Emil Hjörvar Petersen is a prominent Icelandic author of fantasy, post-apocalyptic and horror. The biggest news of his career to date is that the TV and publishing rights to his debut trilogy, Survivors of Ragnarök, were recently sold to Skybound Entertainment in LA (The Walking Dead, Invincible and more). The first book has been translated and development has begun.

His awarded and widely praised series, The Shroud (see more below), is a combination of urban fantasy, folklore and Nordic Noir, published by Bjartur-Veröld, Króníka and the audiobook giant Storytel, who has also published five immensely popular horror novels by him. One is now available in English at Audiobooks.com: Oh, Karitas. A short story in English by Petersen, “The Cryptid”, was included in the praised anthology The Best of World SF vol. 1. He is the Icelandic Guest of Honour at Icecon 2024.

Petersen gives lectures on SF&F in Iceland and has participated in numerous conventions and conferences abroad. He writes screenplays for the leading Icelandic production company Sagafilm, who have also optioned the first instalment in The Shroud. Petersen lives in Kópavogur with his wife and two children.

Emilʼs website.

Book series: THE SHROUD

A highly praised and popular book series. Urban fantasy and folklore meet Nordic noir. A broke Icelandic medium and her psychic twenty year old daughter get caught up in crime investigations connected to the world of supernatural beings.

“A thrilling and entertaining Icelandic fantasy.” ‒ Morgunblaðið daily

“A well written crime-fantasy where the folktales are used in an interesting and creative way … Tremendously entertaining … Very exciting.” ‒ Fréttablaðið daily

“Tremendously well done … The story is full of fantastic female characters … A brilliant idea.” ‒ Kiljan, the main Icelandic literary TV-program

The story takes place in an alternate contemporary where the hidden world from folklore is in parallel with our world, but very few can interact with the beings. The few who can are called sensitives. The Shroud is the invisible veil that both separates our and their world and holds them together. Most people go about their lives, not wanting anything to do with the supernatural, even though it really exist. It’s frowned upon and prejudice is common.

Bergrún is a broke medium who’s divorced and consumed by her work but currently faces a dry spell in employment, that is, until the police calls her to check on damaged construction equipment, a common vandalism by the supernaturals but now something more sinister is amiss ‒ much more. Brá is Bergrún’s restless daughter who lives with her father’s family. Her unstable powers are manifesting, and in the series it gradually leads her to meddle in dark affairs.

In each book there is a new case and a new theme, related to specific creatures and mysteries from folklore. The series is correlated with the dramatic story of mother and daughter: their struggles, their relationship, their flaws, hopes and dreams. And their destiny ‒ which is revealed in the fourth and last instalment, Skuld, launched at Icecon in May 2024.

The author is looking for an agent to represent the series abroad. Synopsis for each book and a sample translation from the first one are available. Contact: emilhpetersen@gmail.com