Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Secret Agent #22

TITLE: Starcatcher
GENRE: Science Fiction Romance

I could be captain of that ship.

Tamarja Chase watched the freighter activate its sublights and glide clear of the slipstream. She would have banged her head against the viewpane in frustration, but she already looked crazy staring off into space. She didn't want to cause a scene. She could not afford to have security escort her back to her quarters.

Dawn's corona, visible again once the slipstream closed, edged its way across her view.

I need to get off this Station.

She loved flying. The freedom of slicing through clouds and swooping over the great cities of Bregarlos never failed to alleviate her sorrows. Manitac Corporation, of course, never missed an opportunity to exploit a talent for its own advantage. Two years of training had only given her a class III pilot's license. Atmosphere restricted. Spaceflight remained off limits.

Gray fog clouded her eyesight as her thoughts drifted into forbidden territory, beyond her unexplained desire to fly among the stars. Gritting her teeth to hold back her rising despair, Tamarja spun away from the viewpane and tried to focus on something else, but the lounge, filled with uncomfortable furniture and bright advertisements for Manitac products didn't give her a lot of options. The block Manitac had placed on her memory after her conviction was selective. It allowed her to live and work, but not to remember her past. Manitac had trained her to fly, but not too far and not too fast.

6 comments:

Ninja Girl said...

Oooooh, your first sentence is great!! It really gave a sense of who your character is, her motivation, and it showed her to be a spitfire, which I love in a heroine. I don't usually read a lot of SF, but this had the human element that I look for in a good read. And in the end where we find out her memory has been blocked...well, there's enough there to make me want to know why and what she's going to do when she finds out. (She does find out, right??) Annnd I think the last sentence was great :) Good job.
Ninja Girl

Vincent Kale said...

I'm totally with Tamarja and I'd like to help her escape and then fly off with her into outer space! You've got a great, relatable character with a mysterious backstory and an ambitious goal complicated by a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. That sounds like a recipe for success to me!

Love the last line by the way; it really signifies Tamarja as a "caged bird."

Good luck

Barbara said...

What a great last line! The last two sentences are what hooked me. Before that, it was just a character who wanted to fly, but the mind block and the corporation and her conviction got me nibbling. The last line reeled me in.

If I had to pick on something, I'd suggest cutting - gritting her teeth- because it's cliche, and I did wonder where that gray fog suddenly came from, but I doubt either detracts much from what you have here.

Rena Rossner said...

I would cut the first line of this and start with "Tamarja Chase..."

I didn't find that the first line pulled me in. I would also consider cutting the "I need to get off this Station" - there was something a bit too ordinary about those statements whereas the rest of your narrative was well written and interesting. What I mean I guess is that those lines aren't powerful enough to stand on their own while others are.

I also didn't understand if "Dawn" was a person, a planet, a ship or what...

Otherwise I think this is the interesting start of something and I would be willing to read more if only because so much is left unanswered that I am really curious to understand more about this world.

Secret Agent said...

I like the idea of space as a place for criminals whose minds have been erased (at least, I'm pretty sure that's where you're going). And Tamarja is a feisty, appealing character.

But watch the exposition. You need to keep this tight and interesting from the start. I would cut most of this opening as unnecessary: Keep the first line. Move on to, "She loved flying" through "alleviate her sorrows." Then skip to "Gritting her teeth" through the end. You get the information you need without all the extras to slow down the pacing.

Heather said...

this is an interesting story and very good writing--just be careful of getting too technical too fast, talking about slipstream and other unfamiliar terms. i would keep reading!