By: Anna Adolph (1841-1917)
Described by author Liza Daly as a "strange masterpiece of outsider art," Arqtiq is a bizarre, borderline hallucinatory work of feminist utopian fiction. Equal parts sci-fi adventure, philosophical tract, and pro-Symmesian pamphlet, Anna Adolph’s strange, self-published novella centers its narrative around an aviator who, along with a ragtag group of family and friends, charts an expedition to the North Pole in a retro-futuristic airship of her own invention. There, Anna and her crew travel into the hollow earth, encounter a race of telepathic giants, and uncover secrets about God and the universe.
Written in a style that teeters somewhere between modernist abstraction and amateurish enthusiasm, Arqtiq almost defies comprehension. It is a maddening and oftentimes incoherent tale that nonetheless fascinates with its unhinged imagination. It is perhaps one of the most exuberantly surreal and dreamlike works of utopian fiction from this era. - Summary by ChuckW