Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
This week’s A to Z is dedicated to Seanan McGuire’s Indexing, which contains description of the characters, mentioned tales, interesting or funny quotes, and more. Be sure to read OBS’s review for here. Would you have liked to be born in a narrative? Let us know in the comments below.
A: Andy – Andrew Robinson, or Andy, is one of the members of Henry’s team, the ATI Management Bureau. He is the only member of the team that hasn’t narrated. He is in charge of the Public Relations of the team. He used to study investigation journalism, but when a four-ten killed his twin brother, he dogged too much into the case finding the truth, and then asked for a job.
B: Birdie – Birdie Hubbard works at the ATI in the Dispatch Unit, where they monitor the change in the narrative. She is the dispatcher for Henry’s team, to which Henry has to say, “Experience has taught me that you should never refuse a reasonable request from a dispatcher. Not unless you want to spend the next six months chasing phantoms and likely incursions rather than actual incidents.”
C: Cinderella – Tale type 510A. The Cinderella story is basically is endlessly serving with a smile on the face and a song on your lips. Some Cinderellas rise above it and are the ones we see triumphant and immortalized in the fairy tales, but those are rare. Other Cinderellas tend to commit suicide, always trying to keep it clean, but they’re a few rare ones that take the story in their hands, and using a carving knife or a surprisingly number of common household poisons that won’t change the flavor of the food, kill their wicked families. Not all Cinderellas are females.
D: Demi – Demi Santos is a nineteen year old girl. She is a Two-Eighty also called a Pied Piper. She used to study as a music major in theory and composition. She hadn’t played any music until she was sixteen. She is activated at the beginning of the book when an active four-ten airborne puts to sleep a hospital and they need a way to contain the virus.
Deputy – Deputy Director Nathaniel Brewer is in charge of the ATI Management Bureau. He is thin as a whip, with dirty blond hair that is falling very fast, he is far from being a fairy tale, and you can call him a anchored to the real world. The director didn’t get his job by calling in political favors or striving for the level of his own incompetence, he earned it the hard way, with dedication and with talent … until he pissed off the wrong person.
E: Evil Queen – “I am a Wicked Stepsister. Whomever I stand with must thus be an Evil Queen. Evil Queens are always defeated.” she opened her eyes, looked at me, and smiled sadly. “I cast my alliance with —-, who shapes the story. I set myself against you, daughter of the winter wood.” – Sloane changes her alliance from good to evil to help Henry.
F: Frog – The Frog Prince, tale type 440. Frog Prince, tends to make deals so they can get a kiss and turn back to their human forms, but in the end they’re normal Princes and you can’t trust a Prince because they’re as Henry puts it, “Opportunistic son of a bitch out to nail a Princess for the sake of a payoff. The goddamn thing is worse than rats.”
G: Gerry – Gerald March, or Gerry, is Henry’s twin brother. When they were born, they were the incursion for the story of Snow White and Rose Red or The Two Girls and the Bear, tale type 426. When they were young, Gerry made a decision to change, which made Henry’s story change to a Snow White. He works as an English teacher until a deer appears in his school looking for him. It then seeks Henry’s help. He is in a relationship with Sloane.
H: Henry – Henrietta March, or Henry, Snow White tale type 709. She is the main character of the story. Henry is an agent of the ATI Management Bureau, a leader of a field team, and an active Snow White. She and her brother were born to a Sleeping Beauty mother when one of her doctors raped her. She later dies at childbirth. Henry and her brother were raised by the ATI, to which she then joined. Henry struggles with being a story and how it will end.
Hansel – Hansel and Gretel, tale type 327A. As story goes, twin children get lost in the woods and eaten by a witch. In the story, Demi, is sent to find the lost children, Hannah and Gregory, that ran into the woods.
I: Incursion – This is the narrative’s case or tale type. Incursion refers to the event of when the character of a narrative is activated or is starting to be active. An incursion can be classified as: active, unsolved/advected, in progress, suspended, no ongoing threat, unresolve/postponed, unresolved/undetermined, undetermined/undetermined, undetermined, and concluding
J: Jeff – Jeffrey Davis, the Shoemaker and The Elves tale type 503. Jeff is the archivist of the team, he’s also an active incursion and has feelings for his team leader. Jeff is the person in charge of the team’s copy of the index. He knows the stories and he is the more organized person of the team. He also makes clothes for the team; all of Henry’s work wardrobe is made by him.
K: Kisses – “We could find a handsome prince and get him kissed. Kisses break all the shit that enchanted naps don’t. Hell, they even break enchanted naps.” – Sloane explains to Henry how a kiss can save Jeff.
L: Little Mermaid – Tale type 138.1. Most little mermaids are people who had been injured in accidents and who want to walk again as much as to find true love. But not always. They can also be people who lost their voice or are rejected by their prince. The story tells us about Michael Christian the little mermaid that wanted to become human.
