"Soulfully beautiful, this majestic novella explores the magic, meaning and fragility of life as six astronauts orbit the earth."
Profound and poetic, stark and stirring, Samantha Harvey’s Orbital sees six astronauts ponder the world and the meaning of everything as they embark on a nine-month scientific mission of “weightless drifting…nine months of this sardine living, nine months of this earth-ward gaping”.
The earth seen from the astronauts’ perspective is a magnificent, powerful entity. A place of “auroras, hurricanes, storms”. Their strange, remarkable situation sees them experience a “day of five continents and of autumn and spring, glaciers and deserts, wildernesses and warzones.” Looking down, they understand why our planet is called Mother Earth, made all the more pertinent when the mother of one of the astronauts dies.
Their distance from earth only makes them feel more connected to it, and to life. What is real, what is imagined? How are we connected to others? In the case of the astronauts, “Rotating about the earth in their spacecraft they are so together and so alone, that even their thoughts, their mythologies, at times convene.”
Profoundly human, and smoothly philosophical, Orbital is a book to savour in one sweet, soulful sitting. It’s a poignant, long-lingering triumph.
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 14/12/2023
Closing date: 10/12/2023