Emil Hjörvar Petersen

Emil Hjörvar Petersen (b. 1984) is an Icelandic author, poet and a literary critic who had published two critically acclaimed poetry collections when he finally got around to write speculative fiction — which he had been experimenting with since high school. He received the New Voices Grant of the Icelandic Literature Fund in 2008 for his second poetry collection, Refur (Fox). Two years later, the first installment of the After Ragnarök trilogy (Reykjavík: Nykur) was published, one of the first Icelandic efforts in the fantasy and post-apocalyptic genres: http://www.islit.is/en/news/nr/1645

In 2012, Verge of Ruins, the second installment of the trilogy, saw the light of day: http://www.islit.is/en/news/nr/3437. The story has received very positive reviews, it has been called a pioneering work, and is now part of syllabuses in several Icelandic high schools and colleges. Additionally, Emil has been a guest author at conferences and conventions in several countries, for example at The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Florida.

A new poetry collection, Edible Cake Decorations (Reykjavík: Meðgönguljóð), was recently published, as well as his second poetry collection, Fox, was published by Krok Publishers in Ukraine at the 21st Lviv International Publisher’s Forum. The third and final installment of the trilogy, After Ragnarök: Nídhöggr, was published in Iceland in October 2014.

Emil lives in Lund, Sweden, where he works on current and future projects.

After Ragnarök
a post-apocalyptic saga
a trilogy by Emil Hjörvar Petersen

“But now, if thou art able to ask yet further, then indeed I know not whence answer shall come to thee, for I never heard any man tell forth at greater length the course of the world; and now avail thyself of that which thou hast heard.”
− the end of The Beguiling of Gylfi by Snorri Sturluson

After Ragnarök is a continuation of the Norse prophecy; it is Emil Hjörvar Petersen’s story about the survivors of the mythic apocalypse and the post-world.

What Happened After Ragnarök? The brothers Hödur and Baldur found themselves among the few Aesir that survived the end of the world. Following the catastrophe, the efforts to build an improved world out of the ashes were derailed by internal disagreements and violent arguments. The new generation of ruling Aesir was divided into two factions – except for the blind one, Hödur, who went into self-appointed exile because of what happened in Asgard in the past. Once again, humanity spread across Earth, but without the guidance of the Aesir. This new world is ominously similar to the one of old, and now, millennia after Ragnarök, the world seems doomed to reprise its awful end. Creatures and supernatural beings are coming up to the surface and dark and powerful forces – headed by certain surviving Aesir – are on the rise, threatening the very existence of humans.

01After Ragnarök: Hödur & Baldur (2010; 299 pp) is the first novel in the After Ragnarök trilogy. Fast-paced, original and limber, Hödur & Baldur is at once a dystopian fantasy thriller, an exploration of the characters of the surviving Aesir, and a critical examination of the status of men, creatures and gods in a deceptive and dangerous world. This is a story about the odd gods that survived, and the ones who were revived, such as Nanna and Skadi the Huntress. The inner time of the book starts in Iceland and Iraq in 2010, and ends in Lund, Sweden, and at Montauk point in USA. But the brutal showdown and time travel in Camp Hero is only the beginning of what the Aesir and their followers will face.

Original language: Icelandic.

02After Ragnarök: Verge of Ruins (2012; 466 pp), the second installment of the trilogy, carries on the tale of the Aesir who survived Ragnarök. The story brings together mythology, history and contemporary commentary, and the result is an exciting, entertaining, profound and tightly woven narrative, which includes, among many other things: the arid Wastelands of the year 2310, the awakening of the Terracotta Army in 2012, the search for the Last Druid, an Icelandic troll tribe, and airship dogfights. A fantastical post-apocalyptic world takes shape, and as it does, it brings up questions of multiculturalism, religion, cause and effect, and the power of myths.

Original language: Icelandic.

03After Ragnarök: Nídhögg (2014; 596 pp) is the final installment of the trilogy. In this extensive concluding volume, the finale is always pending. The Aesir face their past and their future, their origin and role. They travel wide on their airship in search for the way to Náströnd, in order to stop the rising Nídhögg-empire. The huntress Skadi leads a fellowship over vast Wastelands, where dead cities hiss and abandoned towns wail, where creatures and bandits could be lurking behind every corner. The sorceress and bounty-hunter Heidur is not who she appears to be. The world of humans and civilized races is on the verge of another Chaos. The final showdown is imminent.

Original language: Icelandic.

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