I originally posted an offer to critique pitch and query letters here The offer still stands, so if anyone’s interested in working on their query, pop over and drop yours in the comments section there. For an idea of how this works, you can check out the lovely, Julie Weather’s Query Critique here.
Gina, who came up with the idea in comments on one of my previous blogs, has volunteered her own query. And here we go:
“Faithless” is my 100,000-word space opera set in the 70th century, in human-inhabited systems several light years from Earth.
It’s tough enough surviving the world as a human. Try doing it as a resurrected being in the body of a human. That’s Ilana, an impoverished, rebellious eighteen-year-old with strange urges and bad nightmares. She’s a Voth resurrected in the body of a human, but she has no idea—just the feeling that something isn’t right. Her world is turned upside down when her existence comes to the attention of emperor Xim, the only other known Voth resurrection. Imprisoned, and then forced into his service, Ilana manages to win over his treacherous military elite and masterminds a powerful assassination plot against him. But just as she’s poised to strike, she learns her true identity from a terrifying encounter with the alien race Cyon, former slaves of the Voth that are now hunting them. As her current life rapidly loses meaning, she is torn between searching out other Voths in the virgin depths of space, or staying with humanity. But how do you give up the money, power and fame that you struggled so hard to get… for an uncertain life among your own kind?
Here are the first few pages. The story opens in a city on planet Yurin, where eighteen-year-old Ilana is wasting time racing speeders before she is first picked up by the empire:
Thank you for your consideration.
Wow, you know, I have very little to nitpick here, which is a good thing, since I’m fairly nitpicky. I think you did a great job of keeping it short and to the point, especially since there seems to be a lot going on here. I won’t say anything about the names, as you pointed out posting this that the names will be changed... actually, I wouldn’t say much either way, except maybe about the planet name... he,he...
I’m not really well versed in sci-fi, so maybe someone else has something to add with the storyline itself. The only thing writing wise is to edit out the ‘But’, in this sentence:
“But just as she’s poised to strike, she learns her true identity from a terrifying encounter with the alien race Cyon, former slaves of the Voth that are now hunting them.”
– also, I had to read that sentence twice to get it (which may be because I’m not a sci-fi buff, so I’ll put that up for another opinion too) I think you could edit it down, cutting either the name ‘Cyon’ or cutting the phrase, ‘alien race’, because they’re explained in the next few words.
I really liked your introduction to the scene in your closing paragraph, it’s unusual, but it had a very star wars kind of feel to it, and I thought it was a nice addition.
I hope that helps some, I know I didn’t give you very much in the way of crit, but I really didn’t see very much to crit. Many thanks to Gina for posting her query for our critique. I invite all of you to offer your crits in the comments, as these work best when they’re interactive with a lot of participation. Same rules apply, all honest feedback welcome, nothing derogatory.