Dear ms. Meadows,
My completed 110,000 word soft sf novel THE WAN is about a failing human colony marooned on a distant world ruled by the Wan, many-formed fungus-based creatures that communicate by feeding each other bits of their own flesh. It’s similar to the surreal imagination of Cory Doctorow's work, it has the easy reading and engagement level of Stephanie Meyer's the Host.
Ing, former biologist, was infected by the alien Wan fungus many centuries ago, when she first arrived from Earth. To save the humans from extinction, she wants to convert every man, woman, and child into a deathless Wan. Firdaus, deposed ruler of White City and devoted father of ten, desires nothing more than to be reunited with his children, but feels compelled to thwart Ing's coldly logical plans. Slavegirl Frog, used, maimed, and discarded by Ing, vows to save Firdaus and avenge herself on Ing.
The alien fungus turns out to be less tame than Ing thought: the Wan's once-in-a-millenium nature of reproduction threatens to destroy all human life on the planet. Firdaus has to choose between transforming his beloved family and people into cadaverous toadstools, or watching them all die in a planetary holocaust– unless he can come up with a third solution.
In December 2008, I won Best New Writer and Best Overall Short Story in the annual Paul Harland Contest with my story Satyricon.
I'm a long-time member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Online Workshop and founded a private novel workshop.
Below you find the first 5 pages of The Wan. I'd be happy to send you the complete manuscript.
Thank you for your consideration and time,
Ing licked the sheen of moisture seeping down the cave wall. It tasted of slick obsidian with a coating of sour chalk and brine. The exact place she marked yesterday.
Her companions shuffled their feet and whispered to each other, apparently unaware of the importance of the occasion - and not doing what she'd told them to a dozen times before. She wanted to ream out their sorry asses, but she knew that would only make things worse. How did it go again? Praise first, then reinforce the commands.
"Good work so far, guys. They saw you, they sent out a hunting party. You remember what to do next?" she asked.
Harpa nodded, but she didn't quite believe him. A man of many promises and few results. Tembo shrugged. In spite of the highly reflective whiteness of his face, she couldn't see his expression well enough in the cave's semi-darkness. With a sigh, she broke off two ringfingers – again – and fed them one each. Their stances righted as the knowledge sped through their bodies.
"I lead him off," Harpa said.
"I lure the others away from the leader when he follows Harpa."
Finally. "Good," she said. "Now off you go. I can smell the hunters coming."
They loped off, two dancing white outlines in the gloom.
She groped along the rough stone of the cave wall until she found the smooth track through the thicket of stalagmites, a natural path between the stony teeth on the cave floor. The perfect spot for an ambush.