Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team Krista #3: THE ROAD OF THE DEAD

Title: THE ROAD OF THE DEAD
Genre: Science fiction thriller
Word count: 93,000

Query:

In a resource-starved future, most people view The Program as a godsend. A technology invented by reclusive scientist Gary Fratangelo, The Program converts energy from the souls of the dead into cheap and limitless power. But there are some who believe that it is an abomination.

Singer-songwriter Sheppard Lorren hasn’t given much thought to the Program until he collides with it head-on. Far from home on tour, he receives devastating news. Not only is his cancer-stricken daughter Lily close to death, but his estranged wife has promised Lily’s soul to The Program. Joined by Fratangelo’s sister, and Mako, a brilliant technophile whose biggest secret is his involvement in the Program, Sheppard embarks on a journey to the Sacred Lands, ground zero for Fratangelo’s technology. To get there, the trio must survive a nightmare landscape where the earth is cracked and lifeless and ectoplasm falls from the sky in a deadly blue rain. And even if they make it, they may be too late to save Lily, and there may be no stopping The Program as it reaches critical mass.

First page:

Even with his head ducked low to avoid recognition, Sheppard Lorren saw the prophet hovering above the street corner adjacent to the hotel. With his arms spread wide to draw in the gathering crowd, the prophet floated nearly three feet up, his feet planted as if the air he stood on was as solid as the sidewalk below.

“Through our greed we have defied the natural order.” Evangelical in its cadence, the man’s amplified voice boomed out across the people who’d stopped to listen. “No, not defied. We have defiled the natural order.”

Thankful that his guitar was back in the hotel room, Sheppard tugged the brim of his baseball cap lower over his eyes and then approached the edge of the gathering, glancing around to make sure he hadn’t been noticed. But with everyone’s eyes focused on the larger-than-life figure levitating there like a god come to earth, nobody so much as blinked in his direction.

The prophet shimmered, a rippling in the three-dimensional image, and Sheppard recognized the figure for what it was. A hologram.

He’d seen prophets before. In some cities they were on practically every street, their clothes tattered, their hair dirty. As plentiful as robins had once been in springtime, they perched atop shipping crates or the bases of statues, preaching God’s wrath and the end of the world. But with all the cities he’d visited on tour, he’d never seen a manifestation like this one.

19 comments:

Michelle Mason said...

A different take on soul-collecting and a life-threatening journey? Yes, please! Go #TeamKrista!

Noelle Henry said...

This sounds like a really dark, complex, intriguing read. You've set the scene so nicely with this opening that I'm compelled to want to keep reading.

Sarah Henson said...

Such a cool opening. It's easy to picture this scene. Go Team Krista!

Jennie Bailey said...

I'm not really into Science Fiction but I would buy this book!!! You hooked me with your concept - and I'm a big fan of your writing! Great job!

Becky Mahoney said...

So cool! I'm loving the world you've set up here.

loritayseastep said...

Great job! Go Team Krista!

Ryan said...

I love love love your premise. Maybe because I'm obsessed with life after death. My first novel was about a girl who could die on command, flit around the neighborhood, then come back. I think you'll have a lot more success than I did. :)

erinpetti said...

I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK. That is all :)

T.L. Bodine said...

Oh man, I am so hooked. The concept, the writing...more, please. *grabby hands*

Ben Spendlove said...

I find the little bit of landscape description in the query very tantalizing. Nice first page, too.

TYHatch said...

A very cool concept. Great query.

Good luck!

Becca C. said...

This concept just totally gives me the shivers - I love it! Great stakes, great conflict.

Leigh Ann said...

DUDE. This sounds freaky and tense and AWESOME. And beautiful writing! Good luck to you!

April Wall said...

When I first read this, I re-read out loud to my husband because I just knew it was a fabulous story idea. Great job and good luck!

erica m. chapman said...

"The Program converts energy from the souls of the dead into cheap and limitless power."

YES. LOVE.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I find myself rooting for the MC already. LOVE this title. Good luck to you in the contest!

Louise Fury said...

Great query!

Tara Dairman said...

#3 The Road of the Dead

Query:

I don’t read much sci-fi, but I found this query really intriguing. I think you do a good job of getting to the point of the story and presenting its most compelling parts. Good job!

Notes: Make sure you capitalize “The Program” consistently. (There are two lowercase “the”s in sentence in the 2nd paragraph.) I might switch the order of “Far from home” and “on tour,” and use a colon after “devastating news” to keep the news in the same sentence.

Why does Mako get named but “Fratangelo’s sister” not? I think you should be consistent here. Also, give us one tiny clue about why the scientist’s sister is involved with Sheppard at all. Does she happen to be his roadie or something?

First page:

I think you do an awesome job of putting us right into the scene and revealing a bit about the world we’re in through the story. Overall, the writing is strong. The only bit that read awkwardly to me was “The prophet shimmered, a rippling in the three-dimensional image…” I think you could reword that to make “rippling” a verb instead of a noun (“his three-dimensional image rippling”? or something like that) and fix the problem.

Lisa K. said...

Thank you to everyone who left such encouraging comments on my entry. I really appreciate it. :-)