Jul 29, 2010

Nonfiction Query: Einstein's Gift: The Engineering of Lucid Dreams

What if you were given a set of cognitive tools that enabled you to lucid dream any conceivable experience with precision? What if these tools not only opened up a brand new area of experience, but also unified previously disparate facts in the fields of, science, art theory and consciousness studies?

Einstein’s Gift: The Engineering of Lucid Dreams unifies disparate facts in three fields of study. In the field of science, empirical evidence proves that our senses do not perceive objects, rather they detect an abstraction that philosophers call raw sense data, or more accurately, abstract sense data). In the field of art, the advent of Cubist painting 1910-1912 is Braque and Picasso’s unconscious acknowledgement that the senses perceive an abstraction. This acknowledgement continues through the Movements of Modern Art and continues into Post Modern and Contemporary Art. In the forty-year-old field of consciousness studies, the fact that the senses perceive abstract sense data, lays an empirical foundation for a radically new kind of science – a first-person science of consciousness. Handling abstract sense data allows anyone who is interested the ability not only to choose the contents of their lucid dreams before hand, but also to experience themselves in two places at one time. Einstein's Gift is a must-have for lucid dreamers, artists, academics, and anyone interested in the nature of consciousness.

A first-person science of consciousness attempts to bring the spiritual back into science and is one of academia’s hottest new fields of study. Roger Penrose, Dan Lloyd, and Douglas R. Hofstadter, all contemporary academic scholars involved in attempts to establish a first-person science of consciousness, are employing narrative non-fiction as a means to explain their theories of consciousness. Unlike their books, which define and philosophize the nature of consciousness, Einstein’s Gift narrates actual first-hand experiences from the author's own engineered lucid dreams. The Engineering of Lucid Dreams eschews narrating details of the author's personal day-to-day life and instead utilizes a fictional, but academic dialogue between two characters. The first character is a college student studying abstract art (a portrayal of the author learning how to engineer lucid dreams). The second is Einstein (based on the historical Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 whose intellectual commentary and guidance are based upon 17 years of the author’s academic and shamanic study). In the classic Aristotle vs. Socrates dialogue and debate, the young painter and Einstein argue over the existence of abstract and imaginary sense data, the nature of Postmodern Art, the Movements of Modern Art, the disappearance of the Avant-Garde and the exquisite nature of engineered lucid dreams.

The Engineering of Lucid Dreams unifies a new cognitive understanding of abstract art with the contemporary academic attempt to establish an empirical basis for a first-person science of consciousness. The book confronts many of the time-tested and treasured ideas about God, evolution, the nature of reality, the nature of dying and very definition of what it means to be alive. The author’s first-hand lucid dreaming experiences demonstrate how he answered his big speculative questions: Where did the Neanderthals go? Can human consciousness experience the ultraviolet spectrum? What happened at the beginning of the universe? Can we be aware of the atoms in our own bodies? In addition, Einstein’s Gift offers controversial answers to long-standing academic questions: What is the purpose of abstract art? Why is abstract art the dominant feature of the last 100 years of art? What is the function of consciousness? What is consciousness?

Einstein’s Gift is the fruition of over 17 years of shamanistic practice and academic study, earning the author a BFA in Fine Arts from the University of Arizona and an MA in Art Theory, History and Criticism from Prescott College. He has presented his theory of consciousness at the world renowned 2006, 2008 and 2010 Tucson Consciousness Conferences. He has over 14 years of Southwestern gallery showings where he talks about and introduces people to the idea that the power of abstract art is incredibly miscalculated.

Einstein’s Gift: The Engineering of Lucid Dreams offers readers interested in art, science and consciousness a highly compelling argument and jaw dropping lucid dream experiences. The book will be 55,000 words, contain a bibliography, photographic reproductions of 7-15 paintings. The manuscript and all required copyright clearance will be completed three to six months (or sooner) upon receipt of advance. Chapters 4-8 (of 11) are undergoing a professional edit. Chapters 1-3 will be attached to your request for my nonfiction book proposal. 


Suzi McGowen said...

I'm sorry to sound so harsh, but I think this query is way too long.

I like the concept and think it's intriguing.

I think you should remove most of the questions in your query. Questions stop the reader from reading and have them start thinking. You don't want an agent to stop reading your query!

I think describing yourself in the third person (where you list your expertise) makes it sound like you're going through a submission agency. Take ownership! :)

Anonymous Author said...

Okay, I agree with Suzi, and I'm sorry to be harsher still.

At 739 words, your query's roughly three times as long as it should be.

Stay away from rhetorical questions. Agents make fun of them on their blogs.

There's a lot of excess that doesn't need to be here-- for example, you can assume your reader knows who Albert Einstein is. I'm not sure who your intended audience is, but your language is very academic. Unless you're querying academic publishers, try for a more vernacular voice. Shoot for shorter paragraphs and less repetition-- for example, the phrase "first-person science of consciousness" is in there four times. Once would be enough.

The UnknownPoet said...

Thank you so much for your insightful critiques! I have very thick skin don't worry about sounding to harsh. I'd rather the query be ripped to shreds. That way I can put it back together again in a way that will attract an agent. Thanks again.

Anonymous Author said...

Oh--okay! Good to know. A few weeks back a guy ripped into everyone who commented on his query, so we're probably all a bit gunshy.

I'd just like to add that the stuff about copyright, etc., will brand you as an amateur. If you're in the U.S., at least, the mere fact that you wrote something means that it's copyrighted; that's the law. To suggest a publisher or agent won't respect the law is... well, you can see the problem with that.

It's true you can register your copyright, but it's unnecessary and tends to make the writer look like a newbie. (If you're talking about obtaining permissions for other people's work, that's different.)

I'm not sure if you're querying agents or editors, but it's probably not a good idea to stipulate your contract terms in the query. You may not even get an advance-- I didn't for my first book. Also, don't mention the professional edit-- I'm sure you can see why that wouldn't be a selling point.

And as for attaching chapters-- they'll let you know what they want and how they want it.

Anonymous Author said...

Whoops-- sorry, I now notice you say you are querying agents. Definitely don't mention an advance, then, because an agent is in no position to give you one.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fascinating book, but I'm pretty sure that you don't query agents for nonfiction like this. You start with a proposal, which is a whole different style of submission. You might want to search "nonfiction book proposal."

The UnknownPoet said...

Thanks for the comments!! Your feedback is much appreciated.

Here is link to the manuscript Einstein's Gift if you'd like to read more.


These are early very polished drafts but still may have spelling and grammatical errors.

Anonymous Author said...

Oh, don't post your manuscript online if you're trying to sell it. They won't buy the cow if milk is free.

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