Thursday, April 10, 2008

DARK NEST's Gothic architecture glossary

I use a great deal of architectural terms in my futuristic, psychic novella DARK NEST (2009 Prism Award Winner, novella category), which primarily takes place on a spaceship built to resemble the Notre Dame Cathedral in France, a Cathedral in the Gothic architectural tradition.

Beautiful, isn't it? Imagining something like that in space? I couldn't resist. That's why we're writers, to do crazy stuff like that. (While it isn't Notre Dame that the cover artist Maythe Carpentino used on Dark Nest's cover, it's still Gothic architecture being depicted.) The biggest Gothic architectural signifyer is the arches. Gothic arches come to a point rather than a rounded arch.

I refer to many of the architectural details in the narrative of the story in order to best describe the ship.

While doing my research, I used this great site:

The glossary entries that follow here are directly taken, verbatim, from that website.

* AMBULATORY : A continuous isle which wraps a circular structure or an apse at its base. Designed for use in Processions.

* CRYPT : The rooms below the cathedral designated as burial chambers.

* FLYING BUTTRESS: A masonry support branching from the sturdy piers and vertical Standing buttresses. Their role is to transfer the great weight of the vaulted roofs off to this more solid support of the firmly set abutments. In French: "arc boutant."

* LANCET WINDOW: A tall, narrow window which terminates in a pointed apex.

* NAVE : The central area of the western branch of a cathedral, bordered by Aisles. The center of a church or cathedral, intended for seating of parishioners.

* TRACERY : Located throughout Gothic cathedrals, tracery adds much to the distinctive style of Gothic ornament. The variety of Tracery patterns within these cathedrals is nearly endless. Their interlacing lines are incorporated into vaults, walls, columns, windows and the woodwork of the screens.

* TRANSEPTS : The north and south projecting extensions of a Cruciform style church or cathedral, crossing at right angles to the greater length.

Read an excerpt of Dark Nest. For more about Dark Nest, inlcuding where to buy, visit Crescent Moon Press.

1 comment:

Normandy Thenandnow said...

We would recommend a visit to the Joan of Arc memorial on the hill behind Rouen at Bonsecours and Basilica Notre-Dame next to it. The Basilica's interior is a Victorian gothic wonder. Vintage postcards led us to it and the tale of Isobelle Romee, remarkable mother of Joan. More and photos here.