Guess the Plot
Escape from New Deseret
1. Joshua and Ruth are young and in love. But on the distant moon New Deseret, love is only for the Elders, and Ruth is slated to be Elder Brennar's twelfth wife. Can they flee to a place where love is permitted?
2. A box of broken china. Three suitcases. And one cat. That's all that washed up on the island with Jim Fortine after his boat sank. Will he ever be able to . . . Escape from New Deseret?
3. Louise Young got the house in the divorce, but the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market means she can't unload the property. After she forces the bank president to issue a loan to the only buyer she could scare up, it's time to make her Escape from New Deseret and leave her conniving, two-timing ex-husband Brigham behind.
4. The wives were all the same. The houses were all the same. They all brought Jello salads to Marjorie's house on the day she moved in. Something funny is happening in New Deseret, and Marjorie is determined to get out before she's turned into . . . a Mormon.
5. Moishin had murdered twenty eight people and earned himself a berth on New Deseret, a prison ship that orbited the dead star of Janicyth. Kept in stasis for his 400 year term while he is bombarded with rehabilitation messages, Moishin is inexplicably awakened when Janicyth suddenly bursts to life. And now Moishin isn't alone on the ship. Can he survive the alien infestation and prove his new morals by saving the nearby colonies?
6. Faced with the choice of keeping plural marriages in the closet or seeing their leaders arrested, extremist Mormons set up New Deseret, a colony on Mars. It doesn't take them long to realize they would have been better off choosing a location where there's some air.
Dear Evil Editor;
I am a new reader of your site, and would like you to consider representing my science fiction novel Escape from New Deseret, complete at 81,000 words, set on a near-future Mars.
Imagine a world where college students and retirees can afford weekend vacations on Earth-orbiting space stations, and a significant portion of Earth’s heavy industry has moved to the Moon. What kind of people would want to settle on Mars?
Mormons extremists, for one. [I did like you said and imagined a world where college students and retirees can afford weekend vacations on Earth-orbiting space stations, and a significant portion of Earth’s heavy industry has moved to the moon, but somehow I didn't follow the train of thought to Mormons moving to Mars. Which leads me to wonder why spring break in space was even brought up.] Faced with the choice of keeping plural marriages in the closet or seeing their leaders arrested, even an airless and barren Mars looks good. [Airlessness may look good for about five seconds, but after that you tend to become disenchanted with the idea.] There, they can do whatever they want, [It's like Pleasure Island in Pinocchio, right? Are they eventually transformed into donkeys?] [Of course, as I recall, on Pleasure Island they had air.]free from the interference of an un-Godly Earth. There, they can wall out the wickedness and live holy lives.
But the small colony, named New Deseret, is seriously under funded. Octavia Vutrick, 19, widowed and pregnant with her second child, has had to assume a man’s role to ensure the survival of her children and the colony. [She has to marry a dozen men.]
For a decade, Octavia’s growing independence is tolerated in the name of survival. A marriage of convenience to a respected rich colonist helps. Octavia’s oldest child Ruth reaching the marriageable age of fifteen provokes a new crisis. Ruth has discovered that wickedness, like rot, comes from within. Humans cannot wall it out. This wickedness, and a leadership crisis provoked by the death of the colony’s founding leader, put the lives of Octavia, Ruth and her brother Alex in grave danger. [Not clear what the crisis is that Ruth provokes, nor why the family is in danger.] [What is clear is that they'd be better off on Uranus.] [You didn't think we were going to get through this whole query without a Uranus crack, did you?]
Thank you for your consideration. My website above has biographical information and a link to my blog. I have enclosed a SASE for your reply, and I hope to hear from you soon.
The line about retirees being able to afford vacations on a space station isn't a good hook for this novel. I don't see that it has anything to do with the story. Octavia is your story. If you condense your setup into something like:
Octavia Vutrick, 19 and pregnant with her second child, is wondering whether moving to New Deseret, the Mormon colony on Mars, was the right decision. Sure, there are no unGodly Earthlings bugging her, but on the other hand, THERE'S NO FUCKING AIR!
there'll be plenty of room to expand on Octavia's trials. And the part about the escape.
When a Mormon on Mars goes on his two-year mission, where does he go? Where else . . . Uranus!
Wasn't the movie Mars Needs Women! about Mormons on Mars? Better title: Mars Needs Mormons!
Beyond the niche audience of Mormon science fiction fans, I'm wondering if there's a big market for this. Have you considered making it extremist Muslims on Mars?