The civilisations of Callespa have evolved underground, away from the lethal suns that scour the skin of their moon. In tunnels and vast caverns bored out millennia ago, they build their cities and fight their wars. But down there in the dark, a catastrophe is brewing; and the only person who might be able to prevent it is locked in an inescapable prison on the wrong side of enemy lines…
The Fade took me a year and a half to write, on and off. It was another one of those ones that I couldn’t get to work at first so I threw half a novel in the bin and started again (after a few days of gentle weeping). The structure of the story and the economics and ecology of the underground world were pretty tough to create and manage, and as usual I despised the book by the end and wished dearly that I’d never started. But once it was done I loved it again.
With this novel I was experimenting with a more clipped kind of style, weird plot structures and attempting my most ambitious world-building yet. Despite all that, it turned out to be the shortest of my adult novels so far (although I prefer the term ‘finely crafted’). It took a long time to wrestle into shape, but once I did, it all came together very nicely, and I’m kinda proud of it. A strange little tale, I think, but rather unique in its way.