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Overture Awes West
Experimental Novelism in Woetide 2022
© 2022 James LaFond
Composed as a Forward to:
House Apostate
Kingsport, Bay of the Mother of God, Easter New England, 2022, August, Friday First
The intent of composing Awes West is the sketching of persons and locations in a state of literary purity; taking such subjects out of our temporal setting and placing them in an everwhen. These are exercises in looking beyond the specifics of our externally imposed social perceptions. This is an attempt at composition within imposition.
The goal of this exercise is to take real people out of this timeline and place and present them as they are and would be in an alternative setting, namely the New England of Elder Earth, a setting used for the novels Sorcerer!, Ranger?, and Wife—, a world in which there was no Reformation, where The Enlightenment was conducted in harried secret by a few souls, and in which no Industrial Revolution, or other economic or social revolutions occurred.
The secondary goal is to sketch locations as they might have or would have been, at this same date, in a world where the above conditions applied.
The dialogues will remain unchanged other then to replace modern superstition with a more truthful tradition, understanding that Science is the mere queer spear of grotesque sorcery.
The landscape excavations will not be explained.
The social, technological and metaphysical specifics will be altered.
For instance, in this first sketch, House Apostate, the date, time, the tornado that struck, the weather that prevailed, the color of the sky, the friendship of the house people, will all remain the same.
What must be changed:
-1. Rather than Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America, the location is Kingsport, Easter New England, of His Britannic Majesty’s Empire.
-2. Rather than being an antivaxxer family, concealing their medical status from family and employers, the house people will be religious heretics practicing herbalism rather than calling upon the priesthood for blessings.
-3. Rather than pickup trucks and chainsaws, oxcarts and axes will be used to clear the shattered trees.
-4. Rather than be engaged in advertising and electrical installation, the Husband and Wife will be engaged innkeeping and heraldry, for the size of the house and the setting demand that it be an inn, for I wish to describe the house as is, with technological adjustments only, and such a house in pre-industrial times owned by common folk must be to all, what it is to me, an Inn for the wayfarer. The surrounding houses must be reduced in the mind’s eye to gardens and fields and pastures, the sheds retained as hovels, the garages retained and reshaped as barns.
-5. The streets will be cobblestone or clay rather than concrete or asphalt, etc. Those streets under which creeks have been turned into sewers, will be creek beds, crossed by bridges rather then paved roads. The bus I took from the East to the Northeast, still labeled a “coach” in safety signage, would of course, be a stage coach. Trains, which follow the rivers that were used to float the materials for building the tracks, will be replaced with riverboats, keel boats, barges. Bridged rivers will be spanned by ferries… The landscape of America will be re-imagined as having avoided the ruinous touch of Modern Man.
-6. The people, the fetching, noble-built wife and questioning gracile husband, will be who and what they are, apostates, enemies in hiding of the oppressive world that hates them and seeks their demise and punishment.
This is this writer’s self-assigned task.
It will hopefully prove useful for more than the weird novelist.
A Note on Days and Dates
The novels in the Elder Earth setting, occur ten years from now in an alternative setting, in 2031, when the Grand Solar Minimum cycle we have entered shall have born its frigid fruit. In a pre-industrial setting such an event would spark Famine, War and Plague, the three heralds of Doom. The events that effect our retirement investments, our vacation plans, our voting habits and our medicated state of being, in a medieval setting, may, and once upon a bleaker time, did, bring apocalypse.
The locations I have sketched in this process shall remain the same in the novels set in such places. For in the World of Tradition, Change does not enjoy the rampant hand he is granted under Modernity.
The people, however, shall either recede into the memory of protagonists ten years hence, or age in place, or move down Time as the fancy of the novel dictates. Some novels have been sketched taking place in Easter New England. They may or may not be brought into execution. Some of the Easter characters may find themselves westward in coming novels. Some of the Wester characters might return eastward.
There is no plotted plan in the mind, just an out of season reason seeking a weird rhyme.
Days are dated as the first, second, third, fourth or fifth of a given month, of their named kind.
Doctor Breck & the Crackpot
author's notebook
Maintaining the Spark
uncle satan
crag mouth
the greatest lie ever sold
the year the world took the z-pill
the lesser angels of our nature
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