New Acquisition: The Ferren Trilogy by Richard Harland

IFWG Publishing is delighted to have acquired the rights to publish best-selling author, Richard Harland’s Ferren Trilogy.

The trilogy received critical acclaim well over ten years ago, with literary luminaries such as Isobel Carmody calling the first book, Ferren and the Angel, a “…rare thing, a profoundly original fantasy that is at the same time, funny, tender and wise. A lovely gem of a book.” Ian Irvine called it a “[c]aptivating, dazzlingly original fantasy.” IFWG recognised the brilliance of this trilogy and was acutely aware that it wasn’t released with any significant market penetration beyond Australia’s shores, and that there is a new generation of young adult fantasy readers waiting in the aisles for this masterpiece series.

Additionally, Richard Harland has expressed his eagerness to do a best and final edition of the books, making changes that he believed cried out for improvement. We certainly want to facilitate Richard’s wishes, and so we view this book deal as a rare and ideal collaboration. We are very much looking forward to working with him on this exciting project.

Ferren and the Angel (second edition) will be released in the second quarter of 2023, with books 2 and 3 following through in 2024 and 2025.

A fantasy world like no other – a retro-future where the armies of Earth wage war against the armies of Heaven. Heaven’s armies are composed of angels and archangels, but Earth’s armies aren’t human – they’re artificially created beings known as Humen. The real remaining human beings, or Residuals, have been reduced to scattered primitive tribes, fearful of Heaven, beaten down by the Humen, and living their lives in ignorance and superstition.

Ferren is a young Residual in a tribe that calls itself the People, and he’s a little less beaten down, a little more curious than the rest. When a warrior angel is shot from the sky and crashes to Earth nearby, he goes to investigate.

That’s the beginning of his adventures. He journeys to the military camp of the Humen where he finds out about the horrific technology used to create artificial beings from the raw material of Residuals; encounters the morphs or souls of the deceased no longer allowed into Heaven; fights against the giant Doctor Saniette; unites the scattered tribes in a revolutionary alliance; is deceived by a darkly beautiful angel with a flying wing composed of souls; and finally pursues the invading Humen armies right up into Heaven itself.

In the face of apocalyptic battles, psycho-spiritual weapons, betrayal and monstrous evil, Ferren’s only hope of survival and success lies in joining forces with the damaged warrior angel who crashed to Earth and can never fly again…

Richard Harland is the author of the internationally best-selling steampunk novel, Worldshaker, and its sequels Liberator and Song of the Slums. He also wrote the bizarre gothic-macabre duopoly, The Vicar of Morbing Vyle and The Black Crusade, and for younger readers, the Wolf Kingdom quartet, Walter Wants to be a Werewolf and Sassycat. Other novels include the Eddon and Vail SF series; his published short stories move into horror and the supernatural as well as SF, fantasy, steampunk and slipstream.

Richard has won many awards for his novels and short stories, including six Aurealis Awards, the A. Bertram Chandler Award, and (in France) the Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award.

Before resigning to write speculative fiction full-time, he was a university lecturer, and before that, a folk-rock singer-songwriter and a published (but not very productive) poet. He was born in Huddersfield in England, and grew up in Hadleigh, a very pretty village in Suffolk. But the weather wasn’t pretty, and he escaped to Australia at the age of 22. Since then, he’s moved in a circle around Sydney – Newcastle to the north, the Blue Mountains to the west and the Illawarra to the south. He’s now settled in Figtree, near Wollongong, between the green escarpment and a string of golden beaches. He lives with partner Aileen and labrador Yogi. He writes every morning of every day of the year until about 1.30 p.m., then plans and drafts more writing for a couple of hours in the afternoon. He loves cooking, watching crime series and soccer on TV, and playing with the dog.