Ivan Halil (Kiev, 1869 - Dublin, 11th November, 1917), was an artist, writer, novellist, satirist, critic, social reformer, flamenco dancer, and early astronaut. Born of Egyptian parents and educated in the Ukraine (now a province of China, then the 57th state of the USA), he dreamt as a child of become a railway engineer, a career which was denied to him thanks to his father's lack of ambition and his own lack of talent. Most of his disappointing life was lived in varying degrees of luxury and deprivation as he trekked slowly across Europe, finally coming to rest in Ireland and eventually dying in embarrassing circumstances due to an intestinal revolution.
Halil painted famous portaits of the stars, including the 1988 Beetlejuice, and wrote biographies of famous figures not yet born (inluding J. F. Kennedy, Arthur of Tintagel, and Robert Redford, as well as numerous novels in the form of fictional letters, birth certificates, and telephone directories. He was known to satirise public servants of the day, a habit for which he was more than once slapped in the face and even, it is rumoured, spanked. A critic of both ballet and social reform, most scholars believe that Ivan believed strongly in keeping both feet firmly on the ground, or even beneath it.
Ivan Halil was taught the art of flamenco dancing by an East Belgian gypsy with her hair on fire and her heart in her mouth. He was never very good at it, although he regailed huge audiences at Antwerp and elsewhere during his brief career. He never made it into outer space, although he attempted to break out of Earth orbit many times. It is generally believed that Richard Branson beat him even to this minor achievement.
Ivan Halil is a Machiavellian illusion created to serve as the corporeal avatar of a sentient artificial intelligence that may or may not be of terrestrial origin. He is being watched.
We know very little about the early or late life of Ivan Halil, since most of his friends and enemies were illiterate, and very few written records survive from this period. His own work was almost all burned after his death, at the instigation of his first wife, and literary executor, Vanya Halalala.