Emil Hjörvar Petersen (b. 1984) is an Icelandic author. His most recent novel, Víghólar, published by Veröld in 2016, has been incredibly well received, critically acclaimed and the TV-rights have been sold to Sagafilm. The story takes place in an alternative contemporary Iceland where the world of supernatural beings really exists, but very few can interact with it. The protagonists are Bergrún and Brá, a broke medium and her erratic daughter, who get caught up in a police investigation of serial killings that seem to be connected to dark supernatural powers. The story can be described as a fantasy-mystery; Urban Fantasy meets Nordic Noir.
Here are a few words about the author’s career:
Emil had published two critically acclaimed poetry collections when he finally got the chance to publish speculative fiction. He received the New Voices Grant of the Icelandic Literature Center in 2008 for his second poetry collection, Fox. Two years later, A Saga of Survivors: Hödur & Baldur, the first novel in a trilogy, was published, one of the first Icelandic efforts in the fantasy and science fiction genres. A Saga of Survivors is about the Norse gods that survived Ragnarök and their adventures, voyages and struggles in the post-world they lost control of. Read interview in English.
In 2012, A Saga of Survivors: Verge of Ruins, the second installment, saw the light of day. Read interview in English. The third and final installment of the trilogy, A Saga of Survivors: Nidhoggur, was published in 2014.
The trilogy has received very positive reviews (e.g. “A new and fresh view on the Norse gods … thrilling from the first page … a knock-out Icelandic fantasy.” —Morgunbladid daily, a major Icelandic newpaper), it has been called a pioneering work, and has been part of syllabuses in several Icelandic high schools and colleges.
Emil has been a participating author at conferences and conventions in several countries, for example at The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Florida, USA; SweCon in Sweden; and Archipelacon in Åland. Listen to a podcast interview in English. He was one of the represented Icelandic authors at The Reykjavík International Literary Festival 2015.
His third poetry collection, Edible Cake Decorations, was published in 2014 by publisher Meðgönguljóð, as well as his second poetry collection, Fox, was published in Ukrainian by Krok Publishers at the 21st Lviv International Publisher’s Forum.
Emil holds MA in Literature and Cultural Studies, MA in Publishing and Editing, and a BA in Comparative Literature.
On a regular basis he does presentations on creative writing and fantasy/science fiction, both for public and academia. Last year he worked with Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature on the project Fantasies in Reykjavik, where he did a series of presentations and supervised workshops.
In 2016, the above-mentioned Víghólar was published. Emil lives in Lund, Sweden, where he works on his next projects, including a novel that takes in the same universe as Víghólar.