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Skyward Inn cover reveal and exclusive excerpt

We are delighted to share the beautiful cover art for Skyward Inn, our upcoming title from Arthur C. Clarke Award nominated author Aliya Whiteley, which was revealed on SciFiNow.

Read an excerpt over on SciFiNow.

Cover art by Dominic Forbes.

A thoughtful, literary novel about conflict, identity and community, from one of the most exciting voices in speculative fiction.

This is a place where we can be alone, together.

The Western Protectorate does not welcome visitors.

When humans first went through the ‘Kissing Gate’ to the planet Qita, the protectorate turned its back on modern civilization to live in rural isolation.

Now the war on Qita is over, for veteran Jem and her Qitan partner Isley, it’s a peaceful place to escape ugly memories.

But their peace is disturbed when a visitor comes to Skyward Inn, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future.

Skyward Inn is out from Solaris in hardback and eBook 18 March 2021, and in audio from Penguin Random House Audio.

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Solaris to publish stunning Aliya Whiteley novel, Skyward Inn

Solaris are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley, a new and thoughtful speculative fiction novel set in the English moorlands.

Skyward Inn will be published in spring 2021.

Editor David Thomas Moore acquired World English rights in Whiteley’s new novel from Max Edwards at Aevitas Creative Management UK.


This is a place where we can be alone, together.

Skyward Inn, on the moorlands of the Western Protectorate, is removed from modern technology and politics. Theirs is a quiet life – The Protectorate has stood apart from the coalition of world powers that has formed. Instead the inhabitants choose to live simply, many of them farming by day and drinking the local brew at night.

The co-owners of the inn are Jem and Isley. Jem, a veteran of the coalitions’ war on the perfect, peaceful planet of Qita, has a smile for everyone in the bar. Her partner Isley does his cooking in the kitchen and his brewing in the cellar. He’s Qitan, but it’s all right – the locals treat him like one of their own. They think they understand him, but it’s only Jem who knows his homeland well enough to recreate it in the stories she tells him at dawn.

Skyward Inn is Jamaica Inn by way of Ursula Le Guin, bringing the influences, too, of Angela Carter, Michel Faber and Jeff Vandermeer to create a fantastic story of love, belonging, and togetherness. Asking questions of ideas of the individual and the collective, of ownership and historical possession, and of the experience of being human, it is at once timeless and thoroughly of its time.

Aliya Whiteley on the acquisition:

“It’s a joy that Rebellion will be publishing my latest novel. I wanted to write a story that conveys my love of science fiction, with all its scope and creativity for imagined futures, and how it can uniquely reflect on the way we live our lives now. I know Rebellion shares my passion for producing exciting science fiction; it’s the perfect home for Skyward Inn.” 

Editor David Thomas Moore:

“This is a strange, gentle, utterly beautiful book about how humanity might live alongside another people wholly unlike us – and about how we live alongside each other. I’m beyond delighted that Aliya agreed to make Solaris its home.”

Agent Max Edwards:

“Aliya is one of the most incredible voices in British SFF, and Skyward Inn showcases her astonishing talent. From the first paragraph I read of this hauntingly beautiful book, I knew, like all Aliya’s work, it was something special. I’m thrilled David and Rebellion will be publishing Aliya’s book.”

About the author:

Aliya Whiteley is one of the most exciting talents in the UK. The author of four books of speculative fiction, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlisted The Loosening Skin. Her novels have been shortlisted for many awards, including the Clarke Award, the Shirley Jackson Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. She lives in Sussex with her husband and teenage daughter.

For review copies of Skyward Inn and interviews please contact Hanna Waigh, Fiction – PR & Marketing Manager: