Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Secret Agent #31

GENRE: YA sci-fi adventure

Of all the chores, she hated this one the most. Joey pulled a helmet over her head and fastened the latch to her anti-radiation suit. All this work, every Monday, just to get the weekly post.

After flipping on her oxygen tank, she hit a red button on the wall. A buzzer sounded, the air whooshed from the room, and the thick steel outer door of her home opened. Almost instantly, a glare of blinding light stung her eyes. The sun’s flare raged today, no different from yesterday, and the same forecast as tomorrow.

Joey slid down her visor. A deep crimson sky reflected in the tinted lens of her old spacesuit, which still bore the tag from Goodwill. She trudged across dusty earth, a cloud of scarlet haze kicking up as she stopped. While peering through shaded glass, she imagined the land as her mother described it. The reddish tint, which covered the parched countryside before her, transformed to crisp green meadows and pools of turquoise shaded water. Heavy layers of gray smog gave way to puffy white clouds.

She grinned when a ray of sun glinted off the monstrous dome of the fully enclosed Sector-A. Her arm lifted, blocking the shimmer. Even from this far, beyond the rows of curved metal roofs, she could see lavish streets, neon lights, and people. No suits, flowing clothes, all under thick protective glass.

Joey turned from the neighbors she’d never meet and moved toward a steel box fixed upon her outer bulkhead door.


  1. OK - I had to stop reading at Goodwill because I burst out laughing!! Now back to reading your entry.

    I already like the set up - she is a kid growing up on a planet that didn't turn out like her mother described - so either it never was lush and green or something went wrong.

    And in the nearby bubble city, people are free of the space suits and live in gleaming high rises.

    I like this. I get the idea that our heroine is spunky and will be fun.

  2. I really like this! Great description. You start off great with the description of her anti-radiation suit from Goodwill. And I can see the landscape in my mind which is great writing. I wasn't sure if she was still imaging the streets and neon lights or they were real. I would read more!

  3. I like it. She isn't totally angry. I would like it more if it were her favorite chore. I worry more about nice people in a big bad space world than I do crabby ones. I have no problem with space worms eating crabby people.

  4. Nice set up. Of course, we want to know now does she know anyone in the dome?

  5. This story is interesting, I love your descriptions and the detail you go to in order to describe the world, they're beautiful images. I will say that goodwill is very contemporary and since this story screams futuristic it took me from the moment. Also by saying this is her least favorite chore and the fact she will never get to know her neighbors it suggests isolation, again making an argument on the goodwill thing, going out shopping etc.

    Otherwise this feels very strong I would read more.

  6. This entry drew me in. You set the scene and the descriptions were engaging. Nice voice, too.

  7. I like the heaviness of this opening -- the chore, the environment, the living situation. I'm almost exasperated for Joey.

    I did get confused by the last two paragraphs, though. Until this moment, I understood the setting, but now I'm lost and I'm not sure where I am. Everything she's viewing from that distance is under glass? Am I reading that correctly? And the line about the neighbors she's never met felt heavy-handed; an awkward way to describe their lack of relationship.

    If you can refine these last two paragraphs, you'll have a pretty solid opening.

  8. Nice opening scene. The genre is well established and the spunky voice is great. I also stumbled a but over the mother's memory of how the world used to be melding into the view of people living under the bubble. Perhaps separate those two images a bit, and clarify if life under the bubble looks the way her mother described the world to be. My biggest questions is why she still doesn't know her neighbors since they probably have space suits, too. If she's getting a used one at Goodwill, it feels like an item everyone can afford.