I've been reading Carving Nature at Its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science, which mentions The Celestial Emporium of Benelovent Knowledge, Borges' delicious classification of animals:
Borges' essay famously "shattered... all the familiar landmarks of... thought" for Foucault. You come across it fairly often reading the sort of mystico-philosophizing silliness I've long relished- but this reading inspired me to get cracking on my synopsis...
I decided to divide it up by characters in an invisible homage to Borges.
An earlier version was more dictionary-like, but I chickened out, thinking that might be a little risky. I'm using this synopsis for submissions and my story is already a bit... let's call it rowdy. I'm probably going to have a horrible time placing it.
Anyway! the synopsis...
Evening’s Land: Book One
1. ADA WALKER: Conjurer, Autodidact. Seventeen years old, her mind becomes a conduit into the Evening’s Land, which encompasses death and dreams.
2. CHRISTOPHER ADGER: Ghost, Bon Vivant. Christopher hung himself in order to escape the cult that murdered his father and has taken refuge from death in dreams. He comes to Ada’s defense when demons begin trying to leach through her into the waking world. Ada’s repeated conjuring makes him strong, and Christopher lusts to experience physicality once more.
3. OLIVER ROAMERY: Occultist, Enthraller. The leader of Charleston’s powerful blood cult becomes aware of Ada’s magical strengths. Roamery begins seducing MARY, Ada’s wayward mother, in order to get close to her daughter.
4. JUPITER SNOWE: Ada’s friend, a Telepath, Descended of a Ghost. When Jupiter visits Ada at home, things go awry: Ada has underestimated the hungers of Christopher. He inhabits Jupiter’s body, taking the girl’s consciousness hostage. Pretending to be Jupiter, Christopher seduces Ada, thrilling to the pleasures of flesh. But Christopher’s bodysnatch sets off alarms in those who monitor the Evening’s Land, and Roamery sends emissaries to Ada’s house. She escapes after a brawl while Christopher, still wearing the body of Jupiter Snowe, is taken hostage himself and brought to trial before Roamery.
5. TOBIAS WALKER: Ada’s whimsical but elderly father. Genius, Innocent, Cuckold. His wife missing, Tobias falls ill. Ada rushes out of hiding to visit him in the hospital and is kidnapped by Roamery’s men. Roamery, whose ambition is to become a god, commands Ada deliver him to hell via the conduit of her mind.
6. Ada and Roamery descend into the depths of the Land, where we learn Ada was conceived in dreams by HECATE, Lordess of Hell. Hecate invites Ada to rule with her in the lower kingdom. Ada declines. Roamery’s body is vacant during this conference and Christopher uses the opportunity to jump from Jupiter into Roamery, trapping Roamery’s consciousness within Ada’s own. Hecate tells Ada that Roamery is her responsibility now. But Roamery, unwilling tenant, is the equivalent of a personified mental illness. Will Ada be able to control him?
6. Christopher, now wearing Roamery’s skin, is the seeming leader of the blood cult that murdered his father. Jupiter, freed of him, swears vengeance on all phenomena. Meanwhile Ada must nurse her father back to health… but how long can the earthly daughter of Hecate stay away from the Evening’s Land?
In other news, after binging BBC's Sherlock, I picked up the collected Sherlock Holmes stories. They're wonderful, especially before bed.
Pauline West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)