Friday, November 30, 2012

(19) SF Romance: The Everett Quartet

TITLE: The Everett Quartet
GENRE: Science fiction romance

Edmond’s girlfriend, Viv, can travel between her parallel universes. Now he must battle to win her back from the man she married in another reality. In another universe, Edmond’s and Viv’s alter egos struggle to keep their secrets from tearing them apart.


I clutch my wine glass, watching Viv shift realities. She stops eating, her hand arrested mid-air just as she is about to bite into a sumptuous prawn. Unnoticed by anyone else in the crowded lunchroom of Via Grande, my girlfriend leaves me once again.

Her eyelids flutter, dark brown irises take on the opaque colour of mud. I know then her reality shift is complete. Hades drags Persephone to the Underworld, abandoning me to the dark and cold.

The fork clatters to the table. Her breath quick and shallow, the alter ego taking Viv’s place looks around with parted lips. Then she turns to me, wary. Suspicious.

‘Hi, I’m Edmond,’ I say, handing her a glass of tepid water to soothe her throat, which always burns after a shift. ‘Welcome to my universe. I know about the reality shifts,’ her eyes widen, ‘and I’ll help you cope with your visit.’

I extend my hand. She takes it and smiles. And so, yet again, I play genial host to an alien mind in Viv’s body, while guarding her secret from the rest of the world.

A secret that revealed itself to me when my girlfriend died.


I stare out a dirty window to a street of Georgian houses. I’ve never visited this reality before.

I think of Edmond looking up from his plate at Via Grande into my alter ego’s eyes. Would his grey eyes narrow, guarded and dubious? Or will he hit it off with my other self?


  1. This is really fascinating. I like Edmond right away and how he is willing to let her go to keep her. Very interesting. I definitely want to see more.

  2. I love this one. Reminds me of the Time Traveler's Wife. Minor edit - when her eyes widen during his dialogue, I'd use dashes instead of commas. Commas insinuate that the person speaking is the same as the person with the description.

  3. This is intriguing -- but it sounds like you might have had difficulty putting a complex storyline in a short logline?

    The logline makes it seem like Viv (one person) can go back and forth between universes. The excerpt makes it seem as if some entity other than Viv pops over to inhabit her body.

    I really want to read more to figure out what's going on. And I agree that Edmond is a sympathetic character.

    The intro is strong in that it piques reader interest immediately.

  4. I'm definitely interested....especially at the idea of popping between narrators after such a brief passage. It sounds like this is an ambitious book.

    I, too, didn't love the log line, but the sample is much more engaging. I think you just need some transitions in the log line so it doesn't feel so jarring to go from thought to thought.

    Best of luck!

    (I came over from Jo - us sci-fi people need to stick together, I agree! ;o) )

  5. Interesting premise. I wonder if the book will have lots of shifting back and forth between the two characters like this. I like it here, but I kind of hope the sections for each character are usually longer, so we have more time to get involved in each storyline before switching.

    From the logline I assumed that Viv's travels were voluntary, but from the opening it looks like it's not. Which should make for lots of deliciously awkward complications. ;) Good luck!

  6. The premise of this story is intriguing, although the logline is a little hard to follow. I get the impression that it's Viv who shifts realities, but can Edmond as well? If not, how does he battle someone she married in another life? Do they both have alters? It sounds like a tough plot to simplify into a logline!

    However, I felt drawn to both characters, even in this short amount of time. It doesn't look like you're afraid of complex plots, either, which I like. There's nothing cookie-cutter about this, and that's always a plus.

    I'm definitely interested in reading on, and that's saying something since I don't read paranormal romance.

    Good luck! (I'm the author of #25, btw, so here's my "return critique." Thank you for yours; I appreciate the feedback.)

  7. I really enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife so this intrigued me. I do wonder at Edmond's emotional response--he doesn't really seem too bothered that Viv has disappeared again.

    This was a little hard to follow with such a short sample--I'm not sure who Edmond refers to when he says his girlfriend died. Does he mean Viv or another girlfriend from the past? I'm assuming Viv, but it's not clear.

    It seems like there could be some fun in store if the alter egos expect Edmond not to know about them. I'm a sucker for time travel/romances so I'd keep reading.

  8. The premise is exciting, the prose extraordinarily well done and the entire work demands your attention. Really looking forward to the conclusion, what determinations are finally made.

  9. I love your writing - can see the fork dropping and taste that prawn - but hooked when viv wonders if edmond will 'hit it off' with her alter. good work and good luck!

  10. I like the premise. My biggest suggestion is the rapid POV shift. I want to stay with Edmond longer, not get straight to Viv.

    Also not all words need a description, sumptuous pawn, tepid water, etc

    I'm interested to read more.

  11. This has a very interesting concept, but I’m skeptical of the execution. I very, very rarely like dual first person narratives, but they can be done well if the voices are distinct enough. However, I don’t think they should switch this quickly. You need to give the reader time to acclimate to the POV, and every shift is like hitting the brakes and then the gas again. It makes for a jarring ride.

    Apart from that, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the parallel lives and how they work. So sticking to one POV for longer periods of time could help explain it. It’s really jolting to have to stop reading and try to figure out where Viv is, how she remembers Edmond but the one in the lunchroom doesn’t, how many realities she shifts between, etc. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have the patience to read this despite the original and pretty compelling premise.

  12. It seems I'm the opposite of most in that I like the logline better than the sample. I feel like the last sentence of the logline is unnecessary, though, and the shorter one is more effective. But goes to show how everyone's tastes are different!

  13. Nice teaser – intriguing with plenty of originality. Not sure where this story will lead, but I’m willing to follow a man who supports, protects and fights for his love as she shifts between realties. Can’t wait to read more and see what secrets unfold.

  14. I'll preface this by saying that I'm not into time travel/alternate realities at all, and would never have picked this up in a book store.

    However...your writing pulled me right in. Beautiful descriptions, I immediately empathize with Edmond, and I would keep reading!

    I agree with some of the others that the POV shift happens too quickly, and the dual 1st person might be a problem.

    Good luck!

  15. I liked the logline, but the actual writing didn't work as well for me. I wanted more time with Edmond before the first POV switch. I think a bit of dialogue with the alter ego now residing inside Viv's body could be used for a little more world building. I do like Edmond and feel sympathetic toward the alter ego-- stuck into a strange body. Good Luck

  16. Love, love, love this! I am so intrigued by your premise, and you handle the excerpt with skill. So, I know I'm in good hands and I'm anticipating a great story.

    Only 2 nits:
    1) I somehow don't like the term "girlfriend." It just doesn't seem passionate enough to describe what they must mean to each other.
    2) I have no sense of time. I would like to know if it is present day or 100 years ago or sometime in the future. Also, do the other realities happen in a different time? You hint at this when Viv mentions Georgian houses, but I need more. Of course, I'm sure you'll give it soon.

    I can't wait to read your book!

  17. This grabbed me from the very beginning. Nice hook! I tend to skip past the log lines, so it didn't bother me like it seems to have some of those commenting.

    This sample shows great promise and already introduces quite a bit of mystery while setting up the characters nicely. I would most definitely be compelled to continue turning the pages. Good luck!

  18. I'll bid 50!