Mayo Student Publishes Science Fiction Novel

Posted in Connect on July 24, 2019.

IMPLOSION – an instance of something collapsing violently inwards – is the title of a new children’s book just self-published by a first year student in St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar, Muiris Ó Clochartaigh, who is aged 13, writes Tom Gillespie.

He started writing the 213-page, 38 chapter book at the age of 10, when he was in fifth class in Scoil Raifteiri, Castlebar, and completed it while in sixth class.

Son of Frank and Carmel from Rathbawn Drive, Castlebar, and grandson of Maurice and Marion Silke from Ballinrobe Road, Castlebar, and Padraig and Bridie Cloherty, Crimlin, Muiris enjoys playing musical instruments, including the piano, banjo and uilleann pipes. He plays Gaelic football with Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin GAA Club.

The book is set in 2026 and America is in chaos.

Jamie Gray is an astronaut, well, at least he was before the accident occurred during a routine space mission. This has given him supernatural abilities.

Jenny Ownes was only 10 years old when terrorists kidnapped her. They changed her life forever in more ways than you could imagine.

US President Michelle Desecate is tasked with the impossible job of ruling a country controlled by fear. The terrorists are waging an all-out war against America, a war that America is losing.

Enter Implosion, a mentally unstable being, capable of superhuman feats. He is the weapon that the US military need.

Can Implosion save America, or will his fragile mental state cause him to implode on himself?

Implosion is described as a gripping science fiction novel sure to keep you reading long into the night.

Muiris said that writing the novel has been an absolute roller coaster of an adventure for him, adding: “It was an adventure I couldn’t begin without the fabulous support I received from my family.”

Implosion was published by Books@One in Louisburgh. The illustrations for the book were done by his friend Tadhg Ó hAodha and the cover design was the work of his younger sister Lucia Ní Chlochartaigh.

Muiris told me how he came to write the book: “When I was nine years old I was going through a Marvel/Batman phase. I liked the superheroes and I imagined making a movie about my own superhero.

Then I began to wonder what would happen if an astronaut fell into a black hole. I did some research and soon realised that he would die, but I wondered what if he didn’t die and instead he got energy from the black hole.

I began thinking of making a movie with all my classmates as stars and I thought how hard this would be. My dad said I would have to write the book first before making the movie.

When I started to write I thought it would be another phase I was going through, but I kept going until it was finished. At one stage I was getting fed up, but I took a half-week break and went back to it again.

The hardest part was towards the end. I was 11 then and I was coming out of the book writing phase, but my granddad and mother and father kept encouraging me to complete it.

The final scene is set in Seattle. I went there when I visited my grandaunt and uncle, Carmel (Silke) and Hans Steiner, in Vancouver Island, Canada. This trip took place when I was nine and I also went to Seattle to visit my uncle Martin Silke.

Seattle is close to Vancouver Island. I was impressed with what I saw in Seattle and this inspired me to incorporate the city’s landmarks into the book.”

During his research Muiris used Google and he referred to a book written on black holes by Stephen Hawking which was helpful.

One of his classmates told Muiris about Books@One in Louisburgh who do a print-on-demand service where they have a printer that will produce a book in five minutes.

Books@One is a local, independent bookshop that was set up in Louisburgh by One Foundation in 2016. The brief was to benefit the community by promoting literature and the arts, encouraging social inclusion and playing a part in the regeneration of the town by establishing a business that would aim to be self-sustaining, thereby encouraging other start-ups.

Books@One is also home to the Espresso Book Machine, a state-of-the-art printer producing high quality paperbacks.

There are as little as over 60 such book printing machines in the world and this is the only one of its kind in Ireland and the UK – which makes it more than a little special and the nature of the project encourages young writers such as Muiris to have their work printed.

Muiris’s book will be launched by local writer Ken Armstrong, who has had numerous theatre and radio plays produced both locally, nationally and internationally. Ken is known for writing for and with teenage audiences.

The launch will take place at the Castle Book Shop, Castle Street, Castlebar, on Friday, July 26, at 5.30 p.m.

The book is available from The Castle Book Shop in Castlebar and The Book Shop (Duffy’s) in Westport. It can also be purchased online through the Books@One website.

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