Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen
Release Date: April 6, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Our Q and A with Rebecca Cohen…
• As a reader, Under Glass is a galaxy away from the Crofton Chronicles. What prompted the switch in genres?
This isn’t the first time I’ve switched genres; I go wherever the story takes me. ‘Under Glass’ is my first foray into science fiction, and it’s a genre I love and wanted to write in. The plot simply wouldn’t have worked as a contemporary or an historical, and even fantasy wouldn’t have been the best fit. I needed the freedom to create new worlds and species.
• I loved the premise of Under Glass, lovers reunited or torn apart and reunited is a theme that resonates with me. Why use this as a background or theme to your story? What was the inspiration behind the characters and plot?
I wanted to play with the theme of love at first sight and predetermination. Kai and Ollie are linked by their biology, they were destined to be together, but once I had that idea I started thinking what would happen if two people who were meant to be together were separated. Kai is brought up knowing he has lost something very important and this shapes his character, whereas Ollie is blissfully unaware until he meet a stranger who is so compelling. As Ollie doesn’t know what is happening he tries to fight it. As you can imagine this is a clash they need to work hard to overcome.
• What do you use, if anything, to create “alien” names for characters and objects?
I try to make the first names of characters ease to read, since as a reader I find it quite frustrating if I don’t know how to pronounce a name. For the surname, I allow myself to be freer and make up alien sounding surnames. I still want people to be able to pronounce them and often combine normal names or words to create more alien names.
• Would you like to be an interplanetary traveller and where would you like to go?
Only if I could make I sure I could get home! It would be fascinating to get up close to Saturn’s rings, or witness the scale of the ice giant planets first hand.
• Do you have a favorite science fiction or fantasy author who made an impact on you as a reader and now author?
Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I love both of these authors, and large part of that is due to the humor in their writing.
• Favorite fictional science fiction and/or fantasy world and who created it?
Has to be the Discworld by Terry Pratchett.
• I can’t tell but is there a chance that this will become a series?
‘Under Glass’ was planned to be a standalone, and Kai and Ollie’s story has been told. However, there is a lot of untapped potential in the worlds of the planetarium and, while I have no plans to return at the moment, I never say never…
• What’s next for Rebecca Cohen?
A contemporary romantic comedy novella series set around an amateur dramatics society in London. After those, I’ll be finishing off the Reagalos series and then I’m heading back to Crofton Hall.
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.
Pages or Words: 108,000 words
Categories: M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction
The East Terrace had clear views of the city and the hills in the distance, and the setting sun bathed the world in hues of red, purple, and orange. “One of the best views from the palace,” Ollie said. “Guests aren’t usually allowed here.”
Kai glanced back to the door. “Will we get in trouble?”
“No, Menish is a personal friend. He won’t mind.”
“Must be good to have a friend who rules the city.”
Ollie chuckled. “We went to school together. I often have to remind myself that he’s the sultan and not the kid who helped me toilet paper the housemaster’s study windows.”
“Very good friends.”
Ollie didn’t think Kai needed to know just how good a friend Menish had been at one point, although what they had enjoyed was nothing more serious than teenage exploration. “Put it this way: he’d have no problem with me showing you this terrace.”
“The sunset is quite beautiful,” Kai said, turning to face it, and Ollie thought Kai wanted to steer the conversation away from Menish.
“Yes. It changes through the seasons, but I think this is my favorite time of year.”
“Then I am fortunate we chose this time to visit and a place on the mission became available.”
Kai’s choice of word in calling his visit a mission was a little strange, but Ollie thought better of mentioning anything. “Oh, you were. The festival to celebrate the end of harvest starts in a few days, and the city is awash with stalls and street entertainment.”
Kai turned back to him, cocked his head to one side, and smiled. “Perhaps you would agree to be my guide for that as well?”
The hopeful expression and the slight smile made Ollie swallow thickly as he stared into Kai’s dark brown eyes in the failing light. Kai bit his bottom lip and tilted his head back a little to look Ollie in the eye, making Ollie lick his own lips involuntarily. His hand twitched to cup Kai’s cheek and rub his thumb across his cheekbone to prove his hypothesis that Kai’s skin would be soft and warm to the touch.
The little voice in the back of his head returned, and it bluntly reminded Ollie he wasn’t a single man. The pang of guilt made him turn away, and he saw a confused look on Kai’s face. Not only was he in danger of betraying Rica, but he was also leading Kai along on a dance that Kai didn’t know Ollie already had a partner for.
He stepped away, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, Kai. I can’t do this. While I can’t deny you have caught my eye like no one else, I am not the type of man to be unfaithful.” There, he’d said it, made it clear he was attached, and Kai’s expression morphed first to confusion and then into hurt. “I don’t understand.”
“I have a boyfriend.”
“Boyfriend?” asked Kai weakly.
“His name is Rica. He’s away at sea.” The devastation on Kai’s face almost made Ollie step closer and gather him into his arms, but he forced himself to put more distance between them. “I’m sorry, Kai. I was so wrapped up in the connection we seemed to share I lost sight of things. I should never have let it get this far, and I must stop it going further.”
“I see.” Kai turned away. “I wish you a good evening, Mr. Gyin. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to enjoy the view a little longer before I find one of the servants to show me to my room.”
“Of course. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Kai didn’t reply, and Ollie retreated back inside, part of his mind protesting that he was going the wrong way, the other part telling him he was doing the right thing. He turned back to see Kai still standing on the terrace, his head bent. Ollie fled, fearing that if he stayed a moment longer he’d do something he’d really enjoy but regret later.
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.
Where to find the author:
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