Synopsis of the novella The Host in the Attic by Rohan Quine
Synopsis of the novella The Host in the Attic
by Rohan Quine
The Host in the Attic by Rohan Quine is a hologram of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, digitised and reframed in cinematic style, set in London’s Docklands in a few years’ time. High-flyer Jaymi discovers a secret novel online called The Imagination Thief, written by a woman named Alaia; and they meet and fall in love. In his attic he hides the prototype of a new worldwide Web-browsing hologram, for whose appearance he was the model. While this hologram deteriorates into ever more terrifying corruption, Jaymi’s appearance remains forever sweet and youthful, despite his escalating evil … until the inevitable reckoning unfolds. A Distinguished Favorite in the NYC Big Book Award 2021.
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NYC Big Book Award 2021—The Host in the Attic as a Distinguished Favorite.
Brilliant software engineer Rik and executive Jaymi work at digital agencies in London (surely unaware that their fates are destined to echo those of Basil and Dorian, respectively the painter and the subject of The Picture of Dorian Gray). Rik uses Jaymi’s appearance as the model or “skin” for a cutting-edge interactive hologram that navigates the Web in enhanced ways, tailored to every user. The dissolute bigwig “Champagne” Marc makes this into a business reality, and through his cynical eloquence electrifies Jaymi with the knowledge that Jaymi will hereby become the face of the Web. Throughout the film-shoot of Jaymi for the making of the skin, these honeyed words of Marc (like those of Wilde’s Lord Henry to Dorian during the portrait’s creation) light powerful fires of vanity and hubris behind Jaymi’s eyes.
As this holographic Web-guide’s hold over global information grows to a near monopoly, Jaymi is lionised, finding no door closed. But he yearns for still more: to see what the hologram itself can see online. So by trickery he succeeds in getting hold of a unique copy of the prototype hologram, with all regular filters removed.
In private files online he thereby discovers a not-yet-published novel that will come to be called The Imagination Thief, by Alaia Danielle, with whom he has an intense romance (echoing Wilde’s actress Sibyl Vane with Dorian). But when Jaymi brutally dumps her, triggering her suicide, he is shocked to observe, on the same evening, that the face on his private prototype hologram has become crueller. Fascinated, he realises its appearance is changing in accordance with his own behaviour—and he hides it in his attic.
For years he uses his unique online access for ever more megalomaniacal ends, ruining the lives of many whom he lures down into excess, addiction and suicide. While the hologram in the attic deteriorates into quite terrifying corruption, Jaymi’s appearance remains as sweet and youthful as the day he was filmed … until the inevitable reckoning unfolds.
The Host in the Attic‘s synopsis is here too:
Table of Contents of The Host in the Attic
I. Imminent completion of masterpiece
II. Portrait captures first corruption
III. Addicted to the image
IV. First cruelty of addiction
V. Portrait infected and shut away
VI. Horror beneath glamour
VII. …A decade later
VIII. The Furies close in and feign defeat
The nine chapters of The Host in the Attic‘s Video-Book format are here:
And in the Vimeo showcase “THE HOST IN THE ATTIC (novella) – Video-Book format – Rohan Quine”.
And in the YouTube playlist “THE HOST IN THE ATTIC (novella) – Video-Book format – Rohan Quine”. (If playback of any of the above videos looks at all fuzzy on YouTube, then you can quickly and easily adjust the YouTube video-player’s playback “Quality” setting, by doing the following: (1) if you’re on a mobile device, first touch the video image, then touch the three-dots symbol that appears in the top-right corner of the player, touch “Quality” and choose “1080p” (or the highest other setting available on your device, e.g. “720p”); or (2) if you’re on a laptop/desktop device, click the cog symbol on the lower edge of the video-player, click “Quality” and choose “1080p” (or the highest other setting available on your device, e.g. “720p”).)
Some short teasers for The Host in the Attic‘s Video-Book are here:
Rohan Quine, The Host in the Attic, literary fiction, litfic, magical realism, horror, dark fantasy, cyberpunk, contemporary, science fiction, London, Docklands, Ontario Tower, hologram, search engine, attic, corridor, hatch, ladder, corrupt, Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde