Peadar Ó Guilín, The Deserter
Peadar Ó Guilín, The Deserter

I’ve written several articles about the long tradition of Irish language authors working in the Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres and will post them here soon. In the meantime here is some interesting essays which touch on the subject from the Celtic Cultural Studies journal. Interesting question: when does Mythology and Folklore cross over into literary genre? Does Irish Mythology qualify as Fantasy?

More of this from me anon but in the meantime we have:

Garland Kimmer, “‘For We Have New Worlds Here’: Ireland, Myth, and Alternative Heroism in Fantasy Fiction”

Kate Hennessey, “Star-Crossed Lovers or Gun-Toting Gangsters?: Paul Mercier’s Adaptation of The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne”

Philip O’Leary, “Science Fiction and Fantasy in the Irish Language”

C.W. Sullivan III, “Conscientious Use: Welsh Celtic Myth and Legend in Fantastic Fiction”

I have a lengthy appreciation of the wonderful British-born Irish language writer Cathal Ó Sándair – whose prodigious body of quality works would shame most other writers, in any language – that I will post here as well.

Cathal Ó Sandáír, Captaen Spéirling agus An Pláinéad do Phléasc
Cathal Ó Sandáír, Captaen Spéirling agus An Pláinéad do Phléasc
Cathal Ó Sandáír, Captaen Spéirling Arís
Cathal Ó Sandáír, Captaen Spéirling Arís

Meanwhile here is a link to the blog of Irish Sci-Fi author Peadar Ó Guilín, whose new children’s book The Deserter (image at the top) is receiving a lot of positive press at the moment.

And if you like your Science-Fiction or Fantasy with a hefty dose of Irish and Celtic inspiration try these gems:

Julian May’s Saga of the Exiles

Jack Vance’s The Lyonesse Trilogy

5 comments on “It’s Sci-Fi – Irish Sci-Fi!

  1. Jack Fennell


    I had a Google alert set up for any appearance of the phrase ‘ficsean eolaíochta’ on the net, that’s how I found you. I’m three years into a PhD on the subject of Irish science fiction, and it’s great to find someone else who actually knows the stuff exists!

    All the best,



  2. Thanks for the Comment, Jack, and good luck with the PhD. I also co-edit and write for an Irish (English language) Sci-Fi site,, that we hope will eventually have Irish language articles, and much more Irish-orientated content (and Scots and Welsh too).

    If you are ever in the mood to write something about your studies in the area of Irish SF please contact us. We’d be very happy to publish it.



  3. This might interest you!

    Public Meeting on Irish SF Fandom:


  4. I remember at Irish college, about 1967 or so, we had the opportunity or more precisely we were ordered to buy some of those little books by Cathal Ó Sándair. I ended up with one or two of them. Needless to say, I managed to read about half a page of them before I got tired or bored or whatever it is that 12 or 13 year old boys get when confronted with more than five sentences of Irish at the one time.

    Well that was then and this is now and I can speak and read a whole lot more Irish now. So I was wondering, a Shionnaigh or anyone else who reads this blog, are these books still available as reprints or, more particularly, in their old form. I’m a bit of an addict for Irish language reading material.


  5. I’m afraid not, Seosamh. They might be a wee bit dated now, and the language would need updating? Would be interesting to see if any publisher would be interested though. Who holds the copyright, I wonder?

    I love Irish language literature myself, particularly ‘genre’ stuff. Was long looking forward to this, but it has yet to appear… 😦


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