AUTHOR EXCLUSIVE DEATH RAYS
You’ll need more than sun cream in Jaine Fenn’s Hidden Sun
As a fan of both science fiction and fantasy, Jaine Fenn enjoys the best of both worlds. The first instalment in the Hidden Empire author’s Broken Shadow duology, the new novel Hidden Sun takes place in the postapocalyptic society of Shen where the population is forced to hide away from the deadly sunlight in isolated shadowlands.
“As a fan of odd juxtapositions, I’m all for blurred edges and genre mash-ups, and Hidden Sun does have elements of both fantasy and sci-fi,” Fenn explains. “The human societies of the shadowlands are, for cultural and practical reasons, low-tech, making them recognisably fantasy, but out in the skyland, you’re on an alien planet.”
Able to explore an interest in science that is unbecoming of her gender, main character Rhia’s noble status allows her to defy accepted conventions usually associated with being a woman. “I faced some tough choices with Rhia because she’s largely oblivious of the privileges her class gives her, at least initially,” explains Fenn. “But without those privileges she wouldn’t be free to operate relatively freely in a man’s world.”
On top of her brother’s inexplicable disappearance, Rhea is also confronted with a violent homicide that rocks her world. “I like to chill out with a good murder,” Fenn reveals. “I’ve wanted to use the device of a murder being solved in a SFF plot for a while, as it lends a great urgency and consistency to a story.” SJ
Hidden Sun is published on 4 September.