The beginning of the year is often a time for people to set lofty goals. Like learning a new language! What links our new books this month is that they are both bilingual, published with both English and another language all in the same book. In both, the English and other language share space (in one on opposite sides of the spread, on the other split between the top and bottom of each page), so that readers can follow along in both at the same time, compare the language of the translation, and maybe learn a bit more of the non-English language being used.
We start with A Study in Ugliness & outras histórias by H. Pueyo, a collection of short stories in both English and Portuguese. The stories tend toward grim fantasy, science fiction, and horror, and Pueyo plays with the monstrous and misunderstood across a range of gothic settings and complex characters.
From the publisher:
"Ghosts and weird mourners, horrible teenagers and disgraceful instructors. Haunted prisoners and seafolk taken from the shore. H. Pueyo's evocative writing takes notice that the dead, like memories are often closer than we think, and the guilty are often ignorant of the damage done and astonished when they themselves suffer. This debut collection offers Pueyo's stories in both English and Portuguese to celebrate the author's heritage."
"H. Pueyo is an Argentine-Brazilian writer of comics and speculative fiction. Her work has appeared before in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, among others. Find her online at hachepueyo.com."
Meanwhile, Deep Wheel Orcadia is a novel written in verse, both in English and in the Orcadian dialect. Indeed, it's the first novel written in Orkney in over 50 years! The book's tale unfolds on a space station where action, politics, lust, and love all play out in a delicate balance. Into that, Darling finds herself a new and dangerous addition to the hopes, ambitions, and plots of the many people seeking to use her for their own goals.
From the publisher:
"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."