The Novel Approach is happy to bring you Rebecca Cohen today on the Under Glass blog tour. I asked Rebecca to chat a bit about the world building in the novel, what she loves about creating new worlds, and what some of the creative challenges are of creating a new world.
Enjoy what she has to say, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win a $25 Dreamspinner Press gift card and your choice of an e-book from her backlist (does not include Under Glass).
Rebecca: I’ve always been fascinated by the formation of planets, so when I began writing my first science fiction novel, I really wanted to play with the ideas and concepts I’d studied a few years back when I did some geology courses for fun (well, I thought they were fun!). The idea of making planets, and specifically a race designing worlds to their specifications, was just too tempting not to write. But this caused lots of other questions, like how could they work on something so big and where would they store them? So that meant creating a background for the planetary science for the species and their planetarium. But then what do they do with the planets? And of course if they choose to have inhabited planets they have all those creatures to deal with. I allude to ethical protocols that were put in place but with a history of intervention which no longer fit their current sensibilities where they once allowed themselves to meddle with the evolution of a sentient species.
Talking of evolution, I wanted a race which had evolved differently as well, in this case certain members of Kai and Ollie’s species have an additional organ called the caerellon which gives them a different brain chemistry. Here an individual is linked to their perfect mate via something called psychogenetics. With psychogenetics the pair have a link beyond that of normal hormone rushes.When they make love their proteins bind to each other on a psychological level (not just physical) and then bind to receptors in the brain to cause heightened pleasure.
So, as you can imagine, there is a lot a lot of background to these ideas but I doubt any reader would want a molecular biology lecture or an in-depth discussion on the laws of physics in the middle of their romance so it was crucial to balance the information so there was enough to explain but not so much to be dull and cause plot bloating. To be honest, this is a similar quandary I had for my historical novels (The Crofton Chronicles), although the blessing with science fiction is this is my world and my rules.
Blurb: Creating planets and guarding the stars leaves novice planet builder Kai Faewiva lonely. For members of Kai’s species who are born with an organ called a caerellon, their true love, their Sun or Moon, is identified at birth. But the novices are people who have lost their perfect love, and Kai’s Sun is long dead, killed in an accident when he was five years old. Or so everyone thought.
After recovering from another bout of the unidentified illness he has battled for years, Kai returns to work. But his quiet day at the planetarium is thrown into chaos when scans of Goka Prime, one of the planets in the Sol-Alpha2 system, picks up a life-form that shouldn’t be there. Kai’s Sun, Oliver Gyin, is alive and well, but how he got to be on Goka Prime, no one knows. Now he needs to be brought home.
Ollie has lived most of his life in the City of Harrea, never guessing he is from another planet. Surprised to find a stranger means the world to him, Ollie wrestles with his loyalties and the drive to return with Kai. To leave Goka Prime, he must give up everything and everyone he knows. But twenty years apart means Kai and Ollie face a fight to secure their destined future.
About the Author: Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.