Deep Wheel Orcadia: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

It's ice cream season, baby - and this is one sweet treat. A sci-fi book in verse, a story that's in conversation with itself, literally, and a depth of linguistic flavor that will leave Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams shaking and howling and gnashing their teeth. You're gonna love it, just like I did. Just remember, if I'm wrong and you don't like it, then it wasn't my idea, it was yours. And I begged you not to. Enjoy your treat.

— From Bo


Winner of the 2022 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction Book of the Year

Astrid is returning home from art school on Mars, looking for inspiration. Darling is fleeing a life that never fit, searching for somewhere to hide. They meet on Deep Wheel Orcadia, a distant space station struggling for survival as the pace of change threatens to leave the community behind.

Deep Wheel Orcadia is a magical first: a science-fiction verse-novel written in the Orkney dialect. This unique adventure in minority language poetry comes with a parallel translation into playful and vivid English, so the reader will miss no nuance of the original. The rich and varied cast weaves a compelling, lyric and effortlessly readable story around place and belonging, work and economy, generation and gender politics, love and desire – all with the lightness of touch, fluency and musicality one might expect of one the most talented poets to have emerged from Scotland in recent years. Hailing from Orkney, Harry Josephine Giles is widely known as a fine poet and spellbindingly original performer of their own work; Deep Wheel Orcadia now strikes out into audacious new space.

About the Author

Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, living in Edinburgh. Their collection Tonguit was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and The Games for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and Saltire Prize for Best Collection. They have a strong spoken word scene presence – they were the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, and their theatre has also toured globally, including Forest Fringe (UK), NTI (Latvia), Verb Festival (Aotearoa) and Teszt (Romania).

Praise For…

“A symphony o yotuns, peedie suns and langships tae Mars, in Deep Wheel Orcadia Harry Josephine Giles hauds the starns in the loof o thier haun, terraformin new warlds in Scots. (A symphony of giants, miniature suns and longships to Mars, in Deep Wheel Orcadia Harry Josephine Giles holds the stars in the palm of their hand, terraforming new worlds in Scots.)” —Matthew Fitt

Deep Wheel Orcadia is a mysterious and moving novel in verse about finding home in the farthest reaches. Giles lifts us to new worlds, in space and in language, we could never have imagined. A singular and numinous work” —Morgan M Page, author of One From the Vaults

“I can't remember the last time I was this beguiled, this engrossed and this inspired by a book. It's like nothing else I've ever read. It was a joy to feel so entranced by the possibilities and complexities of each and every word. Harry Josephine Giles is a true original and a vital voice – don't miss this.” —Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers

Product Details
ISBN: 9781529066609
ISBN-10: 1529066603
Publisher: Picador UK
Publication Date: October 14th, 2021
Pages: 176
Language: English