Rhia Harlyn, noble and rebellious scientist, watches the skies. The stars are changing shape: something is happening to the mysterious artifact which shields her people from the sun’s lethal light. To find answers, Rhia must risk life and limb by venturing into the bright and dangerous skylands where, her brother – transformed by exposure to the harsh rays – lives with the alien skykin provoking questions Rhia never thought to ask. Meanwhile, an occult scientist who believes he can defeat death at the cost of others’ lives, spies a new subject for his experiments… What they uncover will change their world forever.
What one book will you take with you when the Robot invasion finally occurs?
Start with an easy one, why doncha! Probably Lord Of The Rings, because I’ve got previous experience when it comes to getting lost in Middle-earth.
If you could give one piece of advice to yourself, when you were a new author, what would it be?
When I first tried to write it would be: Learn the damn craft. When I was first published it would be: Pace yourself.
Where did the idea for Hidden Sun come from?
I’ve wanted to do a ‘weird cosmology’ novel for some time, plus there’s my ongoing obsession with divided worlds. The original seed/spark was a scene that came to me out of the blue (and didn’t make it into the final story as such, as is often the case): someone is undergoing a shamanic ceremony to implant a symbiotic alien life form in them, which they need to survive, and things go wrong.
How much does you love of roleplaying games/RPGs feed into your writing?
I learnt to plot by putting my players through hell. Writing for games and writing fiction aren’t quite the same; both creative of course, but I think they use slightly different parts of the brain, and require slightly different skills.
Why did you choose to blend science fiction and fantasy? What elements did you have to have?
It wasn’t so much a choice to blend as of telling a story which had elements of both, specifically SF underpinnings invisible to characters living in a fantasy-flavoured world. The actual science is pretty rigorous, albeit outside the experience of most of the characters.
What’s your favourite ‘under appreciated’ novel?
I’ll say The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein though it’s a long time since I read it.
What do you listen to while you write?
I have a writing playlist. It’s five and half days long and is mainly stuff with background/no lyrics, as other people’s words get in the way. It’s a very varied selection: today we went from Underworld to Philip Glass to Peatbog Faeries to Muse to Hildegarde von Bingen to the Twin Peaks soundtrack…
What is the most recent book you’ve read?
The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C Clarke. I’m still catching up on the classics, and unlike a lot of Golden Age fiction, Clarke stands the test of time pretty well.
Tea, coffee or hot chocolate?
Tea, by default and frequently. Mocha for a treat.
Paper or eBook?
Paper ideally. But thanks to using ebooks for some of the ‘lighter’ books that will probably only get read once, I’ve managed to avoid having to chose between the pain of book-culling and the need to extend my house to store all the books.
You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
Ride it along local bridle-paths and look over the high hedges.
Broken Shadow by Jaine Fenn is released on 2 April 2019. Get all the latest sci-fi and fantasy news with every issue of SciFiNow.