers

Ian Irvine (born 1950) is an Australian fantasy and eco-thriller author and marine scientist. To date Irvine has written 27 novels, including fantasy, eco-thrillers and books for children. He has had books published in at least 12 countries and continues to write full-time.


Irvine was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, in 1950. He was educated at Chevalier College and the University of Sydney where he received a PhD in marine science, studying the management of contaminated sediments.

Setting up his own environmental consulting firm in 1986, Irvine has worked in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Papua-New Guinea, Mauritius, Bali, Fiji and Western Samoa. During the course of his career he played a role in developing Australia's national guidelines for protection of the oceanic environment and still works in this field. He was the principal author of Australia's National Environmental Assessment Guidelines for Dredging,[1] 2009.

During 1987 Irvine began writing the first in his The View from the Mirror series. He continued working full-time as an environmental scientist and so wrote the series in his spare time. The first book in the series was published in 1998 and since this time Irvine has been a full-time author, although he still undertakes some environmental consulting work when he has time.

Irvine is married with four grown-up children and lives in the mountains of northern New South Wales.


To date Irvine has written 27 novels, including fantasy, eco-thrillers and books for children. He has had books published in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey and South Korea.

Books for older readers

Irvine's most popular series is the Three Worlds fantasy series, comprising The View from the Mirror, The Well of Echoes and The Song of the Tears and selling over a million copies worldwide. The series comprises eleven currently published books set on the three linked worlds of Santhenar, Aachan and Tallallame. The cycle details the struggle for survival between four human species: old humans, Aachim, Faellem and Charon. The View from the Mirror series has also been published in audiobook format.

Irvine's eco-thriller trilogy The Human Rites Trilogy explores a world undergoing catastrophic climate change. They are set a little way in Earth's future and shows the impact climate change is having on politics, the economy and life in general. The series was originally published between 2000 and 2003, and many of the events described in the books (such as the destruction of New Orleans by a huge hurricane) have since come true. A revised and updated edition of the Human Rites trilogy was published in Australia between 2008 and 2010.

Irvine has written two novellas. Poisoned Chalice was published in Mystery, Magic, Voodoo and the Holy Grail (2000), and Tribute to Hell was published in Legends of Australian Fantasy in 2010.

In addition to fantasy fiction Irvine has also written a number of other works including The Truth About Publishing and The Art and Science of Book Promotion which both 'tell it like it is' about being a successful author.

Books for children

Irvine published 11 books for adults before he began his first children's series, Runcible Jones, in 2006. The series comprises four books for children aged 10 and up. His second children's series, The Sorcerer's Tower, is a quartet of short books for younger readers (from around eight years and up) and was published in 2008 and illustrated in black and white by Australian artist and fantasy novelist D. M. Cornish. This was followed by the Grim and Grimmer quartet of humorous fantasy novels (2010 and 2011).

Many of Irvine's books (for both children and adults) are now available as ebooks.

Irvine has also produced "book trailers" (similar to movie trailers) for a number of his children's and adults books and has placed them on YouTube.

Published titles[edit]

Three Worlds Cycle series[edit]

For adult and young adult readers.

  • Gate of Good and Evil Series
    • The Summon Stone (2016)

Human Rites Trilogy[edit]

For adult readers.

Runcible Jones Quartet[edit]

For young adults.

Sorcerer's Tower Quartet[edit]

For younger readers aged 8 to 11.

Grim and Grimmer quartet[edit]

For younger readers aged 9 to 15.

The Tainted Realm trilogy[edit]

Epic fantasy for adult and young adult readers.

  • Vengeance (November 2011, Australia. April 2012, UK and US)
  • Rebellion (late 2012, Australia, UK and US)
  • Justice (early 2013, Australia, UK and US)

Other writings[edit]

  • Novella, Poisoned Chalice, in Mystery, Magic, Voodoo and the Holy Grail, Harper-Collins, 2000.
  • Article, The Truth About Publishing, 2005.
  • Chapter, The Art & Science of Book Promotion in The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction, Dragon Moon Press, Canada, 2007.
  • Chapter, How the Inheritance Series Differs from Previous Fantasy Epics, in Secrets of the Dragon Riders, Your favourite authors on Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Series. Borders Exclusives, BenBella Books, Austin, Tx, August 2008.
  • Introduction to A Bid for Fortune or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta, by Guy Boothby. Classic Australian SF Series, Chimaera Publications, September 2010.
  • Essay on V for Vendetta, in Cinema Futura (essays on 50 SF movies), PS Publishing, UK, Sept 2010.

Unpublished titles[edit]

The Three Worlds series will continue with a trilogy entitled The Fate of the Children, which is yet to be written. It chronicles the story of the children of both Karan and Maigraith after the end of The View From The Mirror.

Awards, honourable mentions, listings[edit]

  • A Shadow on the Glass. Shortlisted for the Aurealis Award, best fantasy novel (1998). Listed in ScienceFiction.com's Best of 2001 (US edition).
  • The Tower on the Rift. Listed in Sydney Morning Herald's Best Books of 1998. Listed in ScienceFiction.com’s Best of 2001 (US edition).
  • The Last Albatross. Listed in The Australian's Best of Summer Reading (2000).
  • Terminator Gene. Shortlisted for the Aurealis Award, best SF Novel (2003).
  • Scrutator. Honourable Mention, Aurealis Award, best fantasy novel (2003). Listed in the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Books of 2003.
  • Chimaera. Listed in the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Books of 2004.
  • The Art & Science of Book Promotion. Chapter, The Art & Science of Book Promotion in The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction, Dragon Moon Press, Canada, 2007. Winner of the 2007 Eppie Award, best non-fiction book.
  • The Sorcerer's Tower. Shortlisted for the 2008 Aurealis Award for best children's novel.



External links[edit]