Deep Wheel Orcadia, by Harry Josephine Giles

Staff Pick

Lyrical, evocative, and bursting with desire of every shade, Deep Wheel Orcadia finds joy in its utter singularity. It is the first science fiction novel in verse to be written in Orcadian, the minority dialect of the Orkney islands. Though there is a parallel English translation, I found myself reading and re-reading each page in order to better admire the author's masterful turns of phrase in both languages. The novel is set on a distant space station with a close-knit community struggling to hold on to their traditional way of life in the face of irrepressible change. A young woman's return from art school on Mars in search of inspiration coincides with strange hauntings and intergenerational anxieties aboard the station, all of it familiar to anyone who has come home after a journey to find themselves different from when they left.


Deep Wheel Orcadia: A Novel By Harry Josephine Giles Cover Image
ISBN: 9781529066609
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador UK - October 14th, 2021

Lavinia, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Staff Pick

One of Le Guin's rare forays into historical fiction, Lavinia is a worthy precursor to the recent literary trend of giving voice to the often silent women of Roman and Greek history. The book is told from the first-person perspective of Lavinia, who was the future wife of Aeneas, ancestor of the founders of Rome, but a minor character in Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid. In a compelling metatextual twist, Lavinia is aware that she is a character in a larger story, even conversing with the shade of Virgil himself, and it is that clear voice and rich interior life--so sharply in contrast to the tumult and violence of Lavinia's surroundings--that's the central delight of this book.

Lavinia By Ursula K. Le Guin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156033688
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper Perennial - April 10th, 2009

Babel, by R.F. Kuang

Staff Pick

From the author of the Poppy War trilogy, Babel is a towering work of fantasy with 1830s Oxford as its center. Robin Swift, orphaned by a cholera outbreak in Canton and brought to England as the ward of the severe Professor Lovell, grapples with the extractive cruelty of the British Empire even as he falls in love with the study of translation and the arcane magic of silver-working. Robin is forced to choose between assisting the underground Hermes Society and its goal of redistributing the wealth of empire and preserving his life and friendships at Oxford. This is a deeply felt and tightly plotted exploration of the interpersonal and global trauma of colonialism that takes its strength from both its true-to-life relationships and the ingenious mechanics of its fantastical elements.

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063021426
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Voyager - August 23rd, 2022