Dáin heimsveldi

Dáin heimsveldi Dead Empires

It’s the beginning of the 22nd century and humanity’s elite has fled the uninhabitable Earth for space. Those left on the war-torn and disaster-ravaged planet seek refuge in the Net, now an immersive, digital reality. Looming over them all is an enormous black cube, big enough to contain all of Shanghai, which appeared in the sky almost 11 years earlier.

It falls to Emil, a little-known writer of Icelandic descent, to unravel the mystery of the cube, having been given exclusive access to interview its sole “survivor.” With pressure being applied from all fronts, Emil finds himself plunging head-first into a dizzying, layered reality hiding the answer of what will ultimately become of humanity.


  • Dead Empires isn’t a simple book to be taken in while sipping a drink by the pool. Readers will have to keep their focus in Steinar Bragi’s sci-fi world. Therein awaits an incredible adventure, where the narrative flows effortlessly, the tension increases gradually, and it all ends with an incredible, unexpected twist. /…/ One of his best books.”


    Morgunblaðið, Iceland

  • “It’s a joy that an author who can do anything, decides to write an intelligent scif-fi story like this, totally within the genre yet not. Because this is, if you’ll excuse me, literature! /…/ A case of purebred intellectual sci-fi. /…/ Incredibly well-written. /…/ The narrative takes on an air of dark American noir, which makes it truly thrilling. I ran home so I could keep on reading.”

    Kiljan TV, Iceland

  • “The fusion, interaction and conflict of man and machine has always been a pet subject of sci-fi, but the world of Steinar Bragi’s novel isn’t really distant or unlikely today, making it even more horrifying. /…/ Steinar’s approach to sci-fi is direct as well as diagonal; the work has strong associations with classical 20th century sci-fi of authors like Philip K. Dick and Isaac Aasimov, but has its own, very charismatic rhythm, both ideologically and in its style. /…/ Dead Empires is an extremely effective and well-written novel. The narration keeps you turning the pages, pulling the reader this way and that with a wealth of imagination, yet [Bragi] never falls into the trap of letting his literature get lost in a flood ideas, instead creating a unified world telling a deeply touching story that, in the end, is about what it means to be human.”

    Stundin, Iceland

  • Dead Empires is exciting sci-fi and then some. The author draws his inspiration from thrillers and sci-fi formulas, but puts a dark twist on them. This is a classical dystopian novel; it’s exciting and keeps you turning the pages.”

    RÚV (Icelandic National Broadcasting Service), Iceland

Photo: Salomonsson Agency Steinar Bragi
  • Literary
  • Sci-Fi
Reading material

Icelandic edition

English synopsis

English sample

Rights sold

Iceland, Forlagid

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