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Could you tell us a little about the worlds and mythology of The View From The Mirror series?
The setting of the quartet is the Three Worlds Aachan, Tallallame and Santhenar, though nearly all the action takes place on Santhenar, a world that resembles Earth in a number of respects, though it has some notable differences. For example, the year is longer (396 days), the axial tilt is a little greater which makes the seasons more pronounced, the mountains are much bigger, and the moon has a longer period and doesn't have captured rotation, so that the other side, which is darker and more ominous, is also seen. I don't know where the Three Worlds are in relation to our world. I've never investigated whether they were set in our universe, or a parallel universe, or some other construct. The only clue is that the Charon, one of the human species, took their name "from a frigid moonlet at the furthest extremity of the void" ie, orbiting Pluto. The native people of Santhenar are old human, similar to us, and they are the least of the four human species both in longevity and in native powers and talents. I don't even know where the Three Worlds are in relation to each other, though they're not close together. They're separated by the void, and rare travel from one world to another is through portals which are extremely difficult and hazardous to make, so the three worlds could be at different corners of the universe.
Aachan is a small, cool globe with a longer day but a much shorter year, a place of dark, oily bogs, luminous flowers, icy rifts and jagged volcanic ranges. It is home to the Aachim, a long-lived species of humankind, much given to hubris and the pursuit of folly, and bitter because 4000 years ago the Charon came out of the void, a mere hundred of them (The Hundred), took their world and enslaved the Aachim.
Tallallame is an elysian world of mountain and forest whose inhabitants, the Faellem, are an ancient civilisation who live in harmony with nature. Arrogant in their superiority, they believe that the rest of the universe is but an illusion made by themselves. They shun devices of all kinds but are gifted modifiers of reality. They also have a dark and shameful secret...
All the peoples of the Three Worlds keep the Histories. It is the greatest honour of all to be recorded in the written Histories, and every citizen, great or humble, yearns for this. The apex of the Histories is a series of 22 Great Tales, each made by a Master Chronicler of old. Llian, a recently graduated chronicler, dreams of making his own Great Tale from the events of the Histories, though it is many centuries since the assembled masters have considered a new tale to be worthy of the honour.
The Three Worlds are separated by the void, a dark, Darwinian place where the nature of reality is changeable. The void is full of savage creatures, many of them intelligent, and all constantly changing themselves in the struggle for existence. In the void only the fittest survive and the ultimate urge of every creature there is to escape to a world of their own.
Which books have most influenced your work?
I'm not sure I know how to answer this question. In the few years before I began writing, and for four or five years after, I read little fantasy so as to avoid being influenced by other writers. I think my influences go further back, to the books I was reading in my teens and even earlier, and I wasn't reading fantasy then. Rosemary Sutcliffe springs to mind as an author whose style I particularly liked.
As for fantasy authors, I admire the style of Jack Vance more than any other but I would not insult him by attempting a pale imitation. In terms of storytelling, the 'darn good read', my favourite authors include Tad Williams, CJ Cherryh (her fantasy, rather than her SF), Tolkien, Michael Scott Rohan, George RR Martin, and the Empire trilogy of Feist and Wurts, but they all have very different styles and I've not consciously tried to write the way that any of them do.
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