Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #1 - Doomsday's Wake


Doomsday's Wake
Sci-fi
90,500

Query:
Dylan Groscup knows things, but not how to dogfight with a jetpack or turn alien weeds into weapons. He didn't set out to lead a science team through an undeclared holy-war. He just wants a quiet life and a home in which to keep his family and his secrets. A mission to colonize a frontier planet is just the chance he needs.

In theory.

Contact with Earth has been lost. The paradise world may be more dangerous than it looks. Someone is trying to kill him.

Now Dylan must keep his people alive long enough to learn the fate of the lost aliens before humanity repeats their mistakes. It will take science and savvy and the courage to risk those he cares for most. He may get them all killed, but he holds the key to saving mankind. He just doesn't know it yet.


First 150 Words:
The straight and narrow had shifted again, and Dylan was hurrying to catch up. If they were recalled now, he'd lose his captain's slot and the land grant. He'd be out of second chances.

He stepped from the jungle and around something not unlike a coconut tree. The air over the beach already wavered with heat. The stunning panorama cried out for lounge chairs and a colorful drink—but not today.

He pulled off his wraparound sunglasses and blew away the dust, then glowered briefly at his reflection, at a face still jowly from eight month's idle space duty. He still had some good years in him, but the implant exemption had ended with the war. He was a dinosaur, and he was letting his old man down. A breaking surf and ocean breeze weren't going to change that.

The air smelled of salt and sweet flowers.

On the other hand, he thought, it don’t hurt.

7 comments:

  1. I'd definitely take some sample pages.
    - L (Jane Doe)

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  2. Very interesting! I think I already like your main character. :D

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  3. I want to read this. Seriously. Dogfight with a jet pack and alien weeds to weapons. With this snippet you have my imagination conjuring all sorts of interesting images, which is an important skill to have when world building on an alien planet.

    I vote yes.

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  4. Super tight query and the first 150 hint at an action-packed adventure to come. Good luck!

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  5. Your query is strong, I get a sense of the world without a ton of details weighing it down. I wish I knew more about who is trying to kill him. For me, it makes me want to read the story, not sure if agents would want more detail in the query or if hinting at the suspense is enough. Nice work.

    From your opening words I'm getting this idea of a man running to claim his land in on a new planet, which is kind of a spin on homesteading in the US back in the late 1800s-early 1900s. I watch more sci-fi than I read, so this kind of gave me a Stargate:SGU (the best one IMO) feel with colonizing new planets.

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  6. Lumpy Space PrincessSeptember 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    I like your query, and it raises some interesting questions I would want to read the manuscript to find the answers to. However, you never quite tell us what he DOES know, only what he doesn't. I want to know what he DOES know.

    Also, I like how the opening works both to give us both a little backstory, setting, AND Dylan's voice. You've got my vote.

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  7. Here is my revision:

    Dylan Groscup knows things, but not how to dogfight with a jetpack or turn alien weeds into weapons. He didn't set out to lead a science team through an undeclared holy-war. He just wants a quiet life and a home in which to keep a family and his secrets. A mission to colonize a frontier planet is just the chance he needs.

    In theory.

    Contact with Earth has been lost. The paradise world is more dangerous than it looks. Someone is trying to kill him. He has to keep his people alive long enough to learn the fate of a lost alien race before humanity repeats its mistakes. The trouble is, they also have to stop a madman and his army.

    Without an implant, Dylan spends so much time in the archives, he reads books in his dreams. It's made him studious and skeptical, which explains why he fits in with a bunch of civilian scientists—and why they all are targets. He may get them all killed—even the one he loves—but risk is the price of life. With science and savvy, they can make their own luck. They have to, for more is at stake than love, life, and the fate of a world. Dylan holds the key to saving humanity itself. He just doesn't know what it is yet.

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