Feb 8, 2010

Query - Absorption

Dear Agent X:

As a young medic Brett Johnson saw the atrocities perpetrated by the hive mind Alexander. A decade later the Space Force has sent him to the planet Oceania where the nanotechnology Alexander was based upon was developed. Oceania is home to the oldest and largest hive mind in existence, and the planet has derived many economic and medical benefits from it. Brett’s job is to convince the Oceanians that even those who voluntarily became part of the hive mind don’t fully understand the peril to their humanity, and that they must allow the nanotechnology and everything based on it to be destroyed rather than forcing the Federalist Worlds to fight a bloody war against them. He is also supposed to learn as much as possible about Oceanian technology and government to help win a war if one is inevitable.

At first Brett believes deeply in his mission. Then he rashly seduces a beautiful woman, knowing this may interfere with his mission, yet believing it the only way to distract her from giving her soul to the hive mind. With her help he learns more about Oceania than his superiors could have hoped – but begins to question what he’s been told. Is the hive mind truly a malignant entity seeking to trick humans into building the tools it needs to devour them – or a collaborative tool enabling people to perform superhuman feats of intellect? He can only know for certain by becoming part of the supermind. If he was right all along and no individual can ever leave, he will never know what he’s lost – and those who hear his report may not understand until it’s too late. If the Federalist Worlds have completely misunderstood what’s at stake, it may well be too late to convince them, and the home world of the woman he loves may be wracked by a devastating and unnecessary war.

Absorption is an eighty thousand word science fiction novel. Please write me for a full or partial manuscript. I received my MLS from the State University of New York at Albany.


Grateful Regards,


David Weisman

7 comments:

Rick Daley said...

Interesting premise, it's like Avatar meets the Borg.

For the query, you are best served writing it in the present tense. Start with a hook that nails your story...what is the primary conflict?

Then use 250 words to describe the protagonist and his struggle. Don't stray from the primary plot...specific events are not necessary, just the overall journey and what's at stake if he fails.

Use numbers in your word count and capitalize your title. You can leave out the "Please write me..." if the agent is interested, he/she will let you know...

ABSORPTION is an 80,000-word science fiction novel. I received my MLS from the State University of New York at Albany.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Piedmont Writer said...

I agree with everything Rick said.

I'm not a fan of sci-fi, however I read this query with interest. None of it made sense until the lines..."Is the hive mind truly a malignant entity seeking to trick humans into building the tools it needs to devour them, or a collaborative tool enabling people to perform superhuman feats of intellect. He can only know for certain by becoming part of the supermind."

I believe, somewhere in those two sentences is your hook. The rest is synopsis.

I wish you the best with this. It's way off my beaten path, but it sounds like fun to someone who likes all that galaxy/other world stuff.

Lorelei Armstrong said...

Reminds me of George R. R. Martin's short story, Song for Lya.

Dominique said...

You're going to have to break those paragraphs up into smaller ones, otherwise this query is going to look like a mess of black on the agents screen. That's going to put them in a bad mindset from the start.

RCWriterGirl said...

I'm with Piedmont. The first paragraph is unneccessary and confusing backstory. Your query needs to start at this point: "Is the hive mind truly a malignant entity seeking to trick humans ...?"

That's the heart and soul of your story. This is the ultimate question that's driving Brett Johnson. He needs to figure this out.

I'm not a real sci-fi reader, but I'm a big fan of giving pertinent details like time and place, to help us make sense of what we're reading. So, I think I'd like to see that somewhere in there.

So, to sum up, I think your query should star with the hive, and then go into backstsory, giving us a sense of time/place. something like:

Brett Johnson has a mission: convince colonists on a neighboring planet the hive mind they've joined is a malignant entity bent on tricking humans into buidling the tools it needs to devour them. There's just one problem: once on the planet, Brett feels an enormous lure to join the hive.

Brett is wholly committed to his mission when he arrives on Oceania. But, after an intimate encounter with a woman from the hive, Brett begins to wonder if he's got the right mission. He sees the hive help people collaboarte to perform superhuman feats of intellect. ...

As to your last paragraph, use the numbers for word count, 80,000. I think it's preferred to say, "I will be happy to send you the complete manuscript." Lastly, I'm not sure what an MLS is, so maybe you ought to spell it out, in case there are some agents out there unfamiliar with the degree as well. And only include if degree is pertinent to your writing.

Anyway, sounds like very interesting story. Good luck with your query.

Anonymous said...

Resistance is futile.

Emily said...

Interesting query, it reminded me of Orson Scott Card for some reason.

I agree with Dominique, however, that you need to break these bulkly paragraphs up. White space, white space, white space.

Also, what is the hive mind? When you mention nanotechnology I am assuming AI, but I wasn't sure if it was an artificial or organic intelligence.

What is the relationship between the Space Force and the Federalist worlds? And Space Force sounds incredibly generic for s/f.

The title isn't great either, it makes me think of a paper towel commercial...
Integration? Maybe? That's just a suggestion.

But it's clear you can write from this query which is the most important thing.