Deep Wheel Orcadia, by Harry Josephine Giles
5 November 2021
Deep Wheel Orcadia (published by Pan Macmillan, October 2021), written by Leith based Scottish writer and performer Harry Josephine Giles, is a science fiction story with a difference. For one, it is written in the Orkney language, and is said to be the first full-length book published in the dialect in fifty years. And then there’s the poetic verse with which the story is told.
The setting is a space station called Deep Wheel Orcadia. The station has seen better days, but it continues to function, as it trundles its way through space. To Deep Wheel comes Astrid. She’s an art student on her way home, having recently finished schooling on Mars. She’s also searching for inspiration, but is a space station, somewhere in the interstellar voids, the place to be looking?
But it is here Astrid meets Darling. Darling cannot find acceptance, and is looking for somewhere to hide. Perhaps Deep Wheel is the perfect place for her to be? Deep Wheel Orcadia, with its poems written in Orkney, and translated into English lower down the page, has the makings of an incredible story. I’m also intrigued by the enigmatic space station. I’d like to visit. Anyone know how I might get there?