Day 6

In Greek mythology Orion the Hunter was placed in the heavens by Zeus, King of the Greek Gods, to honour him for dying in his last battle with a monstrous scorpion. Every true huntsman has a dog; Orion has two, Canis Minor and Canis Major in which you can find Sirius, the dog star, the brightest star in our night sky. You can recognise him from the four “corner” stars, and the famous three-star “belt” that cinches in his middle, like a waist.

Orion the Hunter

In Far Out, Orion is a metaphor for the unpleasant character Derron, Saffron’s line manager at the Plant Nursery on the grounds of Astro Station.This was Saffron’s first impression of him.

“‘Derron’s hologram appeared and said hello and a few minutes later, the man himself arrived. A big man, taller than Gwevane and her father, he wore a checked shirt over solid muscles running to fat. He had black hair and a face that had suffered the ravages of acne when he’d been younger. His bio-badge showed a full pint of beer on a white background. The lower two buttons of his shirt strained against his belly, that hung over the top of his jeans, not hugely, but in another few years he’d be…

She acknowledged Derron by meeting his gaze but he returned it through half-closed eyes and then he looked her up and down in a way she didn’t like one bit. The hairs on the back of her neck rose. He extended a grubby hand and she forced herself to shake it. She had an idea that maybe it was not a good idea for her to be here after all, but she had made such a fuss about doing the herbalism studies, she couldn’t back out now. And suddenly her father was saying goodbye and she was on her own. A frisson of fear ran through her. This was not the cosy, chaotic security of the slum and Hermione; this was the real world.’

Summer Blog Hop

In the summer blog hop (2013), we pitched a virtual tent to feature Saffron and Nate, the characters in Far Out, and to pick out some events and themes from the book. One theme is stargazing and constellations. The Orion the Hunter constellation is visible in the Northern Hemisphere from November to February, in the south west sky. In Summer months it’s visible in the Southern Hemisphere, and appears to be “upside down” (if you’re visiting from the north and used to seeing it the other way up.)

Coffee ‘n Characters Summer Blog Hop. Thanks to Danielle for hosting us.

First published July 2013

Image credits: Coffee ‘n Characters

Far Out is available on and Amazon UK.