Monday, May 16, 2016

Are You Hooked? Adult Genre Fiction #24

TITLE: Day 10K
GENRE: Adult - Science Fiction

A colonized world has worked its way back up to twentieth-century technology after the devastation of war. But a computer glitch might ruin it all again. 

Shushan stepped onto the ladder attached to the little cinderblock building in the parking lot, acting like she belonged here. But her backpack shifted as she climbed, making her grip the metal rungs harder and disappointing her—it was the new, lighter kind of pack made of synthetic materials from Earth, and something so cool shouldn’t have been a problem.

Reaching the top, she slung it down with a satisfying thump. “Hah!” She gazed across the asphalt, but no one in the windows of the bank where she worked was waving at her to get down. If any of them had, she would have waved back, knowing that if she stayed bold none of them would take the time from their frantic, last-minute meetings to come out and confront her. This was her final day at work, and she was determined to goof off before all the banks collapsed.

She walked across the tar paper roof of this funny little building that housed the gigantic emergency generator, then kicked the stovepipe for the exhaust. She chuckled at the gritty sound of soot sliding down, then her throat constricted as she remembered the noxious cloud of gas it had belched during the tests.

Of course it burned fuel. This smelly throwback was a perfect symbol of how everything in her life—in this whole grubby world—was about to go flying backwards.


  1. I really dig your logline. It's punchy, catchy, and sums up an intriguing premise beautifully. It also gives me a huge amount of faith in your prose. I want to love it (especially after reading the 1st paragraph of your 250). A tiny hint of what must be done or how would take this from "Oh. This sounds like a fun read." to "I MUST BUY AND READ THIS RIGHT NOW."

    Your first paragraph hooked me completely. You give such a clear sense of Shushan and her character. When I hit "disappointing her", it was such a brilliant character reveal moment. You've built so much faith by this point, it'd take something truly off-putting to lose the sale.

    From there, the punch comes and goes. The section about the coworkers at the bank has great reveals without being tell-y. The part about her staying bold is genius stuff, and makes me excited about the prospect of spending a book (or more) in Shushan's head. My only quibble would be that Shushan's situation and theirs could be more clear sooner with a hint more background as to why the banks are collapsing and Shushan seems so cavalier about it (as well as why she's goofing off right outside in clear view of her workplace). I suspect there's a great piece of character quirk in there.

    The last section is similiar. You've got great hooks and development in there. A hint more expansion into detail would be excellent. Shushan's aside about the grubby world is another great piece of world/character build with lovely sparse prose that flows beautifully. There's a poetic quality to your writing that makes me want to dive in and float around in it for hours.

    Thanks for sharing your excerpt. It's so well done. I WANT THIS BOOK.

  2. I also liked the logline. You get a lot into a small space.

    In the first paragraph, I feel a little lost. If she knows what building she's climbing, could she say what it is? Something to anchor it in my mind would help, even if she just calls it the building across the street from her office.

    I had some of the same questions as the previous commenter. Does Shushan know the banks are going to collapse (I assume we mean a financial collapse here, not a literal collapse)? Does everyone else? If they don't, how does she know and does she feel any responsibility to stop it or tell someone who can? If everyone knows, I think there would be panic as the time gets closer and people (everyone but Shushan, it seems) wouldn't be going about their normal workday as the end approaches.

    Just a little more context and clarity would help realize the promise of your great premise.

    Good luck.

    Oh, wait. I just thought of one more possibility. If it's a Y2K type situation and everyone thinks it's going to be okay, no big deal, but Shushan doesn't, she could say something about how she was the only one who understood that this problem couldn't be fixed in time, or similar. I hope that helps.

  3. Your logline is really well done. Bravo!

    I do enjoy the voice in this. I agree with Abbe that a little more context and clarity would help. I'd read this based on the premise alone.

  4. My thoughts after reading your logline - ooohh, sounds interesting.
    As well, awesome title and awesome character name.
    However, reading your opening as left me confused and in need of more context and details like others said. I'm a little confused and not necessarily the good kind of confused, you know? Nevertheless, I'd most likely flip the page and continue reading. The character is quite likable and I want to get to know her. I want to read on about her last day of work and what she's going to do up there!

  5. I agree that the opening is a little confusing, but I would keep reading - I like the concept and you are doing a good job showing and not just telling.