M: Monitoring – The monitoring station is where the dispatch unit is. There they monitor for signs of the memetic incursion, when they happen, and also monitor the active ones.
N: Narrative – The narrative is what Indexing calls a fairy tale story or the ‘force’ that creates and manipulates the stories and the characters in them.
O: Officer Troy – Officer Nicholas Troy is an extremely open-minded person that sometimes arrives to the scene of the crime, and knows enough of the ATI narratives to know that if something doesn’t look good he shouldn’t let his men inside the crime scene. We first see him in the Cinderella chapter.
P: Purity – But she didn’t have the narrative weight of Snow White, princess of the kingdom with no name, born in the sacrificial purity of a slit throat and frozen wasteland. It always takes blood on the snow when you want to bring the summer home. – Henry’s motivational thought.
Q: Question – “Is this a trick question? And have we cancelled ‘good morning’ for the foreseeable future? I was never overly fond of it to begin with, but it’s a ritual thing, and I do appreciate a good ritual.” – Andy answering with sarcasm to Henry’s inquiry of Sloane’s absences.
R: Reynard – Dr. Reynard, The Fox and the Cat, tale type 105. Dr. Reynard is a therapist that has a narrative and specializes in helping people who have an active narrative or may be one but hasn’t started it.
S: Sloane – Sloane Winters, The Treacherous Sister, tale type 315. Sloane is one of the members of Henry’s team. Her narrative is averted at the moment, but people still don’t accept a cup of coffee or a snack from her because they don’t know when she’ll go active and poison her offerings. Even though she looks young, she isn’t. She loves shopping online with the ATI money, and she is currently in a Goth or Lolita face. Because her narrative is averted she senses the change in the narrative when a story is happening and is immune to its effects.
Sleeping Beauty – The Sleeping Beauty, tale type 410. Like in the story, the person falls to sleep by touching an object, taking with them their parents and everybody in a certain radius. The 410 is asleep for 100 years and doesn’t age, but at the moment they wake up they die. All the people that fall a sleep because of a 410, die in a few days or weeks because if they don’t receive help they die of hunger. A 410 can be awake by the kiss of a prince or from childbirth.
Stepsister – A Wicked Stepsister or The Treacherous Sister, tale type 315. A 315 can be a stepsister to a Cinderella to help the narrative go on. They can evolve to an Evil Queen or an Evil Sorceress. In the story a 315, Elisa, got out of control when she wanted to be more like a Cinderella, no matter what the cost of it.
T: Three Bears – Goldilocks and the Three Bears, tale type 171. Like the story, the narrative uses a person and bears, sometimes the person walks away promising to be good and never bother them again, other times the bear rips them to pieces as a warning to everybody. Sometimes there is a variable and the bears are ghosts or humans.
U: Umbrella Corporation – Our “decent base” started life as a research lab dedicated to biological warfare… before a big-ass city decided to expand its borders to include the lab location. Not wanting to turn into the Umbrella Corporation form the Resident Evil movies. the Us government promptly decommissioned the lab, bombed the whole thing with enough bleach to kill any creepy crawlies that might be lurking there, and moved the ATI Management Bureau in. Because fairy tales are apparently better for property values than aerosolized Ebola. – Henry mentions the Umbrella Corporation and Resident Evil while thinking of the bureau.
V: Van – The van’s doors were closed and – as I learned to my dismay when I tried to wrench them open – locked. I slapped my pocket and swore. “Sloane, I don’t have my keys!” I shouted. “Do you?” “Like you people let me drive? Fuck, no, I don’t have keys to the van.” She bent, picking up a large rock from the curb. “On the other hand, I don’t really need them, do I?” – Henry and Sloane trying to open the door of the van to save Jeff.
W: Wallet – “If you lose the wallet, your precious Mike will be angry. So which is going to offend him more deeply, and be more difficult to repair? One little kiss, or an entire missing wallet?” – A Frog Prince trying to do a bargain with Andy.
White and Red – “Yes, I swear by the red and the white that I‘ll give them back to you. I don’t need to be a Cheshire Wicked Stepsister, I just need to be a Cheshire girl who isn’t dead.” – Sloane speaking with a Cheshire Cat.
X: eXpect – “I mean ‘marchen.’ Doesn’t that literally mean ‘fairy tale’? How do you people expect me to believe that this isn’t a big prank when you’re literally named ‘Agent Fairy Tale’?” – Demi Santos not believing the explanation that Henry gave her.
Y: Younger – All her masks had fallen away, revealing a woman who was older than she looked and younger than she should have been. “How can you do that to her? How can you do that to yourself?” – Sloane questioning Gerry for not calling Henry in years.
Z: Zero – “With all due respect, sir,” I said, despite feeling zero respect for the bureaucrat now standing in front of me.” – Henry defending Jeff from the Director.