FROM social work to science fiction may seem like a leap but for Naas resident Robert Radulescu, the hobby he has always enjoyed outside his working life has just resulted in the publication of his first book.
Romanian-born Robert, a psychologist by training, has lived here for the past 14 years and is employed as a social care manager, mainly dealing with children who have come to this country from parts of Africa and the Middle East.
While his job is doubtless a challenging one, Robert says he has always sought relaxation through his passion for sci-fi literature and movies.
“Ever since I was a child of about eight, and saw Star Warsfor the first time, I have been absolutely fascinated by science fiction of this sort,” he said, adding that he first thought of writing his own book while he was a university student, but it took several years to actually get down to the task of doing it.
The book, Dante’s Syndromeis being published by the UK-based publishing firm, New Generation, and it will be shortly available on Amazon, while the paperback version is being launched locally at Barker and Jones, Naas, on Saturday next 22 September at 1pm.
“The story is based around a futuristic adventure where humanity is moving into space, and this particular crew is sent to a constellation where there is a planet with life. They come face to face with indigenous life forms and the characters have similar experiences to Dante’s Inferno, which featured the nine circles of hell.”
It’s an innovative concept which marries science fiction with one of the oldest established literary masterpieces but Robert is both modest and practical in his attitude. “It’s a debut book. It’s not perfect but writing it has been a marvellous experience for me and I have learned a huge amount about the whole process,” he told the Kildare Nationalist.
Robert, who lives at Kerdiff Park in the Monread area of Naas, with his partner Sylvana and seven-year-old son, Sasha, said that he is now “well settled” into Irish life. “I had the advantage of having worked with an Irish NGO in Romania before coming over here. I was living and working 24 hours a day with Irish people so I suppose I knew quite a lot about Ireland, although it’s not exactly the same when you come to live here – there’s the weather, for one thing!”
He added that his son is “very excited” about the new book and has been “running out to tell the neighbours” about it. From his own perspective, the experience of writing Dante’s Syndromehas been very positive.
“It has certainly given me motivation for the future, to see the book being published in this way. It was what I hoped to achieve and I would certainly feel encouraged to write more in the future.”
All are welcome to attend the launch of Dante’s Syndromeat Barker and Jones in Naas at 1pm on Saturday next 22 September.