A Red Sun Also Rises

An original psychological adventure from the the author of the Philip K. Dick award-winning Burton & Swinburne series.

A tale of Good and Evil, where neither is what it seems! 

Aiden Fleischer, a bookish priest, finds himself transported to an alien world. With him is Miss Clarissa Stark, a crippled hunchback of exceptional ability, wronged by an aristocrat and cast out from society. 

On the planet Ptallaya, under two bright yellow suns, they encounter the Yatsill, a race of enthusiastic mimics who shape their society after impressions picked up from Clarissa’s mind. Creating a faux London, the alien creatures enroll Clarissa in their Council of Magicians and Aiden in the City Guard. But why does the peaceful city require guards? After a day that, in earthly terms, has lasted for months, the answer comes, for on this planet without night, a red sun also rises, and brings with it a destructive evil. 

The Blood Gods! Hideous creatures, they cause Aiden to confront his own internal darkness while trying to protect his friend and his new home. 

With a sharp eye for period detail and a rich imagination, Mark Hodder establishes a weirdly twisted version of Victorian London on a convincingly realized alien world, and employs them to tackle a profound psychological and moral question. A Red Sun Also Rises breaks new ground by combining the sword & planet genre with Victorian steampunk while adding an edgy psychological twist.


“The author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning Burton & Swinburne series […] launches a new series that features a pair of uncommon-and uncommonly appealing-protagonists and blends the fantastic with elements of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and H.P. Lovecraft. Hodder once again excels in his ability to blend Victorian steampunk, psychological thriller, and ‘sword and planet’ fantasy into an intriguing and entertaining adventure.”

Library Journal

“Hodder has crafted a loving homage to the 19th-century novel with the barest tweaks for a 21st-century sensibility, perfectly capturing the device of the narrator’s diary (with hand-off to present-day editor), natural-philosophy preoccupations, and the struggle between divine and scientific views of creation […] The pacing is as vintage as the vividly imagined grotesqueries of alien life, but the rewards for acclimating to the style are well worth the effort.”

Publishers Weekly

“A Red Sun Also Rises somehow also manages to be an incredibly entertaining, fast-paced page turner […] This strange, surprising novel combines elements of steampunk and planetary adventure in ways I just hadn’t seen done before, and that alone makes it more than worth a look.”


“Utterly authentic and effective, delivering a story that, while it harks back to a vanished era, also incorporates the sensibilities and perspectives of twenty-first-century SF.”

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

“Mr. Hodder’s unique take on Victorian sci-fi/horror is at once reminiscent of the past and strikingly modern. It might feature distant planets and bug-eyed monsters, but the plot’s fascinating twists and revelations defy cliche. A layer of philosophical and scientific sophistication underlies the narrative throughout as the true nature of this beautifully intricate alien environment slowly unfolds.”

Florida Weekly

“Hodder is a ferociously genre-savvy author, and one of the delights of this novel is spotting the ways in which he plays with and occasionally subverts his readers’ expectations of various genres and their well-known tropes […] A Red Sun Also Rises is both a clever mashup of genre conventions and an old-fashioned, ripping yarn of otherworldly adventure.”

ForeWord Reviews

“A vivid and interesting premise and an enthusiastic audacity of telling it in period style and trappings.”

SF Signal

“This newly created London becomes a mix of the familiar and the very unfamiliar. More original in concept than Hodder’s earlier books, and more ambitious, but with very much the same tone. At times this felt like an Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure, although obviously with better prose.”

SF Reviews

“[G]reat prose alongside a cracking plot line and of course two characters that I just wanted to spend time around and for me, this hit the nail bang on the head as one of the debut releases for Del Rey UK.”

Falcata Times

“What really sold this book for me was the attention to all the little details […] Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for an action packed science fiction romp.”

The Eloquent Page

“(The setting is a) deeply weird but unambiguously wonderful world.”

The Speculative Scotsman

“This – in the best tradition of the genre – is certainly action-packed and Hodder manages many nods to the original derring-do adventure stories…”


“Mark Hodder’s writing style is equal to his wonderful imagination, witty dialogues reminiscent of Charles Dickens loosen up the action, right alongside the scientific and philosophical ideas that are entrenched in the narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would love to read more adventures of Clarissa and Aiden.”


Awards & Accolades